Banbury Constituency Labour Party


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Sadly, George Parish has  passed away


Locally known as the ‘People’s champion’ George Parish was the longest serving Labour councillor on Cherwell District Council serving the Ruscote estate as district councillor for more than 20 years, and was last re-elected as Ruscote ward district councillor in 2010. He worked at Kraft Foods for more than 30 years and was the Transport and General Workers shop steward.

A former Banbury Town Mayor and chairman of Cherwell District Council, one of his proudest achievements was to secure the future of the Horton as a fully operational district general hospital in the face of downgrading proposals that would have taken most major medical services to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. George led a three-year battle (between 2006 and 2008) as chairman of the Save the Horton campaign that culminated in a full inquiry by the Independent Reconfiguration Panel, which found Banbury was too far distant to risk emergencies being transported the 25 miles to Oxford.

George passed away at a care home in Oxford on Saturday 26 November 2016.

Banbury Town Council has opened a Book of Condolence for George. The Town Hall is open from 9.00am until 4.45pm

George’s funeral will take place at 1.30pm on Tuesday 13 December at St Mary’s Church, Horse Fair, Banbury.

Tributes have started coming in.

Cllr Sean Woodcock, Leader Labour Group

Cllr Sean Woodcock, Leader Labour Group

“Everyone in Banbury will be feeling an immense sense of loss at George Parish’s passing.  Not least his family and I offer them my deepest condolences at this time.

For me personally, this loss is particularly acute. Before I really knew anything about politics he was a family friend having worked at General Foods with my Nan. And I remember how much of a comfort he was when he attended her funeral nine years ago.

For all of the work George did with colleagues from across the political spectrum, and those who did not class themselves as political, George was a committed Labour man and our party has lost a much-loved friend as well as one of the best examples I can think of, of a dedicated local politician delivering their values to the benefit of their community. He loved the Ruscote ward, which he lived in and represented for so many years.

He is rightly remembered as the man who saved the Horton Hospital. For this, the town and wider area, took him to their hearts. This was not difficult. His innate warmth and jovial character meant that he was, almost literally, friends with everyone he encountered. One of my favourite stories that he told me was how it regularly took him 3 hours to complete his shopping because of all the people who wanted to talk to him.

He was, quite simply, Mr Horton Hospital. And we will miss him terribly. Thanks George. Rest In Peace”


Cllr Mark Cherry

Cllr Mark Cherry

“George was an inspiration to me and I try to do my best to follow his example in my political life.”



Steve Kilsby, Park Road

Cllr Steve Kilsby

“My thoughts are with Suzanne and George’s family at this awful time, but George can now rest in peace.

“George was a man whose honesty shone through in a blaze; other politicians, local and national, have a lot to learn from a man like George – no obfuscation for him!

“Whether in power, as a Member of the ruling group on Cherwell District Council between 1995 and 1999, or as Chairman of the District Council, or as leader of the Horton campaign, George was always his own man, and utterly charming in all his dealings with people, whether they were hostile or (as in most cases) working with and for him.

“George was a lifelong and true socialist who came to politics through his union work. This spirit bred in him his hatred of oppression in all its’ forms, and led to his avoidance of dogma and cant.

“George made Banbury a better place by being the unflappable, positive person he was. He will be sorely missed.”

Councillors and activists from Banbury & Bicester Labour Party took to the streets on Saturday, 26 November 2016, as part of its NHS Campaign Day.


Local Labour Party activists collecting signatures outside Morrisons


During the event, which forms part of a national day of activity on the subject, the party will argue that the time has come for proper investment in the National Health Service to transform it for the 21st Century.

The party will argue that the national situation has grown so dire that it is causing intolerable pressure on some services while others close. It is this, the party says, that has led to the current battle for service provision at Banbury’s Horton Hospital.

Councillor Sean Woodcock & Councillor Steve Kilsby; leaders of the district and town council Labour groups respectively, issued a joint statement:

“Everyone in Banbury and the surrounding areas knows about the current threat to consultant-led maternity and other services at the Horton Hospital. What this is about; is raising awareness of the current situation in the NHS as a whole and how these things are linked.

After all, it is the lack of proper investment, in the NHS and in social care, along with an increasing number of people using these services; that is directly responsible for what is happening at the Horton.

