The General election campaign was a chance to hear about a lot of issues that concerned you. It won’t surprise you to hear that the main concern I encountered was about housing development. I was, therefore, extremely pleased to hear that the Vale of White Horse Local plan is due to go before the planning inspector in September. Once it has been adopted the Vale can take proper control of housing development again and prevent the speculative applications currently coming forward. It will mean we get more housing but it will at least be controlled.
Other problems that were reported to me, which are related to development, were the pressures on Primary School places and on GP waiting times. I intend to look into these very carefully. The issues are complex and include demographics, constraints on school sites and encouraging young medics to take up General Practice. I will campaign on behalf of my constituents to try to ensure everyone has access to the services they need, when they need them.
I have worked with my Parliamentary colleagues in the past, and will continue to do so in future on plans to improve the rail line between Oxford and Bristol which includes the reopening of the Wantage Road Station at Grove. This would remove some of the pressure on Didcot Parkway Station and would provide a much needed alternative way for local residents to get to Oxford. I will continue to lobby at the highest level for this.
The issue of IVF funding has also recently been brought to my attention by several of my constituents and I plan to campaign hard on their behalf. Many deserving couples lose out on funding in Oxfordshire because of local rules – but they would be funded if they lived elsewhere. I will also continue my work to raise concerns about the side effects of roaccutane, a drug which has had such tragic consequences for a constituent of mine.
This month my postbag has been dominated by the debate on whether the Hunting Act should be repealed or not. I fully appreciate that this matter raises strong feelings on both sides of the argument, and I have indeed received many emails from numerous constituents on each side. The Prime Minister has said that a majority Conservative Government will give Parliament the opportunity to repeal the Hunting Act on a free vote, with a government bill in government time. In the event of such a vote, I would vote to repeal it. In my judgement the Act does nothing to protect wild animals and, in many cases, is actually detrimental to animal welfare when other methods of control are deployed, several of which can be indiscriminate.
As ever please feel free to 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 do email me at email@example.com or sign up at www.vaizey.com.
Ed Vaizey MP