26 APR 2013
Jack today visited Wheatfield Primary School to look at issues over access to the school. Jack had received concerns over traffic congestion at the time of school runs, the road layout near the school, and the resulting road safety issues for children getting to the school on foot.
'I was concerned at the problems Wheatfield has had with access to the school at the beginning and end of the school day,' commented Jack. 'There are clearly problems with the road layout, and I feel that there is more that South Gloucestershire Council can do to help. I have got in touch with them and requested a meeting at the school for them to see the problems and I hope that they will be able to make changes to help the situation. I know that the school have worked hard over many years to tackle these problems.'
The school has instituted a Golden Boots award for the class that has the highest percentage of its members walking to school in a week. It has also worked hard through its Bike It crew to encourage pupils to bike to school safely. Jack saw a road safety presentation from the Bike It crew in Friday mornings Celebration Assembly, as well has having the chance to present the Golden Boots award to the winning class. The school assembly gave a rendition of the school Jubilee song, 'Sing.'
In addition, Jack met members of the School Council to talk about his role as an MP and answer a series of questions from them. These ranged from 'do you get encouragement from members of the public?' and 'what is the most difficult issue you have had to vote on?' to 'what football team do you support?'
Jack said 'I thoroughly enjoyed presenting the Golden Boots award in assembly. I know they have worked very hard to tackle the road safety issues, and I hope South Gloucestershire Council can reciprocate. I was very impressed with the questions that the School Council asked me, and I hope that they learnt more about the work I do as an MP.'
Jack is pictured with the School Council
14 MAR 2013
Jack was at the official launch of the Olympus Academy
Trust. This new partnership has been launched to join Abbeywood School and
Bradley Stoke Community School to allow them to work more closely together to
the benefit of pupils and staff across all age groups and subject areas, and
follows on from the adoption by Bradley Stoke Community School of Academy
status in January 2012. The Trust came into operation in January 2013, and is
named after the type of engines used by Concorde, which were designed and built
locally. They have adopted several goals, in particular helping young people
succeed in the wider community, secure a rating of 'outstanding' from Ofsted at
Bradley Stoke school and building on the progress at Abbeywood.
The schools had set up sample lessons across the
curriculum at both schools for parents and visitors to view and take part in,
as well as a showcase of music and drama events by pupils. He was taken on a
tour of Bradley Stoke school by the Deputy Head and shown round Abbeywood by
pupils, and was able to meet and talk to pupils and staff about the future
arrangements for the two schools.
The Olympus Academy Trust has been set up to allow the
two schools to share best practice and ideas, and to allow pupils to access the
highest standards of teaching and resources. The Executive Head, Dave Baker, is
overseeing the leadership of the two schools, and has said that staff at both
schools will be co-ordinating lesson planning, attending joint training days
and arranging joint trips and events for students from the two schools.
After visiting the schools, Jack commented, 'I was
delighted to see the progress the schools are making as part of the Olympus
Academy Trust. I am pleased that they have taken advantage of the greater
freedoms available through Academy status, and are working together to improve
the learning experience they offer to students.' The increase in schools taking
on Academy status is one of the Government's flagship reforms to Education, and
Jack said 'I'm delighted to see Bradley Stoke and Abbeywood Schools using the
freedoms Academy status gives them. I know that the leadership of the Trust
will use this freedom to innovate in the education that they provide and build
links with local businesses. I wish them all the best for the future.'
The schools also launched their new websites on the day
and were visited by four Bristol City players who met pupils. Jack is pictured
with Executive Headteacher Dave Baker at Abbeywood School.
31 JAN 2013
Brenda and Roland Cowley were in the House of Parliament to visit Filton and Bradley Stoke MP Jack Lopresti. Mr Lopresti invited the Bradley Stoke residents for Prime Minister Questions, a tour of the Palace of Westminster and lunch after reading that they were the first family to move in to Bradley Stoke over 25 years ago.
