Bristol South

Advice surgeries for constituents

Karin Smyth MPBristol South’s Labour MP Karin Smyth will be available to help constituents at advice surgeries as follows:

Friday 5 June at Knowle West Health Park, Downton Road, BS4 1WH, from 9.15 am – 10.45 am.

The arrangement will be repeated, in the same location, the same times, on Friday 19 June.

People who would like to request an appointment are asked to call 01179 533 575 or use the ‘Stay in touch’ form on home page of this website.

Visit to Bridge Learning Campus

Bristol South’s new MP Karin Smyth wasted no time beginning to meet her pledge to visit all schools in her constituency, with a trip to the Bridge Learning Campus, Hartcliffe. (Friday 22 May)

Two days after being ‘sworn-in’ to The House of Commons, the Labour MP was back in Bristol, meeting senior staff for a whistle-stop tour of the ‘all-through’ school, which caters for young people aged 3-16: nursery through to Year 11. The school, incorporating the former Hartcliffe Engineering Community College and Teyfant Primary School, was built as part of the Labour government’s Building Schools for the Future programme, and opened in January 2009.

“It’s vital that our young people learn the right skills that will set them up to take advantage of opportunities that will come their way in a rapidly changing world,” said Karin Smyth. “So my aim is to visit all south Bristol’s schools to learn more about the work they are doing to support them.

“I want to build relationships with staff and governors, and to really get to grips with the challenges they face. I see it as a key part of my MP work, helping ensure south Bristol residents have a strong voice and local champion.

“So I was delighted to kick this off by seeing the great work being done by young people, staff and governors at Bridge Learning Campus.

“It was heartening to hear senior staff affirm their commitment to supporting students’ ambitions, building their confidence, and continually improving standards of teaching.

“They were also keen to confirm the value and importance of the Pupil Premium, funding aimed at specifically raising attainment of disadvantaged students.

“When you look at the ‘big issues’ that featured in the general election, education didn’t really get a look-in, but it remains the key to all our futures,” added Karin Smyth.

Ofsted inspectors visited Bridge Learning Campus in March 2015, rating the school as a good school, with outstanding features.

During the visit Karin Smyth met with Chief Executive, Mark Davies, Associate Head (secondary phases) Keziah Featherstone, and Chair of Governors, Caroline Jenkins.

Apprenticeships key to boosting south Bristol’s economy

Karin Smyth MPAs the latest unemployment figures show more than 1,400 people in Bristol South claiming unemployment benefit, newly elected MP Karin Smyth has reaffirmed her pledge to high quality apprenticeships for 16-19 year-olds living locally.

Unemployment figures released on 13 May show that in April 2015, there were 1,405 people living in Bristol South out of work and claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance.

“The next five years of Tory government are going to present enormous challenges to residents across the south of our city,” said Karin Smyth.

“Far from building an economy that works for everyone, the Tory philosophy means help for those at the top, while most people are left to sink or swim.

“I am determined to work to help local young people get the best possible start to their adult life, and to improve opportunities for 16-19 year olds. At the heart of this is the need for high-skills apprenticeships for local people,” she said.

There was bad news for jobs in south Bristol this week when Tesco announced the closure in June of its Imperial Park ‘Home Plus’ store.

“We need a local economy that works for us all, with proper jobs and decent pay. It’s equally important that we do what we can to create openings for those who have been in work but find themselves needing to re-train, and acquire new skills to help them into different types of work.

“I look forward to meeting and supporting local businesses, educationalists, Local Enterprise Partnership representatives and others to help make these important opportunities a reality,” added Karin Smyth

Bedminster Secret Gardens

Karin Smyth MP Bedminster Gardens 2015Newly-elected Karin Smyth made her first constituency visit as Bristol South’s Labour MP, to the Bedminster Secret Gardens event on Sunday 10 May.

The event gave local people an opportunity to explore the gardens of a number of Bedminster, Southville and Ashton residents, who opened their gates for the day.

“It was impressive to see so many beautifully cared-for gardens and to meet those who’ve nurtured them,” said Karin (on the left in the picture).

