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

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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 reflects on a ‘difficult year’ for the Horton

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“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.”

NORTH OXFORDSHIRE MP SUPPORTS YOUTH PARLIAMENT MOTION IN HOUSE OF COMMONS

UKYP UK Youth Parliament

On Monday 17 July 2017, the Rt Hon. Andrea Leadsom MP, Leader of the House of Commons, and Michael Ellis MP, Deputy Leader of the House of Commons, tabled a motion in the to welcome the work of the United Kingdom Youth Parliament (UKYP) and allow them to use the Chamber for their annual House of Commons Sitting. The motion was passed with unanimous support. The UKYP is the only group other than MPs allowed to debate from the green benches, and they have been doing so annually since 2009.

The UKYP provides opportunities for 11-18 year olds who have been elected locally by their peers to bring about social change through meaningful representation and campaigning. Elected representatives traditionally meet twice a year, once in summer and every November in the House of Commons. 16 March 2009, Members of Parliament voted to allow UK Youth Parliament to debate in the Chamber; their first sitting took place in October 2009, marking the first time that the Chamber has been used by a group other than MPs.

Yesterday’s motion allows the UKYP to meet once a year in the Chamber of the House of Commons for the duration of the current Parliament, and was supported by a cross-party group of MPs, including Victoria Prentis, MP for North Oxfordshire.

Following the motion, Victoria commented: “Youth engagement is a vital part of politics. It is so important that young people have the opportunity to participate in its processes and represent the views of their peers.

 In previous years, Youth Parliament has had the opportunity to come to Westminster and have a lively discussion on the green benches on a range of extremely relevant subjects including mental health. Locally, my Democracy Challenge will be returning for a third year, and this time around will take place during Parliament Week which runs from 13-17 November. This is a good opportunity for pupils to improve skills in areas such as public speaking and debating.

 We are seeing a rise in youth participation. It is a really exciting development for national politics, and it is important that, as MPs, we continue to engage with our younger constituents.”

Secretary of State for International Development repeats her support for Singing for Syrians

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Victoria Prentis MP spoke in International Development Questions on Wednesday 12 July 2017, raising the issue of aid spending in the region around Syria and thanking the Speaker and the Secretary of State for their support of her own charity initiative, Singing for Syrians.

Speaking after the question session, Victoria said: ‘Since it started in 2015, the Government has been very supportive of Singing for Syrians so I was grateful for the Secretary of State’s response to my question on Wednesday. There were 85 events in 2016 – many of which took place in North Oxfordshire – and we raised a fantastic £140,000 for the Hands Up Foundation. So far, the money has gone to paying the salaries of the medical team in Aleppo, funding a prosthetic limb clinic and we are now focusing on supporting a school for disabled children in Damascus. The initiative really does help the most vulnerable who remain in Syria and the surrounding region.

We are now gearing up for the re-launch in September, and have already fixed a date for our flagship event in St Margaret’s Church, Westminster on Tuesday 12 December. The concerts are really easy to organise, so hopefully people in North Oxfordshire will consider holding their own.’

More information and fundraising packs can be found at www.singingforsyrians.com or email victoria.prentis.mp@parliament.uk.

 

The below account is taken from the Official Report from 12 July 2017:

Mr Speaker: Order. We might not reach the question tabled by the hon. Member for Banbury (Victoria Prentis), so if she wants to come in now, she can, although it is not obligatory.

Victoria Prentis (Banbury) (Con): How kind! May I use this opportunity to thank you, Mr Speaker, for your support for Singing for Syrians? I also thank the Department for International Development for its support. As a result of all the support we have received from across the House, Singing for Syrians is now able to support not only medical aid in Syria but a school for disabled children. Does my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State agree that aid is always worth more when it is spent in the region, and that what the people caught up in this terrible conflict really want is to be able to stay as close to home as possible? [900369]

The Secretary of State for International Development (Priti Patel): My hon. Friend is absolutely right. I congratulate her and everyone else who has been involved in Singing for Syrians. It is an incredible charity, and I commend her for her work. She is right to highlight the fact that providing support in region is what makes a difference in terms of changing and saving lives. We have led the way in this. The United Kingdom has spent more than £2.46 billion in Syria and the region, providing hope and opportunity to those who have been displaced through conflict.

