The last month saw a continuation of the fall out of the EU referendum. We now have a new Prime Minister, who has set the gears in motion for the EU renegotiation. We now have a Department for Brexit, and a Department for International Trade, who will take the leading role in these negotiations.
I am also returning to the Backbenches, where I will continue to support the Government. I first took up the role as arts minister in Opposition, in November 2006, so I had almost completed a decade covering the brief. It’s a job I thoroughly enjoyed, and I intend to continue to take an interest as a backbencher. Change is unsettling but also exciting, as a Minister I couldn’t take part in parliamentary debates which weren’t in my policy area. Now I can apply for debates that cover issues that affect my constituents locally and nationally, and question Ministers on specific areas. I can spend more time in the constituency, as I have done in recent days hearing the concerns of scientists and businesses about Brexit. I’m delighted to have had the chance to have been a Minister, but more delighted to carry on with my main job of representing my constituency. There’s another silver lining – my fabulous colleague Nicola Blackwood is now a Minister in the Department of Health – so Oxfordshire maintains its representation in government.
Like many of you I am also enjoying some time with my family over the school summer holidays and have been thoroughly impressed with the amount of activities available throughout the constituency. There are many local museums open throughout the summer which are putting on special events. The Vale and Downland Museum in Wantage is hosting ‘Free Summer Fun for Families’ every Tuesday during the summer holidays, with each Tuesday based on a different theme. The Wallingford Museum is holding a William the Conqueror day on the 20th August, free for both adults and children, where you can see a Norman knight, help create the Museum’s own Bayeux tapestry and dig in the archaeology sandpits. Didcot Railway Centre is open throughout August, with Steam Days on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays where you can ride the steam locomotives. They are also holding a Steam Train Event on the August Bank Holiday weekend. Faringdon Folly Tower and Woodland is a beautiful place to visit, and the Tower is open on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month, with children under 11 getting in free.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any pressing issues that you would like help with. Either myself or one of my team will get back to you as soon as possible and do what we can to assist. You can contact me on any matter at the House of Commons, SW1A 0AA, 020 7219 6350 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Email is the quickest and most reliable way to get in touch, as I keep a very close eye on my emails and can reply very quickly. I also send out occasional general interest emails about developments in the Wantage and Didcot Constituency. If you would like to be added to the distribution list, please complete the online form at http://bit.ly/EdVaizeyMP.