Rt. Hon. Ed Vaizey MP

ed vaizey mp

Ed Vaizey - Constituency News

A number of new measures were announced in the budget last month. One I know will be very popular is £420m to fix potholes in England. A £28.8 billion National Roads Fund, paid for by road tax, is also being set up, the largest ever of its kind. Overall this Budget marked a turning point in public finances. Since 2009-2010 the deficit has fallen by four-fifths, from 9.9% to 1.9%. On average, spending on public services will grow 1.2% above inflation a year from next year until 2023-24. This is all brilliant news and I am very pleased that our efforts to combat the deficit over the last eight years are showing results.

 

Once again UTC Oxfordshire in Didcot is proving itself a trailblazer for secondary schools in the UK. Last month they officially opened a state-of-the-art cryogenics laboratory, in what is believed to be a first for a UK school. Ahead of the first set of projects in November, students will visit the world-facilities of the Science and Technology Facilities Council – based at Harwell Campus – to find out more about the benefits of and uses for cryogenics.

 

Congratulations to all those involved in organising the excellent Wantage Literary Festival last month. From talks on history, politics and sport to comedy and gardening tips the festival was by all account a great success. I was very pleased to host Sir Oliver Letwin MP for a wide-ranging evening covering British politics from Thatcher to May. Thank you to all who came and asked questions.

 

It was a great pleasure to open the new headquarters of Oxford Immunotec this month. Based in Milton Park and set up here as a start-up in 2004, the company is now worth $450m and is helping fight TB. I was also pleased to visit EMS Physio in Grove and see the progress on Grove Business Park.

Ed Vaizey

Ed Vaizey - Constituency News

Earlier this month Michael Gove announced a landmark Agriculture Bill to replace the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). As we leave the European Union this Bill will replace the current rules. The changes announced will gradually transform the agriculture sector, giving farmers time to adapt. At the heart of the Bill is a commitment to tackling climate change. The Bill also contains a specific provision to enable government to provide financial assistance to improve productivity.  This may have a significant effect on the farmers in the area, and I look forward to the changes in the Bill being implemented.

 

Lidl have announced that they are planning to build a new store in Grove, to be built off Grove Road. A planning application was submitted to Vale of White Horse District Council on 07 September. I am pleased that we should soon being getting a greater choice of supermarkets, although the plans should consider the effect on local traffic. You can find out more details of the proposals at grove.lidl.co.uk.

 

The Bank of England is looking for secondary schools from Wantage and Didcot to take part in their digital media competition about the role of the Bank. The competition is aimed at students aged 11-18 and schools are invited to submit a short film on topics which change from year to year. This year’s title is ‘What will money be like in the future?’ The competition received over 130 entries last year, and if you would like to enter this year you can find details at bankofengland.co.uk/education/competitions.

 

This month I was very pleased to visit Didcot Girls School, turn the first turf at Grove Business Park and visit EMS Physio, who produce specialist medical equipment in the Park.  I also attended the commemoration of the centenary of WW1 in Didcot, with the dedication of a centenary field.

Ed Vaizey

Ed Vaizey - Constituency News

New Agriculture Bill

Earlier this month Michael Gove announced a landmark Agriculture Bill to replace the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). For almost fifty year the CAP has set the priorities for national farming at a European level, and as we leave the European Union this Bill will replace the current rules.

The changes announced will gradually transform the agriculture sector, giving farmers time to adapt. At the heart of the Bill is a commitment to tackling climate change. It will allow public money to be spent on enriching wildlife habitats, preventing flooding, improving the quality of air, soil and peat, raising standards of animal welfare and planting trees.

The Bill also contains a specific provision to enable government to provide financial assistance to improve productivity. This will come in the form of financial investment for research and development, such as precision farming, with a specific focus on increasing productivity while reducing environmental impacts on soil and water courses.

 

Lidl Planned for Grove

Lidl have announced that they are planning to build a new store in Grove, to be built off Grove Road. A planning application for submitted to Vale of White Horse District Council on 7th September.

You can find out more details of the proposals here

 

Bank, Camera, Action

The Bank of England is looking for secondary schools from Wantage and Didcot to take part in their digital media competition about the role of the Bank.
The competition is aimed at students aged 11-18 and schools are invited to submit a short film on topics which change from year to year. This year’s title is ‘What will money be like in the future?’
The competition received over 130 entries last year, and if you would like to enter this year you can find details here.

