From your local MP – David Johnston

I took part in a productive meeting regarding the proposed Abingdon reservoir (which continues to be an odd name for it given where it is actually proposed to be located) with GARD and other local politicians. I know that not everyone who writes to me feels the same about the proposal, but it continues to be true that Thames Water have failed to adequately make the case for the reservoir, or to demonstrate they have properly considered alternatives or to show they have truly measured the environmental impact of it. I’ll be using my platform in Parliament to try and ensure we can get better answers to the questions local residents have.
I’d much prefer to spend all of my time on infrastructure that people actually want, like Grove Station and improved health facilities. I’m having discussions in Parliament about how to fix the fact that our population has fast outgrown our infrastructure, particularly our GP surgeries. This is a constituency-wide issue although it’s particularly frustrating to hear the long-overdue GP surgery on Great Western Park is still no further forward, despite assurances I’d be given by local health leaders at a meeting I chaired in September. It’s very difficult to understand what is so difficult to deliver this, as both council leaders and health leaders say they’re supportive and it was part of the original proposal for the development. It won’t solve the problem we have by itself but it is the minimum we need to ease a bit of the pressure in the Didcot area.
For what it’s worth I think we should be very proud of the role the UK has been playing in trying to support Ukraine in this period. No-one wants to see a war and if one happens it will be due to unprovoked aggression from Russia, rather than anything Ukraine has done. In addition to warning Putin of the consequences should he attack, we’ve been providing training and capacity-building through Operation Orbital which has helped to train over 20,000 Ukrainian personnel as well as provide anti-armour weaponry and encouraging other countries to take a more robust response. Having attended a session with the Ukrainian Ambassador in Parliament, I know our efforts are appreciated.
It’s not often one of our councils makes it into the national news and for Oxfordshire County Council, it’s unfortunately not for the right reasons! I have nothing against anyone deciding to choose veganism if that’s what they want to do, but eating vegan meals should be just that, a choice. It does not help the environment if we shun locally reared meat in favour of imported meat or imported avocados. We have many farmers in this constituency and across Oxfordshire who produce high-quality meat yet often struggle to make a living. I regularly visit farms and it is very hard work for small profits; they are frequently subject to theft and abuse/vandalism from animal rights activists. They deserve our support and I hope the Council will reconsider.
As ever, if I can help you with anything then do get in touch via

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