 

VICTORIA PRENTIS MP REOPENS BICESTER GREEN WITH MAYOR AND COUNCILLOR, LES SIBLEY

170707 VP opening Bicester Green Cropped

On Friday 7 July, Victoria Prentis joined Bicester Mayor, Cllr Les Sibley to reopen Bicester Green at their new purpose-built premises next to Garth Park.

Bicester Green is a local organisation supporting waste reduction by taking bikes, furniture and electrical items from landfill to refurbish and repair. As a body reliant on volunteers, Bicester Green brings together a variety of skills from within the community, as well as providing education and training for its members.

In addition, Bicester Green is now advertising practical training courses for anyone who is unemployed and wants to develop new skills and widen their career opportunities.

Following the opening, Victoria commented: “I thoroughly enjoyed looking around Bicester Green’s new, purpose-built premises and meeting volunteers. It was a pleasure to join Cllr Les Sibley for the opening, and get involved in this exciting new era for the group.

Litter and waste are important issues for me, and Bicester Green is a prime example of a valuable community asset that is totally committed to tackling social problems.”

For more information about the work of Bicester Green, visit www.bicestergreen.org.uk/.

VICTORIA PRENTIS MP SUPPORTS THE BRITISH COUNCIL’S FUTURE LEADERS CONNECT SCHEME

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Victoria Prentis, MP for North Oxfordshire, is supporting the British Council’s search for a new generation of leaders to join individuals from ten other countries for an intensive policy and leadership programme. Future Leaders Connect, launched this year by the British Council, will offer nine days of leadership learning and development for young people to provide them with the skills they need to turn innovative ideas into tangible policy recommendations. Those taking part will meet some of today’s leading thinkers from public, private, third sector and political worlds.

 

Commenting after meeting representatives from the British Council at the House of Commons, Victoria said: ‘I am a huge supporter of any initiative that gets young people from different countries engaging with each other. I really benefitted from a similar scheme, and my own daughters go on foreign exchanges every year. We need to inspire the leaders of the future from all over the world, and I am really excited about this new opportunity from the British Council. I would urge any young people from North Oxfordshire who want to make a difference to apply.’

 

Sir Ciarán Devane, the Chief Executive of the British Council, said: ‘An international outlook is vital for the future leaders of all countries, if they wish to overcome the challenges they will face. Through Future Leaders Connect the British Council will help a new generation to understand practical policy development by putting them in contact with the leaders of today. The programme will help them to develop the skills and international contacts they need to make positive change in their countries.’

 

Anyone who would like to take part needs to submit an online application by 23.59 Thursday 20 July 2017 (BST). They will be asked what their unique policy ideas are and about their experience as a leader. www.britishcouncil.org/future-leaders-connect.

 

Ten finalists from across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales will be awarded a fully funded place as part of Future Leaders Connect. They will join finalists from Egypt, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tunisia and the USA.

BANBURY MP QUESTIONS JEREMY HUNT ABOUT TRAINING ACCREDITATION

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During Health Questions in the House  on Tuesday 4 July, Victoria Prentis MP took the opportunity to ask the Secretary of State for Health, the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, about training accreditation and the potential domino effect on service provision following a decision by Health Education England.

She asked: “Will the Secretary of State reassure my constituents that the component parts of the NHS can communicate with each other sufficiently to ensure that decisions such as the one by a medical dean to remove accreditation for anaesthetic training will not lead to the closure of A&E departments in hospitals such as Horton general, where my father was treated so well last Friday?”.

Following the downgrade of the Horton’s maternity unit, owing to staff shortages and a lack of training accreditation for obstetricians, Victoria was keen to impress the importance of training in relation to the long-term sustainability of acute hospital services. In his response, the Secretary of State agreed that changes to training patterns must not interrupt the delivery of local services in a “disadvantageous way”.

Speaking afterwards, Victoria said: “There is no doubt that the loss of training accreditation for obstetricians in Banbury has had a detrimental impact on maternity services in the area. It is vital that the same does not happen to A&E, and anaesthetic training is retained at the Horton. A knock on effect from the removal of any further training would further inhibit our hospital services. I am glad that I had the opportunity to raise this matter with the Secretary of State for Health, and I will be meeting the Dean of our local Trust soon to discuss my concerns.”

VICTORIA PRENTIS USES FIRST COMMONS SPEECH OF NEW PARLIAMENT TO TALK ABOUT THE HORTON

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On Wednesday 28 June, Victoria Prentis, MP for North Oxfordshire, used her first speech of the new parliament to talk about the Horton General Hospital and patient safety.

