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North Oxfordshire MP, Victoria Prentis, celebrates Banbury’s efforts in fighting Blood Cancer

Residents in Banbury have been praised by blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan, which has seen 1634 people register as stem cell donors in the past 12 months. To mark ‘Blood Cancer Awareness Month’ this September, Victoria Prentis MP collected a certificate on behalf of all those people from Banbury that have donated stem cells at a reception on Wednesday 12 September in Westminster.

The achievement is being celebrated by Anthony Nolan as part of its Communities vs Blood Cancer campaign – which shines a spotlight on the vital work being done at a local level to ensure every patient in need of a stem cell transplant can find a lifesaving donor.

Victoria said: “I’m really pleased so many of my constituents have got involved with Anthony Nolan’s work. Donating stem cells is straightforward but it could make an enormous difference to someone with no other chance of a cure. I hope that more people from our community will be inspired to sign up.”

Henny Braund, Chief Executive of Anthony Nolan, said: “Since 1974 thousands of caring, selfless people have joined the Anthony Nolan register and thousands of lives have been saved as a result.

This Blood Cancer Awareness Month residents can be proud of all the lifesavers in your community. It’s wonderful to have the support of North Oxfordshire in achieving our goal of saving and improving the lives of people with blood cancer and blood disorders.”

 

MP CONGRATULATES NEW TOWN COUNCILLOR, DAVID BEVERLEY FOLLOWING BY- ELECTION WIN

Victoria Prentis, Member of Parliament for North Oxfordshire, has congratulated newly elected councillor, David Beverley, as representative of Banbury Town Council following last week’s by-election. The vote, which took place on Tuesday 4 September, following the retirement of longstanding Councillor, John Donaldson, was won by David with a majority of 335.

Speaking after the count, David said: “I am thrilled to have been elected as the Councillor for Hardwick West. I sincerely thank all those residents who supported me and the great team of volunteers who helped with my campaign. It was a real pleasure to meet so many residents on the doorsteps and talk to them, not just about their concerns, but also their aspirations for their families and our town. I am excited to get started.”

Victoria added: “A huge congratulations to David for winning the by election and taking his seat on the Town Council. It is important to have young people representing the Town and I look forward to working with him in the future.”

VICTORIA PRENTIS MP WRITES TO HOUSING MINISTER AND LAMBETH COUNCIL FOLLOWING BANESBERIE CLOSE FIRE

Following the fire in a property on Banesberie Close on Saturday morning, Banbury MP Victoria Prentis has written to the Housing Minister and the Chief Executive of Lambeth Council to urge them to complete the transfer of the bungalows as soon as possible.

Victoria said:

“I was extremely worried to hear about the fire in one of the empty bungalows in Banesberie Close at the weekend and share everyone’s frustration at the length of time it is taking for the properties to be transferred to Sanctuary Housing. I appreciate that it is particularly worrying for residents in the area.

“Earlier this year, following an email exchange with some of the residents of Banesberie Close and the local District Councillor, John Donaldson, I wrote to the then Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to find out where the application was in the system. In the response I received at the end of April I was told that the transfer was under review and that Lambeth Council would be advised of the decision imminently. At the same time, I also wrote to the Chief Executive of Lambeth Council to emphasise that something needed to be done to the vacant properties so that they were secure and the surrounding areas properly maintained. 

“While I was reassured in the response from Lambeth Council that some remedial work was going to take place, I am disappointed to hear that progress has been slow since then and that Sanctuary Housing are still waiting for the transfer to be completed.

“I have written again to both the Housing Minister and Lambeth Council and made it very clear that the situation needs to be resolved as soon as possible. Residents on the road should be able to feel safe and secure in their properties. Their welfare is my principal concern.”

Local Cherwell District Councillor, John Donaldson added:

“I am very frustrated about the situation on Banesberie Close. I know that my fellow councillors, Tony Ilott and Nick Turner, share my concern for the welfare and mental state of the residents. It must be a horrendous situation for everyone living there.”

