Category Archives: press releases

Sue Ryder Care Campaign – photo

Boris Johnson hosted the “We Care: who Pays?” campaign launch for Sue Ryder Care on 15th December in the House of Commons. A number of people gave moving testimonies of how helpful Sue Ryder Care had been in looking after their loved ones who had suffered terrible disease. A few people were moved to tears, including the heroic Olympic rower herself.

This charity really does deserve every possible support.

Boris Johnson, Sarah Winckless, Phil Dalton and Barry Stuart

Boris with Olympic rower Sarah Winckless, Phil Dalton and Barry Stuart – both affiliated with care Centres.

Press Release:

Boris Johnson MP this week sponsored the launch of the Sue Ryder Care “We Care: Who Pays?” campaign in Parliament. The campaign is aiming to promote awareness amongst MPs of the true cost of the care provided by Sue Ryder Care. It is believed that in the past four years alone, Sue Ryder Care has effectively subsidised state care by over £50million.

Continue reading Sue Ryder Care Campaign – photo

Henley-Twyford railway line

Well done to my House of Commons office staff. Did you know:

– all the mail from far and wide has been replied to (email and land mail)

– the next batch of letters will also receive individual responses – every single one

That is about 500 extra letters over and above my heavy mail bag. Olly, Maggie, Fiona and Melissa will need a good Christmas and New Year break soon, when I hope the mail bag will shrivel up in size. Ann, on the diary front, and Wayne, in the constituency, have also been working overtime.

Here is my latest press release:

PRESS RELEASE

Following the recent publication of the Future of Rail White Paper, Alistair Darling MP, Secretary of State for Transport, has today announced the launch of the Government’s Community Rail Development Strategy. Fifty six lines have been proposed for Community Rail designation by the Strategic Rail Authority, the aim being to involve local authorities, users and community groups more and to double originating fare income from Community Rail services over a five-year period and to reduce subsidy per passenger by a half.

Commenting on this, Boris Johnson MP said:

“To designate the Henley-Twyford line a community railway is utter lunacy. I fully support involving local communities in the management of local railways and I believe that we must place these railways on a sustainable basis for the future. However, I fail to see how the Government can possibly relate the rhetoric of sustainability to the reality of funding cuts. This is an excuse to marginalise, downgrade and under-invest in important parts of the network.

Continue reading Henley-Twyford railway line

Time to scrap South East England’s Regional Assembly

North East referendum delivers fatal blow to regional agenda

Government plans for an elected regional assembly in the South East of England should be abolished, and the existing unelected assembly should be scrapped, Boris Johnson MP today said. This follows the people of the North East voting ‘no’ in the referendum for a regional assembly by a margin of almost 500,000; 78 per cent voted ‘no’, while only 22 per cent voted ‘yes’.

The present regional chamber for the South East of England is not directly elected but made up of officials, councillors, ‘community stakeholders’, and numerous committees. It covers an amorphous area from Oxford to Portsmouth to Canterbury and is based in Guildford.

Boris Johnson MP explained,
“People want action to deliver cleaner hospitals, lower taxes, school discipline, more police and greater accountability. The North East referendum result shows people think that a regional assembly means just one thing – more talk and higher taxes.

“This vote shows that people do not want an expensive extra layer of regional government. Regional assemblies take powers from existing local councils and local people, such as over housing, planning and local transport. They are less democratic and more remote. The existing, unelected regional assembly is an expensive talking shop which should be shut down, and the money saved should be spent on frontline services.

“The next Conservative Government will scrap the existing regional chambers, abolish regional planning, and implement real decentralisation, restoring power to people away from Whitehall and its regional quangos. We will give more control to local people who really know what is best for themselves, their families and their local communities.”

Constituency Press Releases – *Libraries* *Housing*

1. Press Release
Library Standards and the decline in book borrowing

Boris Johnson MP said:

“Too many libraries are getting rid of their stocks – particularly classic works – because they think there is no market for them anymore.

“There is no substitute for picking up a book and reading it from cover to cover. Libraries have always provided opportunities for millions of people who cannot afford expensive books and it is very sad to see the decline of a vital national service.

“We must hope that this change in standards does nothing to speed the tragic decline in book lending which has fallen by an average of around 20% in Britain in the last five years.”

