Category Archives: Victoria in North Oxfordshire

MP JOINS LOCAL COMMEMORATIONS OF THE BATTLE OF THE SOMME

On Friday 1 July 2016 Victoria Prentis MP attended two local events to commemorate the centenary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme. In the century since the beginning of the largest battle of the First World War, the Somme has become notorious for the incomprehensible scale of the losses suffered by the British Army.

Victoria began the day by attending a silent vigil at St Mary’s Church in Banbury, during which the congregation reflected on the loses of both sides. In the evening Victoria joined representatives of Chipping Norton Royal British Legion, Colonel John Bridgeman (Deputy Lieutenant of Oxfordshire) and local villagers at a commemoration at the church of St Nicholas in Tadmarton. The names of soldiers from Tadmarton who had fought in the battle were read out, followed by reflective poems and prayers for those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our county.

Speaking after the event in Tadmarton, Victoria said, “It is sobering to think that over one million soldiers sacrificed their lives during the five months of the offensive. We must make sure that we, and the generations to come, remember the brave men who gave their lives for this country. The wounds of the Somme offensive still run deep, but we should be thankful for the bravery of our soldiers throughout history and today.”

VICTORIA PRENTIS MP COMMENTS ON THE RESIGNATION OF THE PRIME MINISTER, DAVID CAMERON MP

The Prime Minister’s decision to stand down is extremely sad, particularly for us in Oxfordshire. He has been a fantastic constituency neighbour, friend to Banbury and a tireless supporter of everything in Oxfordshire including the Horton General Hospital. He will go down in history as a great reforming Prime Minister. His statement this morning was dignified, and reminded us of the vision he had for Britain. We must all now work together to make it a reality.

In his own words:

The country has just taken part in a giant democratic exercise, perhaps the biggest in our history. Over 33 million people from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar, have all had their say. We should be proud of the fact that in these islands, we trust the people with these big decisions. We not only have a parliamentary democracy but on questions about the arrangements for how we are governed, there are times when it is right to ask the people themselves, and that is what we have done. The British people have voted to leave the European Union and there will must be respected.….The will of the British people is an instruction that must be delivered….We must now prepare for a negotiation with the European Union.

“…I am very proud and honoured to have been Prime Minister of this country for six years. I believe we have made great steps, with more people in work than ever before in our history, with reforms to welfare and education, increasing people’s life chances, building a bigger and stronger society, keeping our promises to the poorest people in the world and enabling those who love each other to get married whatever their sexuality. But above all restoring Britain’s economic strength. And I’m grateful to everyone who has helped to make that happen. I’ve also always believed that we have to confront big decisions, not duck them. That is why we delivered the first Coalition Government in 70 years, to bring our economy back from the brink. It’s why we delivered a fair, legal and decisive referendum in Scotland and it’s why I made the pledge to renegotiate Britain’s position in the European Union and hold a referendum on our membership and have carried those things out.

“…The British people have made a choice. That not only needs to be respected, but those on the losing side of the argument, myself included, should help to make it work. Britain is a special country. We have so many great advantages. A parliamentary democracy where we resolve issues about our future through peaceful debate. A great trading nation with our science and arts, our engineering and creativity, respected the world over. And while we are not perfect I do believe we can be a model of a multiracial, multi-faith democracy where people can come and make a contribution and rise to the very highest that their talent allows.

“Although leaving Europe was not the path I recommended, I’m the first to praise our incredible strengths. I said before that Britain can survive outside the European Union and indeed that we could find a way. Now the decision has been made to leave, we need to find the best way. And I will do everything I can to help. I love this country, and I feel honoured to have served it. And I will do everything I can in future to help this great country succeed.

Victoria Prentis MP (Friday 24 June 2016)

VICTORIA’S STATEMENT ON THE RESULT OF THE EU REFERENDUM

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The British electorate has had a once-in-a-generation opportunity to have their say on our future relationship with the European Union. Britain has spoken. I hope that the result can be respected; we must crack on and make a success of the decision to leave, particularly given the understandable economic turmoil we now face.

