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David Johnston MP - November 2022

on Wed, 09/11/2022 - 6:31pm

My work experience campaign has been a great success and I’m very grateful to all of the employers who offered placements to local young people this year. I visited a number of the young people participating while they were on their placements and they had all enjoyed their time. They found the workplaces friendly and felt they had learned new things. The whole point of this campaign was that work experience placements had dried up as a result of Covid and lots of people working from home – but they remain a vital way for young people to learn the skills the workplace needs.

It was standing room only in Westminster for the first meeting of the Community Energy All Party Parliamentary Group, which I chair and which is sponsored by Power for People. As readers know, I am the lead sponsor of the Local Electricity Bill, which is designed to remove the barriers to local generators of renewable energy selling that energy to local people.

The bill now has support from 311 MPs, within touching distance of half of the House of Commons. There was a great atmosphere in the room with people having come from as far as Scotland to attend! The bill has changed significantly as a result of conversations between the campaign team and civil servants and we remain hopeful of seeing it incorporated into other legislation.

Another issue I have campaigned on is anti-social behaviour. In my first couple of years, most of the complaints I received were about anti-social behaviour from unauthorised traveller camps. This is something I raised in the House of Commons as it was frequently accompanied by local people being subjected to abuse, theft and damage to their properties.

In the past few months, I have received increasing complaints about broader anti-social behaviour and crime, including drug dealing and business burglaries. I have made visits to businesses that have been burgled – sometimes repeatedly – and I held a crime summit in Wantage for local people to raise the experiences they’ve been having directly with Thames Valley Police. See my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/davidjohnston4wantage) for updates about the outcomes of this.

We also saw Back British Farming Day this month. I am a regular visitor to the constituency’s first-rate farms – and a regular consumer of their meat and dairy products! – and I see first-hand how hard our farmers work. We should do all we can to support them, not least by buying local wherever possible.

I’ve continued my visits to every kind of organisation we have in the constituency – including sports clubs. I am a big sports fan and have recently been to both Grove Rugby Club and Wantage Town FC games. We have lots of sports clubs in the constituency. They are almost all run by volunteers and act as a great resource for the community – do visit the ones near you when you can.

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