I was honoured last month to be appointed the Minister for Children, Families and Wellbeing.
It’s particularly special for me to be placed in the Department for Education given my pre-politics career was spent running organisations for children and young people. It often surprises people when I tell them that, before I became an MP, I had never been in politics before, whether as a councillor, advisor, or candidate.
In my new role I have responsibility for a wide range of areas such as early years and childcare – including the delivery of the Government’s new commitment to provide 30 hours a week free childcare from when a child is 9 months old until they start school – as well as Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), children in care, adoption and kinship care – vital areas that help support some of our most vulnerable young people – not to mention mental health.
I am delighted to have the opportunity to work on giving children across the country the best start in life.
It was also a delight to attend the unveiling of the new Agatha Christie statue in Wallingford, a place she lived for 42 years. The architect has done a really great job and it was a pleasure to meet her grandson, Matthew, who did the actual unveiling. I recommend a visit to see it when you have time!
Some other recent visits made by me included meeting with a group of unpaid carers in Wallingford, facilitated by Val Wolsey and Carers Oxfordshire, to talk about their experiences and listen to their concerns, attending an Innovator Day at Harwell Campus where I gave a speech and talked to staff and investors about the world-leading work that Harwell is doing, and visiting SeeAbility in East Hagbourne who provide support services for people with learning disabilities, many of whom have sight loss.
I have been campaigning to see Grove Station re-opened since I was elected nearly 4 years ago and have now launched a petition of Parliament. This is something MPs can do on matters that are important to their constituents and I’ve done so to keep the pressure up. I am delighted that 1,750+ people have signed so far and the more signatures we collect, the stronger the message we send to the Department for Transport – so please do sign if you are able to and encourage your friends and family that live in the constituency to do so too. You can sign on my website at: www.david-johnston.org.uk/GroveStation.
If you read this in time, do attend or spread the word about my Pensioners’ Fair at the Beacon in Wantage on Wednesday 27th September from 12:30pm to 4:30pm. I am grateful that so many local and national organisations will be in attendance including the Department for Work and Pensions, Age UK Oxfordshire, Barclays Bank, My Vision Oxfordshire, and Vale Community Impact. Details on my website www.david-johnston.org.uk/PensionersFair.
As ever, if I can help with anything then do please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senior Parliamentary Assistant
Office of David Johnston OBE MP
Member of Parliament for Wantage and Didcot
House of Commons
020 7219 1639