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John Howell MP Writes - September 2017

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A look back at recent key issues in Westminster and the Constituency

August is usually a quieter month as many people take holiday. Parliament is in recess which means that the busy Westminster schedule comes to a halt. However it is not a holiday for MPs, rather an opportunity to spend more time in the constituency and catch up with things. So far this month I have had a number of meetings across the constituency with various groups and individuals and have been able to attend events that the usual Parliamentary schedule does not enable me to do. I have been surprised at the number of people who have stopped me in the street to ask something and begun by apologising for interrupting my holiday! Having said that August is usually a quieter month, this year has been different. In my office, we have not noticed any slowing of pace and the number of phone calls and emails has not diminished. In speaking to other MPs, and also to Officers in our local councils, they say the same. We may never know the reason but do worry that August is not giving the opportunity to catch up everything this time around!

One of the things that I have been doing is meeting with local councillors at Parish Councils. I have a rolling programme of trying to meet with council representatives. This gives me the opportunity to listen to local concerns, the issues of everyday life in our villages. It is also the opportunity to say thank you to all those who sit on our local councils. Our councillors at parish level are volunteers who give up a huge amount of their time to work on local issues and make our communities the desirable places to live that they are. Similarly, where invited, I spend time with steering groups of communities working on Neighbourhood Plans. The value of Neighbourhood Plans remains crucial despite some concern over a recent case decided by Planning Inspectors on the border between Henley and Shiplake. The steering groups are groups of people volunteering and seeking to steer their community through a process which will shape its future. They mastermind consultations to learn the views of residents and work to pull it all together into a draft plan. I very much appreciate the hard work that people put into Neighbourhood Planning and hope that everyone in their own communities will support this work where applicable. In September I will be starting a rolling programme of returning to each school in the constituency. There are over 50 state schools in the constituency and over time I have been to each of them. Governors are another group of volunteers to whom I am grateful for their work. Being a school governor can be demanding and requires much commitment. My thanks to everyone who volunteers for all that you do. I am always interested to meet and learn more about what is being done. I hope that all of our residents share my appreciation for your work.

Contact details:
Email:   john.howell, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Phone: Constituency line: 01491 613072. Westminster Office: 0207 219 6676.

For more information please see my website www.johnhowellmp.com. If you would like to subscribe to my free e-newsletter please e mail me at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it