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Jo McCarron and representatives from the residents’ campaign group calling for improved traffic calming measures on Craven Way spoke to councillors at the Council’s Planning, Transportation and Strategic Environment Committee meeting on Wednesday 3rd September. 

They presented their petition, signed by more than 400 people so far, along with written statements from local residents about the problems they experience with traffic on Craven Way.

Jo and the residents’ group will also be speaking at the Kings Forest Area Forum meeting on Monday 15th September at 7pm in the Civic Centre. The Forum’s list of potential traffic schemes now includes improvements to the traffic calming on Craven Way – residents will be pressing the case for this scheme to be finalised and implemented as soon as possible.

Below is the text of Jo’s statement at the meeting on Wednesday:

“My name is Jo McCarron and I am Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Kingswood. I am here today because I’ve been working with local residents to try and make sure their concerns about traffic on Craven Way are listened to and acted on – and to urge councillors to read their statements about the problems they experience.

“Although there is speed calming along most of the stretch of Craven Way, there is not any, and has never been any, at the Tower Lane end. Residents do welcome the news that the chicanes are due to be removed, and in their petition – signed by more than 400 people – they have put forward practical suggestions as to what scheme should replace them.

“Residents have been extremely concerned about this issue for a number of years and say they do not want to wait until a serious accident before action is taken. They contacted me earlier this year, and told me they had been calling for action since 2010, but feel they have been ignored by their local councillors and the current Conservative MP. I am keen that residents in Kingswood have a say on matters that are important to them, so I met with the concerned residents and I helped them to build their campaign. 

“Since we started building pressure on this issue, there has been some progress. I know council officers have now put together a draft scheme which incorporates the residents’ suggestions, this is on the Kings Forest Area Forum’s list of potential transport projects.

“This is encouraging, but we are here today to try and make absolutely sure that from this point onwards, residents’ concerns are taken seriously, that councillors and officers do all they can to deliver the most effective possible traffic calming measures along the whole of Craven Way, and that residents have a say in the future changes to Craven Way.”

Jo McCarron and local residents deliver petition to keep up pressure for improved Craven Way traffic calming

Jo McCarron and representatives from the residents’ campaign group calling for improved traffic calming measures on Craven Way spoke to councillors at the Council’s Planning, Transportation and Strategic Environment Committee...

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Read the article on page 14 of the Week In here...

Or read the full text of Jo's comments below:

"As a working mum, I know the stresses involved in finding the right childcare, particularly during the school holidays. My kids are now a bit older, but I really feel for parents facing childcare costs that are putting more pressure than ever before on the household budget, while fewer and fewer childcare places are available. Childcare should not be a barrier to parents wanting to return to work – that’s no good for anyone.

"I helped out this summer at the holiday play scheme run by Juice Community Project in Cadbury Heath. It’s free, it’s open every weekday afternoon during the school holidays, and above all it’s great fun for the kids and the volunteers who help supervise. Families with services like this on their doorstep are really lucky. For more and more parents, finding good, affordable holiday childcare is a real struggle. The average price of holiday childcare has gone up around 20% over the last five years. And only 27% of local authorities in England have enough holiday childcare for parents who work full-time – five years ago that figure was 49%.

"Childcare is obviously a particular concern during the holidays, but childcare throughout the year is becoming a bigger and bigger challenge. There are 35,000 fewer childcare places across the country than there were in 2010, and childcare costs have gone up five times faster than wages.

"As a result, pressure has been growing on the Government to act, and they have at least announced some extra help towards childcare costs in the form of an increase in the “childcare subsidy”. However, this amounts to only £400 a year for the average family, and will not be introduced until next year.

"More could definitely be done, and should be done – for the benefit of parents, and the wider economy. Labour has set out fully funded plans to provide an extra 10 hours a week of free childcare for working parents, worth £1500 per child per year. We have pledged to guarantee breakfast and homework clubs at school to ensure good quality care is available for all primary aged children. I’ve spoken to hundreds of local parents who back these plans – let’s hope that pressure on the Government to deliver this kind of meaningful help continues to grow."

Jo McCarron speaks to the Week In about the challenge parents face finding good, affordable childcare

The Labour Party along with the Save Cossham campaign group will be holding a protest in Kingswood Park at 9.30am on 17th September to highlight the strength of feeling about the Minor Injuries Unit promised at Cossham Hospital, but which still hasn't been delivered. The protest will then be moving across the road to the Kingswood Civic Centre to deliver the petition to the Clinical Commissioning Group at the monthly South Glos. Health Scrutiny meeting.

The protest has been planned following a campaign meeting earlier in August packed with almost 200 people. At that meeting Jo McCarron, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Kingswood, spoke about the importance of delivering the MIU, promised to residents as part of the move of facilities from Frenchay to Southmead. 

Jo said, 

"As part of the move of facilities from Frenchay to Southmead, after a long consultation, local people were promised that Frenchay would be protected as a community hospital - but that promise has been broken, with a raft of the services we were told would be delivered now scrapped. We were also promised the MIU at Cossham, but the longer people are forced to wait, the more suspicious they become that once again promised services will be downgraded.

"People in our area have already had to endure one lengthy battle to save Cossham from closure. Reg Bennett (under the chairmanship of Graham Kennedy) and the Save Cossham Hospital Group, along with local councillors and the former Labour MP, Roger Berry, worked hard to ensure that Cossham did not close - and it was a triumph to see their hard work and determination pay off, ultimately securing a £19million refurbishment from the Labour Government. It was a testament to what can be achieved when the community pulls together.

"Whether it is legal for the CCG to break this pledge or not, the fact remains that the promise was made, and should be honoured. Consultation should always mean something, or else there is just no trust."

Jo McCarron also paid tribute to Reg Bennett and the rest of the Save Cossham team for all the work they do on behalf of the community to try to secure the MIU.

All members of the public interested in the MIU campaign are invited to attend the protest and the delivery of the petition to the Clinical Commissioning Group.

Minor Injuries Unit protest planned for 17th September

The Labour Party along with the Save Cossham campaign group will be holding a protest in Kingswood Park at 9.30am on 17th September to highlight the strength of feeling about the...

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