I am proud that the Conservative Party delivered on its commitment to give the people of Britain a say. It is important that we work together to heal the divides that emerged during the campaign. We still have plenty to do to deliver our manifesto commitments, and must not overlook other issues locally, particularly the future of the Horton General Hospital.

Victoria Prentis MP (Friday 24 June 2016)

MP CONFIRMS TIMETABLE FOR CONSULTATION ON PROPOSED CHANGES AT HORTON GENERAL HOSPITAL

Victoria Prentis, MP for North Oxfordshire, has met with the Chief Executive of Oxford University Hospitals Foundation Trust (OUHFT) to discuss emerging plans for the Horton General Hospital.

On Thursday 16th June, Victoria met with Dr Bruno Holthof, and members of the communications and clinical services teams. They discussed proposals to change some services at the hospital, including Paediatrics, Maternity, and Accident and Emergency (A&E).

Victoria conveyed the concerns of her constituents, including the very strong worries about a midwife only unit. She also made clear that paediatrics and maternity services were very closely linked and could not be separated. She explained that the potential loss of A&E at the Horton would mean very significant changes to how the hospital would be used, that are not practical given the size of Banbury and its growing population.

The timetable for the upcoming consultation is:

Mid July 2016 Proposed options

·         Proposed options for consultation to be finalised (and will include projected population growth figures).

·         These will be shared with targeted public audiences.

·         The aim is to reduce a long list of options to a short list of credible options for consultation.

Mid July 2016  – October 2016

 

Pre-consultation process

·         Everyone will be invited to get involved in this stage.

·         Opportunity to refine the options put forward.

·         It could lead to changes in the options put forward.

October 2016 – December 2016 Formal public consultation

·         To be run by the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group.

·         Will include public, patient, staff and stakeholder meetings.

February / March 2017

 

Decision

·         A decision will be made on what option to take forward.

·         This will then be submitted to the Health and Overview Scrutiny Committee, to decide if the final option put forward is acceptable.

·         There will then be a decision on whether the Department of Health will ‘call in’ that decision.

Victoria said, “I am very concerned about these plans. I am also very worried that my constituents are just not aware of the detail of what is happening, which is creating a lot of anxiety locally. I have asked OUHFT to provide me with a timetable of the plans, which I have put on my website.

I will continue to fight for the Horton. It is a fantastic local hospital that is an asset to our community, and we cannot lose significant services from it.”

Victoria to speak at Buckingham Literary Festival

This year’s Buckingham Literary Festival is taking place from 1st to 3rd July. Victoria Prentis will be speaking with one of the authors attending.

Victoria will be joining Rebecca Fraser, who has recently written a biography of Charlotte Bronté. In the two hundredth anniversary year of Charlotte’s birth, Victoria and Rebecca will be discussing how perceptions of the author have altered since Victorian times.

For more information, including on how to book tickets, please go to www.bucklitfest.org.

Victoria visits St John’s Priory School in Banbury

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On Friday 10th June, Victoria visited St John’s Priory School in Banbury. She met with staff, and spoke to years 3 and 6.

On visiting a year 6 class, Victoria was grilled on ‘all things parliament’. Issues discussed included the EU, clothing in Westminster, how loud Prime Minister’s Questions was, and the people Victoria had met and worked with in the local area.

Victoria then met with year 3, who were very interested in issues including homelessness and taxes.

After her visit, Victoria said, “It was really good to visit St John’s Priory School. Year 6 have been concentrating hard on parliamentary studies and British values this term, and it really showed in the quality of their questioning. They got a great deal from their trip to parliament earlier in the week.

I hope all schools will take advantage of the opportunity to come to parliament. The difference in the way the children approached political life was fantastic.”

VICTORIA PRENTIS GIVES INITIAL COMMENTS ON PLANS FOR THE HORTON GENERAL HOSPITAL

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Victoria Prentis MP writes about her concerns following Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s announcement that NHS services at the Horton General Hospital in Banbury may be restructured after a public consultation. 

