On Monday evening, North Oxfordshire MP Victoria Prentis spoke in a debate on Local Government funding. The debate, which was initiated by Conservative MP Graham Stuart, aimed to highlight disparities in local government funding for rural areas compared to urban areas.

Intervening during Graham Stuart’s opening speech, Victoria said:

I do not represent some rural idyll. I represent two large and growing towns, Banbury and Bicester. I feel particularly strongly about the fact that because of the shortfall in local Government funding my council is having to make some very difficult funding decisions that will affect areas of real deprivation. They will affect, for instance, children’s centres and health and wellbeing centres…that is a worry”.

Speaking after the debate, Victoria added:

Local Government funding is an extremely important issue for North Oxfordshire at the moment. I have visited a number of Children’s Centres and taken representatives from the County Council with me. It is important to see first-hand how valuable these places are to our communities.

I was pleased to have the opportunity to raise this in the Commons, particularly given the obvious differences in rural and urban funding. I have more visits planned in North Oxfordshire, including a Health and Wellbeing Centre on Friday. I intend to continue discussions with colleagues in Westminster too. It is absolutely vital that we do everything we can to protect frontline services.”