Category Archives: Victoria in North Oxfordshire

MP BUSY IN NORTH OXFORDSHIRE OVER CONFERENCE RECESS

For the last two weeks Parliament has been in recess for the party conferences, and Victoria has been busy with a variety of engagements throughout North Oxfordshire.

On 18th September, Victoria spoke at the Low Carbon Maintenance & Buildings green breakfast event. The event, held at Bloxham Mill, was attended by numerous local businesses. They discussed and exchanged ideas regarding green policies, and future development and growth in the area. As the guest speaker, Victoria spoke about a range of subjects, including the Government’s current green policies, the economy and the constituency’s green strategies, such as the Bicester eco-town.

On Tuesday 22nd September, Victoria held a surgery in Banbury where she spoke to several constituents about a variety of cases. The following day, she enjoyed a visit to Brookside Primary School in Bicester, where she met pupils and had a tour of the remarkable school. She admired the school’s various initiatives to promote reading, and particularly appreciated the success of their updated library. The following Thursday, Victoria had a very productive meeting with local GPs, during which they discussed the pressures faced by the NHS and plans for expanding medical services in North Oxfordshire.

Over the weekend Victoria was honoured to celebrate Eid with a family in Bretch Hill. The family welcomed Victoria to their celebrations with open arms, and she enjoyed learning more about this important religious festival from them.

On 28th September, Victoria held the most recent of her ‘Pub Tour’ visits, spending the evening at the Black Boy Inn in Milton. While there, she met Bruce Duncan, the author of The Lone Soldier. The book chronicles Duncan’s time and experiences in the military. She was amazed when she heard the details of some of his adventures!

During the day she had spent time at the Thames Water treatment plant in Banbury, where she was told about the water cleaning process on-site. Victoria found the staff to be delightful and particularly enjoyed riding in one of the treatment lorries. Following this visit, Victoria headed to Banbury Academy where she thoroughly enjoyed teaching an A level English class on Othello. She was blown away by the students’ enthusiasm to learn and participate in class and found the discussion to be insightful and developed.

Victoria will continue to have engagements in the constituency before attending the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester next week.

MP SPEAKS AT BICESTER’S WEDNESDAY BUSINESS CLUB

Victoria addresses the WBC in Bicester.

Victoria Prentis addressed the Wednesday Business Club (WBC) in Bicester on 23rd September. The WBC is a not-for-profit business networking group that meets every week over breakfast to exchange ideas and information of interest to local businesses.

The meeting, at the Littlebury Hotel, was attended by a great variety of local businesses and entrepreneurs. Mrs Prentis spoke to the Club about a range of subjects, including local development and growth, the national economy, mental health and engaging with social media.

After the event, Victoria said, “It was a great pleasure to speak to so many local businesspeople, and to learn more about the fantastic variety of businesses operating in and around Bicester. Our small and medium sized businesses are the backbone of the local economy, and the WBC is a great forum for them.”

MP WELCOMES MINISTER TO HEYFORD PARK FREE SCHOOL

o	Victoria Prentis MP with Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Childcare and Education Sam Gyimah MP, and Heyford Park Free School Principal Mr David Castles.

Victoria Prentis, Member of Parliament for North Oxfordshire, welcomed Sam Gyimah MP to Upper Heyford on 2nd September, to meet students and tour the school. Mr Gyimah, as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State responsible for Childcare and Education, was visiting the Free School as part of the government’s commitment to building more schools across the country.

Heyford Park Free School, which opened in 2014, has grown to welcome students from across the local area. Victoria and the Under-Secretary were greeted by Principal Mr David Castles. They met with pupils, and the Under-Secretary was invited to participate in a science lesson burning carbon dioxide from ceramic on Bunsen burners.

They visited the school’s impressive campus and facilities, which continue to grow in the area. Heyford Park Free School will soon be opening a new state-of the-art Sports Centre, which will include a sprung-floor basketball court, squash courts, football pitches, an athletics track, baseball diamonds, tennis courts and a fitness gym. The Under-Secretary was given a 3D whistle, printed on one of the school’s 3D printers, as well as a textile bird; both made by pupils at the school.

Victoria said “I am extremely impressed by this school, which is a great example of the success of the Government’s Free School program. I am looking forward to seeing Heyford Park Free School flourish in the future.”

“I took the opportunity to invite the Under-Secretary for lunch in my office, which is just next door. We were then treated to a brief tour of the former RAF base at Upper Heyford, a site which has seen extensive investment for its redevelopment since it was decommissioned in 1994.”