MP COMMENTS ON DEDDINGTON DISPENSING SERVICE CHANGES

North Oxfordshire MP, Victoria Prentis has said:

 

“As a patient of Deddington Health Centre and someone who has relied on the convenience of the dispensing service, I am extremely disappointed to hear about the changes. In its current format, many patients are able to collect prescriptions quickly and easily when visiting the Health Centre. Deddington is a thriving village with a dispensary which serves a large number of my constituents in some very rural areas. I am particularly concerned about the impact of changes to elderly patients. When I was first made aware of the proposals some weeks ago, I contacted the Director of Commissioning Operations at NHS England, to make my own views known and pass on the concerns of all of my constituents who had contacted me to express their dismay.

 

“In their response to me, NHS England explained that they had received an application to open a new pharmacy in Deddington which had been considered in accordance with current regulations. It was initially rejected but an appeal was upheld by NHS England. In their response to me, NHS England explained that:

 

“The Deddington Health Centre currently operates a dispensary which is not able to offer the full range of NHS Pharmaceutical services. A community pharmacy operates under different regulations and must, for example, have a pharmacist available in order to dispense prescriptions. A pharmacy would offer the full range of NHS pharmaceutical services to all patients in Deddington and any other member of the public.”

 

“While I feel it is important for Deddington to have access to a pharmacy with a variety of services, I remain concerned about the impact of the changes on existing patients. NHS England have since assured me that if any of my constituents feel that it is extremely difficult for them to get their medication from a community pharmacy rather than from the GP Practice, it will be possible for them to apply for an exemption.

 

“Those wishing to apply for an exemption should contact Beth Lacey on 01865 963808 or email england.tvatpharmacy@nhs.net. If any of my constituents encounters difficulties with this process, I am more than happy to help, so do not hesitate to contact my office on 01869 233685 or by email victoria.prentis.mp@parliament.uk.

 

“Dispensing services has been an area I have taken a keen interest in at Westminster. I met the Chair of the Dispensing Doctors Association in April and have since coordinated a joint letter with my colleagues to the Minister for Primary Care, Steve Brine MP, to raise concerns about the long-term sustainability of dispensing doctor practices, given their unique position in rural communities.”

MP COMMENTS ON CLOSURE OF BANBURY MAGISTRATES’ COURT

North Oxfordshire MP, Victoria Prentis, has commented on today’s announcement that Banbury Magistrates’ Court will close. The decision has been taken following a period of consultation conducted earlier this year.

Speaking today, Victoria said: “I am extremely disappointed that the Ministry of Justice has decided to proceed with its plans to close Banbury Magistrates’ Court. I made it very clear in my consultation response that centralising judicial proceedings at Oxford was not a viable solution given the distance people will have to travel and capacity issues at the courts in Oxford. We know only too well from the Horton campaign that Oxford is simply too far, particularly for those using public transport.

“Not only did I make my views known when the Ministry of Justice undertook its consultation, but since then I have also spoken to the Courts Minister on a number of occasions. If the plans really must go ahead, it is essential that my suggestion to explore alternative venues for justice is taken seriously. It is something I suggested before Bicester Magistrates’ Court closed, and I have continued to push for it during conversations with my Parliamentary colleagues both in the department and on the Justice Select Committee. Having spoken to local councillors and organisations, there seems to be broad support for the idea of using the town hall for court proceedings. I am absolutely committed to making sure Banbury remains a viable location for local justice.”

NORTH OXFORDSHIRE MP WELCOMES TIER 2 VISA CHANGES

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North Oxfordshire MP, Victoria Prentis, has welcomed the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid’s, decision to relax Tier 2 visa restrictions for skilled workers coming into the UK. The easing of restrictions means that British businesses and employers will be able to hire up to an extra 8000 skilled migrants from across the world from a wide range of professions including medicine, teaching and engineering. The Home Office has confirmed that NHS doctors and nurses will be excluded from restrictions to the number of visas granted to skilled non-EU migrant workers.

Recruitment in health services has been an ongoing issue locally given the temporary downgrade of maternity services in Banbury. Following a visit to the Churchill hospital with Oxfordshire colleagues, Victoria has been a vocal supporter of relaxing Tier 2 visa requirements and has worked with local campaign groups, Parliamentary colleagues and the Government to achieve this.

