VICTORIA PRENTIS TO SPEAK AT Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee MEETING

Consultation meeting 26 Jan 17 Cropped

On Monday 7 August, the Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) will meet to examine the Oxfordshire Transformation Consultation Phase One consultation once again. The Committee will have the opportunity to question further the Clinical Commissioning Group, and consider the responses to the recent public engagement period. The meeting will take place in the same week as the CCG Board decides on the Phase One proposals. During HOSC’s meeting at County Hall in Oxford, Victoria Prentis, Member of Parliament for North Oxfordshire, will have the opportunity to speak to put her concerns on record. In particular, she will emphasise the need to consider the 10,000 responses to the consultation, and take note of all the views expressed throughout the exercise. She also hopes to make clear that any decision on the future of the maternity unit should be paused until all recruitment possibilities have been exhausted.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Victoria said: “The joint Health and Overview Scrutiny Committee plays an important role in ensuring that any service reconfiguration is looked at carefully before it goes ahead. Throughout the Phase One period, they have taken their role very seriously, and have asked the Clinical Commissioning Group to return to a number of meetings, both to update members and to answer any further questions they might have. Next week is crucial for all of us involved in the campaign to retain acute services at the Horton General Hospital. As I made clear in a letter to CCG Board Members ahead of their meeting on 10 August, we must have a clear vision of healthcare in the county to understand properly the potential impact on the Horton General Hospital. The domino effect should not be underestimated. I am looking forward to attending HOSC to make this clear on Monday.”

Victoria Comments on Impending Horton Decision

“The last year has been extremely difficult for all of us in North Oxfordshire. The suspension of obstetric services at the Horton General Hospital took us all by surprise, and the Clinical Commissioning Group’s Phase One Transformation Programme consultation has been wholly inadequate. My concerns about both the process and content of the proposals remain. Over 10,000 people responded to the consultation; their views must be taken into account before any final decisions are made. Last week, I wrote to each member of the CCG Board to make this clear, and specifically urged them to pause any decision on the future of the Horton’s maternity service until all recruitment ideas have been exhausted.

Patient safety is of paramount importance. We must also ensure that decisions made in this first phase do not have an adverse impact on the future provision of acute services at the Horton General Hospital. We cannot ignore the potential domino effect. The people of North Oxfordshire and the surrounding areas must have access to care that is safe, kind and close to home.”


Following Jeremy Corbyn’s U-turn on his commitment to ‘deal with’ student debt, 147 Conservative MPs have written to Labour’s Shadow Chancellor demanding that he set out which other plans would face the axe as Labour attempt to deal with £5.8 billion in extra debt interest payments.

The letter is published alongside new analysis of Labour’s plans showing that, by the end of this Parliament, public sector net debt would be more than £250 billion higher under Labour than under the Conservatives.  Based on the OBR’s current projections of the cost of government borrowing, this means Labour would spend £5.8 billion more a year in debt interest payments – the equivalent to the pay of around 65,000 nurses, 56,000 teachers and 53,000 police officers, putting tens of thousands of jobs at risk.

In reality under Labour the cost of borrowing would be even higher as their unfunded spending splurge would push up borrowing costs, with even more money being spent on debt interest rather than on vital public services.

Commenting on the letter, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, said: “As their £100 billion-pound broken promise on student debt shows, Labour aren’t being straight with the British public. Labour would take out an enormous loan, but are pretending they wouldn’t have to make cuts elsewhere to pay for it.

Families, and working people everywhere know that’s not how it works; when you take out a loan you have to pay interest on it, and that means making tough decisions on where to cut back elsewhere.

Only the Conservatives have a plan to bring down debt so we can invest in vital public services that serve families and communities right across the country.”

A statement from Victoria on social media

“The recent General Election brought out the best and worst in people. It was a passionately fought campaign for all involved, but unfortunately a number of us, myself included, were subjected to some extremely worrying and upsetting abuse. Since then, it has only got worse. The number of offensive online remarks peaked last week, prompting me to make the decision to remove all comments, both supportive and negative, from my Facebook page for the time being.

I am not alone. A number of Members of Parliament from across the political spectrum have made the same decision after acting on advice. High-level discussions about the best way forward are in progress, and I will be making my views known. Of course, everyone should have the opportunity to express their views but there is absolutely no place in our democracy for the abuse we have seen over recent months.

It is always good to hear the views of my constituents. Just last night, I held one of my regular pub tours, and I organise frequent surgeries in both Banbury and Bicester where people can raise their issues. If it is more convenient to get in touch with me online, constituents can email Alternatively, they can call my office on 01869 233685. I always try to reply to all questions promptly, but urgent casework does take priority.”

Government funding paves the way for major upgrade to the A34

Major improvements to the A34 in Abingdon got the green light today (26 July 2017) after Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, pledged more than £9 million of Government funding.

Two new south-facing slip roads at the Lodge Hill Interchange will help end years of congestion and improve safety. The long-awaited scheme, which will receive up to £9.45 million over 4 years, will also boost growth in the wider Science Vale area, where up to 20,000 new jobs and 20,000 new homes will be created by 2031. 

