Update on Charney Manor Premises Application

Update August 2022

August 100th Electronic Edition Charney Chatter

is here!

From your local MP – David Johnston

As some of you will know, I resigned from my role as PPS to the Department for Education earlier this month. Education is a great passion of mine and I did not take the decision lightly, but I could not defend what was taking place at No 10 this month or indeed these past few months.
When I decided to move from being a charity chief executive to becoming an MP in 2019, most of my family and friends thought I was mad to do so. They are interested in politics and know how much it matters, but they wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole due to the hours, the abuse and the low regard in which many in the public – wrongly in my view – hold politicians.
Politicians should uphold the highest standards and act in a way that is best for the country. We should also consider the politicians who will come after us. It is very important to me that we do all we can to encourage good people into politics so that the country is well served, but events in recent months have made the view of politics and politicians worse and will only put more people off entering it, which I deeply regret. I know some disagree with my decision, but I didn’t believe the Prime Minister could provide the leadership the country currently needs and I think it was the right decision for him to resign.
Such is the funny way things pan out, just before I handed in my resignation, I had a PMQ to deliver. I had arranged to host some of the Ukrainian refugees being hosted in North Moreton at Parliament the previous week and secured them PMQ tickets to sit in the gallery. I had written to the Speaker asking if I could be called on to ask a PMQ that week. I then got word the PM would be abroad for the week I had arranged, so we moved it to the following week. It had been weeks in the planning and now, suddenly, it was one of the most dramatic days for PMQs. I decided to go ahead after I checked with the North Moreton hosts that they were happy with me doing so, which they were – and the refugees they’re hosting were delighted to be referred to. I got a small handful of furious emails from regular correspondents wanting to know why I hadn’t used my PMQ to call on the PM to resign, little realising I had already decided I was going to straight after I had delivered it.
This year’s climate summit was another successful one and I was very pleased to receive input from a range of local and national experts, alongside Alok Sharma and – a particular highlight – children and young people from local primary and secondary schools. If you missed it, you can watch it on my website www.david-johnston.org.uk
As ever, if I can help with anything then do please email me via

As some of you will know, I resigned from my role as PPS to the Department for Education earlier this month. Education is a great passion of mine and I did not take the decision lightly, but I could not defend what was taking place at No 10 this month or indeed these past few months.

When I decided to move from being a charity chief executive to becoming an MP in 2019, most of my family and friends thought I was mad to do so. They are interested in politics and know how much it matters, but they wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole due to the hours, the abuse and the low regard in which many in the public – wrongly in my view – hold politicians.

Politicians should uphold the highest standards and act in a way that is best for the country. We should also consider the politicians who will come after us. It is very important to me that we do all we can to encourage good people into politics so that the country is well served, but events in recent months have made the view of politics and politicians worse and will only put more people off entering it, which I deeply regret. I know some disagree with my decision, but I didn’t believe the Prime Minister could provide the leadership the country currently needs and I think it was the right decision for him to resign.

Such is the funny way things pan out, just before I handed in my resignation, I had a PMQ to deliver. I had arranged to host some of the Ukrainian refugees being hosted in North Moreton at Parliament the previous week and secured them PMQ tickets to sit in the gallery. I had written to the Speaker asking if I could be called on to ask a PMQ that week. I then got word the PM would be abroad for the week I had arranged, so we moved it to the following week. It had been weeks in the planning and now, suddenly, it was one of the most dramatic days for PMQs. I decided to go ahead after I checked with the North Moreton hosts that they were happy with me doing so, which they were – and the refugees they’re hosting were delighted to be referred to. I got a small handful of furious emails from regular correspondents wanting to know why I hadn’t used my PMQ to call on the PM to resign, little realising I had already decided I was going to straight after I had delivered it.

This year’s climate summit was another successful one and I was very pleased to receive input from a range of local and national experts, alongside Alok Sharma and – a particular highlight – children and young people from local primary and secondary schools. If you missed it, you can watch it on my website www.david-johnston.org.uk

As ever, if I can help with anything then do please email me via david.johnston.mp@parliament.uk

Parish Council Meeting Wednesday 6th July 2022

The next Council meeting will be convened in the Village Hall at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 6th July 2022.

Here is the agenda and supporting documents.

Memories of the Jubilee, July’s Charney Chatter is here!

Charney Chatter is here!