Speaking this morning, Victoria said: “The Government’s decision to relax Tier 2 visa restrictions is a positive step towards helping recruitment, particularly in the NHS. I have had a number of meetings with businesses and health bosses locally to talk about recruitment and ways we can support it. Recruitment affects many industries in my constituency and I hope that this is just one of many solutions to support essential services in North Oxfordshire.”

VICTORIA PRENTIS MP JOINS ALZHEIMER’S SOCIETY CAMPAIGN TO FIX DEMENTIA CARE

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On Wednesday 23 May, Victoria joined over 90 other Members of Parliament at an Alzheimer’s Society event to launch their new report, Dementia – the true cost as part of their Fix Dementia Care campaign.

This Dementia Action Week (21-27 May) Alzheimer’s Society is asking the general public to take small actions that can have a big impact on the lives of people with dementia. MPs were asked to take action by attending an event in Westminster to learn more about how they can support Alzheimer’s Society’s work.

Alzheimer’s Society has been campaigning to fix dementia care to ensure that everyone with dementia receives good quality care when they need it. Their new report, Dementia – the true cost, highlights the far-reaching impact of the broken social care system on people with dementia.

The report, based on testimony and evidence from people affected by dementia, social care professionals and dementia lead nurses, also outlines urgent areas for Government to address in its upcoming Green Paper on social care reform. 

Victoria Prentis MP commented: “I am proud this Dementia Action Week to have united with people with dementia to fix dementia care. One million people will have dementia by 2021 and it is vital that we are able to deliver high quality social care to everyone that needs it.”

Sally Copley, Director of Policy and Campaigns at Alzheimer’s Society said: “This Dementia Action Week, as we’re asking everyone across the UK to take actions big or small to help people with dementia, it’s brilliant to see positive action from people and we’re looking forward to working with Victoria Prentis MP to respond to the public demand for change. Our Fix Dementia Care campaign has exposed the poor quality care that people with dementia are currently receiving, and this must end now.”

Earlier in Dementia Action Week, Alzheimer’s Society delivered Dementia Friends sessions to both the Cabinet and the Shadow Cabinet. Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friends is a trailblazing initiative that aims to help people understand what it might be like to live with dementia and turn that understanding into actions.

MP VISITS ‘OUTSTANDING’ CARE HOME

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On Friday 4 May, Victoria Prentis, Member of Parliament for North Oxfordshire, visited Godswell Park Care Home in her constituency to congratulate them on their ‘outstanding’ rating awarded to them by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) last year. The Bloxham-based home is the first standalone general nursing home solely for older people in England out of the 18,000 registered with the CQC to achieve a score of outstanding in all five inspection areas.

Victoria was keen to visit Godswell and see the excellent work they are doing supporting the elderly. During the visit Victoria spoke to residents about a number of local and national issues as well as congratulating staff.

Victoria commented: “I was grateful for the opportunity to look around Godswell, meeting staff and residents. It takes a huge amount of hard work and dedication from all of the staff to offer such a high level of care, ensuring that residents remain safe and I’m thrilled I could congratulate them in person.”

VICTORIA PRENTIS MP CALLS ON NORTH OXFORDSHIRE TO SUPPORT EQUALITY WITH A CUP OF TEA

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To mark the centenary of some women getting the vote, and 90 years since men and women over 21 gained the right to vote, Victoria Prentis MP is inviting everyone in North Oxfordshire to sign-up to EqualiTeas to share, debate, and celebrate what equality means to them over a cup of tea.

 

2018 marks 100 years since The Representation of the People Act 1918 extended the right to vote to all men over 21 and the first women, making this one of the most important centenaries in British democratic history. Ten years later The Representation of the People Act 1928, gave all men and women over 21 the right to vote. These acts followed years of campaigning, with the first petition to Parliament asking for votes for women was presented to the House of Commons on 3 August 1832.

 

As part of programme of events from UK Parliament to mark these important milestones for democracy, EqualiTeas will take place between 18 June and 2 July.

