Ed Vaizey MP Parish News April 2014
The subject of new housing has been top of my list of correspondence in recent weeks. People are understandably concerned about the large numbers of houses that the authorities say need to be built in our area over the next fifteen years or so – something like 100,000. This is an increase of almost 40 per cent in the numbers of houses in Oxfordshire – twice the rate of increase there has been in the last fifteen years.
So it is clear to me that the housing predictions may be too high. I am therefore going to lobby at a national level for a change in the way housing need is predicted so that it reflects actual, current housing need and a well-grounded view of new jobs. The number of homes planned should also be based on what can, realistically, be delivered by developers in the local area, bearing in mind what can be planned and constructed within available resources. I will also ask that the constraints imposed by the Oxford Green Belt, floodplains and the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty locally are taken into account, as there are large areas that can only be developed exceptionally if at all, which increases the burden of housing imposed elsewhere.
I have no doubt that this debate will continue for many months: I will continue to do all that I can to represent the views of my constituents to ensure that we get genuinely sustainable new housing to meet real need, but that we don’t damage our local area in the process.
In the midst of the debate about housing, I have continued to lobby Network Rail to try to ensure that the impact of the electrification of the railway line will cause the minimum possible disruption. There are clear signs that Network Rail are taking much more account of the comments they have received, particularly about the needs of local residents as closures are planned.
I have also received a number of emails and letters from constituents regarding the Care Bill. Many of those who have been in touch are campaigners for Macmillan Cancer Support, and I think it is important to pay tribute to the work done by this fantastic charity in their efforts to raise awareness of the most pressing issues facing cancer carers. Cancer carers play a crucial role in the lives of cancer patients here in the constituency and across the UK, and it is vitally important they receive the support they need to help them to continue this invaluable work. A particular concern has been on the identification of carers by the NHS. I am therefore pleased that the Care Services Minister has confirmed that accompanying guidance to the Care Bill will reinforce the importance of co-operation between the NHS and local authorities on local authorities’ duty to identify carers.
As ever please feel free to contact me on any matter at the House of Commons, SW1A 0AA, 020 7219 6350 or email@example.com. 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. Surgery details can be found at www.vaizey.com.
Ed Vaizey MP