Category Archives: Victoria in North Oxfordshire

A statement from Victoria on social media

“The recent General Election brought out the best and worst in people. It was a passionately fought campaign for all involved, but unfortunately a number of us, myself included, were subjected to some extremely worrying and upsetting abuse. Since then, it has only got worse. The number of offensive online remarks peaked last week, prompting me to make the decision to remove all comments, both supportive and negative, from my Facebook page for the time being.

I am not alone. A number of Members of Parliament from across the political spectrum have made the same decision after acting on advice. High-level discussions about the best way forward are in progress, and I will be making my views known. Of course, everyone should have the opportunity to express their views but there is absolutely no place in our democracy for the abuse we have seen over recent months.

It is always good to hear the views of my constituents. Just last night, I held one of my regular pub tours, and I organise frequent surgeries in both Banbury and Bicester where people can raise their issues. If it is more convenient to get in touch with me online, constituents can email victoria.prentis.mp@parliament.uk. Alternatively, they can call my office on 01869 233685. I always try to reply to all questions promptly, but urgent casework does take priority.”

Government funding paves the way for major upgrade to the A34

Major improvements to the A34 in Abingdon got the green light today (26 July 2017) after Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, pledged more than £9 million of Government funding.

Two new south-facing slip roads at the Lodge Hill Interchange will help end years of congestion and improve safety. The long-awaited scheme, which will receive up to £9.45 million over 4 years, will also boost growth in the wider Science Vale area, where up to 20,000 new jobs and 20,000 new homes will be created by 2031. 

With many road users from North Oxfordshire using the A34 regularly, campaigners have stressed that safety and traffic flow need to be considered as two of the most important issues in Oxfordshire.  

Victoria Prentis, MP for North Oxfordshire, commented: “Many of my constituents work in Oxford or the surrounding areas, and commute along the A34 on a daily basis. A number of them have expressed concern accidents on the stretch of road in Oxfordshire. With increased house building and a growing population in the county, it is vital that we have the appropriate infrastructure in place to cope.

Following the downgrade of maternity services at the Horton General Hospital, more and more patients are having to make the journey down dangerous stretches of the road to attend appointments or give birth. Travelling for hours when in labour is traumatic enough, without the extra worry of delays. I am pleased that the Government is providing much-needed funding for the A34; I hope the improvements will ease some of the concerns we all have about travelling around the area.”

 

Victoria’s Pub Tour continues at the Saye and Sele Arms, Broughton

170726 Saye and Sele pub tour

On Tuesday 25 July, Victoria Prentis, MP for North Oxfordshire, visited the Saye and Sele Arms in Broughton as part of her Pub Tour.

The visit gave her the opportunity to meet constituents, discuss her work in North Oxfordshire and Westminster, and get feedback on what local concerns and priorities are. The Horton General Hospital was a key topic of conversation, as were Brexit, speeding in villages, and footpath access between Broughton and Banbury.

The Saye and Sele Arms is the thirty-third pub to be visited by Victoria as part of her continuing tour. She was joined by her current work experience student who benefited from the opportunity to see Victoria interacting with constituents.

Speaking after the event, Victoria said: “I always look forward to my pub tours. It is an informal setting for me to have a chat with my constituents about the issues close to their hearts. I am also really keen on anything that helps promote local pubs – they are a unique and vibrant part of British culture. Thank you to Danny and Liz at the Saye and Sele for hosting me and giving me a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes. I am sure I will be back soon!”

Victoria Prentis MP judges Tadmarton Scarecrow Contest

HumptyDumpty

On 21 June, Victoria Prentis, Member of Parliament for North Oxfordshire, judged the Tadmarton Scarecrow Contest, the finale of the Scarecrow Festival, which has been held annually since 2015. The winning entries were announced on 22 July at a special concert held at the village church. Victoria was very impressed by the creativity of all of the entries, and enjoyed seeing the originality and hard work of Tadmarton residents.

Victoria commented, “It is always a real pleasure to see communities coming together, and throw themselves into village life. As a farmer’s daughter, scarecrows have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I was amazed by the wit and variety of the entries. It was very difficult to pick a favourite, but I felt that Fantastic Mr Fox was a worthy winner!”

 

First place: Mr Fox

Mr Fox

Second place: The Horse

Horse

Joint third place: The Man on the Loo, and the Bride and Groom

Loo

V Wedding

Victoria reflects on a ‘difficult year’ for the Horton

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“Today marks one year since I was told that the obstetric service at the Horton General Hospital was facing a recruitment crisis and would be suspended pending a decision by the Trust’s board later on in the summer. It has been a difficult year for us all, particularly new parents and their babies, and concern remains around the current and future arrangements.

During the past year I have had numerous meetings with Ministers, other local elected representatives, the Clinical Commissioning Group and the Trust. I have raised it on the floor of the House on numerous occasions: in departmental questions, in a Private Member’s Bill, and in speeches; today, I even mentioned it during Church Commissioners questions!

The CCG Board will make a decision on Phase One of their consultation on 10 August. From the conversations I have had in recent weeks with NHS England, NHS Improvement and Health Education England they can be in no doubt about the strength of feeling locally. I hope that any further decisions on the future of maternity at the Horton can, at the very least, be paused until we have a clearer vision of health services so that they remain safe, kind and close to home.”

