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May I wish all of my constituents a very happy new year.  I hope 2016 will be a great year for you.  There are, of course, many exciting events and milestones, not least the Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebrations in June and the Rio Olympics.

The New Year is also a time when we get to celebrate those that have served our communities, industries and country. This year’s New Year honours list included constituents such as Judith Hackitt, chair of the Health and Safety Executive, who has been made a Dame, and Grace Jackson who was awarded an OBE, for services to the Ebola Crisis Response in West Africa. Many congratulations to all the recipients.  By the way, anyone can nominate someone for an honour. If you think there is someone who deserves one you can nominate them at https://www.gov.uk/honours

It’s never too late to make a new year resolution. A new local physical activities program, which may be of interest to you, has been set up. Go Active Gold will offer support for people in rural areas, age 60 and over, to live more active lifestyles. Run by Vale of White Horse and South Oxfordshire District Councils, funded by Sport England, you can have a go at many different activities including; Table Tennis, Golf, Bowls, Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, Nordic Walking and Dancing. Contact the team on 01235 540367 or go to www.southoxon.gov.uk/gold or www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/gold, to find out more.

My mailbag this month has been dominated by global issues such as religious freedom, the eradication of Polio, and opposition to the use of the death penalty. On the latter, the UK uses targeted diplomacy to persuade other governments to abolish the death penalty.  In 2014 there were still 22 countries that executed people, while 140 countries were abolitionist in law or practice. I welcome the further efforts of the Government to see the long term trend towards abolition continue throughout this Parliament.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any pressing issues that you would like help with. Either myself or one of my team will get back to you as soon as possible and do what we can to assist. You can contact me on any matter at the House of Commons, SW1A 0AA, 020 7219 6350 or dicksonce@parliament.uk. Email is the quickest and most reliable way to get in touch, as I keep a very close eye on my emails and can reply very quickly. I also send out occasional general interest emails about developments in the Wantage and Didcot Constituency. If you would like to be added to the distribution list, please do email my office at badyaljb@parliament.uk or sign up at www.vaizey.com.

Ed Vaizey MP