Mr Lopresti was interested to hear from the Cowley's how they thought Bradley Stoke had changed over the years and to talk about the local areas future.
"It was a real pleasure to meet the Brenda and Roland. They have so much knowledge of Bradley Stoke and it was fascinating to hear their perspective over how the area has developed and their hopes for the future. What I was really pleased to hear is that Brenda and Roland love living in Bradley Stoke and have great friends and neighbours. They are clearly part of a friendly, tight knit community and being the first residents they will have undoubtedly played a big part in that."
The Cowley's seemed to enjoy there day as well, saying:
"It was great to see the workings of Parliament first hand and Jack and his team made us so welcome. We really enjoyed PMQ's and were especially taken by how clear and articulate David Cameron was!
We had such an exciting day, so much to see it was an education, so many things to absorb, memories that we will cherish. This has given us the appetite to visit London again and make up for lost time in understanding our country's heritage."
28 JAN 2013
Julie Close, Director of Southern Brooks, invited Jack to join local residents and users of Coniston Community Centre for their regular Friday Coffee Morning. Jack met with regulars who enjoy a chat and chance to socialise and try their hand at the well stocked craft table. Joining the Coffee Morning were students and tutors taking a short break from the Working with Children course being run upstairs and there is always a play corner for those looking after young children.
Jack commented, 'I am pleased to meet old and new faces and see the Centre being enjoyed by local residents. I t was interesting to chat with some of the students on the first day of the 'Introduction to Working with Children' and hear how they had come to join the Course. The cafe is a great local hub and they serve excellent cup of coffee!
'Julie explained to me that Southern Brooks have an unusual opportunity to recruit five Trainee Community Organisers. This is a Cabinet Office initiative to appoint, train and employ co-ordinators to motivate and mobilise people to create community-led change. Locally, five Organisers will be recruited; one each for Patchway, Yate, Kingswood, Filton & Bradley Stoke. They will be supported by, but work independently from, Southern Brooks. It's a unique opportunity for local residents to make a strong commitment and difference to their own communities and I look forward to meeting the Organisers recruited in my constituency.'
www.southernbrooks.org.uk – look under the Jobs Section for Community Organisers
11 JAN 2013
Jack Lopresti today visited Babcock International Groups new offices in Aztec West. Babcock are an engineering support services company who provide support and training for organisations with important infrastructure or asset needs, and have recently opened an office on the business park, relocating many of their staff there from other sites across Bristol and South Gloucestershire.
Much of Babcock's work at Aztec West focuses on infrastructure and nuclear projects, and Jack was able to hear about some of the work they are doing for clients across the UK. Much of the companies education and training is handled at Aztec West, and they were able to give him a description of the work that they do with their employees to improve their skills and increase their flexibility through their career.
Babcock are the largest supplier of support services to the MoD, and work closely with them at military sites up and down the country. They are also working on the decommissioning of nuclear power plants across the UK, and Jack met the team that works on these projects and looked at some of the work they were involved with at the moment.
'I was delighted to visit Babcock's offices at Aztec West. They were very happy with the move that they had made and they are well set up for continued expansion over the coming years. Their move to the area cements North Bristol's reputation as an excellent place to do business, and I am sure they will go from strength to strength.'
10 JAN 2013
Jack met Michelle Dent and Helen North to see for himself how their application to the Big Lottery Fund will mean the final phase of this very popular playground in Bradley Stoke can be built.
The Park was constructed in 2009 by South Glos and Bradley Stoke Town Councils, but funding ran short and the Youth Structure/Shelter had to be postponed. It was designed following workshops and consultations with the young residents of Bradley Stoke.
Jack said, 'I visited the Park yesterday to see for myself this has left an empty space and no shelter for anyone using the Park. Michelle and Helen are not just parents of young children who live locally and use the park, as Chairman and Treasurer of The Friends of Jubilee Green they are actively working to make a difference in their community. I understand the Friends are now in the second and final stage of a grant application from Groundwork UK for the Big Lottery Fund Community Spaces grant. I am very pleased to support their application for funding and hope it will be successful.
