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John Howell MP Writes - December 2015

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

Christmas Wishes from John Howell MP
Firstly, as this newsletter will appear in December magazines I would like to take this opportunity to wish all constituents a peaceful Christmas and to send my best wishes for the year ahead. May I also say thank you to all those who work hard in our communities to make them special for the rest of us. So many different things go on across the constituency that help to keep our communities vibrant and good places in which to live. 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 2016.

News Update
In a brief newsletter I cannot cover all that are on my mind at present. I will therefore leave those that have been widely covered in the media and focus on some of the other issues that have been more frequently raised with me.

With the 2015 Paris climate change conference on the horizon some key issues have been raised on this. I am pleased that the UK is taking a leading role on this. The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change has said that she wants a strong, ambitious, rules-based agreement that makes the shift to a clean global economy irreversible. I don’t believe that climate change is a side issue that we can take or leave. The environment is important in itself but it also has implications for the economy and our economic security.

Access to personal communications data has been another key issue. Whilst many people understand the need for our intelligence agencies to be able to intercept potential terrorist activity, the Investigatory Powers Bill has raised some concerns. Following independent reviews I am pleased that the Home Secretary has announced that there will be a ‘double-lock’ authorisation process for interception warrants, requiring approval by a judge as well as by the Secretary of State.

A totally different concern that has been raised over time is that of funding to our schools as historically Oxfordshire schools are among those disadvantaged by the current funding formula. I recently arranged a meeting at the House for representatives from the schools and all of the Oxfordshire MPs. Although there are no quick solutions to their concerns. I am pleased that they have been able to raise them face to face with the MPs including the Prime Minister.

For more information my website is regularly updated and offers information on my work both in Westminster and in the constituency. The address is www.johnhowellmp.com  In addition, if you would like to subscribe to my e-newsletter please e mail me at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   You can also follow me on twitter @johnhowellmp or on Facebook www.facebook.com/john.howellmp