2. Press Release
Boris Johnson MP; Give Oxfordshire’s tenants a foot up the housing ladder

Action on housing pledged by Conservatives

Boris Johnson MP today backed new plans to extend home ownership in Oxfordshire. New Conservative policies would mean extra support for ‘shared ownership’ schemes, allow social tenants to buy a stake in their home, and make it easier for housing associations to build more affordable housing. This will help those who currently cannot afford to get on the housing ladder.

Boris Johnson explained,
“Particularly in Oxfordshire it is now increasingly difficult for residents on modest incomes to buy their own home. Labour once promised they had ‘no plans to raise tax at all’; but their property taxes – such as council tax and stamp duty – have hit first time buyers. The average first time buyer in Oxfordshire now pays an extra £1546 in stamp duty compared with 1997.

“Social tenants have also lost out, with Right to Buy discounts being cut back. Where council housing has been transferred to housing associations, tenants lose the same Right to Buy. We desperately need to address this lack of affordable housing in Oxfordshire yet it seems the Government’s only policy has been to be to concrete over our green fields. Were planning decisions to be further removed from local people under Government plans for a South East Regional Assembly, I can only see this situation worsening”.

Under the Conservative plans for Action on Housing:
– Conservatives will promote and extend support for shared ownership schemes. Shared equity helps people buy their home of choice without having to fund 100 per cent of the value.

– We will extend the Right to Buy to over a million housing association tenants, and reinvest the receipts from sales in new social housing (while recognising the need for some exemptions in small rural areas).

– We will help social housing tenants purchase a home, not just their present property, via transferable discounts and also allowing them to build up a stake in their equity of their home.

– We will reduce Labour’s disproportionate and excessive regulation and inspection of housing associations, and make it easier for them to work with private sector developers to build more affordable housing to buy and rent.

Boris Johnson MP concluded:
“Conservatives want the dream of home ownership to come true for more and more people, so that they can benefit from the security and independence which home ownership conveys.”

Sub-Post Office Closures

PRESS RELEASE:

Commenting on these closures, Boris Johnson MP said;

“I would like to thank all those people who wrote in to me. We did our best, but with the sub-postmasters’ having decided to close up shop it proved hard to convince Postwatch to intervene.

“However, though this decision appears set in stone I would be more than happy to hear from those people who, as a result of these closures, are experiencing difficulties.”

ENDS

Community Hospitals Threatened With Closure

PRESS RELEASE:

Conservatives across south Oxfordshire have united in the fight to save community hospitals threatened with closure.

Currently, there are six community hospitals – Abingdon, Didcot, Townlands, Wallingford, Wantage and Witney. If proposals made by the Primary Care Trusts are implemented then these will be cut to just three.

MPs David Cameron, (Witney) and Boris Johnson, (Henley) and Conservative Parliamentary Spokesmen Ed Vaizey, (Wantage) and Amanda McLean, (Oxford West & Abingdon) say that this will have a devastating impact on healthcare in Oxfordshire, particularly for the most vulnerable, including the elderly and those suffering from mental health problems.

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They say it is wrong and sad that six Oxfordshire towns should have been set against each other, under the Primary Care Trust review, each engaged in a beggar-my-neighbour strategy to keep its hospital.

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Boris Johnson commented:

“Conservatives oppose these changes, which have come about despite all the money the government says it is putting into the NHS.”

David Cameron, whose West Oxfordshire constituency also includes a community hospital in Chipping Norton, said:

“There are currently problems in the NHS with bed blocking and long waits at A&E. Everyone agrees that we want treatment close to where patients live. As a result any proposals to downscale our community hospitals should be resisted.”

Amanda McLean added:

“People have been queuing up to sign our petition against the closures. Residents feel very let down by these proposals.”

And Ed Vaizey pledged:

“We will fight tooth and nail to keep our local community services alive”.

The group say that none of the hospitals should be closed. Instead, the facilities offered at some of the hospitals should be enhanced, ensuring an improved service to patients in south Oxfordshire.

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ENDS

Policies to help current and future pensioners

PRESS RELEASE:

South Oxfordshire Conservatives call for five-point plan to tackle growing pensions crisis

Boris Johnson MP this week endorsed new proposals by Conservatives to provide a fairer deal for current and future pensioners across South Oxfordshire . At the same time, Boris Johnson warned that if urgent action was not taken, living standards of pensioners would plummet, companies around South Oxfordshire could go bankrupt, and council taxes could soar further to pay for local government pension schemes now in deficit.

