8th May 7pm Village Assembly and PC meeting

More details here…

May’s Charney Chatter


From your local MP – David Johnston

Along with the other Conservative MPs in Oxfordshire, I wrote to the CEO of Thames Water to demand that more action is taken to tackle sewage pollution in our waters, and have secured a meeting with him.

The Government has taken decisive action to address the sewage issue, including putting in place the strictest ever legally binding targets, which I was proud to vote for; increasing the monitoring of sewage discharges in England to 100% (up from 7% in 2010 under Labour); ensuring fines against water companies are unlimited; and requiring Thames Water and other water companies to deliver the largest ever infrastructure investment of £56 billion to fix this problem.

However, people are rightly very angry about this issue, as am I, and I expect Thames Water to act with far greater urgency – which I will make clear during my meeting with the CEO.

I met with the new Chief Superintendent of Thames Valley Police for Oxfordshire and discussed local policing and my campaign to tackle anti-social behaviour, which I know is a huge concern for local people. Thames Valley Police has now recruited 784 more police officers since 2019 (which has meant more officers overall than ever before) thanks to extra Government funding and tackling this should be a priority for them.

I met with the Roads Minister to discuss my campaign to improve our roads and the results of my Local Roads Survey. The Government has given Oxfordshire County Council millions of extra pounds (a 30% funding increase this year) to improve our roads and fix our potholes. We discussed how they should use this money effectively, including filling potholes correctly and not in a way that means they reappear within weeks, as we all know often happens on our local roads.

Autism Family Support Oxfordshire provides vital support to parents across my constituency. Local families wrote to me after Oxfordshire County Council announced they were going to cut their funding which would have had a huge impact. I wrote to them on behalf of all my constituents who rely on this vital service and was glad to hear that the Council have (finally) listened and reversed their funding cut which will be a relief to many families.

I am hosting a fair for families of children and young people with special educational needs. It will take place on Tuesday 28 May at Didcot Civic Hall from 12:30pm to 4:30pm and will be attended by various local and national organisations who help SEND families. Please register on my website at www.david-johnston.org.uk/SEND if you plan to attend. I look forward to seeing you there!

Visits this past month included to Drayton Community Primary School to present Local Hero Awards to four pupils who secured help for an unconscious woman and meeting Kathleen Law in Wantage, at the invitation of her son David, to wish her a happy 100th birthday.

As ever if I can help with anything please contact me at david.johnston.mp@parliament.uk

April’s Charney Chatter

is here!

From your local MP – David Johnston

Being an MP involves a lot of travel across the length and breadth of my constituency from my home in Didcot and this means I know first-hand that the state of the roads across our area is not good enough.

I launched my Roads Survey last year and I’m grateful to the almost 900 people who have filled it in. More than 80% of residents agreed that our roads are poor quality. Flooding on the A417 and safety issues on the A420 and A34 were frequently mentioned, and many people spoke about issues with congestion. I am meeting with the Roads Minister to share the findings with him.

From potholes to congestion to flooding and safety issues, it is clear that we need improvements. We do not need blanket 20mph zones across our area – and the Government is rightly making clear that these should be decided on a hyper-local basis with local consent. No-one objects to strict limits in areas near schools or other sensitive areas but are they required across an entire town? Constituents regularly say no and 71% of residents who filled in my Roads Survey agreed with the Government’s policies here.

I have been taking action since I was elected and have raised every issue that has been reported to me with the County Council and the Highways Authorities, who are responsible for our roads. This has resulted in some issues being fixed but I think everyone can agree that it should not take an MP writing a letter for this to happen.

I have spoken about the need to improve our local roads in 13 separate debates, met with the Roads Minister about it, and led a debate in Parliament on safety issues on the A34 and A420.

It’s not all about money, but the Government has also rightly given the County Council millions in funding to help improve our roads and fix our potholes – including a substantial increase of 30% for 2023/24. We need to see this used effectively.

I will keep campaigning on this, but please fill in my Roads Survey at www.david-johnston.org.uk/RoadsSurvey.

In other news, Didcot Powerhouse Fund celebrated their two-year anniversary, and I was pleased to attend the launch of their new Impact Report and meet some of the local people who have received funding from them – including great organisations like the Cornermen in South Moreton.

I also took senior managers from the Environment Agency to Steventon to talk about our flood defences and what more can be done to prevent the flooding we have seen. Many constituents shared their thoughts with me ahead of this and I raised various issues on their behalf, including concerns about the proposed reservoir. I will remain in close contact with the Environment Agency and the Council.

Other highlights in recent weeks have included visiting Willowcroft School in Didcot, Williams Racing in Grove, the Happiness Horse Box in Uffington, and Quantum Detectors in Harwell as well as holding a Pop-Up Surgery at Tesco in Didcot.

Upcoming Parish Council Meeting, Wednesday 13th March 2024

There will be a meeting of the Parish Council in the Village Hall starting at 7:30 pm.

Meeting Agenda and other relevant documents can be read here.

Villagers are cordially invited to attend.

March’s Charney Chatter

Is here!

Wantage Newbury/Church Street Practice Patient Participation Group Newsletter

Here is the latest Wantage Newbury/Church Street Practice Patient Participation Group Newsletter

From your local MP – David Johnston

One of the most common questions I’m asked is what is life like as an MP.
In general my week is split Monday-Thursday in Parliament and Friday-Sunday back home in Didcot.
At the time of writing this, the last week kicked off with a team meeting at the Department for Education, followed by my weekly meeting with the team delivering our huge expansion of childcare, with the first 15 hours of free childcare becoming available for working parents from April. Alongside various other meetings, Chilton County Primary School came for a visit to Westminster, and it was great to meet them and take their questions.
Tuesday included meeting with GARD to discuss the next steps following me echoing their call for a public inquiry of the reservoir proposal in December; attending a networking event of charities and businesses involved in our Disability Action Plan; and responding for the Government in a debate about nursery provision in the South West.
Just as MPs like myself have regular surgeries with constituents, so Ministers have regular surgeries with MPs to discuss problems they’re having locally in areas the Minister covers and Wednesday kicked off with one of these. After attending PMQs, I presented to Parliament my petition to reopen Grove Station, which I’m grateful to the 2127 of you for signing. I met my Parliamentary team before taking another debate – this time on special educational needs – and several other meetings.
Last week was National Apprenticeship Week and on Thursday I visited childcare apprentices and then another nursery. To and from the visits I had calls with 10 local authorities and did some paperwork.
Then on Friday I began with a Q&A at Didcot Sixth Form then met with Liane and Mark from Active Future South Oxfordshire and visited apprentices at Williams Racing in Grove. I had several surgery appointments, including meeting a local subpostmaster who contacted me after seeing the ITV drama about the Horizon scandal having recognised that what happened had also happened to her. I am pleased this Government is taking such decisive action to right this wrong.
I met with Niamh Dernie from Wantage to talk about the next steps in her campaign against sexual harassment and then had the pleasure of presenting Mikayla Beames from Team Mikayla, which I am a proud patron of, with her Points of Light award from the PM. Then I rounded off the day with my weekly visit to Merv, as part of my volunteering with the Didcot Good Neighbours Scheme.
Weekends are always a combination of door knocking, emails and paperwork for both MP and Minister roles and – when I can manage it – Liverpool games!
I love the ability to make a difference in the job and the variety – as I always say to people, it’s better to be very busy than bored.
As ever, if I can help with anything then do, please get in touch via david.johnston.mp@parliament.uk

February’s Charney Chatter

….is here