Author Archives: John

From your MP – David Johnston

I spent the parliamentary recess visiting as many individuals and organisations as I could. I met with the founders of innovative companies like Rosemor and Aquobex, whose cleaning and flooding solutions respectively attract custom from around the world. I visited hotels like the Bear and Milton Hill House, hotels being one of the sectors of the economy that has been particularly badly hit by lockdown, with some people being more reluctant to return to their previous way of life. At gyms like tfd Health and Fitness and Fitness Space people are keen to get back their previous way of life – and as a gym-goer myself I understand them! – they just have to book in advance and adhere to a higher standard of hygiene than perhaps they did previously. No bad thing, in my book.
At Farmer Gow’s I saw not just what a great family day out the farm is for young and old, but also met the proprietors of successful businesses that Anne Gow has as tenants on the site, from LissieLou, the cake decoration business, to Bark and Berry Dog Grooming and the Oxford Yurt, a pretty impressive glamping site – I’ve never been glamping myself, but if you like doing so I’d check them out. I was pleased to make my first visit to the Westmill Wind and Solar Farm and delighted they were successful in their bid for Government funding for a new visitors’ centre that will increase the number of visitors 6-fold.
Along the way there were lots of other independent businesses, like Didcot Glass and Glazing, Emma’s Vintage Style, 30 Something and Bob’s Butchers. Charities too, like Children Heard and Seen, which supports the children of prisoners – more on that in a future column. On my Facebook page (davidjohnston4wantage) you’ll see I’ve started ‘three questions’ with the owners of different organisations to spread the word about organisations people might not have heard of.
On my week off, we went to the Lake District, but unfortunately I crocked my knee on a crag and am currently on crutches! It’s my first real experience of having restricted mobility and it does bring home quite how many places are inaccessible for those who need to use crutches or a wheelchair to get around, something I’ve understood only theoretically before. Parliament is probably one of the worst examples, although I’m grateful I’ve temporarily been given an office nearer to the House of Commons to reduce the walking I have to do. As ever, if I can help with anything then do get in touch via

PC Meeting 9th Sept. Agenda and how to attend.

The next Council meeting will be convened around 7.15 pm for a start at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 9th September 2020. The meeting will be a ‘virtual’ meeting held over SKYPE.

Residents of the Village are welcome to join by SKYPE. Please can they contact the Parish Clerk in advance for joining instructions, as indicated in the agenda.

From your MP – David Johnston

From your MP – David Johnston, July 2020

The most exciting news since my last update is Grove station being put on a list of rail projects to be assessed for Government funding, part of the Beeching Reversal Fund commitment made in the Conservative manifesto. It does not mean that we will be successful this time round as there are 50 other projects on the list, but I have been plugging away with ministers since I was elected and will keep doing so until we are successful!

I have enjoyed being able to visit local shops, pubs and other businesses in Faringdon, Wallingford, Didcot, Wantage and elsewhere across the constituency as they reopen. Of course, some businesses didn’t close and were grateful to the local community for the support they showed during lock-down – some have told me that products they never sold in normal times suddenly flew off the shelves!

In preparing to speak in the Business and Planning Bill – which lets pubs, bars and restaurants seat and serve us outside more easily – I discovered we have 85 pubs across the constituency, making Wantage and Didcot joint 7th out of 650 constituencies for the highest number of pubs. We have a huge range and they are at the heart of our towns and villages – do please support them and our shops and other businesses whenever you can.

In parliament it has been a busy time as we head towards recess. I was put on my first bill committee, in which you scrutinise legislation line by line, for the Trade Bill. The Trade Bill is designed to create continuity agreements for us with the countries we have been trading with through the EU, from South Africa to South Korea and it will also create a new Trade Remedies Authority to recommend action if UK producers are subjected to unfair practices. I was pleased to be a co-sponsor of the Local Electricity Bill, a 10-minute rule bill that would allow local communities to sell the electricity they generate themselves, as at the moment the costs are prohibitive.

After the recent unauthorised traveller encampments we had at Great Western Park and in the Ladygrove area, I raised the issues of anti-social behaviour that constituents experienced in both the House of Commons and with the Home Secretary, Priti Patel. I’m assured that measures that will enable these to be dealt with more quickly will be coming forward soon.

During recess, I will be trying to visit as many businesses, charities, individuals and other places of interest as I can, beginning with those that I was not able to visit due to lockdown. If you have a suggestion of somewhere you’d like to see me visit, do let me know via



Notice is hereby given pursuant to Section 14(2) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act, 1984, that the Oxfordshire County Council


LOCATION: Charney Bassett, Longworth Road

REASON: To facilitate carriageway patching works

DURATION: Starting on 24 August 2020
The anticipated completion date is 28 August 2020 (date included). This is a 24 hour road closure.
(Traffic Regulation Notices cover a maximum of 5 consecutive days.)

ACCESS: Limited access will be maintained for emergency service vehicles and for frontages within the closed section of road, subject to the progress of the works

SUGGESTED ALTERNATIVE ROUTE: via Main Street, Northmead Lane, Hyde Road, Winter Lane, Unnamed Road and vice versa

Jason Russell, Director for Infrastructure Delivery
Date: 23 June 2020

For further details and alternative route see map on the website.

