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Good morning from West Oxfordshire!

Although Parliament is on summer recess, I have not been spending weeks on holiday, but have been using the time to meet many of you all over West Oxfordshire, in your homes, communities and businesses - as well as helping many of you in many different ways with your casework queries, always the mainstay of my work for you.

This newsletter is only a snapshot of what I have been up to – see more here - and if you would like any further information on any of the articles within the newsletter, please email robert@robertcourts.co.uk.  Of course, you can see much more on my website and social media below!

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LOCAL ACTIVITES
Robert officially opens the newly refubished Leys
As we have been lucky enough to continue enjoying some fantastic weather, I greatly enjoyed the chance to visit the newly refurbished facilities at the Leys.  This is a real hub for all ages in Witney’s community, and I have enjoyed visiting the Coffee Shed.  The refurbished mini golf and tennis facilities at the Leys are a welcome addition to Witney’s amenities, and the whole team should be very proud - I couldn’t resist trying them out!
Find out more here!

Visiting businesses large and small

One thing I not only really enjoy about being your MP, but is also of enormous importance, is getting to know all the fantastic companies based in West Oxfordshire.  I recently revisited the world-leading Siemens Healthcare based in Eynsham, who create magnets used in over 30% of MRI in hospitals worldwide! I also had the pleasure of presenting White Brothers with the Supplier of the Year award – for the second year running – from the Charity Retail Association.
 
At both businesses I had great discussions about the different benefits and issues they face working in West Oxfordshire.  As the Chair of the APPG for Small and Micro Business, I champion all businesses, but particularly small businesses, in Parliament – find out more below:

Learn more about how Robert is championing businesses

Robert drops in on community groups in West Oxfordshire

We are lucky to have so many fantastic community groups in West Oxfordshire, for all ages and all interests! I dropped in on the Cake Café in Freeland, which takes place each month, to chat with residents – and thank you to Cake Studio for proving the delicious cake.
 
I recently joined the ‘Knit & Natter’ group in Carterton to help knit poppies for the ‘poppy mile’ which will be in Witney in November to commemorate the centenary of WW1 Armistice Day. Thank you for letting me help, although I think I need to work on my knitting skills!
 
Later this year, I will again hold my ‘Communities Week’, where I focus on celebrating all the fantastic community groups we have in West Oxfordshire.  If you are part of a group and want me to visit please send me an email below:

Email me here!
LOCAL ACTION AND NEWS

Temporary closure of Finstock Post Office

Finstock Post Office will be temporarily closed for the next couple of weeks, between Thursday 23rd August and Monday 9th September.  This is due to staff holidays and important maintenance work being carried out.  The nearest Post Offices you can visit instead are:

  • Charlbury Post Office – Enstone Road, Charlbury, Chipping Norton OX7 3QR – 2.5 miles
  • Stonesfield Post Office – Pendle Court, Pond Hill, Stonesfield OX29 8QN – 2.7 miles

Witney Jobs Fair

I am pleased to be joining Witney Job Centre at the Corn Exchange in Witney on Thursday 13th September between 10am and 1.30pm to hold a jobs fair.
 
It is always worthwhile to see what opportunities are out there, so I invite you to attend. There are many employers and providers due to attend, from high street names to South Central Ambulance Service, Abbott and MIND. I will also have a stall so do drop by and have a chat!

Warning: Cold Callers in West Oxfordshire

Thames Valley Police have received reports about a number of cold callers active in the West Oxfordshire area recently. Please warn your neighbours, particularly elderly or vulnerable neighbours, not to open the door to strangers to buy on the doorstep. Some doorstep callers may offer poor quality goods at inflated prices and if a caller is not genuine, they may be gathering information for future crime. Keep in mind that if cold callers don’t get any sales in your area, they are less likely to return!

If they are in your area, please call the police immediately on 101 with a description of them & any associated vehicle they may be using.  For more information, click the link below:

Find out more here
NATIONAL NEWS- IN CASE YOU MISSED IT!

Headline News

Even though Parliament is in recess over the summer, the Government is still working on many issues, not just those which are covered in the headlines. Here are some of the important announcements made over the past few weeks which I think you might be interested in:

Communities and Local Government Secretary, James Brokenshire, launched the Government’s £100 million rough sleeping strategy and confirmed the ambition to halve rough sleeping on England’s streets by 2022 and end it altogether by 2027. This is an important issue that affects everywhere in the UK and I look forward to seeing progress made.
 
The latest borrowing stats from the Office for National Statistics show a £2bn surplus in July – the largest surplus in 18 years, and debt is due to start falling next year (the first sustained fall in a generation). This is fantastic – a strong economy means that the UK can continue to thrive and take our place on the world stage.
 
Transport Minister, Jesse Norman, announced new plans to update road safety laws to protect cyclists and pedestrians. As the new Vice-Chair of the APPG for Cycling, I really welcome this step – cycling is a key part of our transport system and we need to make sure that cyclists are safe.
 
The Ministry for Housing welcomed new figures which showed that more than 420,000 people have now used the Government’s Help to Buy schemes to help them realise their home-owning dreams. We need to enable more people to buy their own homes, in the areas where they have grown up.  A key part of this is ensuring that more people can pay the large up-front cost of house buying – through Help to Buy and the cut to Stamp Duty.

WANT MORE?

This update contains just a snapshot of my work locally and in Westminster; I am of course very aware you will have big issues in your area (or on your mind) which I haven't covered and hope you know you can get in touch at any time. Much more also exists on my website and YouTube.
 
For those wishing to share or print this newsletter, you can download it - and all past newsletters - on my website here.

Get in touch!
 
You can also follow me on Twitter for instant updates on my work or find me on Facebook and join that community.
 
For any casework queries please email me at robert@robertcourts.co.uk
 
You can also take a look at my columns written exclusively for the Witney Gazette.
 
Hope you are all doing well and I look forward to updating you on my work in my next newsletter.

 

Robert Courts
MP for Witney
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