Level Up Bristol: MPs outline why they’re backing our campaign

Bristol MPs have lent their backing to BristolWorld’s Level Up Bristol campaign, calling for urgent change in a city held back by inequality.

The MPs have called for an end to ‘broken promises’ from the Government as deprived communities struggle to recover from the devastating effects of the pandemic.

You can read about our campaign, which aims to prompt opportunities and support for all, here.

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Thangam Debbonaire, MP for Bristol West, said: “Bristol is a wealthy city, but there are huge divides between different areas. My constituency of Bristol has some of the most affluent and most deprived wards in the South West.

“Tory government ministers like to talk the talk, but it is just empty words and broken promises.

“Eleven years of Tory governments have only deepened inequalities, leaving many people struggling to keep pace with a rising cost of living.

“For many working people, owning or even renting a home of their own in Bristol West is an unachievable dream. It doesn’t have to be like this.”

MP for Bristol West, Thangam Debbonaire.

Kerry McCarthy said: “Bristol is in many respects a thriving city, with a growing international reputation too.

“But while we should be proud of this, there is also undoubtedly a need for ‘levelling up’ across the city.

“In my constituency many people are still reeling from the economic, as well as the personal, cost of the pandemic.

“They may no longer have jobs now that furlough has come to an end, or their businesses may not have survived.

“Thousands will be affected by the Government’s £20 cut to Universal Credit and with rising energy bills and food prices, will be struggling to make ends meet.

MP for Bristol East, Kathy McCarthy.

“I’ve been challenging the Government to acknowledge these pressures, and to think again on the UC cut and on its plans to raise National Insurance, which will hit the lower paid the hardest.

“I’ve also supported the excellent work of Feeding Bristol in trying to eliminate food poverty in the city; again, this needs Government support, particularly in widening eligibility for free school meals and funding ‘Holiday Hunger’ schemes.

“With the Spending Review approaching, I hope we will see the Chancellor acknowledge Bristol’s needs, and give us the funding that will help us truly ‘level up’.”

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones.

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones, said: “Under this Tory Government real wages are falling; child poverty is rising; and taxes are going up.

“That’s why I support the Level Up Bristol campaign, because it’s obvious we need to take ‘levelling up’ into our own hands.

“When children in Bristol couldn’t get online to learn during the winter lockdown, I launched the Affordable Broadband campaign to create a social tariff for Free School Meal households.

“We’ve got a long way to go but I’m pleased internet providers have signed up to the campaign and the DWP have agreed to simplify the application process for low-income households.

“Now I’m working hard to make sure this promise is kept.”

If you would like to contribute to the campaign by sharing your story with us, we’d love to hear what you have to say - just email [email protected].