Ed Vaizey’s Parish News September 2017

“I am delighted that Housing Minister Alok Sharma has announced a £6.2 million government cash award for South Oxfordshire District Council. This will accelerate delivery of Didcot’s much needed Northern Perimeter Road, a vital piece of local infrastructure and key to the success of Didcot Garden Town. The infrastructure investment promises to boost economic growth across the Science Vale and enterprise zone, increasing employment by 20,000 over the next 20 years.

I am pleased that the ‘Better Broadband for Oxfordshire’ programme is on course to achieve above 95 per cent coverage across Oxfordshire. This places the county in the top quartile of counties in the UK. Since its launch, this £38 million collaboration between Oxfordshire County Council, Government, BT and local councils has provided 72,309 homes and businesses with access to broadband with a speed of over 24Mbps. Some 488 new fibre broadband cabinets have been installed and a total of 460km of fibre laid.

In June there was an additional £4 million boost to the programme. This will provide an additional 3,000 of the most remote households and businesses with access to super-fast broadband. In addition to the £4 million, a separate fund of up to £600,000 from programme efficiency savings has been set aside for co-funding projects where communities are willing to share the costs of the installation work. Under the scheme, the council will contribute up to £1,700 per premise.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) helps people across the UK to explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about. In Wantage alone, more than £6.7 million of National Lottery money has been invested in over 65 local heritage projects since 1994. HLF is now encouraging people in Oxfordshire to apply for grants between £3,000 and £10,000 to undertake projects exploring the impact and legacy of the First World War beyond 1918. I strongly encourage local people to make use of the money available from HLF to explore its legacy further. More info can be found at: www.hlf.org.uk/firstworldwar

As you may have read in local newspapers, £100,000 has been made available through the Oxfordshire LEADER programme. Farmers, foresters, businesses and community groups, in rural parts of the county, can apply for projects up to £100,000 that support their local community. In exceptional circumstances, they may qualify for even more financial support. Applications are open until March 2019. For more information on the programme please email Sophie Milton (oxfordshire.leader@southandvale.gov.uk) or phone 01235 422245.

In the constituency recently, I have met with GARD a local pressure group campaigning against the proposed reservoir at Steventon. I have also met with SUDEP, a local charity of which I am President, which campaigns to prevent sudden deaths in epilepsy. I have also met local GPs at their surgeries, including Wantage, Shrivenham and Faringdon, to discuss their concerns.

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, dicksonce@parliament.uk or 01235 768 888. 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. Details of my activities in Parliament can be read on my website, https://www.vaizey.com. 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 complete the online form at https://bit.ly/EdVaizeyMP.”

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