MP welcomes work experience students to new local office

VP with Work Experience students

Victoria Prentis, MP for North Oxfordshire, has welcomed two young people from schools in her constituency to complete a week of work experience in her offices.

Luca Filippi (18) and Will Thompson (17) both completed a week in Victoria’s constituency office in Upper Heyford, and also spent a day in Westminster in her parliamentary office. Over the week, they were given the opportunity to prepare briefings for Victoria, draft correspondence, and prepare materials for online and internal office use. At Westminster, they had the chance to attend Select Committee hearings with speakers including Theresa May and George Osborne. They also observed a parliamentary debate in the main House of Commons chamber.

Luca, who has recently finished his A Levels at Blessed George Napier School, commented “The main reason I applied for this work experience was to gain a deeper insight into British politics, but I finished having also developed many useful office skills, which I know will be of great use in future employment. I would definitely encourage all young people to try and arrange work experience with their local MP.”

Will, who is set to continue his A Level study at The Warriner School, said “I really appreciated the more challenging and important nature of the work I was being set, as it meant I could genuinely learn and benefit from it, unlike many work experience opportunities for people my age.”

Victoria was extremely pleased with the first two students to complete work experience with her, since her election in May. “I was delighted to be able to welcome Luca and Will to my new office in Upper Heyford, to see first-hand the sheer variety of things that go on in an MP’s office over a week. I was very impressed with their dedication, and the quality of work they produced.

There will only be a few spaces available throughout the year, but I hope to welcome students from across North Oxfordshire to my offices for work experience on a regular basis. You will be able to find more information on my website.”

MP joins cooking classes with Brita and Kings Meadow School

Photo Credit: Ben Smith

Victoria visited Kings Meadow School in Bicester to take part in the Kids’ Cookery School session with Reception, run by Fiona Hamilton-Fairley. Fiona, a food writer and cookery teacher, set up the Kids’ Cookery School in 2000 in order to give young people the practical skills and knowledge needed to make healthy food choices.

 

Victoria commented: “I had a really good time with the reception class, who were very good cooks. I used to teach cookery in school as a volunteer, so this is very much my thing. It’s really important that children learn to cook real food and get the chance to try different things.”

 

Photo: Ben Smith

MP encourages people to make views known on bus service

Local MP Victoria Prentis is encouraging members of the public to take part in an Oxfordshire County Council consultation on subsidised bus and Dial-a-Ride services.

 

The MP is keen that as many people as possible make their views known. The council’s public consultation can be found at www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/stconsultation, or in local libraries.

 

Victoria comments: “I am encouraging everyone to let the council know their views on the proposals. Decisions are made taking into account public comments, so it is important that we all take time to explain what these services mean to us locally.”

Victoria says “Love Food, Hate Waste” after visit to local charity WRAP

Victoria with CEO Dr Liz Goodwin OBE and Richard Swannell, Director of Sustainable Food Systems

Victoria Prentis MP spent time with the team at WRAP on Friday 26th June, to learn more about the charity’s current and longer term projects.

 

The visit, coinciding with National Recycling Week, allowed Victoria to hear more from CEO Dr Liz Goodwin OBE; Richard Swannell, Director of Sustainable Food Systems; Patrick Mahon, Strategic Assistant to CEO; and Paul Saville, Corporate PR Manager.

 

The charity, based at Blenheim Court in Banbury, works on many well-known projects across the UK and EU. One of these is Love Food Hate Waste (www.lovefoodhatewaste.com), which aims to raise awareness of the need to reduce food waste – benefitting our purses and the environment! They also work in fields including packaging recycling, waste reduction in businesses, clothing recycling, and efficiencies whilst creating consumer products.

 

Victoria commented “I have regularly mentioned the very impressive work WRAP does – all based from their offices opposite Matalan. I am proud that they are based in Banbury and work with the UN, governments and businesses across the world. They are currently researching the fundamental issue of ensuring food for a growing global population.

 

“I have taken on board the advice from WRAP – and we didn’t get time to discuss all of the exciting projects they work on. I have consciously ensured all of the furniture for my new Upper Heyford office is second hand. I know how hard WRAP is working on food waste too, and I try very hard to freeze food and use our fridge leftovers for meals. We can all make small changes which have a real impact on global sustainability. WRAP is leading the way.”