04 JAN 2013
Jack met with David Wood, ex railway man and well known Post transport columnist, and Martin Garrett, Transport For Greater Bristol, to discuss suggestions for improvements to facilities for users of the station and its locale. Jack said, 'I am keen to promote the use of rail for the many commuters working close to Abbeywood Station and most interested to hear the ideas put forward at our meeting. Better facilities would have a positive outcome for local residents as well as rail users and I hope to be discussing this with the Minister very shortly.'
07 DEC 2012
Jack was invited to visit St Michael's Church to see at first hand the extensive plans for expanding both Church and community facilities in Stoke Gifford. Jack met Revd Simon Jones, Chris Bradley, Treasurer and Hilary Field, Fundraiser to discuss the project and how he can best advise on funding sources.
Jack said, 'the scale of this project is quite amazing. St Michael's have already raised over £1.6 million from their own congregation and need a total of £5.5 million. I am pleased to support this initiative for very welcome additional facilities, not just for those who attend church, but for the whole community of Stoke Gifford. The project incorporates both an extension to the current building and the long disused Old Barns at the rear. I trust the end result will be as pleasing an amalgamation of the old and new as the current premises which include The Old School Rooms.'
23 NOV 2012
Jack met with John Christiansen, the Chief Executive and John Rigby, the GWAAC pilot, who outlined the plans for their new helicopter. The current Bolkow 105 has provided sterling service but is cramped and is nearing the end of its life. The 'Movin' on Up ' appeal will allow the charity to lease a Eurocopter EC 135, bigger, faster and more flexible and making the vital work of GWAAC even more effective in saving the lives.
'I was very pleased to be invited to visit the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity on Friday. It is quite amazing to hear that such vital work in saving lives, is like RNLI, financed to a very great extent by donations from the general public. The cost of leasing and running the helicopter, the pilot and hangar provision is met by fundraising. The highly experienced consultant doctors on board every flight are all volunteers. GWAAC receives some NHS backing for items such as emergency monitoring equipment and the paramedics are NHS funded
It is reassuring to know that BAE have confirmed GWAAC will have alternative on site accommodation when Filton Airfield is redeveloped. This has prevented a move away from Filton and the Bristol motorway network and will save valuable time and resources in responding to over 600 helicopter callouts a year.'
26 OCT 2012
Jack was today present at the launch of Stoke Gifford Royal British Legion's poppy appeal at Parkway Station. The annual appeal is aiming to raise £42 million nationally, with Stoke Gifford aiming for £40,000, up from the £37,500 they brought in last year. Money raised goes to the Legion's work supporting current and former members of the Armed Forces and their families.
Branch spokesman David Bell said 'we are very grateful to the public for their continued support – it is with that support that we are able to help those who have served.' Jack echoed David's sentiments when he said ' I congratulate the Stoke Gifford branch on the excellent fund raising they do. I know how important the Royal British Legion's work with servicemen is, and this work is only possible through the efforts of dedicated local volunteers.'
The Royal British Legion spends £1.7million every week on help and support to servicemen, comprising such things as emergency grants, debt advice, employment and training support, assistance with tribunals and inquests and care homes and family breaks. In all, 165,000 people are helped annually, from the estimated 9 million who are eligible. They are also planning to spend £30 million on setting up the Battle Back Centre, which provides sport and adventure activities to help the recovery of wounded, injured and sick Servicemen who are still serving with the Armed Forces. They pride themselves on the flexibility of the support they can give, and this also includes adventure breaks for service children and holiday breaks for families that have spent a long time apart. Older veterans get help with home repairs, places in residential homes and support if they suffer from conditions like dementia.
Jack is pictured with Stoke Gifford Branch volunteers, who can be seen around the area raising money for the charity over the next few weeks. They are part of the 350,000 volunteers who organise and collect for the Legion across the country each year, who between them distribute 45 million poppies.