 

Lottery Funding

Two projects in Didcot have just been awarded a combined £19,331from the National Lottery. Didcot TRAIN, where I am a patron, has been awarded £9,531. TRAIN works with young people in the area to fulfil their potential and overcome the issues and barriers that may limit their social integration. The second, SOFEA, has been awarded £9,800. It works with young people and their families to overcome a variety of issues and build confidence and skills.
 
Kellogg's Breakfast Club

Kellogg’s are running the Schools Breakfast Club Awards to celebrate best practice in breakfast club provision and recognise the role played by the schools, teachers, parents and children in helping them run. The programme, which currently supports over 3,000 breakfast clubs across the UK, has contributed significantly to improving children’s attendance and attainment as well as alleviating hunger in some cases. If your school runs a breakfast club, they can enter here.

 

Constituency Visits

This month I was very pleased to visit Didcot Girls School, turn the first turf at Grove Business Park and visit EMS Physio, who produce specialist medical equipment in the Park.  I also attended the commemoration of the centenary of WWI in Didcot, with the dedication of a centenary field.

 

This month’s mailbag
This month I have received 562 items of correspondence (emails and letters) from constituents. Subjects raised with me the proposed site of the new Lidl, local trains, and Brexit.

Ed Vaizey - Constituency News

Some good news over the summer for the broadband roll out in our area. The Government have announced an extra £45 million investment in rural broadband. The new funding for the Government’s Rural Broadband Infrastructure Scheme adds to the £30 million investment announced last year, increasing the total pot of funding available to £75 million. In other broadband news, East Hagbourne have clubbed together to obtain ultrafast broadband for the village. More information on doing this in your area can be found at communityfibre.openreach.co.uk.
 
Oxfordshire hospitals are being given a major funding boost to improve care ahead of winter. The Oxfordshire NHS Trust has been allocated an extra £3.21 million to improve diagnostics and patient flow. This is part of £145 million of capital investment in the NHS from the Department of Health.

 

Two projects in Didcot have just been awarded a combined £19,331 from the National Lottery. Didcot TRAIN, where I am a patron, has been awarded £9,531. TRAIN works with young people in the area to fulfil their potential and overcome barriers that may limit their social integration. The second, SOFEA, has been awarded £9,800. It works with young people and their families to overcome a variety of issues and build confidence and skills.
 
Kellogg’s are running the Schools Breakfast Club Awards to celebrate best practice in breakfast club provision and recognise the role played by the schools, teachers, parents and children in helping them run. If your school runs a breakfast club, they can enter at kelloggsbreakfastclubawards.co.uk.
 
I was very pleased this month to visit a number of excellent organisations in the constituency.
Skoob Books in Didcot have an enormous second-hand book collection, and supply film sets with books for background shots.

 

Milton House Hotel has come under new ownership and are planning a range of improvements.
I was also pleased to meet with the Changing Places team, who are campaigning for fully accessible disabled toilets, and Bpas in Oxford who provide specialised reproductive health services to the area.

Ed Vaizey

Changes to Betting Terminals

Last week the culture secretary, Matt Hancock, announced he would be reducing the maximum stake on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) from £100 to £2. 

Campaigners have called the machines ‘dangerously addictive’ and said that many people have gambled away thousands. In preparing their response, the Government carefully considered the evidence, concerns and issues that were raised. They found that even reducing the stake to as low as £5 resulted in people still gambling away thousands in a single session, while this was not an issue when stakes were at £2 or below. £2 has been therefore been chosen as the stake limit that would most substantially impact on harm by reducing the ability to suffer high session losses, while also targeting the greatest proportion of problem gamblers, and mitigating risk for the most vulnerable players for whom even moderate losses might be harmful.

I am very pleased that the Government has taken action on this, and will also be looking into the health implications of gambling addiction. The ability to gamble away £100 every 20 seconds on FOBTs has been a serious problem for compulsive gamblers, many of whom have racked up thousands of pounds in debt. Those that suffer are often the most vulnerable in our society, and this move goes a long way to solving one of the most serious aspects of gambling addiction.


Stroke Awareness Month

In light of National Stroke Awareness Month, British First Aid have launched a campaign to make sure that people are aware of the signs that someone may be having a stroke.

1. Carry out the FAST test:
  • Face: is there weakness on one side of their face?
  • Arms: can they raise both arms?
  • Speech: is their speech easily understood?
  • Time: to call 999.
2. Call 999 as soon as possible.
The faster a person having a stroke gets medical help, the less damage there will be.

