Sunday, 25 July 2021

New Year message from John Howell, MP

I WISH everyone in the constituency a peaceful time and my very best wishes for the coming year

I WISH everyone in the constituency a peaceful time and my very best wishes for the coming year — a year that we should all approach with great optimism.

We have a lot to look forward to and there is a wider picture, too, that we need also to keep in mind.

Firstly, as a result of the improvements we have made to the economy, we live in an area where unemployment is just 219 people. I congratulate all those companies that have taken people on.

Secondly, we have an excellent amenity in The Henley College for providing much- needed apprenticeship  training.

Thirdly, we are making good progress in getting a new schools funding formula that does not discriminate against the amount of cash schools receive in areas such as this. I presented a petition to Parliament calling on the Government to stick firm to its plans to introduce a new formula.

Fourthly, it is clear that there have been significant changes to the way aircraft approach Heathrow on an easterly wind, causing additional noise for South Oxfordshire. There is no reason why the planes should be over Henley in the first place and I look forward to the second public meeting I have called to explore this issue.

Fifthly, I welcome the Chancellor’s spending review. It delivers on the promises we made that we would protect our economic security and protect our national security.

Sixthly, I look forward to the Henley and Harpsden joint neighbourhood plan going to referendum and it receiving the backing it deserves. It sets out a great opportunity for the town to share in the development of the planning system and I congratulate all those who have worked so hard on it.

Lastly, I welcome the  re-opening of a 21st century medical healthcare facility at Townlands Hospital.

I hope 2016 can be a year when we abandon the excessive negativity that has characterised some of the letters published in the Henley Standard. I hope we can raise our eyes to look at this bigger picture.

The town sets out an admirable approach to its own vitality with so many festivals and I look forward to what the year ahead has for us.

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