Parish Council agenda and how to attend meeting

The next Council meeting will be convened around 7.15 pm for a start at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 8th July 2020. The meeting will be a ‘virtual’ meeting held over SKYPE.

Residents of the Village are welcome to join by SKYPE. Please can they contact the Parish Clerk in advance for joining instructions, as indicated in the agenda .

Police & Crime Commissioner’s June Newsletter

The Police and Crime Commissioner’s June Newsletter

From your MP – David Johnston

I spent lockdown in the constituency, in the home we got in the Didcot area in February. Whilst none of us have enjoyed lockdown, it was nice to spend an extended time in our new home. Having lived in Oxford for 6 years I was already somewhat familiar with Didcot, but spending an extended period here – rather than just the Friday-Sunday as is usually the case when parliament is sitting normally – helped us to get to know it better still.
Virtual parliament was smoother than I had expected – despite me thinking it would feel strange speaking into a webcam and having it beamed into the House of Commons. You get used to asking questions and even giving speeches from your desk, as I did on legislation such as the Domestic Abuse Bill and the Agriculture Bill.
But parliament has now returned. We still can’t have more than 50 people in the House of Commons at any one time and our staff are not allowed to return yet. Some of you will have seen the very long queues when we first had to vote, but they have now come up with a much better system. Our staff can’t return yet and like a lot of people they miss being in a different environment to home and seeing their colleagues, but for MPs it has been nice to be back for the same reasons.
There is plenty on our plates. We have been debating a number of pieces of legislation, including the Counter-terrorism and Sentencing Bill, designed to prevent the sort of attacks we saw at the end of last year and beginning of this year. There are ongoing debates both in the House of Commons and in the Education Committee (I am a member) about the reopening of schools. I am firmly on the side of seeing all schools open for all children as soon as possible: the Children’s Commissioner told our Committee that we are on course for 8 million children to be out of school for 6 months which will be damaging to all children and the most disadvantaged will suffer most.
As shops start to reopen, I’ll be returning to spending at least every Friday visiting local businesses, charities and, if we can make it work, schools – keeping my distance, of course. I’d encourage everyone to try and support our local shops if they can, so they can hopefully survive what has been a very tough time. I recently invited people to nominate their volunteer hero – the individual or organisation they feel has really made a difference lately. I was pleased to see such a huge range of people and organisations nominated. The top 3 were the Ray Collins Charitable Trust, Helping Hands and Maymessy – congratulations to them all.
As ever, do get in touch if I can help via

People urged to wear face coverings and stay alert

Residents are reminded to continue taking steps to keep themselves, and others safe as non-essential shops and services start reopen for the first time since March.

Per government guidance, any resident using public transport, or in an enclosed public space where social distancing isn’t possible, must wear a non-surgical face covering to help reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission.

Face coverings not face masks

A face covering isn’t the same as medical-grade PPE face masks. These will continue to be reserved for those working in a high-risk environment, such as health and social care.

Cloth face coverings may help us all to reduce the risk of spreading the virus if we have it, but no symptoms.

Keep your distance

It’s important to remember however that face coverings do not replace existing social distancing guidance. You should continue to maintain social distancing from those not in your household, and isolate if you, or somebody else you live with, show symptoms.

Oxfordshire County Council’s Director for Public Health Ansaf Azhar reiterated the importance of staying alert.

He said: “as we are now into the warm summer months, it’s great that we have been able to ease some aspects of lockdown. However, it’s vital we do not become complacent about the risk, and continue to abide by government guidance if we are to keep infection rates down.”

For more information:

  • The government has published useful advice on how to make a face covering at home.

Parish Council Finance 2019-20

The Charney Bassett Parish Clerk would like to inform you that the Parish Council Accounts 2019-2020 have been published for all to view on the  ‘Annual Accounts‘ web-page, together with audit reports on the ‘Audit‘ page.

Oxfordshire Libraries

Oxfordshire Libraries are still here and working hard to provide you with a wide choice of digital library services from the comfort of people’s homes. We are working hard on plans to adjust our libraries for when we are able to welcome our customers back. Rest assured we will not open libraries until it is safe to do so, based on the Government and Public Health England advice.
In the meantime online facilities are still available.
Go to and click ‘Join the Library’ and fill in your details.
We will email your account access details back to you within 1-2 working days

eBooks and eAudio
Choose from a great range of fiction and non-fiction reading for adults and children. We are investing in more titles in response to the current situation. Download the Libby or Borrowbox apps.

eMagazines and eNews

Pressreader and RBdigital magazines provide thousands of UK and international titles of leisure reading or current affairs for you to read online or download. Time to garden, get creative or find out what’s going on around the world through curated news content.

Digital learning and study resources
leisure-and-culture/libraries/reference-online/general-reference Britannica Online, dictionaries and reference books provide high quality homework support and resources for personal study

eMusic culture/libraries/reference-online/books-and-music

relax and enjoy the best of recordings streamed through Naxos Music Library. Over 60,000 albums to choose from.

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Download the Oxfordshire Libraries app to your tablet or phone from your app store.
Lots of our digital services have their own apps, too such as Libby for Overdrive eBooks, Borrowbox, Pressreader, RBdigital Magazines and Naxos Music Library.