Category Archives: Victoria in North Oxfordshire

VICTORIA PRENTIS ATTENDS FIRST CONSULTATION MEETING

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On Thursday 26 January, Victoria Prentis, MP for North Oxfordshire, attended the first of twelve public consultation meetings, organised by the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG).

On 16 January 2017, the OCCG launched the first phase of the Oxfordshire Transformation Programme, ‘The Big Health and Care Consultation’. As part of the process, a number of public meetings are being organised across Oxfordshire.

Held in St Mary’s Church Banbury, Thursday’s meeting was attended by nearly 500 people from Banbury and its surrounding areas. The meeting took the format of a presentation of the proposals by panellists, including representatives from the OCCG and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUHFT), followed by questions from the public to the panel.

At the start of the questions, Victoria stood up to express her concerns about the splitting of the consultation, as well as the distance from the Banbury area to the hospitals in Oxford. Questions from the public included queries about training rotation at the Horton, parking at the John Radcliffe (JR), stroke care, the future of the Horton maternity unit, and the transparency of the consultation process.

Following the meeting, Victoria commented: “While I have concerns about the consultation process, it is vital that my constituents have a proper say over the future of services at the Horton General Hospital. Thursday’s meeting was well-mannered, but showed how much public support there is for the Horton. The meeting was particularly short on detail, and I do not feel that we were given sufficient evidence. The process does not provide a holistic approach to the issues we face in Banbury, or enough information for the public to make an informed decision.”

To view the consultation documents, please visit www.oxonhealthcaretransformation.nhs.uk/.

Upcoming local consultation meetings:

Thursday 2 February- 2-4pm (Chipping Norton, venue to be confirmed)

Tuesday 21 February- 3-5pm (Weyland Hall, Bicester)

Monday 27 February- 10.30am-12.30pm (Brackley, venue to be confirmed)

Thursday 16 March- 7-9pm (Banbury, venue to be confirmed)

To apply for your free ticket to a meeting, email cscsu.talkinghealth@nhs.net, with your preferred event, full name, and contact number.

VICTORIA PRENTIS MP’S STATEMENT ON OXFORDSHIRE HEALTHCARE TRANSFORMATION PROGRAMME CONSULTATION

On 16 January, the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group published the first part of its Transformation Programme. Despite serious concerns about the process and content of the consultation document, Victoria Prentis MP is encouraging all those affected by changes to Oxfordshire’s healthcare services to engage as best they can.

Victoria commented: “I am extremely disappointed that the Clinical Commissioning Group has decided to proceed with the Phase One consultation. I have made it very clear that I do not support splitting the Transformation Programme into two parts. I am very concerned that launching the first part of the consultation today (16 January) will mean that the final fortnight will overlap with local election purdah, when there are strict restrictions on public engagement. The CCG are well aware of my concerns, as are the Chief Executives from the other local health authorities and the County Council’s Health & Overview Scrutiny Committee. Unfortunately, nothing has been done that provides me with any reassurance.

“Having had sight of a draft version of the consultation document, I am genuinely worried that the public will not be able to understand what it is they are being consulted on. I don’t understand myself. It is almost impossible for the people of North Oxfordshire and beyond to express their views on what is being proposed in Phase One when we have absolutely no idea what will be proposed in Phase Two, or what impact our responses in the first part will have on the second part. For example, we simply cannot judge whether the suggested changes to acute stroke care in the Horton are good news when we have no idea what role Bicester Community Hospital will have in the future. Similarly, moving dialysis and chemotherapy services to the Horton – as suggested in Phase One – may well be a positive step, but not if it jeopardises our A&E and paediatric services on which we will be consulted in Phase Two. Obstetric maternity services will be consulted on in Phase One, however further consultation on the future of Midwife Led Units (MLUs) including whether we can maintain a unit both in Banbury and Chipping Norton will make up part of Phase Two. In my view, this complicates the issues we face regarding maternity services in the north of the county. It is simply wrong that we are not getting the full picture.