3. Reassure them while you wait for the ambulance.
You can watch a short video about how to help someone who may be having a stroke here. The British Red Cross website is also a fantastic resource on vital first aid skills and is designed to be accessible to all. We would encourage you to help highlight the case for learning first aid skills by sharing our First Aid updates with your constituents, friends and colleagues.

Teaching Apprenticeships
The Teaching Apprenticeship Programme (TAP) is launching across the country this week to help schools recruit, train and retain the best graduates into teaching roles.

TAP offers a 1 year programme which guides apprentices towards Qualified Teacher Status and schools can also use the Apprenticeship Levy funding to train and retain the best graduates into teaching roles. 

If you are interested in either applying for a teaching apprenticeship or work for a school and are interested in how the Apprenticeship Levy works, you can find out more here.

Wallingford School wins music award
Huge congratulations to Wallingford School, who have been awarded the prestigious ISM Trust’s Silver Certificate in Music for 2018.

This means that more than 15% of all the school’s GCSE students were entered into GCSE music and achieved an A* to C grade which puts the school in the top 187 schools in England.

This is a huge achievement and demonstrates a real commitment to music in the school as well as representing a high level of achievement in itself. 

Constituency Visits

This month I met with representatives of 'Hands off Hagbourne Fields' to discuss Taylor Wimpey's plans for developing the land between West Hagbourne and Didcot, met with local councillors to discuss how to tackle litter on the A34 and visited Enesi Pharma in Milton Park to see the revolutionary work on vaccines.

In Parliament 

This month I spoke at an event in Parliament for Museum Day, recognising the value museums have in Britain, including the importance of free admission.

Public Meeting with Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner
Matthew Barber, the Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner, is hosting a public meeting on June 11th at the Beacon, Wantage, to discuss recent robberies in the Wantage area.

If you would like to attend, it take place from 7:30-8:30pm. You can see details on the facebook event here.

This month’s mailbag
This month I have received 429 items of correspondence (emails and letters) from constituents. Subjects raised with me include the environment, roads and Brexit.

As always, you can find further details on the news section of my website, found here.
I hope this information is useful. If you know somebody who would like to receive these updates, please do ask them to get in touch.
 
Please feel free to contact me if you have any pressing issues that you would like help with.  Either myself or one of my team will get back to you as soon as possible and do what we can to assist.

Community Activity

Last month I attended a rally in Wantage protesting the fact that after two years, Wantage Community Hospital remains "temporarily" closed, with no indication of when it will reopen. Originally, the hospital was closed because of concerns of legionella in the pipework. This resulted in the closure of the remaining in-patient beds. Maternity and physiotherapy were maintained. Physiotherapy has since been discontinued at the hospital. The closure of the hospital has deprived the residents of Wantage, Grove and the surrounding villages of accessible, quality healthcare, meaning that the injured and sick often must travel to Wallingford, Didcot or Abingdon for suitable treatment.

 

We have been promised a number of consultations to discuss reopening the hospital but so far nothing has happened. After months of frustration I arranged meetings of my own. I have arranged to speak with the chief executive of Oxfordshire CCG to discuss plans for the provision of healthcare in the constituency.  I hope that they will have an update for us soon. I've also written to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to raise the issue of Wantage Hospital and make clear the level of feeling the community have for it. I await his response. 

 

Every year in September, Heritage Open Days sees places across the country throw open their doors for free to celebrate their heritage, community and history. It brings together over 2,100 organisations, 5,500 events and 46,000 volunteers, and is coordinated nationally by the National Trust, with support from players of the People’s Postcode Lottery. This year they are accepting nominations for a statue that recognises living women that have benefited the community around them. If you would like to nominate someone you can do so at putherforward.com.

 

The latest funding round for grants for local charities open in three of the Postcode Trusts funded by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. More information can be found at the three websites for the local trusts, each one has a different funding focus and I recommend charities ensure that they apply to the Trust most relevant to them. postcodetrust.org.uk focuses on projects which focus on prevention of poverty, promotion of human rights and equal rights. postcodelocaltrust.org.uk focuses on projects on health and wellbeing through grass roots sports, arts and well-being programmes and postcodecommunitytrust.org.uk focuses on projects supporting outdoor spaces, local environment and wildlife.

