title="Baldons Parish Council in Oxfordshire">

From your MP May 17



May 2017


From John Howell MP

(Note: this was written before the general election was announced)


In opening this month I would like to pay tribute to those who helped us in the terrorist attack at Westminster and especially to add my condolences at the untimely death of PC Keith Palmer. I also send my deepest sympathies to the families of the others who died or were injured as a result of this attack; all innocent people simply living life. I join the Prime Minister in paying tribute to our emergency services who dealt so bravely and professionally with the situation. Of course we have since seen a series of attacks in different countries and each brings huge sadness. These attacks are attacks on freedom, human rights, the rule of law and democracy. In protection of our values and in honour of those who have died in these attacks we will continue to defend these values - not giving in to terror or allowing voices of hate and evil to rule. We must echo mutual respect and understanding as best we can in our own dealings at home and abroad, in matters large and small.


In the context of this I have been pleased to spend the Easter Parliamentary Recess which is now coming to an end meeting with people around the constituency. In this two week break from the usual Parliamentary activities in Westminster there is an opportunity to meet with groups within the constituency especially some that meet mid-week. I am often asked to attend events or meetings during the week. However when Parliament is sitting this is not usually possible as, together with other MPs, I am required to be in Westminster from Monday to Thursday. Those who follow my regular reports back will know that I am occasionally away in my role as a Parliamentary Representative on the Council of Europe or in my role as the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Nigeria. For these I have to get special permission to be absent from Westminster.


One issue that is often raised with me is that of litter around the area, especially on the roadsides. It certainly blights our local environment and the task of clearing falls to local councils at a considerable cost. The Government has announced a new Litter Strategy which sets out plans to help to tackle this anti-social behaviour. As part of the first national Litter Strategy litter louts could be hit with £150 fines. This will build on measures to better distribute public bins, making it easier to throw away rubbish, and the recommendation that offenders on community service sentences help to clear up fly-tipped waste. I am sure that this will be welcome across the constituency and trust that our local councils will engage fully with the initiative. 


For more information about my work both in Westminster and in the constituency please do visit my website which is regularly updated. The address is www.johnhowellmp.com. You can also follow me on twitter @johnhowellmp or on Facebook www.facebook.com/john.howellmp


December 2016

Christmas Wishes from John Howell MP Firstly, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all constituents a peaceful Christmas and to send my best wishes for the year ahead. The end of the year is often a time of reflection and planning. As I look back it has not been an easy year. There have been many challenges and some of these will continue forward into the coming year. We are in times of change and as such it can be unsettling. I welcome correspondence on issues of concern. Whether or not our views are shared it is good to know how others perceive situations and what issues are uppermost in people’s minds.  There is no doubt that some constituents face hard times but overall in this constituency we have many privileges much due to the work of many in our communities who give their time in many voluntary activities. May I take this opportunity to say thank you to all those who work hard in our communities to make them special for the rest of us. It is always a pleasure when I get the opportunity to visit community activities and I look forward to learning yet more about what is being done in 2017. 

News Update  One piece of recent news that I know touched many people was on the dreadful accident on the A34 killing many in one family all because a lorry driver’s attention was diverted to his music selection on his phone. I recently joined with other local MPs to debate the concerns in Westminster Hall which is a way of getting the concerns widely aired. Following that we meet with Highways England and other stakeholders about safety on the A34.  A Bill of local importance going through Parliament at present is the Neighbourhood Planning Bill. This is important to a number of our communities either with adopted Plans or with Plan in preparation.  The Bill will further reform the planning system to give greater support to Neighbourhood Plans and there are measures which if taken forward will help in this area with some of the key concerns in planning. As a keen advocate of Neighbourhood Planning I recent sought the Prime Minister’s support in a question at Prime Minister’s Question time. In response the PM confirmed that neighbourhood plans are a crucial part of the planning system. She added that this is how local people can have a real say over what is happening in their local area.

For more information, please see www.johnhowellmp.com I look forward to continued correspondence on the wide range of issues that are of concern across the constituency in the New Year