MP says Style Acre Banbury resource offers “fantastic opportunities”

VP Style Acre

Victoria Prentis MP attended the formal opening of Style Acre Banbury Resource (SABRe) on Butchers Row, Banbury, on Friday 12th June.

Along with many other local people and businesses, Victoria attended the ribbon cutting ceremony. SABRe was opened by Vice Patron John Craven OBE, and attendees were well fed with sandwiches, chicken, pizza and cake from local charity Banbury Youth Homeless Project (BYHP).

The centre offers a variety of resources for young adults with mild and moderate learning difficulties to meet, learn, and be supported to increase their skills. There are computers available, a sensory room, and places to meet. Above the centre are four apartments, supporting young adults with mild to moderate learning difficulties to live as independently as possible.

After the event, Victoria commented “what a fantastic facility to have, right in the middle of Banbury. This will offer so many opportunities to young people. I know the centre is working closing with local specialist schools and the council to offer ongoing support for young people, many of whom will have just left school. You can get work experience at the centre too, which is brilliant!

“The apartments upstairs were amazing. They offered a combination of high specification good quality accommodation, and appropriate design to meet the needs of those who might use a wheelchair or require that extra bit of support around the home.

“I am excited to see what SABRe will deliver in future. Of course as the young people learn new skills and gain confidence, they’ll move on to work or other things. The centre has the potential to help many many more people in the coming years.”

Local MP visits Banbury Citizens Advice Bureau

VP Banbury CAB

Victoria Prentis, MP for North Oxfordshire, visited the Citizens Advice offices on Friday 5th June to discuss local issues with staff, and have a full tour of the building and services on offer.

Victoria was greeted by Sharon Graham, Operations Manager for Banbury, and Barbara Shaw, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Banbury, South Northants and West Oxfordshire. Victoria met with Barbara and Sharon to look in detail at issues effecting those living the constituency. They also spoke about ways in which the Citizens Advice team and MP can work together for the benefit of the constituency.

Victoria was given a full tour of the building, meeting staff who volunteer advice in fields such as transport, housing, debt and benefits.

Victoria commented “I was delighted to visit the CAB. I know the team celebrated their 50th birthday the night before, and have been going from strength to strength locally – winning awards including the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and supporting our community. It was perfectly timed to coincide with National Volunteering Week, allowing me an opportunity to extend my thanks to every staff member for their hard work. I am sure we’ll be in touch regularly in future.”

Barbara commented “Working closely with our local MP is an important part of the service we offer to clients. We are looking forward to working with Victoria and her team to find workable solutions to some of the problems faced by local residents.”

My first fortnight as MP for North Oxfordshire

VP Swearing In (1)In the run up to polling day, days merge into one. The team is working hard, and not sleeping enough. Everyone was speaking to as many voters as they could in our area, and going to help in other neighbouring constituencies.

Thursday 7 May was a very long day. At 7am my daughters came to watch me vote for myself in our village hall. That was the first of many polling stations I visited throughout the day (though in the others I was merely thanking the staff)! The rest of the day was spent chasing ‘pledges’ and enjoying lunch in the Old Reindeer Inn in Banbury. As polling closed, we gathered in Spiceball for the count. Over 100 staff were there; some counting and others checking for accuracy. The whole operation was ably led by the Deputy Returning Officer, and his senior team.

It was a long night, with our team, and those of the other parties, sharing in triumphs and disasters around the UK, while drinking coffee in the leisure centre café. Eventually, soon after 7am on Friday morning, we got our results. Sir Tony came to cheer me on as I made my acceptance speech. I then had to do endless press interviews; during one of which my daughters rang up from the school bus as they had heard that I had been elected. There seemed to be a party going on. We then spent the afternoon and evening counting the local election votes. I’m so proud of our results; we increased the Conservative majority and successfully defended all of our council seats. We came very close in some wards, building strong foundations to work from in the future. When we eventually got home we found there was no food in the house, so the four of us went to the Red Lion in Stratton Audley, where the chicken curry was just what I needed.

The weekend was spent thanking the team, our village and our friends. We hosted the annual May Day as usual in bright sunshine on the Sunday afternoon. The Brackley Morris led the procession from the church to the apple orchards, and we drank last year’s cider and ate enormous quantities of cake while watching the May Queen and her attendants.

On the Monday I had to be in Westminster at 8.30am, so I caught my usual train from Bicester North. Thankfully Parliamentary staff were very patient with us, as we received passes and passwords in abundance. Induction sessions were run by the House, but more useful were those run by the Conservative party. These were dominated by the Whips, who like to portray a caring and helpful image these days, and made it quite clear that our presence would be required in Westminster a great deal! The first couple of weeks are difficult in that offices and computers are not in place to deal with the enormous postbag, so meetings took place in a bench in Central Lobby or a café. When I get settled I am hoping to commute home most nights, but for the first week I spent three nights in London. When I got home I was delighted to find that my husband and children had learnt how to use the washing machine, and even cooked beef stew.