 

Please feel free to contact me if you have any pressing issues that you would like help with. You can contact me on any matter at the House of Commons, SW1A 0AA, dicksonce@parliament.uk or 01235 768 888. Email is the quickest and most reliable way to get in touch, as I keep a very close eye on my emails and can reply very quickly. Details of my activities in Parliament can be read on my website, https://www.vaizey.com. I also send out occasional general interest emails about developments in the Wantage and Didcot Constituency. You can sign up at: http://bit.ly/EdVaizeyMP.

 

A34 News

Some great news from the Department for Transport concerning the A34. After months of campaigning by myself, local MPs, councils, LEPs and the A34 Action Group, the Department for Transport have agreed to fund the proposals recommended by Highways England in the A34 safety review. For those who haven’t been following this campaign, following the tragic crash at the end of last year, I convened a debate in Westminster on safety on the A34. As a result of the debate, the Roads Minister agreed to fund a safety review of the road to determine what measures could be taken to improve it.

The review was completed earlier this year, and the Department for Transport announced last week that they would be implementing nearly all of its recommendations. Upcoming changes to the road will include improved laybys and digital signage, which will change depending on traffic flow. A new sign has also been recommended, to make it clearer to HGV’s where they are not allowed to overtake. Removal of vegetation from junctions was another recommendation. I am pleased that the Department for Transport are taking the problems on the A34 seriously and will continue to campaign for further improvements. 

Infrastructure News

There was an announcement this month from the Housing Secretary, Sajid Javid, on the new housing deal across the county. As you all will know, Oxfordshire is set to receive many new homes over the next few years, and this announcement aims to provide the infrastructure to support them. Depending on housing, the government has announced up to £150 million to build much needed bridges, roundabouts and roads and £60 million to support new affordable homes. In total the government has committed up to £215 million of funding. Housing is always a contentious issue locally, but I am pleased that some serious thought is being put into how to improve local infrastructure.
 
This is a positive step forward for local infrastructure growth. Many of you have been in contact with me over the past month to let me know of problems on the roads, and while none of the above is a quick fix, it should go a long way to relieving pressure created by new developments.

Harwell Link Road
I was very pleased to open the Harwell Relief Road this week. The £8m Harwell Link, which will run from the B4493 to the A417, is the latest in a package of transport improvements from the Science Vale Transport Strategy to be built and aims to improve access to the Enterprise Zone and reduce local congestion.

It is part of strategy to provide a route from housing development west of Didcot at Great Western Park and Valley Park to Harwell Oxford Campus and support delivery of planned housing growth. The road will make the journey to work easier for the five thousand people who work at Harwell Campus and I am particularly pleased that it will relieve the pressure of through traffic on Harwell village.

Constituency Visits

This month I visited Maymessy, a social enterprise based in West Challow. Maymessy offers gardening, kitchen craft and family-style sit-down meals and picnics for disadvantaged children and volunteer groups and is up for a Vale4Business social enterprise award for teaching young people the value of good nutrition. Find out more here.

I also met with Fyfield and Tubney parish councils about the A420, opened the Harwell Link Road and picked up a historic Didcot sign to hang in the office!

In Parliament 

As the President of SUDEP Action, the only UK Charity dedicated to raising awareness of epilepsy risk, tackling epilepsy deaths & supporting the bereaved, I was pleased visited the Epilepsy Purple Day event in Parliament earlier this month. You can find more details on SUDEP here.

I also met with the  Oxfordshire Association of Local Councils (OALC). The OALC represent 92% of town and parish councils in Oxfordshire. Subjects discussed include the GDPR and the Oxford-Cambridge Expressway.

The Oxford University Health Trust chairman and chief executive today also visited Parliament to discuss local health issues. This follows the very welcome news that Oxfordshire CCG have opened a consultation on local health services. If you haven't already I would encourage you all to give feedback here.

As always, you can find further details on the news section of my website, found here.

This month’s mailbag
This month I have received 523 items of correspondence (emails and letters) from constituents. Subjects raised with me included the local infrastructure, Brexit and the GDPR.
I hope this information is useful. If you know somebody who would like to receive these updates, please do ask them to get in touch.

 

Monthly Update

South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse have announced a partnership to promote our area’s scientific prowess. Part of the partnership includes bids for new infrastructure, which could see a new Science Bridge to help traffic around Didcot, a Didcot to Culham link road and improved cycle networks around the town. We should find out if the funds are allocated in the next few months. A pilot study on green spaces around Didcot as part of the “garden town” plans has also been started. The results of the study will define green buffer zones for the garden town development plans and help protect open spaces and pedestrian routes around the whole garden town area.  More information, and an excellent video, can be found at www.sciencevale.com.

