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Obviously our thoughts have been dominated by the tragic events at Didcot Power Station late last month.  I visited shortly after the accident and met the owners of the site, as well as the heroic emergency services.  It has been a truly amazing operation in extraordinary difficult circumstances.  My heart goes out to the families so cruelly affected.

With the Easter weekend just around the corner, I hope all of my constituents will have an enjoyable break, and hopefully not eat too much chocolate! There are a number of events being held across the constituency over that weekend, which I am sure will provide much fun for the family. Two notable mentions are the Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt at White Horse Hill on Saturday 26th between 11am and 2:30pm, and Easter Fun on the Farm at Earth Trust in Little Wittenham on Sunday 27th between 11am and 3pm. And of course the annual Easter Monday Point-to-Point race at Lockinge on Monday 28thMarch. The gates open at 12pm on Monday the 28th March, with the first race held at 2pm. Further information can be found at: www.pointtopoint.co.uk/events/3267.

It gave me great pleasure earlier this month launch superfast broadband for residents in Pusey and Gainfield. This was an unusual scheme as the village is not in the County’s plans for superfast rollout. So BT set up a scheme to allow the community to make a financial contribution, supported by BT and the County. The local community raised £45,000 towards the installation of this box, which will now be able to provide the community with superfast broadband. Overall, superfast broadband has now reached 31,252 premises in the constituency.

My mailbag this month has been dominated with submissions or suggestions to the Chancellor of what to include, or what not to include, in this year’s Budget, to be announced on the 16th March. Suggestions such as abolishing VAT on sanitary products, cuts to alcohol and fuel duty, and preserving the tax reliefs for pension contributions have all been made. The latter issue proved to be the most contentious, as the Government recently conducted a consultation on whether there is a case for reforming pension tax relief. I took a number of the concerns raised with me to the Chancellor, and I note that the Chancellor has decided not to pursue these changes.

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.