The purpose of the day is to get people talking about it. Then, national decision-makers will have no choice but to take this issue seriously.

“Banbury & Bicester Labour Party will be running events in Banbury and Bicester town centres on Saturday 26th November from 9am.

Further details of Labour’s NHS Campaign Day can be found: 

Labour Councillor sorts out two-year-old pile of rubbish

From this:                                                                               To this:





Cllr Mark Cherry

Cllr Mark Cherry

Banbury Councillor Mark Cherry worked with Oxfordshire Fire Brigade and environmental health officers at Cherwell District Council to demand the owner of Neithrop House on the Warwick Road cleared a garden full of rubbish deemed a fire and health risk. Although the space was not in public view it abuts the Community Garden in People’s Park, and Town Clerk Mark Rechchia has been aware of it for two years.











Speaking at the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool, Jeremy Corbyn said: “Labour is now setting out its alternative – with ten key pledges to rebuild and transform Britain.”

1. Full employment

2. A secure homes guarantee

3. Security at work

4. A strong public NHS and social care

5. A National Education service for all

6. Action on Climate Change

7. Public ownership and control of our services

8. A cut in inequality of income and wealth

9. Action to secure an equal society

10. Peace and justice at the heart of foreign policy

He said: “Those pledges, the platform on which I was re-elected leader, will now form the framework for what Labour will campaign for – and what a Labour government will do.

Banbury & Bicester Labour Party’s Stall at Canal Day – Sun 2 October 2016

Phil Richards & Sean Woodcock

Phil Richards & Sean Woodcock


Jeremy Corbyn’s response to Tories’ stance on immigration – October 2016

Jeremy Corbyn


Hands Around the Horton – A massive show of support to retain vital services at Banbury’s hospital

Hands Around the Horton - 01

Banbury Labour Councillors and supporters fight to save services

Banbury Labour Councillors and supporters joined a coalition of other political parties, unions and campaign groups in a “Hands Around the Horton”, mass demonstration, on Sunday 20 August 2016, in a bid to save acute services.

In plans unveiled recently by the Hospital Trust a number of services at the Horton Hospital, Banbury, are under threat, including maternity, special care baby unit (SCBU), children’s ward, most trauma/orthopaedic work, medical services and A&E. The Trust say they are having difficult in attracting consultants to Banbury, but the strategy of concentrating specialist surgical units at the Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, at least an hour’s drive away, remains on the cards.

Banbury Labour Councillor Steve Kilsby says, “Moving maternity services to Oxford will undoubtedly lead to distress for mothers and babies, and almost certainly lead to deaths. The Trust has to think its whole strategy out again, and acknowledge the increasing health demands of Banbury and its large hinterland

I am increasingly of the opinion that OUHT see Banbury as a soft touch. What would happen if the proposals (and actions) of the Trust were visited upon Oxford itself? The middle classes would be in revolt, and the Trust would be forced to climb down. Well, today’s actions demonstrate that Banbury is not taking any nonsense about removing or diluting our services either.

Councils have been forced to implement savage cut to services. There is now nowhere to run. We lose our buses so people cannot get to their GP or hospital and the ambulance service is so stretched emergency journeys from Banbury to Oxford are in jeopardy.”

Hands Around the Horton - 02



We in the local Labour Party want to exert a positive influence on the future of Banbury and would welcome your views.This short survey will take you less than a couple of minutes – simply PRESS the red buttonWhat matters to me

The Banbury Labour Party constituency is divided into 3 Branches:

    • Banbury Town
    • Bicester & District
    • North Oxfordshire Villages

To work out in which Branch you live, see the constituency map.Since May 2010 your local Labour Party has been actively campaigning against the speed and scale of cuts to public services that are affecting the most vulnerable in our local communities. These include cuts to housing, transport services, policing, libraries, health and social care.The Conservative-led Coalition cuts go too far and too fast and, through increased unemployment, low paid jobs, many with zero hour contracts, there is a highly negative effect on the economy which although showing some small signs of recovery is still extremely fragile. There are almost a million young people unemployed which is a shocking statistic. As the burden on state services from cost of living crisis increases, the budget deficit becomes harder to reduce. The Banbury Labour Party is fighting for a strategy for growth, an increase in employment and better paid jobs, and reducing the deficit through this growth, rather than excessive cuts.