Category Archives: Victoria in North Oxfordshire


On Monday 5 October, Victoria Prentis visited the Butterfly Meadows Children’s Centre in Bloxham. Victoria was given a tour of the facility and met some of the many mothers and children who use the centre. She saw first-hand how the centre is used by families as both a venue for socialising, and as an important source of information and support.

Since Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) announced plans to close many of the county’s Children’s Centres, Victoria has worked to ensure that vital frontline services are maintained in areas of deprivation, where they are so desperately needed. She has already met with representatives of OCC on several occasions. Last month she took members of the Children, Education and Families team to listen to the views of staff and parents at a Children’s Centre in the constituency. She will soon be having a further meeting with Cllr Ian Hudspeth, the leader of OCC, to discuss options for the Council, which is required to make considerable savings in its budget. Later this week, Victoria will be visiting a centre in Banbury.

Victoria said, “I have seen for myself how our Children’s Centres deliver far more than a space for children to meet and play – they offer professional advice and expertise, guidance to troubled families, and generally a supportive face and attitude for all who enter their doors. I have seen many examples of how the centres have been a vital resource to parents and children across the constituency.

I am pleased that Oxfordshire County Council will consult extensively on this issue before making any decisions. I understand the public consultation is in progress, and I encourage my constituents to take part in it. I will continue to monitor the matter closely.



On the evening of Tuesday 29 September, Victoria Prentis MP visited 142 (Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars) Vehicle Squadron, Royal Logistics Corps, at their base in Banbury.

Victoria was given a tour of the facility by the Squadron’s commanding officer, Major Jeremy Burnan, and met soldiers as they participated in training. She was given a comprehensive briefing about the history and role of the Squadron, and spoke to officers about local recruitment and the enhanced role of the Army Reserve following recent restructuring. Alongside Banbury Town Mayor, Cllr Tony Mepham, Victoria then presented service medals to two serving members of the Squadron, before addressing the assembled soldiers to thank them for their work.

The Squadron is the only Army Reserve unit based in North Oxfordshire, but currently has soldiers drawn from across the region. It was previously based at Grantham in Lincolnshire, before relocating and re-forming in Banbury as part of the Army 2020 restructuring. Upon moving to Banbury, 142 Vehicle Squadron inherited the Colour and traditions of the Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars, the regiment in which Sir Winston Churchill served for thirteen years.

Victoria said, “I was extremely honoured to be invited to spend time with 142 Vehicle Squadron. It was apparent that the unit is a tight-knit and supportive group, who take great pride in their work. I was very impressed with the range of skills I saw demonstrated, and it is clear that the Squadron fulfils a vital role within the British Army. Our Reservists serve with dedication and professionalism, and I know that the people of Banbury are extremely proud of 142 Vehicle Squadron.”

During the visit, Victoria also met Lieutenant Colonel Simon Stevenson, the Commanding Officer of 1 Regiment Royal Logistics Corps. The regiment has recently moved to St David’s Barracks in Bicester following their withdrawal from Germany.


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.


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.”


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, 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 (, 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, 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.”

1 17 18 19 20 21 22