“I am absolutely committed to helping my constituents understand the consultation document and have set up a dedicated page on my website. I intend to have a list of “Frequently Asked Questions” to answer any queries people may have about the changes put forward. The CCG will be holding two public events in Banbury on 26 January and 2 March. While I understand the format of these meetings is yet to be finalised I hope that everyone who wishes to can attend. It is essential that we present a united front and try our absolute best to engage in this consultation, despite its shortcomings. I will do all that I can to ensure that this can be done.”

The first part of the consultation on the Oxfordshire Healthcare Transformation Programme can be seen here.

MP ENCOURAGES CONSTITUENTS TO TAKE PART IN JOHN RADCLIFFE JOURNEY TIMES CAMPAIGN

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Victoria Prentis, Member of Parliament for North Oxfordshire, is encouraging her constituents to take part in her campaign, collecting information on journey times to the John Radcliffe Hospital (JR) in Oxford.

The idea follows a meeting with the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG), where journey times were discussed. Victoria stated in the meeting that door-to-department journey times, including the time it takes to park, must be included in statistics showing travel times to the JR.

With the downgrade of the Horton maternity unit in October 2016, Victoria is keen to ensure that the Oxfordshire University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and OCCG are aware of the genuine impact of travel times between Banbury and the JR.

A consultation on healthcare provision in Oxfordshire, including services at the Horton General Hospital, is expected to begin this month. Statistics on travel times are expected to be an important part of the consultation process.

The campaign is open to anyone travelling from Banbury and its surrounding areas to the JR for an appointment, or to visit a relative. It will involve filling out a short form about a journey to the JR, and sending it or emailing it to Victoria’s constituency office. She and her staff will then collate the responses to submit to the OCCG.

In encouraging constituents to take part in the campaign, Victoria commented: “Following the downgrade of the Horton maternity unit, I remain extremely concerned about travel times to the John Radcliffe. The journey can be so unpredictable and parking times must be taken into account. These variables need to be considered ahead of the consultation on NHS services in Oxfordshire. It would be brilliant if as many people as possible get involved in the campaign to give us a good indication of true journey times from Banbury.”

If you are travelling to the JR from the Banbury area, please cut out the form, fill it in, and send it to Victoria.prentis.mp@parliament.uk or by post to:

Victoria Prentis MP, Heyford Park House, Upper Heyford, Bicester, OX25 5HD.

An online survey can be found here https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/HQ55BQB, or if you would like an electronic version of the form, email a request to victoria.prentis.mp@parliament.uk.

Please post your photos of you leaving and arriving on social media, with your travel time to the JR, using the hashtag #Banbury2JR.

Form to record journey times

Form to record journey times

Click this link to download the form: form-for-banbury2jr-final

BIBBY FINANCIAL SERVICES MOVES GLOBAL HEADQUARTERS TO BANBURY BUSINESS PARK

Independent SME funder, Bibby Financial Services (BFS) has announced the move of its global headquarters to accommodate the business’s strategic growth plan over the coming years.

BFS supports more than 10,000 businesses worldwide and has relocated its central support teams to Pembroke House, Banbury Business Park – an office previously occupied by Vodafone.

Global Chief Executive of Bibby Financial Services, David Postings said: “We have grown significantly in recent years. Our move to larger premises reflects this expansion and our ambitious growth plans over the coming years.

“Having our central support teams together allows our internal network to work more closely, enabling us to better support staff and clients alike. We decided on Oxfordshire as the location of our headquarters due to its excellent transport links, the geography of our current teams, and the scope to expand as our business grows further in the future.”

Victoria Prentis, Member of Parliament for North Oxfordshire, commented: “It is really welcome news that Bibby Financial Services is expanding its operations in Banbury. The company makes a vital contribution to the North Oxfordshire economy, and offers employment to many local people. BFS’s commitment to the area reaffirms North Oxfordshire as an attractive place to do business. I very much look forward to visiting their new headquarters in the coming months.”

BFS is the largest independent invoice finance provider in the UK and provides funding and foreign exchange services for businesses across the world. It has 1,200 employees worldwide in more than 40 offices in Europe, North America and Asia.