Boris Johnson explained,
“I am growing increasingly concerned about the pending crisis in pensions. Workers across South Oxfordshire are being shut out of final salary pension schemes and fewer people are saving for retirement. Current pensioners are finding it more difficult to get by, with council taxes soaring by far more than their yearly increase in their state pension.”

Under the five-point plan, outlining practical policies to address the pensions crisis:
– The basic state pensions would rise each year by earnings, rather than price inflation.
– Means-testing, bureaucratic and humiliating to many pensioners, would be reduced.
– The obligation for pensioners to buy an annuity would be abolished.
– Company pensions would receive greater support by Government taking on more risk.
– A new, flexible ‘Lifetime Savings Account’ would be created to encourage people to save.

Boris Johnson added,
“It is not just the elderly who will suffer from the looming crisis. Latest valuations suggest not a single local government pension scheme in the country now has a surplus. As a result, councils could increasingly be forced to increase council taxes to fund their pensions black hole – in turn, higher local taxes will make the plight of pensioners even worse.

“But I hope Conservative policies show a clear commitment to promoting dignity and security for Britain’s present and future pensioners.”

ENDS

Conservatives launch ‘Right to Choose’

PRESS RELEASE:

New policies announced to improve hospitals and health care in South Oxfordshire

As the battle lines are drawn for the next general election, and the political focus switches to Britain’s front line public services, Boris Johnson MP this week endorsed new policies announced by Conservatives to improve South Oxfordshire’s hospitals and make it easier for residents to get access to high quality health care.

Under the new Conservative policies, patients will be given the Right to Choose to go to any hospital they want in England. In addition, Conservatives will scrap all the central government targets imposed on local hospitals and GPs. Through being set free from this red-tape, health professionals will be able to respond to clinical rather than bureaucratic priorities. To know about health benefits check this site. By expanding capacity by offering independent hospitals the right to supply to the NHS, waiting times will also be dramatically slashed back.

Boris Johnson explained;

“In local hospitals such as Townlands we rely more than ever on the hard work of doctors, nurses and consultants. They perform miracles every hour of the day. But everybody knows that the NHS is not as good as it could be. That’s not their fault. It’s the fault of the system, a system which sometimes seemed bent on reducing not improving services, particularly with regard to South Oxfordshire’s Community Hospitals. It is sometimes easy for distant and unresponsive bureaucrats to undervalue the immense importance attached these hospitals by local people.

“Our proposals for a ‘Right to Choose’ will mean that, for the first time ever, patients in South Oxfordshire will be able to choose the hospital that suits their particular needs best, rather than being forced to accept the hospital that suits the Government best. If people want to be treated locally, then they will be allowed to do so. It will mean that hospitals will have the freedom to determine their own future, to hire the people they want and to increase capacity to meet demand. Local people will once more have a say in the provision of local health care services.

“Conservatives want to put the patient first by giving them real choice, taking politicians and bureaucrats out of the running of the NHS. We will give doctors and nurses the freedom to do what they were trained to do, according to clinical priorities, not the Government’s. Let’s offer choice to everyone, not just those who can afford it.”

ENDS

MPs May and Johnson Reject Branch Line ‘Community Railway’ Change

PRESS RELEASE:

Local MPs Theresa May and Boris Johnson have spoken out against plans to reclassify the Henley – Twyford branch line as a ‘community railway’.

“The Strategic Rail Authority has plans to hive off about 12.5% of the national network, separating local services from the main network and reclassifying them as ‘community railways’. They claim that this would not be done according to one model but would be developed in line with local needs. They have included the Henley – Twyford line as a proposed community rail line.

The idea of community rail may work for some train lines but not for the Henley – Twyford line. The Government is trying to hive off local lines and will let services deteriorate as a result. We have already seen with the recent First Great Western proposals how hard we have to battle just to keep our local services. We don’t want to see the line to Henley downgraded – it’s too important for local commuters.”

We fear that ‘community railways’ might be a smokescreen for hiving off these lines, spending less on maintenance and improvements, and generally forgetting them thus making closure in future easier.”

ENDS