During the Health, Social Care and Security debate, Victoria delivered a passionate speech, detailing her support for the draft patient safety Bill and highlighted the need for transparency within the NHS, focusing on positive patient outcomes.

Making reference to a recent visit to the Grange Primary School in Banbury, in which the pupils showed impressive knowledge of the challenges facing the Horton, Victoria told the Chamber of her ongoing concerns regarding the safety of mothers and babies in Banbury following the downgrade of the maternity unit in 2016 and local population growth. She raised important matters relating to the consultation in Oxfordshire, calling again on the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group to halt the Transformation Programme consultation and focus on recruitment.

After the speech, Victoria commented: “Following my re-election, I am committed to ensuring that the Horton General Hospital remains one of the most important issues during my work as the MP for North Oxfordshire.

Local and national health authorities must prioritise patient safety, and I just do not think that is the case, particularly in Banbury. We are building five times more houses in the constituency than the national average, yet the CCG are planning to centralise healthcare in Oxford.

I know the Labour Opposition Leader of Cherwell District Council has called on me to use the current situation in Government to get the Prime Minister to stop any further changes to service provision at the Horton. Of course, health decisions are devolved to local commissioners but the Secretary of State for Health is well aware of our situation, as is the Prime Minister. Last week I attended the CCG’s Board meeting, and met the Chief Executive on Friday and also spoke to the Clinical Director of the Oxford University Hospitals Trust, Paul Brennan, to ensure I was up to date with recruitment, and other challenges facing the Trust.

With the retirement of the CCG Chief Executive David Smith, I will continue to press for the consultation to be halted, and remain committed to ensuring that we retain acute services in Banbury. I have raised all these points again with the Department since returning to Westminster. They can be in no doubt about the challenges we face locally.”

To read the full speech, visit www.victoriaprentis.com/horton-general-hospital/.

VICTORIA PRENTIS RE-ELECTED AS MP FOR NORTH OXFORDSHIRE

VP 2017 GE Results

VP 2017 GE Results

Conservative candidate, Victoria Prentis, has been re-elected as the Member of Parliament for North Oxfordshire.

Speaking after the result was announced, Victoria said:
“I am delighted to have the opportunity to represent the area in which I have always lived once again. Turnout was brilliant, as we have seen across the country. Regardless of what my opponents have said throughout the campaign, I am committed to fighting for the future of the Horton General Hospital, and hope to be able to continue to work cross-party with Labour going forward.
“We must also focus on Brexit given that we start negotiating in just eleven days. This is the future of our area that we are talking about. It is vital that we get the best deal. I will be a vocal champion for North Oxfordshire at Westminster.”

 

VICTORIA PRENTIS CHATS TO VOTERS OVER COFFEE AND BEER

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On Friday 26 May, ahead of the General Election on 8 June, Victoria Prentis, the Conservative candidate for North Oxfordshire, travelled across the constituency to meet local people.

Starting at the new ‘FLTR Coffee’ shop in Bicester, Victoria spent time chatting to new mothers and residents of Langford Village over a coffee. They discussed issues including community facilities, healthcare in Oxfordshire and road safety.

In the afternoon, Victoria joined the Adderbury Friday club for lunch, where members had the opportunity to ask questions about Victoria’s election commitments and her priorities for the area. The Horton General Hospital was a key topic of discussion, alongside NHS funding and Brexit.

Victoria then joined staff and pupils at St John’s Priory to celebrate their recent Independent Schools Inspection rating of ‘excellent’. As part of the celebrations, an afternoon tea party was held in the grounds, and provided an opportunity to congratulate the pupils, parents and staff for all of their hard work.

Finishing off the day, The Sun Inn, Hook Norton played host to another of Victoria’s ‘Pub Tours’. During her election campaign, Victoria has been visiting local pubs across North Oxfordshire to meet village residents to chat about local matters such as housing developments and bus services.

Victoria commented: “I thoroughly enjoyed travelling around North Oxfordshire today, meeting people over coffee and in the evening, a beer. It is important that residents are able to talk about matters that are close to their heart, and have the opportunity to asks questions ahead of the General Election.”

Throughout the rest of the campaign, Victoria will be visiting various places across North Oxfordshire. For further details, please visit www.victoriaprentis.com/general-election-2017/meet-victoria/.

Victoria visiting FLTR Coffee, Bicester.

Victoria at FLTR Coffee, Bicester.

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