Category Archives: Victoria in North Oxfordshire



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.”


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.”


The structure discovered at RAF Bicester


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.”


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 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.”



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.


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


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


Victoria and the finalists of the 2016 Cherwell Democracy Challenge.




North Oxfordshire MP Victoria Prentis has chosen the winner of her Christmas Card competition after receiving hundreds of designs from primary school children across her constituency.

Earlier this year, Victoria wrote to the head teachers of all the primary schools in North Oxfordshire to ask them to take part in her annual Christmas card competition. Pupils were encouraged to use this year’s theme – the nativity star – as their inspiration.

Victoria received hundreds of creative designs from young people of all ages from schools including Queensway, Dashwood and Christopher Rawlins.  After much deliberation, she chose Lucy England’s design, age 6, from Fritwell Primary School. Her design included a Christmas tree, nativity star and a drawing of the Houses of Parliament. It will be used as the main picture on Victoria’s 2016 Christmas card, which have been printed by Banbury Litho. As part of her prize, Lucy has been invited to visit the House of Commons with her family for a tour and tea with Victoria.

Ethan Osborne, Jaya Trivedi (pupils at Bure Park Primary School in Bicester) and Layla Newman (also of Fritwell Primary School) were selected as runners up. They received House of Commons prizes and will have their designs printed on the back of Victoria’s Christmas Card.

On Thursday 10 November, Victoria popped along to Fritwell School to meet Lucy and congratulate her on winning the competition.

Victoria said, “I was really pleased to receive so many entries to my annual Christmas Card competition. The children’s designs were all brilliant; there were so many to choose from. I ended up selecting Lucy’s design as the winner because I really liked how she had managed to make the Houses of Parliament look Christmassy, with all the stars and the Christmas tree. It was lovely to meet her to congratulate her in person and I am looking forward to welcoming her and her family to the Houses of Parliament in the New Year.”


This year’s winning Christmas card design, by Lucy England (age 6).



Victoria Prentis MP, attended an event in the House of Commons yesterday where new figures showing the impact of beer and pubs were unveiled by the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA). The study was carried out by leading independent analysts, Oxford Economics.

In North Oxfordshire, the brewing and pub sector makes a huge economic contribution. Locally, the sector supports 2,151 jobs and provides £55m in value to the local economy, putting Banbury in the top 10% of constituencies. Across the country the sector supports almost 900,000 jobs and adds £23bn in value to the UK economy.

Victoria commented: “It is brilliant to hear that our pub and brewing industry has contributed so much to the local economy in North Oxfordshire. Pubs are often the heart of the community. I really enjoy meeting constituents during my pub tours, which I hold regularly across the constituency. My next one will be during the evening of Thursday 8 December in The Saxon Bicester.”

Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the BBPA, comments: “The economic impact brewing and pubs has on the UK economy is clear for all to see, but on a local level the large number of people earning a living from the trade has a huge impact. This new data drives home how important our sector is for a vibrant and thriving local economy, alongside the huge importance of pubs to our local communities.”



On Thursday 10 November, Victoria Prentis MP officially opened Harriers Banbury Academy’s new Forest School Den.

Forest School is a cross-curricular, engaging and pupil-led initiative that allows children of all ages to discover more about their natural environment. It offers pupils the opportunity to develop their self-esteem and confidence through hands-on learning.

The Forest School Den is a new eco-classroom which will provide a valuable outdoor learning resource to complement the Forest School, combining project-based digital learning, and further preparing pupils for the world of work. The Den is an economical wooden structure, fusing outdoor learning with project-based digital learning. Not only will the new Den provide a unique learning space for the pupils, it will also provide an alternative venue for families, parents and the wider community.

Following the opening, Victoria commented: “It was an honour to open the new eco-classroom at Harriers Banbury Academy. The Forest Den is an exciting new resource for the children to learn more about the natural world. Hands-on experiences are so important for young people, and I am in no doubt that the Den will enhance the pupils’ curiosity, creativity and knowledge.”

Alex Pearson, Executive Principal at Harriers Banbury Academy, said: “At Harriers, we have three core values: purpose, self-worth and engagement. We are always looking for ways to stimulate our pupils’ curiosity and creativity, while providing purposeful learning, fun and engagement. Outdoor learning and our new Forest School Den provide our pupils and teachers with exciting opportunities to learn in different and engaging ways, mixing modern technology with the great outdoors!”



On Monday 7 November 2016, the Ministry of Defence announced that St David’s Barracks in North Oxfordshire, part of the Bicester Garrison, is to close in 2028. The announcement was made in the House of Commons by the Secretary of State for Defence, Sir Michael Fallon, and comes as the MOD restructures the organisation of the defence estate. Speaking after the statement on Monday afternoon, Victoria said:

I am very sorry that St David’s Barracks will be closing in 2028. I have already spoken to Minister Mark Lancaster TD MP about the planned closure. I emphasised the importance of working closely with the local authority and planners to find a suitable use for the land when the barracks has closed. Today’s announcement has given us plenty of time to plan for the future. I am pleased that Bicester will keep a strong military presence with the retention of other barracks at the Garrison.”

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