With many road users from North Oxfordshire using the A34 regularly, campaigners have stressed that safety and traffic flow need to be considered as two of the most important issues in Oxfordshire.  

Victoria Prentis, MP for North Oxfordshire, commented: “Many of my constituents work in Oxford or the surrounding areas, and commute along the A34 on a daily basis. A number of them have expressed concern accidents on the stretch of road in Oxfordshire. With increased house building and a growing population in the county, it is vital that we have the appropriate infrastructure in place to cope.

Following the downgrade of maternity services at the Horton General Hospital, more and more patients are having to make the journey down dangerous stretches of the road to attend appointments or give birth. Travelling for hours when in labour is traumatic enough, without the extra worry of delays. I am pleased that the Government is providing much-needed funding for the A34; I hope the improvements will ease some of the concerns we all have about travelling around the area.”


Victoria’s Pub Tour continues at the Saye and Sele Arms, Broughton

170726 Saye and Sele pub tour

On Tuesday 25 July, Victoria Prentis, MP for North Oxfordshire, visited the Saye and Sele Arms in Broughton as part of her Pub Tour.

The visit gave her the opportunity to meet constituents, discuss her work in North Oxfordshire and Westminster, and get feedback on what local concerns and priorities are. The Horton General Hospital was a key topic of conversation, as were Brexit, speeding in villages, and footpath access between Broughton and Banbury.

The Saye and Sele Arms is the thirty-third pub to be visited by Victoria as part of her continuing tour. She was joined by her current work experience student who benefited from the opportunity to see Victoria interacting with constituents.

Speaking after the event, Victoria said: “I always look forward to my pub tours. It is an informal setting for me to have a chat with my constituents about the issues close to their hearts. I am also really keen on anything that helps promote local pubs – they are a unique and vibrant part of British culture. Thank you to Danny and Liz at the Saye and Sele for hosting me and giving me a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes. I am sure I will be back soon!”

Victoria Prentis MP judges Tadmarton Scarecrow Contest


On 21 June, Victoria Prentis, Member of Parliament for North Oxfordshire, judged the Tadmarton Scarecrow Contest, the finale of the Scarecrow Festival, which has been held annually since 2015. The winning entries were announced on 22 July at a special concert held at the village church. Victoria was very impressed by the creativity of all of the entries, and enjoyed seeing the originality and hard work of Tadmarton residents.

Victoria commented, “It is always a real pleasure to see communities coming together, and throw themselves into village life. As a farmer’s daughter, scarecrows have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I was amazed by the wit and variety of the entries. It was very difficult to pick a favourite, but I felt that Fantastic Mr Fox was a worthy winner!”


First place: Mr Fox

Mr Fox

Second place: The Horse


Joint third place: The Man on the Loo, and the Bride and Groom


V Wedding

Victoria Prentis MP welcomes Government commitment to ban microbeads

Victoria Prentis, MP for North Oxfordshire, has welcomed the Government’s plans to legislate for a ban on microbeads to come into force next year. Microbeads are tiny pieces of plastic that are often included in cosmetic products. They contribute to the rising levels of plastics in the ocean, causing harm to the marine environment and wildlife. The Government plans to introduce a ban on manufacture from January 2018, with a ban sale following in June 2018.

Commenting on the plans, Victoria said: ‘I was very pleased to hear that the Government plans to legislate for a ban on microbeads. I spoke in a debate on this subject in the last Parliament, and I know that a number of constituents contributed to the consultation. This is a big step forward for the marine environment and follows the plastic bag charge which has seen an 83 per cent reduction in their use since its introduction in 2015.’


Victoria reflects on a ‘difficult year’ for the Horton


“Today marks one year since I was told that the obstetric service at the Horton General Hospital was facing a recruitment crisis and would be suspended pending a decision by the Trust’s board later on in the summer. It has been a difficult year for us all, particularly new parents and their babies, and concern remains around the current and future arrangements.

During the past year I have had numerous meetings with Ministers, other local elected representatives, the Clinical Commissioning Group and the Trust. I have raised it on the floor of the House on numerous occasions: in departmental questions, in a Private Member’s Bill, and in speeches; today, I even mentioned it during Church Commissioners questions!

The CCG Board will make a decision on Phase One of their consultation on 10 August. From the conversations I have had in recent weeks with NHS England, NHS Improvement and Health Education England they can be in no doubt about the strength of feeling locally. I hope that any further decisions on the future of maternity at the Horton can, at the very least, be paused until we have a clearer vision of health services so that they remain safe, kind and close to home.”



As part of the £7.5billion investment in electrifying the Oxford to London line, GWR will be introducing new trains later this year.

Network Rail will be undertaking track improvements between Saturday 22 and Sunday 30 July. Over the course of the week rail-replacement buses will run from Banbury and Bicester to Oxford. Chiltern Rail services from Banbury and Bicester to London Marylebone will be running as normal. Do check the validity of your ticket before travelling, and bear in mind that journeys may take a little longer than usual.

Further information on the changes to the services can be found here.

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