I took my seat on the green benches for the first time the following Monday, when we elected the Speaker. This was really the first time I had seen any of the old-timers, or faced the serried ranks of the SNP. As we weren’t sitting, I was able to squeeze in a Constituency day on the Tuesday, which including an outing to watch Fritwell School perform a suitably violent but very musical version of David and Goliath. On the Wednesday, after coffee at 10 Downing Street, I went to stand in line to take the oath. Every MP must do this at the start of a new Parliament, or they have to vacate their seat. The MP in front of me took his oath in Gaelic.

I’m now looking forward to getting stuck in to both local and national issues. It is a great honour to be able to represent the people of North Oxfordshire in Parliament.

Victoria is sworn in to the House of Commons

VP Swearing In (1)

On Wednesday 20th May, Victoria took to the floor of the Commons to be sworn in.

All Members of Parliament, regardless of whether they have served in a previous Parliament, must take an oath or affirmation before they are allowed to speak in a debate or participate in a vote. In fact, if a Member does not take their oath but subsequently sits in a debate or votes they can be fined £500 and they have to vacate their seat!

The full wording of the Oath is as follows:

“I swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and successors, according to law. So help me God.”

Swearing in takes place over a number of days following the Speaker’s Election which took place on Monday. The next time Victoria will take to the green benches will be next Wednesday 27 May after the State Opening of Parliament. It is anticipated that Victoria will make her maiden speech some time during the week beginning 1st June.

Victoria visits Bicester Community College

From left to right: Head Boy Mj Oosthuizen, Head of PE Sarah Calnan, Head Teacher Tony Rushworth, Victoria Prentis MP, Maths Teacher Suzannah Wake, and Deputy Head Teacher Tim Marston.

Victoria Prentis, Member of Parliament for North Oxfordshire, spent Friday morning at school at Bicester Community College, briefly attending lessons including Maths, Art and English.


Victoria visited Head Teacher Tony Rushworth and a number of his staff, to speak in more detail about the school’s future plans and ever improving standards. She was then given a tour of the school with staff and Head Boy Mj Oosthuizen.


Victoria said “I was so happy that one of my first of many visits as MP for North Oxfordshire was to a greatly improved school.  I was very impressed with the steps Bicester Community College have taken to offer the best opportunities for students.  I am excited for their future, and know staff have a clear vision of aspiration for the young people studying there.”


Mr Rushworth commented: “We were pleased to welcome Victoria to our school and to be able to demonstrate the pride and commitment of our staff and students.


“This is an exciting point in the school’s development, as we prepare to re-launch as The Bicester School, an academy sponsored by Activate Learning, in September.


“Victoria recognised the significant improvements which have already been delivered and we look forward to building on these for the further benefit of pupils and the local community.”

Thank you for supporting Victoria!


On Friday May 8th at approximately 07:20, Victoria was declared elected Member of Parliament for North Oxfordshire.

“I want to thank every single person who put their faith in me. I’m delighted to be the MP for the area I call home. I promise to work hard and be a strong voice for the constituency.”
Victoria Prentis

Victoria Prentis – Conservative 30,749 53%
Sean Woodcock – Labour 12,354 21.3%
Dickie Bird – UKIP 8,050 13.9%
John Howson – Lib Dem 3,440 5.9%
Ian Middleton – Green 2,686 4.6%
Roseanne Edwards – National Health Action 729 1.3%

Turnout was 65.84%

General Election 2015 Literature


You can download a digital copy of all of Victoria’s election literature. With the exception of a free mailshot via the Royal Mail (granted to all General Election candidates) all of the literature has been delivered by volunteers – sorry if they didn’t manage to get to your house!

Herald Newspapers EDITION ONE – Delivered February/March 2015
VPCherwellHeraldBanbury1_Page_1 VPCherwellHeraldBicester1_Page_1 VPCherwellRuralNorth1_Page_1 VPCherwellRuralSouth1_Page_1
The Banbury Herald
The Bicester Herald
The Cherwell Herald – Northern Edition
The Cherwell Herald – Southern Edition

Herald Newspapers EDITION TWO – Delivered March/April 2015
VPCherwellHeraldBanbury2_Page_1 VPCherwellHeraldBicester2_Page_1 VPCherwellRuralNorth2_Page_1 VPCherwellRuralSouth2_Page_1

The Banbury Herald

The Bicester Herald
The Cherwell Herald – Northern Edition
The Cherwell Herald – Southern Edition

Election Addresses – Delivered April 2015
VPElectionAddress1_Page_1 VPElectionAddress2_Page_1

First Election Address

Second Election Address

Visit to Banbury Litho


Victoria visited local printers, Banbury Litho on Tuesday 21st April to see her latest election leaflet coming off the presses.

“I’m proud that my election address is being printed locally, I strongly believe in supporting local businesses. Banbury Litho is a fantastic example of how well businesses have come since the dark days at the end of the last Labour government.”
Victoria Prentis

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