CHANGES TO TRAIN SERVICES BETWEEN BANBURY AND OXFORD

 

As part of the £7.5billion investment in electrifying the Oxford to London line, GWR will be introducing new trains later this year.

Network Rail will be undertaking track improvements between Saturday 22 and Sunday 30 July. Over the course of the week rail-replacement buses will run from Banbury and Bicester to Oxford. Chiltern Rail services from Banbury and Bicester to London Marylebone will be running as normal. Do check the validity of your ticket before travelling, and bear in mind that journeys may take a little longer than usual.

Further information on the changes to the services can be found here.

VICTORIA PRENTIS MP MEETS WITH NHS ENGLAND AND NHS IMPROVEMENT

On Monday 17 July, Victoria Prentis, Member of Parliament for North Oxfordshire, met with representatives from NHS England and NHS Improvement to discuss her concerns about the recent Oxfordshire Transformation Plan Phase One consultation. Victoria was keen to make clear her views ahead of the Board meeting of the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group on 10 August.

During the meeting, Victoria voiced a number of concerns and made clear that patient safety is of utmost importance. She also discussed travel times from the north of the county to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, as well as the potential knock-on effect of any training accreditation decisions on other acute services at the Horton.

Speaking after the meeting, Victoria commented: “Since the suspension of obstetric services at the Horton, I have written to NHS England on a number of occasions to ensure that they are aware of my concerns, and those of my constituents, regarding the current situation in our area. However, I was really keen to sit down with them and have a proper discussion regarding the proposals included in the Transformation Programme Phase One consultation. The past few months have been an unhappy and confusing time for us in North Oxfordshire. There has been too much uncertainty. It was helpful to understand the views of both NHS England and NHS Improvement and ensure that we have a good working relationship going forward.”

VICTORIA PRENTIS MP MEETS WITH NHS ENGLAND AND NHS IMPROVEMENT

On Monday 17 July, Victoria Prentis, Member of Parliament for North Oxfordshire, met with representatives from NHS England and NHS Improvement to discuss her concerns about the recent Oxfordshire Transformation Plan Phase One consultation. Victoria was keen to make clear her views ahead of the Board meeting of the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group on 10 August.

During the meeting, Victoria voiced a number of concerns and made clear that patient safety is of utmost importance. She also discussed travel times from the north of the county to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, as well as the potential knock-on effect of any training accreditation decisions on other acute services at the Horton.

Speaking after the meeting, Victoria commented: “Since the suspension of obstetric services at the Horton, I have written to NHS England on a number of occasions to ensure that they are aware of my concerns, and those of my constituents, regarding the current situation in our area. However, I was really keen to sit down with them and have a proper discussion regarding the proposals included in the Transformation Programme Phase One consultation. The past few months have been an unhappy and confusing time for us in North Oxfordshire. There has been too much uncertainty. It was helpful to understand the views of both NHS England and NHS Improvement and ensure that we have a good working relationship going forward.”

VICTORIA PRENTIS MP REOPENS BICESTER GREEN WITH MAYOR AND COUNCILLOR, LES SIBLEY

170707 VP opening Bicester Green Cropped

On Friday 7 July, Victoria Prentis joined Bicester Mayor, Cllr Les Sibley to reopen Bicester Green at their new purpose-built premises next to Garth Park.

Bicester Green is a local organisation supporting waste reduction by taking bikes, furniture and electrical items from landfill to refurbish and repair. As a body reliant on volunteers, Bicester Green brings together a variety of skills from within the community, as well as providing education and training for its members.

In addition, Bicester Green is now advertising practical training courses for anyone who is unemployed and wants to develop new skills and widen their career opportunities.

Following the opening, Victoria commented: “I thoroughly enjoyed looking around Bicester Green’s new, purpose-built premises and meeting volunteers. It was a pleasure to join Cllr Les Sibley for the opening, and get involved in this exciting new era for the group.

Litter and waste are important issues for me, and Bicester Green is a prime example of a valuable community asset that is totally committed to tackling social problems.”

For more information about the work of Bicester Green, visit www.bicestergreen.org.uk/.

VICTORIA OPENS SHELSWELL HISTORY FESTIVAL

On Friday 7 July, Victoria Prentis, MP for North Oxfordshire, opened the first Shelswell History Festival. The festival, which took place north of Bicester, compromised of re-enactments, talks and guided walks intended to increase the interest and knowledge about the history of the local Shelswell area.

During the opening, Victoria spoke to the volunteers who helped put the festival together, and visited a number of stands detailing the history of villages in the North Oxfordshire constituency. The event was also well attended by local food producers, including freshly squeezed apple juice from the Shelswell Park Estate and local ice cream.

Speaking after the opening, Victoria said, “Having grown up in the area, I am proud of North Oxfordshire’s history. It is events like this allow for both education and community spirit. It was a pleasure opening the festival, and meeting all the volunteers who put an enormous amount of hard work into the weekend. I look forward to many more in future years.”

For more information about the Festival, please visit http://www.shelswellhistoryfestival.org.uk.

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