In 2016, BFS was awarded 31st place in the Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For, the fifth time the business has featured in the top 100. More than 200 UK employees in departments including HR, Marketing and Communications, IT Services, Business Change, Finance and Strategy have moved to the new 17,000 sq ft site at Banbury Business Park in Adderbury.

David Postings added: “At a time of economic uncertainty, it’s critical that SMEs across the world can access the funding and support they need to grow through international and domestic trade.

We’re a relationship based funder and this means that we work hand-in-hand with the businesses we support. Attracting and retaining leading talent is key to providing excellent service to our customers. We have heavily invested in recruitment, learning and development this year and our move to Pembroke House is a fantastic way to end a strong year.”

Bibby Financial Services new headquarters are located at Pembroke House, Banbury Business Park, Aynho Rd, Adderbury, Banbury, OX17 3NS.

VICTORIA PRENTIS MP VISITS UTC AEROSPACE SYSTEMS CTG IN BANBURY

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On Friday 16 December, Victoria visited CTG in Banbury to gain an insight into the company, and their operations.

CTG is a leading company in the composite industry, and one of UTC Aerospace System’s 126 manufacturing sites around the world. UTC Aerospace Systems is one of the world’s largest suppliers of technologically advanced aerospace and defence products. CTG has developed and patented a number of key composite technologies, and has established an international reputation for quality and innovation in the aerospace industry.

During the visit, Victoria experienced first-hand the production of CTG composite technology, and discussed challenges facing the aerospace systems industry. She was able to look at a number of key areas of the organisation including design and production.

Following a tour of the site, Victoria commented: “As a leading company in its industry, the visit was an important opportunity for me to engage with CTG, and find out more about how they contribute to technological advances in the UK. I was particularly interested in its development of new, lighter composite materials for the aerospace sector. It was great to hear of many exciting developments within the company, and sector as a whole. CTG employs hundreds of local people, and is a key part of North Oxfordshire’s economy.” 

John England, Managing Director, UTC Aerospace Systems CTG said:  “Our business is at the forefront of aerospace innovation and technology. It was fantastic today to show Victoria around the facility and demonstrate our capabilities.  We are working on next generation aircraft composite parts to enable lighter, stronger components to be used on aircraft reducing fuel usage and emissions.”

MP ENCOURAGES PUBLIC TO HELP SOLVE RAF BICESTER MYSTERY

Victoria Prentis MP has joined Historic England and Bicester Heritage in calling for the public to help solve the mystery of an unknown structure on the site of former RAF Bicester.

The shelter-like structure dates from between the late 1930s and the end of the Second World War. At four metres wide by four metres deep, the structure is quite small and is now partly collapsed. Help from the public is needed to find out its story. Historic England hope to find out what it originally looked like and what its purpose was when the base was in use as a RAF Bomber Training Station. The building does not appear on wartime RAF maps of the site, but contemporary aerial photos show it had been built close to the fuel stores by December 1946.

Historic England has given Bicester Heritage a grant of £39,407 to restore a number of buildings and structures on the site. An additional grant for work to restore four further brick built shelters, including this mystery structure, is underway but information about the building is needed before work can go ahead.

Victoria commented: “I do hope that the history of the structure can be discovered. I encourage all members of the public who have any information or specialist knowledge to come forward. The historical significance of the base is very important, and I am pleased that it will be preserved with the help of Historic England and Bicester Heritage.”

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The structure discovered at RAF Bicester

VICTORIA PRENTIS WELCOMES HELP FOR ORDINARY WORKING FAMILIES IN NORTH OXFORDSHIRE

Victoria has welcomed the Government’s Autumn Statement, which will help working families in North Oxfordshire, continue to address the deficit, and tackle the long-term challenges facing our economy.

The Autumn Statement sets out the steps the Chancellor will take to put ordinary working families first:

  • Helping ordinary working families who are struggling by increasing the National Living Wage from £7.20 to £7.50 in April 2017. This will mean a further pay rise for 1.3 million people, worth over £500 a year to a full-time worker.
  • Bringing down the deficit to get the country back to living within its means by balancing public finances and tackling tax evasion.
  • Addressing Britain’s low productivity by introducing a National Productivity Investment Fund, worth £23 billion.

