The Oxford East constituency was created in 1983 and has since been extended to include South Oxford and most of the City Centre. It now covers 19 out of the 24 Oxford City Council wards, including the Cowley, East Oxford, Headington and Marston areas of the City. It has a population of nearly 120,000, with approximately 88,000 people who are registered to vote. The constituency is socially and ethnically diverse, and includes substantial communities of African, Bangladeshi, Caribbean, Chinese, Indian, Nepalese, Pakistani and Sri Lankan origin. The pattern of local housing includes areas of predominantly social housing and of owner occupied houses, together with one of the highest percentages of privately rented accommodation in the country.
Oxford East is home to many major employers including five NHS hospitals (the John Radcliffe, the Churchill, the Littlemore and Warneford Hospitals and the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre), the successful Cowley car works which produces the Mini, Unipart, and many charities, including the headquarters of Oxfam. It is an important centre for publishing and innovation, and includes both the Oxford Business Park and the Oxford Science Park.
Global Centre for Education
Oxford is also a global centre for education with the main parts of Oxford Brookes University and Oxford University situated in the constituency, including 29 colleges (St John's, Keble, Balliol, Trinity, Wadham, Mansfield, Harris Manchester, Linacre, St Catherine's, New, Hertford, All Souls, Queen's, Teddy Hall, Magdalen, St Hilda's, Univ, Brasenose, Lincoln, Exeter, Jesus, Merton, Corpus Christi, Christ Church, Oriel, Pembroke, Nuffield, Kellogg, St Cross, and St Peter's) as well as Regent's Park, Blackfriars, St Benet's Hall and St Stephen's House. Oxford University consistently ranks as one of the world's top five universities, whilst Oxford Brookes has made its mark as one of the country's best modern universities.
There are two campuses of Oxford and Cherwell Valley College, in the City Centre and Blackbird Leys. Ruskin College was founded in Oxford in 1899 by the Labour Movement with a view to providing education up to postgraduate level for adults with few or no formal qualifications. The college has had a presence in Headington since 1946 and has recently opened brand new facilities there.
Oxford East's vibrant neighbourhoods all strive to maintain community spirit in their many different ways, from the Leys Fair to the Headington Farmer's Market, from the increasing number of Low Carbon Groups to local residents' amenity groups. There are Parish Councils for Blackbird Leys, Littlemore, Old Marston, and Risinghurst and Sandhills. Andrew Smith works with local communities on issues affecting them including the pressure on housing in our exceptionally high-cost city, crime and anti-social behaviour, educational opportunity, flood problems, disability access, the quality of the local environment, traffic, parking and road safety, and numerous others. He is always ready to take up issues and work together with residents to try to find solutions to problems and improve their quality of life.