 

Dr Liz Goodwin OBE, Chief Executive at WRAP, said “I’m delighted that Victoria Prentis MP, recognises WRAP’s work and commitment to the important area of resource management and food waste specifically. Food waste is a global issue, but we all have a part to play in tackling it, whether that be in Banbury, Oxfordshire, the UK, or the rest of the world. By wasting less food, everyone can contribute to helping the environment, but what’s more, families could save around £60 per month. Our website, lovefoodhatewaste.com is full of helpful information on how to reduce food waste.”

St Joseph’s Catholic School welcomes MP during ‘Send My Friend To School’ campaign

Victoria with Years 3 and 6 discussing Send My Friend To School

Victoria Prentis MP was welcomed to St Joseph’s Catholic School on Friday 26th June 2015. Victoria was given a full tour of the school by Deputy Head Teacher Mary-Claire Hardie.

Victoria was taken into each classroom at the school, on Fiennes Road, to meet with students. She met first with the Year 1 class, and was read to by students during literacy time, and visited the Nursery and Reception classes at playtime.

 

On meeting Year 2s and Mrs Thompson, Victoria gave a quick ‘parliamentary pop quiz’ to see how much the class knew about her work as MP. As part of the ‘Send my Friend to School’ campaign, Victoria and the children spoke about how fortunate they were to attend school and receive a good education. She spent time with Year 4 as they discussed what they would do to help children into education if they were world leaders.

Discussing aspirations with Year 2

Discussing aspirations with Year 2

 

On entering the main school hall, the Year 6 class and Mr Lewis were coordinating a variety of quizzes and tasks to explain what many children around the world would do on a daily basis, instead of attend school. The Year 6 class were explaining to Victoria, staff, and Year 3s that 89 million children around the world could not attend school. Instead children would need to do chores including washing clothes, preparing food, and fetching water.

 

 

Victoria commented “I was very proud to listen to the students. They had many impressive ideas which I have promised to take to the Prime Minister. It was a pleasure to watch the variety of projects the Year 6 had pulled together themselves, and I was excited to sit with Year 3 and take part in the quizzes! I was very grateful to receive the models of world leaders the students had made, and will be displaying them in my constituency office.

 

“I must thank the staff and students for making me feel so welcome. I’m looking forward to visiting again soon.”

Victoria meets Keep The Horton General to discuss hospital services

Victoria Prentis, Member of Parliament for North Oxfordshire, spent time with the Keep the Horton General group on Friday morning (26th June), to keep up to date with the hospital’s progress.

 

Victoria with Keith Strangwood (l) and Dr Peter Fisher (r)

Victoria with Keith Strangwood (l) and Dr Peter Fisher (r)

Victoria met with Dr Peter Fisher and Keith Strangwood, of the local action group Keep the Horton General to ensure both sides could talk about the current and future plans for the hospital. Meeting at the Terence Mortimer Postgraduate Centre, Victoria spoke at length with Dr Fisher and Mr Strangwood on how services are performing at the much-loved local hospital.

 

Victoria commented “My love for the Horton General Hospital is no secret, and those living in Banbury and surrounding villages are very fortunate to have it. What is important now is ensuring we all work together to deliver the best possible care and services at the Horton – myself, the Keep the Horton General group, and the Oxford University Hospital Trust.

 

“I meet regularly with the Hospital Trust, and plan to do so with the Keep the Horton General group too. There are some fantastic facilities at the Horton and I am committed to ensuring they continue.”

MP meets St Mary’s School to learn about alternative travelling

North Oxfordshire’s MP Victoria Prentis visited St Mary’s School in Banbury on Friday 26th June. Children at the school wanted to show her their plans to travel to school without driving, led by the School Travel and Road Safety team (STARS).

 

26.06.15 With STARS team at St Mary's, Banbury USE

 

Victoria was shown around the school by Acting Head Teacher Tracy Ostler, parent governor Sarah Wallis, and the STARS team. The team is a group of students who encourage parents and staff to try and lessen how often they drive to school.

 

The children produced a PowerPoint presentation to show Victoria some of their work. They explained how they were travelling to school on foot, by bike, and on scooters as an alternative to their parents’ driving. Not only did this lessen congestion, but encouraged the children to consider healthier travel options.

 

After her visit, Victoria said “I was very impressed with the work the STARS team has undertaken. The children are working hard to encourage environmentally friendly travel. I was glad to see that safety was a key factor too.”

 

“I was grateful to the girls from STARS for their time, and thank all staff and students for welcoming me to their school.”

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