This month I was pleased to host the Cycling Minister, Jesse Norman MP, in Milton Park to view new cycling infrastructure improvements, including the new Backhill Tunnel. The Government has committed £100,000 of funding to cycling safety projects, including reducing the cost of e-bike batteries through recycling used laptop batteries. I also visited JISC in Harwell, which provides broadband for all our universities and colleges, and saw the excellent new Renaissance Retirement Homes in Wantage.
The Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning group have opened a consultation of local health services (yet another one!). You can register to take part on the ‘Get Involved’ section of the NHS Oxfordshire website. Our local health services have been under serious pressure, particularly with the closure of Wantage Community Hospital. I encourage everyone to share their views.
 
In February I received 456 items of correspondence (emails and letters) from constituents. Subjects raised with me included the NHS, Brexit and free trade.

Monthly Update

After over 80 hours of debate and over 500 amendments and new clauses, the European Union Withdrawal Bill is now through the House of Commons and has passed the first stage in the House of Lords.
 
I submitted an amendment to the bill requiring Ministers to publish a plan on our future relationship with Euratom, the European Nuclear Energy Authority. I was very pleased that my amendment had the most signatures of all amendments submitted and that as a result the government have agreed to publish a plan with quarterly updates.
 
Earlier this month I attended a meeting in Parliament on rail in Oxfordshire.  It was a useful gathering of all the key stakeholders – Great Western, Chiltern, Network Rail, local councils and MPs.  First, the good news. We have a fantastic station in Didcot which provides excellent links to London, Swindon and Oxford. Didcot Parkway has gone from strength to strength over the last few years. A station revamp, completed in 2014, made the station safer for users. A bigger taxi rank, bus stop and cycle rack were just some of the improvements. Work on the station shows no sign of slowing down with an enclosed cycle rack in the works and the construction of a new multi-storey car park. Electrification of the line out of London has now almost reached Didcot, cutting journey times on the fastest trains to 39 minutes. Great Western Railway’s new electric Intercity Express trains are being rolled out and will increase capacity by over 24% (648 vs 522 seats), something that any commuter to London will tell you is sorely needed. The driver training programme for the new trains has also been accelerated. There is more to do though. It has been a long-standing ambition of mine to open a station near Wantage. There has been progress on this front recently. I have linked with other MPs to propose an East-West line which could include new stations in Wantage, Corsham and Royal Wootton Bassett. This would be an extension to the planned link between Cambridge and Oxford and would help link Bristol, Swindon and Oxford. There are obstacles to be overcome in the development of this proposal. The line between Didcot and Oxford particularly is almost at full capacity and we will need to think carefully about how to move forward with this.  It will still take many years to make it happen, not least as we will have to build extra track.
 
This month I have received 318 items of correspondence (emails and letters) from constituents. Subjects raised with me included the NHS, fireworks and post-Brexit trade.
 
With regard to fireworks, they are only sold for home use during the traditional firework periods of Bonfire Night, New Year's Eve, Chinese New Year and Diwali. Suppliers who wish to sell fireworks outside the traditional periods must comply with stringent conditions before being granted a licence by their local licensing authority. This means the availability and use of fireworks outside the traditional periods has been greatly reduced. The government also has strict regulations on the level of noise they can produce.

MP Cleared To Take Part-Time Job With It Giant NEC

Wantage MP (representing Milton) Ed Vaizey has been cleared to take up a part-time paid job with an electronics company.

 

The Office of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments said it had no worries about Mr Vaizey taking up the post with NEC Europe, a subsidiary of Japanese IT and electronics giant NEC. His role will include making recommendations to NEC Europe’s management about how it could expand its public safety and public IT service businesses. He will also oversee and provide advice on the business strategies associated with its public safety and public IT service businesses. He will be asked to advise NEC Europe on future business trends.

 

Mr Vaizey said he does not expect to have any contact with Government in the post. It does not have any relationship with NEC Europe and it raised no worries about Mr Vaizey taking up the post. However, the committee said Mr Vaizey should not disclose any privileged information that he was given when he minister of state for culture, communications and creative industries. He was sacked from that post by Theresa May when she became prime minister in June 2016 and took up the job with NEC last month.

Oxford Mail