The Chanellor has committed to investing an additional £27m to the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway project. A link between the two cities will boost the country’s economy as well as provide further infrastructure for those living in and around Bicester and Banbury.

Welcoming these measures, Victoria said: “The action announced in this Autumn Statement will help local people who are just about managing, and ensure that our economy is fighting fit as we begin the process to leave the European Union. Increasing the National Living Wage, building more homes that local people can afford, ending tenants’ fees and continuing the fuel duty freeze for the seventh successive year will help families across North Oxfordshire make ends meet.                               

I am very pleased that funding for the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway has been confirmed and I hope my constituents will soon be able to benefit from the investment, widening job opportunities and significantly improving travel times.”

VICTORIA PRENTIS PAYS TRIBUTE TO BANBURY HERO GEORGE PARISH

I was very sorry to hear that George Parish has died. He was a brilliant local champion, and always had the interests of Banbury at heart. He served his community for many years. I am not alone in believing that the whole town owes George an enormous debt of gratitude for the work he did to protect services at our much-loved hospital, and his dedication to the campaign inspired many others to keep up the fight. I am very sorry that we will no longer have George with us, but his memory will continue to encourage those who are committed to save the Horton General Hospital. I extend my condolences to George’s wife and his three sons. George was a true local hero.

Victoria Prentis MP (29 November 2016)

VICTORIA PRENTIS MP WELCOMES PARLIAMENT WEEK TO NORTH OXFORDSHIRE

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Victoria Prentis MP got involved in Parliament Week, an annual programme of events to connect people with UK Parliament.

Parliament Week has seen schools, museums, charities and businesses around the country join in a week long programme of activities and events which explore what the UK Parliament means to them and their community.

On Friday 18 November, Victoria visited Hill View Primary School in Banbury to meet with pupils and discuss how the UK parliament affects them.

Victoria commented: “UK Parliament week is a brilliant opportunity for organisations here in North Oxfordshire to get involved in this national programme. There are many ways you can get involved whether it be a debate, exhibition, or a discussion with your friends and family. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Hill View School, to talk to local children about government and my role as an MP.”

THE WARRINER SCHOOL CLAIMS VICTORY AT SECOND ANNUAL CHERWELL DEMOCRACY CHALLENGE

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On 25 November, Victoria Prentis MP and Cherwell District Council welcomed six secondary schools from her constituency to take part in the second annual Cherwell Democracy Challenge at the Council’s offices at Bodicote House.

In the first two rounds, each team of four debated whether councils should rehouse Syrian refugees, and if rules restricting the creation of new grammar schools should be relaxed. While the students knew the topics beforehand, and had been provided with a short information sheet, they did not know which side of the debate they would be on until the day. The controversial topics provided some lively debate, with many of the students arguing their case with conviction.

After a lunch kindly provided by the Council, the two finalists were announced as Blessed George Napier Catholic School and The Warriner School. They were given time to prepare for the final motion on Parliament’s role in the UK’s exit from the European Union while the rest of the students took part in a Q&A session with judges Councillor Barry Wood, Councillor Colin Clarke, Anita Higham OBE, Chris Lillington and Paul Angus.

The final was a close-fought match in the main council chamber, with both sides providing some convincing arguments. In the end, The Warriner were declared the winners.

Victoria commented: “The Cherwell Democracy Challenge was a wonderful event. It is fast becoming an annual fixture for local schools. I was delighted to see how much the standard had improved from last year’s inaugural event. The Warriner were worthy winners but I was really impressed by all the schools who took part and I look forward to seeing them again next year.

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Victoria with the winning team from The Warriner School, Bloxham.

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Judges Chris Lillington, Anita Higham OBE, Victoria Prentis MP, Cllr Barry Wood, Paul Angus and Cllr Colin Clarke in the Council Chamber.

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Victoria and the finalists of the 2016 Cherwell Democracy Challenge.

 

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