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Jo McCarron ran a Big Draw art project for Year 5 pupils at her old primary school, Hanham Abbots, as part of the Big Draw Festival, a series of events throughout October run by the national Campaign for Drawing.

The theme for the day was ‘Small World, Big Ideas’ and was about the world around us and sustainability. Jo’s project involved pupils working on 40 separate ‘jigsaw’ pieces, which they then put together in the playground to create a large, colourful collage of a forest scene. Jo also recruited other local artists Maria Danishvar Brown, Laura Izaguirre and Domenico Alecci, who worked with pupils on separate projects about sustainable living.

The Campaign for Drawing was launched in 2000, by the Guild of St. George, to commemorate its founder, the Victorian writer, philosopher and artist, John Ruskin. The campaign aims to raise the profile of drawing as a tool to help people see, think, invent and take action. Its long term ambition is to change the way drawing is perceived by educationalists and the public. Campaign for Drawing has patrons which include Quentin Blake, David Hockney and Andrew Marr and each year runs the Big Draw Festival, the biggest drawing festival in the World, where events take place across the UK to celebrate drawing.

Jo said,

"Helping to get more people doing art and being creative is one of my favourite things as an artist, and I’m especially pleased to be able to give something back to my old Junior School. Art is so important for children. It helps them express themselves and understand the world around them. 

"A few years back, I was involved in the Big Draw project at another school in Kingswood, Redfield Edge in Oldland Common. The theme was dreams and aimed to teach the children about the nature of abstract art. They had great fun then and I think the pupils at Hanham Abbots really enjoyed the project this year.

"It is crucial that creative subjects are recognised as an important part of education. Everything around us has been designed and has only come about as a result of creative thought."

Jo McCarron runs art project with pupils at her former school in Hanham

Jo McCarron ran a Big Draw art project for Year 5 pupils at her old primary school, Hanham Abbots, as part of the Big Draw Festival, a series of events...

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Jo McCarron, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Kingswood, spoke to delegates at Labour's Annual Conference in Manchester about the importance of rebuilding trust following a series of broken NHS promises locally and nationally.

Jo was moving a motion submitted by Kingswood CLP and Bristol North West CLP reaffirming Labour's commitment to protecting our health service - the motion passed unanimously by delegates.

Here is the full text of Jo's speech:

"I am Jo McCarron, CLP delegate for Kingswood, Bristol, and standing to be the next MP for Kingswood.

It is a huge honour to be moving this motion on behalf of everybody who wants to save the NHS from Tory destruction.  

Let me tell you what’s been happening to a couple of hospitals in my area.

A few years ago, Cossham Hospital was under threat of closure. But after a hard fought campaign, not only was it saved – we secured a £19million refurbishment from the last Labour Government. This was thanks to the hard work of residents, Labour councillors, and the former Labour MP, Roger Berry.

It was testament to what can be achieved when we pull together. 

But do you know, when Cossham Hospital re-opened there were two empty rooms. The Minor Injuries Unit was missing. It was promised, but it’s nowhere to be seen.

But luckily we have an amazing group of campaigners – the Save Cossham Group. Together we have been working to make sure local people are heard.

I have been blown away by the team’s hard work and determination. And even more than that, by the public response to our petition at street stalls, on the doors and at the meetings and rallies we have called. 

Last week the Save Cossham Group and I presented the petition, with 16,000 signatures.

So it’s clear, people in Kingswood are passionate about their local health services.

But this isn’t only about health – it’s also about broken promises.

There had been another promise that nearby Frenchay hospital would be protected as a ‘community hospital’.

Since then a raft of the services that were supposed to be delivered were scrapped – that, despite the Conservative MP, Chris Skidmore, saying he had already made sure the community hospital would be delivered. He said it was job done. I guess he’s hoping nobody will notice that most of Frenchay has actually closed.

People feel betrayed, ignored, let down. Uncertainty and betrayal isn't good for anybody's health.

What’s at stake above all is trust, and not just in Kingswood but across the country. People’s faith that promises count for something, that they won’t be taken for a ride.

Do you remember David Cameron promising that his number one priority was the National Health Service?

Well I think he might need a reminder.

He said he would stand up for the NHS.

Well, the reality is that his Government has piled pressure on our health service

- Cutting thousands of nurses

- Slashing social care for the elderly and vulnerable

- Closing walk in centres

- Wasting billions on a reorganisation no professional health body wanted and no-one voted for 

The result is patients waiting longer for treatment, longer for GP appointments, longer in ambulance queues.

And now we have Conservative MPs talking about charging patients. Is that their plan to ease the strain the health service is under? Attacking the basic founding principle of our NHS.

Free at the point of use. Available to all.

David Cameron’s NHS promises have counted for nothing.

The truth is, that is bad not just for the Tories, but for politics as a whole.

Labour has a plan to rebuild our NHS,

Repealing the Health and Social Care Act, that diverts money for health care into private company profits.

Investing in frontline staff. 8,000 more GPs. 20,000 more nurses.

But people need to know that they can trust us to deliver.

We need to show week-in week-out that we are already making a difference. 

And we are, in Kingswood alongside the Save Cossham Group, and in constituencies up and down the country, fighting to protect local NHS facilities. 

So let's get out and keep up the fight. It’s now or never.

And I say to the Tories – just as surely as you have been closing down walk-in centres, come next May, it will be you walking out the door."

Jo McCarron speaks at Labour Party Conference about our NHS

Jo McCarron, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Kingswood, spoke to delegates at Labour's Annual Conference in Manchester about the importance of rebuilding trust following a series of broken NHS promises locally...

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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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