“The day provided an opportunity for so many people to showcase all their hard work and it proved very popular indeed. Thanks are due to everyone who worked so hard to make this a memorable event.”

Bedminster’s Secret Gardens is part of the Blooming Bedminster ‘Growing Community Festival’. Other festival events coming up include the Greater Bedminster Front Garden Awards, the North Street Bug and Bee Flower Carpet and the Southville Centre Garden Party. Use this link for the full list of Blooming Bedminster Festival events

All proceeds went to the community gardening group which transforms and maintains small patches of abandoned land across Bedminster into small gardens for all to enjoy.

My solemn promise to Bristol South residents

Karin Smyth MP Election night 2015 acceptance speech

2015 Election acceptance speech:

I’d like to thank the returning officer and all of the staff here and in polling stations across the constituency who have worked tirelessly during a very long day and night. Thank you also to the police for their presence here this evening.

I’d like to thank the team who have worked hard for months to ensure this result tonight. Most of all, perhaps, I owe a debt of thanks to my family for all their support, now and into the future.

I’d like to thank my fellow candidates for what has been a very civilised and policy-focused campaign. I have thoroughly enjoyed debating with them and wish you all the best for the future.

Dawn Primarolo has served Bristol South for 28 years, during which time her dedication and commitment to her constituents was evident for all to see.

It is an honour and privilege to have been entrusted by the people of Bristol South to be her successor in Parliament.

Bristol South is one of the most economically deprived constituencies in the country. There are many thousands of residents living locally who absolutely cannot afford another five years of the Tories’ austerity policies, which have hurt the lowest paid and the most vulnerable in our society, whilst giving a tax cut to millionaires.

I would like to make a solemn promise to the people of this constituency – whether they voted Labour, voted for another party, or if they didn’t vote at all – that I will work my very hardest in Westminster and across Bristol South to ensure they continue to have a dedicated vocal champion for many years to come.

Thank you.

A Fairer Economy – Prosperity for the many, not the few.

Britain will never succeed if we follow the Tory plan of a low wage, low skill economy – a race to the bottom in which ordinary, working people are always the losers. This approach will not secure more and better paid jobs for south Bristol.

We believe that prosperity must be built for the many, not the few.

That means winning a race to the top, with well paid, high skilled jobs in new industries, and more people setting up, leading and succeeding in business. This private sector growth needs to be supported by an active government, investing for the long-term, setting clear priorities, and enabling businesses to grow.

Bristol should be a world leader in low carbon technology and green jobs. When we open new renewable energy sites, we want to see British manufacturing companies producing the plants, equipment and technology that make them possible.

Our low carbon industries can create a million more of the high skilled jobs we need to win the race to the top.

More Apprenticeships

Far too many young people in south Bristol are having real difficulty finding decent jobs. Many more high quality apprenticeships are needed, so that young people can get the experience and confidence that they need to get on in life.

Only one in ten employers in Bristol and across the UK offers apprenticeships and that needs to change. Labour wants every firm with a major government contract and every employer hiring skilled workers from outside the EU to pay back the country by offering apprenticeships.

With new skills and opportunities the next generation will not be left behind.

Labour’s plan for the economy

• Promote the Living Wage through legislation

• Increase the National Minimum Wage to £8 an hour

• Ban exploitative zero hour contracts

• Create a million new high tech, green jobs by 2025

• Insulate five million homes over the next ten years

• Cut business rates for 1.5 million business properties

Parliamentary Candidate for Bristol South

I am proud and excited to have been selected by Bristol South Labour Party as their parliamentary candidate for the next General Election.

I was chosen by Labour Party members as the person charged with taking up the helm when Dawn Primarolo retires at the next general election.

The people of Bristol South have had a strong passionate voice representing their issues and standing up for their needs in Westminster and locally for over 25 years in Dawn Primarolo. They will rightly expect a high standard of representation going forward. I am delighted that the members of the local party have put their trust in me to deliver that for them.

I want to thank the Bristol South Labour Party for their vote of confidence in me. I am excited about working together, and with the wider community, to show that only the Labour Party have the understanding of the challenges facing Bristol South, and the ideas to pursue the opportunities.