From your local MP – David Johnston

I’ve just launched a campaign to help young people at local state schools get work experience at the great employers we have in the constituency. This was part of what I used to do when I ran charities because most work experience goes to the relatives of existing employees or clients, meaning young people without connections struggle to get it. It’s vital to get, because it gives you first understanding of the world of work, teaching you what to wear, how to interact with people, how an organisation fits together and giving you something you can put on your CV – as well as your first connections. It has almost disappeared as a result of the pandemic, so I’m leaning on the employers at Harwell and Milton Park, in particular. If your organisation can help, wherever it is, do please get in touch.
On 2 consecutive days we had debates that allowed me to raise some of the constituent issues I am most often contacted about. First, we had the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, which contains the Government’s planning reforms. I am very pleased the Government has listened to those of who raised objections to the zonal system that was being suggested. It is also going to put more weight on local plans and not require a 5-year land supply if your local plan is up to date – welcome news for us.
The planning process will be fully digitalised, and I asked again for hybrid meetings to be permitted (as well as measures to ensure the digitally excluded can still participate). I banged the drum again for my campaign for new houses to be built to the latest environmental standard, not the one when they got planning permission, which is often several years earlier. I also stressed there is still an issue with housing targets. South and Vale have typically exceeded their targets, but we continue to have an issue with the city of Oxford demanding the highest number of houses then hardly building any of them, meaning the burden falls on the rest of the county.
And, of course, I raised lack of infrastructure, which I did again the following day in a debate about Ofwat. The Government has just set new priorities for Ofwat, and I used a debate on these to talk about the sewage releases in Oxfordshire waters, the poor water infrastructure that often accompanies new homes and the objections to the reservoir proposal. You can find both speeches on my website/Facebook pages.
I had a great 4 days of Platinum Jubilee celebrations including in Didcot, Faringdon, Wantage, Grove, West Hanney, Harwell and Wallingford. Along the way there was lots of food, plenty of games, Vikings, morris dancers, animals and an impressive array of classic cars – well done to everyone involved. God save our wonderful Queen.

Jubilee Charney Chatter Edition

The Jubilee Edition

From your local MP – David Johnston

I recently passed over 25,000 constituent cases dealt with since I was elected in December 2019 (to those who don’t like it when they don’t get a fast reply, I hope this helps you understand why!). One of the first things to strike me when I became an MP was how the correspondence you get is so different to that in almost any other job, in a good way. Many MPs are councillors before they enter parliament, but even then, my ex-councillor colleagues might have represented 10,000 people at county or equivalent level and typically had a narrow range of topics they were contacted about. MPs represent tens of thousands – Wantage and Didcot is one of the largest constituencies at near 100,000 – and are written to about every issue under the sun; during the pandemic, veteran MPs said the rate of correspondence we received was 3 times the level they’d ever seen. But the more people who contact me with problems the better, as being able to help them is the most rewarding part of the job.

Alongside individual cases I’ve been supporting 4 campaigns recently. One is continuing to help the local AEAT Pensioners obtain redress and I am pursuing something that I hope will give them an avenue for this. Another is to help Didcot resident, Sharon Gaffka, with her campaign on spiking. The Government recently moved the GHB drug – used in the majority of spiking cases – up a category so that the prison penalties for carrying it or producing it are increased. I took Sharon to meet the Safeguarding Minister so that she could explain what else she wants to see happen, including better education of young people.

I’m then supporting the Epilepsy Society’s Zach’s Law campaign to punish people who – believe it or not – send those with photosensitive epilepsy flashing images online in the hope that they will induce a seizure in the recipient. We’re hopeful the Online Harms Bill will clamp down on this. I was also pleased to join 70 colleagues in calling on companies not to digitally alter body proportions in pictures, which give people – particularly young people – an unrealistic body image to aspire to, with negative consequences for their mental health.

Visit highlights since I last wrote include Faringdon Junior School, where I took tough questions and learnt about dragons; the new Kingsgrove Cafe; the fabulous charity Mission Motorsport, which supports those affected by military operations over in East Challow; and being in Wallingford for the first day of Wallingford Radio’s FM license (tune in at 107.3FM!).

Don’t forget you can sign up to my Climate Summit on 27th June at www.david-johnston.org.uk.
As ever, if I can help with anything then do get in touch via david.johnston.mp@parliament.uk

Parish Council Meeting Wednesday 11th May 2022

The next Council meeting will be convened in the Village Hall at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 11th May 2022.

Here is the agenda and supporting documents.

May’s Charney Chatter

Is here!