“Regarding the A34, as many of you will know, I initially brought the issue to Parliament by securing a Westminster Hall debate last October. This resulted in a commitment from the Roads Minister to commission a safety review. This was followed in November by the Chancellor confirming £50 million for the area as part of the 2015-20 Road Investment Strategy.
Highways England presented a first draft of the safety review in April this year. While statistically this proved that the A34 was no more dangerous than other roads, it did acknowledge the particular issues on the stretch by East Ilsley. It also recognised the huge economic impact caused by hold ups and collisions, given the increasing importance of the road as a major north-south transport link.
Addtionally, I am pleased that last month Communities Secretary Sajid Javid pledged more than £9 million of Government funding to a major upgrade to the A34. Two new south-facing slip roads at the Lodge Hill Interchange will help end years of congestion and pave the way for up to 1,700 new homes in Abingdon. Oxfordshire MPs will now meet with Highways England in the coming weeks on completion of the safety review and I look forward to working with stakeholders to implement the results.
Last month, I also began a campaign to urge the government to retain our membership of Euratom after we leave the European Union. Euratom is a sixty year old treaty that allows the UK to trade freely with its European partners in the nuclear industry. It’s vital for our local area, as hundreds of millions of pounds, and many thousands of jobs, are centred around Culham, the home of nuclear fusion research.
Since the start of the campaign, this issue has grown in prominence. I am pleased that the case for remaining in Euratom is increasingly gaining support from across parties and from prominent voices outside of Westminster too. Retaining membership will best serve the national interest – as has been unequivocally stated by representatives of the UK nuclear industry – and I hope that ministers are listening to the genuine concerns being raised.
In other news, I am pleased to hear that Oxfordshire County Council placed third in the country for tackling anti-LGBT bullying in schools in Stonewall’s ‘Education Equality Index 2017’. The council has developed nationally recognised strategies to tackle anti-LGBT bullying and has a huge array of online resources and guidance for schools and young people. Stonewall – Britain’s foremost lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality charity – paid tribute to the progress made in our local area and I am proud that our schools are at the forefront of addressing this issue.
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. You can contact me on any matter at the House of Commons, SW1A 0AA, firstname.lastname@example.org 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. If you would like to be added to the distribution list, please complete the online form at http://bit.ly/EdVaizeyMP.”