Historically, tea parties were hotbeds of political activism. It was one of the few ways women could meet without men to discuss and plan. The leading suffrage organisations used tea parties and tea shops as central elements in their campaigning, to increase awareness, discuss tactics and raise money. But, events do not have to be a tea party, just an event or activity that brings people together to discuss equality, and anyone can hold an EqualiTeas tea party, whether it is big or small, private or public, inside or out.

 

Victoria Prentis MP said: “The Representation of the People Act 1928 was a vital step towards the rights women and men have today, and these anniversaries are an incredibly important opportunity for us to reflect on how far we have come.

 

“We all know that there is still more to do when it comes to equality in Britain, and EqualiTeas is an excellent opportunity to reach out to others in our community and share our ideas for an even more equal society, while celebrating the strides we have already made. I hope that groups across North Oxfordshire will get behind this exciting initiative.”

 

David Clark, Head of Education and Engagement at UK Parliament, said “Whether it’s chatting about the issues over a cup of tea, or engaging with one of the many exciting events as part of this year’s UK Parliament Week, there are many opportunities for schools, workplaces and community groups across North Oxfordshire to get involved in these key anniversaries.

 

“We can only work towards a more equal society by communicating with each other and building stronger communities, so please sign up for EqualiTeas to share the things we have in common and debate the changes we would like to see.”

 

Everyone who registers an event on the EqualiTeas website (equaliteas.org.uk) will receive a free pack of resources, including an EqualiTeas board game. Visit Parliament’s resource page for help with ideas, planning and publicising your event.

 

The Vote 100 programme includes a wide range of events and activities commemorating the women and men who fought to achieve electoral equality. Parliament has also released a series of hard-hitting films to highlight how four key acts changed the lives of women as part of its Your Story, Our History series.

 

There will be a major exhibition in Parliament – “Voice and Vote” – as well as an exciting programme of talks and tours in Parliament, and a number of UK-wide events, such as UK Parliament Week 2018.

VICTORIA PRENTIS MP “THRILLED” BY CCG RECOMMENDATION TO KEEP A&E AND PAEDIATRICS AT THE HORTON GENERAL HOSPITAL

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North Oxfordshire MP Victoria Prentis has welcomed a comprehensive document published today by the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group in advance of its Board meeting next Thursday.

 

The Oxfordshire Transformation Update (Paper No. 18/18) sets out a new approach to move forward its controversial consultation exercise with a focus on place-based discussion and early engagement where the needs of local populations can be considered alongside factors including rurality and local community assets. If the Board agrees to the changes at its Board meeting, the long-awaited Phase Two consultation will be abandoned.

 

Alongside the change in approach, the Board is recommended to agree that A&E and associated services at the Horton General Hospital remain, as well as the paediatric service.

 

The Board Paper also makes clear that the CCG is committed to produce a plan and undertake further work on the possible options for maternity services at the Horton. Acting on the advice of the Independent Reconfiguration Panel, the CCG recognises that any further work must consider the views of mothers, families and staff, dependencies between services and the needs of all those in the Horton’s catchment area. Recruitment efforts must continue.

 

Victoria Prentis MP commented:

 

“The Oxfordshire Transformation Update is the clearest indication yet that the Clinical Commissioning Group is finally listening to all of us in North Oxfordshire. For too long now, the future of acute services at the Horton has been unclear. Today we have the answers we have been looking for. The uncertainty can be put to rest. A&E and paediatrics will remain at the Horton, and it is back to the drawing board with maternity.

 

“The decision to abandon Phase Two is long overdue. I am cautiously optimistic by the CCG’s suggestion to move forward with place-based discussions. Ensuring local residents feel that they have a genuine voice when it comes to the future of their health services, including community hospitals, is at the heart of any good consultation exercise.

 

“I urge the Board to agree to this new approach next week and will look forward to working closely with the Clinical Commissioning Group, particularly the Chief Executive Lou Patten. She may have only been in post since January but she is already making a positive impact on our local health service with her visionary approach.”
The Board documents can be found here

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