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David Johnston MP - Newsletter, January 2021

on Wed, 23/12/2020 - 9:48am

I hope you, your friends and your family continue to be safe and well.

I am sorry that the period we can see our friends and families at Christmas has been reduced, although I am glad that some of us will still get to see each other at least for a day. I won’t be able to visit my family now but it is those on their own I most feel for, so I will be calling a few people that I know are on their own this year; I hope some of you will be able to do the same or, if you are on your own, that someone makes contact with you.

As ever, if I can help you with anything then do contact me via [email protected]

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.​

Best wishes, 

David 


In the House of Commons

 

In the final debate of the year, I gave a speech about various local issues including the problems with Royal Mail, Wantage Community Hospital and health services in the Didcot area. In various questions in the House I was able to highlight local organisations such as Reducing the Risk in a question about Domestic Abuse; Greencore Construction in a question about our 2050 net zero goal; and the Wantage branch of the RAF Association in a question about the contribution of veterans to the Covid response.

On Royal Mail, Wantage Community Hospital and health services in the Didcot area.

I also asked questions about various issues such as ensuring the vaccine is delivered to our villages; ensuring the holiday period is used well for young people facing exams this year; our negotiations with the EU; the forthcoming online harms legislation and the use of Uyghur slave labour by China.


In Parliament

 

On the Education Committee we held a pre-appointment hearing with the next Children’s Commissioner, Dame Rachel de Souza, and an accountability session with the interim head of Ofqual and Nick Gibb, Schools Minister, on the plan for exams next year.

I was delighted to receive so many entries for the competition to design my Christmas card, albeit it made for a very difficult decision! The winning entry was from Olivia, age 9, from Grove Primary School, and below you can see the Prime Minister with his copy of the card.

Congratulations to the runners up: Hannah from Uffington Primary school, Tom from John Blandy School, Daniel from St Michael’s in Steventon and Coco from Gems Didcot. You can see the entries and me with the winning children <here>.


In the constituency

 

I visited a range of local businesses and other organisations, including Valentine Food at Grove Business Park (Graeme used to work for Raymond Blanc!); the Corn Exchange in Wallingford; the White Horse Brewery; Sandwich Phillers in Faringdon; Bellinger car dealership; and Hampers.com (which sold 70,000 hampers in just 1 week in December!).

I also visited a range of pubs such as the Dolphin in Wallingford, the Fox Inn in Denchworth and the Horse & Harrow in West Hagbourne (for meetings and lunch, not to drink on the job!) and met with locals such as the team behind the Letcombe Brook Project and Karen Sampford, who stars in Military Wives.

I was pleased to open the new shop of Lushlooking Cakes in Faringdon, which sells some of the nicest cupcakes I’ve ever tried. I was also pleased to take Amanda Solloway, Minister for Science, Research and Innovation, to Greencore Construction’s Springfield Meadows development in Southmoor to see the carbon-positive housing they are now building.

In the final days before Christmas, I bought various local products from the Uffington Christmas Fair (including from White Horse Soap, Wildlife Watercolours, Stainswick Farm, Baking Bee Ashbury). And I helped the 2 charities I am a patron of, Play2Give and Secret Santa 365, to deliver presents to young and old respectively.


In the media

My fortnightly columns for the Herald can also be read <here>.

Following my Adjournment debate on the A34/A420, I was interviewed by ITV Meridian as part of a longer piece they did on the A34 issues, which you can watch <here>.