As you may be aware, the health and social care authorities in Oxfordshire are in the process of developing a transformation programme for our area. As part of this project, a number of proposals will be considered regarding the structure of services at the Horton Hospital.

I was born at the Horton, as were my sisters. I was cared for there after I had complications following the birth of my youngest child. It has always been my local hospital. While no decisions have been made yet, I want to make it clear from the outset that I feel very strongly that we must keep high level maternity care at the Horton. The most important factor is the safety of mothers and babies. 

I am also sure that our paediatric care must continue to be local and first class. When my eldest daughter was one and developed a meningococcal rash, I knew I needed to get her to a hospital fast. I vividly remember stopping the car at the junction on the Banbury to Oxford road, and deciding whether to turn left to the John Radcliffe, or right to the Horton. I turned right, arrived within twenty minutes at the Horton, was able to park the car, and she was treated by the great Dr Bell very quickly and successfully.  

We have benefited enormously from having a world-class teaching hospital in Oxford. However, some of us live a very long way from it, and the traffic and parking situation near the John Radcliffe makes travel there a real problem. Of course, more specialist care for high risk pregnancies, and children with unusual conditions, may be better dealt with in the centres of excellence around the country.  However, I believe that we need good quality maternity and paediatric care close to home in our own town in Banbury.

The proposals put forward by the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will consist of three options. I am interested to learn more about them. I want to see which offers the best and safest support to those who use the Horton.

These proposals are still being developed; the Transformation Plan will not be finalised until later this month. It will then go to public consultation in the autumn. I would encourage all my constituents to engage with the consultation process. I will send you further details when I have them, and know there will be a website available soon too.

We have been fighting to keep high level maternity services at the Horton for most of my lifetime.  We may have to dust off our Hands Off Our Horton banners and start again.

Victoria Prentis MP (8 June 2016)

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Victoria asks for acknowledgement of dangers on A361

Although Victoria was unable to attend the parish meeting on Tuesday 24 May 2016 due to parliamentary commitments, she has continued to support South Newington Parish Council to try and improve road safety on the very tight bends through the village.

One major concern is the number of HGVs that pass through the village, and the dangerous decisions they have to make in order to pass one another on corners.

Victoria commented, “I was sorry I couldn’t make it along to the parish council meeting as I was in Parliament. I have been kept updated on the situation, and have been supporting the village for a number of months. I have been in touch with the Secretary of State about safety concerns on the A361, as well as the County Council. Most recently, I contacted a large number of hauliers who travel through the village to see if they would consider mapping alternative routes. I am hopeful that some will, to try and reduce the number of very dangerous manoeuvres that are taking place daily. I am pleased that Oxfordshire County Council has taken on board the comments from residents, and may try some form of mapping to encourage hauliers to consider a different route too.”

MP LEARNS ABOUT MAD HATTERS, MUSIC AND SPORT AT GLORY FARM SCHOOL

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Victoria Prentis MP visited Glory Farm Primary School on Monday 23rd May, and was given a tour by Head Teacher Mr Ian Elkington. Victoria visited every class, and was given more information on the work the school is doing in sports and music.

Victoria was able to watch a North Oxfordshire School Sport Partnership lesson, where the aim is to encourage physical education, and being active in sport in your school and community.

A group of children in year 3 presented a musical piece they were working on. The children learn the piece of music by clapping the rhythm first, and will then play the piece on instruments next week.

Victoria read from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to a year 6 class, who were understanding maths problems using the Mad Hatter and his tea party as an example.

Finally, she spent time with year 4 talking about their recent trip to Oxford, and the things they remember about the town such as its heritage, transport links, and shopping facilities!

Victoria and Mr Elkington also discussed subjects including year 6 SATs, school roofs, and special needs support in the classroom.

After her visit, Victoria commented, “I always enjoy spending time at local schools and seeing how young people are learning. What was abundantly clear at Glory Farm was that everyone was keen to learn, and excited to be working together. It was really lovely to see.”

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