** Welcome to my March Newsletter!
My newsletter is designed to give an overview of what I've been doing as Member of Parliament for Surrey Heath, so please feel free to forward this on to your friends, family and neighbours. They can sign up to receive it directly by clicking here ([link removed]) .
With every good wish,
Rt Hon Michael Gove MP
Member of Parliament for Surrey Heath
** Surrey Heath News
Ash Ranges access update: The MoD has been undertaking works at the Ash Ranges to improve access for residents following the closures experienced throughout lockdown. The works are due to be finished at the end of this month, and I wrote to the Defence Minister, Alex Chalk MP, in February to ask him to confirm that the plans will still be completed on time. I am pleased to have now received a response confirming that this is indeed the case. You can read more about the action I have taken in support of constituents on my website here ([link removed]) .
Frimley Park Hospital RAAC: For some time, I have been backing Frimley NHS Health Trust’s bid to the Government’s New Hospital programme for £1.26 billion to build a new Frimley Park Hospital. Neighbouring MPs, James Sunderland & Leo Docherty, also have many constituents who rely on Frimley Park Hospital, and we have jointly written a letter to the Health Secretary expressing our wholehearted support for the Trust’s bid. You can read more about the work I have been doing to support Frimley Park Hospital here ([link removed]) .
Surrey Heath Virtual Q&A: On Monday 6 March, I took part in a virtual Q&A session with Surrey Heath residents, and you can find out more here ([link removed]) .
Surrey Tree Planting: At the beginning of the month, it was really encouraging to talk with Cllrs Marisa Heath and Paul Deach, Cabinet Member & Deputy Cabinet Member for Environment at Surrey County Council, about Surrey’s tree planting agenda and the fantastic initiative to plant 1.2 million trees - one for every Surrey resident. This is such an important programme which I very much support, and I am hugely grateful to Marisa and Paul for all the brilliant work they are doing to protect and enhance the environment across Surrey.
Make-A-Wish Foundation Exhibition: On 3 March, I went to a special preview of the new Make-A-Wish Foundation UK exhibition at Surrey Heath Museum in Camberley. This wonderful exhibition celebrates Camberley's key role in the Make-A-Wish Foundation UK charity, as well as the amazing achievements of those who did so much to help make the wishes of critically ill children come true. The exhibition opened on Saturday 4th March and closes on 29 April, and you can find out more here ([link removed]) .
Collingwood College: On 10 March, I had the pleasure of visiting Collingwood College and listening to some of the Citizenship students’ incredibly thought-provoking presentations about voting and tuition fees. It was also great to have a tour of the school to see the changes they are hoping to be making with the School Rebuilding Programme funding they have been provisionally selected to receive.
Lakeside Field Development Proposal: Following my trip to Collingwood College, I met representatives from the Lakeside Field Residents’ Association, together with Cllrs David Lewis and Sarah Jane Croke, to learn more about the proposals to develop the former Lakeside School field for additional care housing. I appreciated the opportunity to listen to their concerns about the future of the site and the suitability of the current proposals. You can find further information about the development plans here, ([link removed]) which should be kept up-to-date with the planning process, together with details on how residents can submit their views.
Esso Pipeline: After my Lakeside meeting, I visited the Esso works in Turf Hill. I know that many constituents continue to worry about the impact of the installation of Esso’s Southampton to London pipeline in Surrey Heath. I am grateful to Esso and to SHBC representatives for agreeing to meet me and Cllr Rebecca Jennings-Evans, and for updating us on the progress of the works across the constituency, including in Frimley Green. Disappointingly, since my visit, I have been informed that the works at Balmoral Drive, which have been particularly disruptive, have been delayed once more, and you can find out more here ([link removed]) .
Surrey Heath Levelling Up: Earlier this month, it was great to meet Cllr Rebecca Paul, Cabinet Member for Levelling Up at Surrey County Council, to discuss the plans for channelling the necessary funding to priority areas in Surrey, including the Old Dean.
Accent Housing Meeting: I was very grateful to representatives from Accent Housing for agreeing to meet me, together with Cllrs Shaun Garrett and Trefor Hogg, at St Martin’s Church in Camberley on Friday 17 March. More needs to be done to improve services for tenants in the Old Dean and across Surrey Heath, and I was encouraged that Accent recognised that they have been getting it wrong and are making changes to rectify the situation.
Great British Spring Clean: It’s always such a delight heading out litter picking with the volunteers of Surrey Heath. This month, we were out in Chobham, and I was so pleased to see such a high turnout despite the weather.
Gordon’s School: It was great fun heading to Gordon's School in West End for a Q&A with some of the sixth form students, and it was an absolute pleasure to have the opportunity to speak to such an impressive group of thoughtful and engaged students.
Bisley Base Nursery: Many thanks to the team at Bisley Base Nursery for having me to visit recently, especially Lynda Faithfull, who does a brilliant job running the nursery which provides vital childcare for around 120 families.
Free Community Breakfast: On Sunday 19 March, I visited the Free Community Breakfast and the Free Food Stall in the Old Dean, and you can see some pictures from my visit here ([link removed]) .
Hatches Level Crossing: Last week, I spoke to representatives from Network Rail regarding their proposals for the Hatches Level Crossing, and you can read more about my meeting here ([link removed]) .
** Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities News
Make Things Right campaign: Residents in poor quality social housing are being encouraged to make their voices heard by making a complaint to their landlord in the first instance and then escalating to the Housing Ombudsman if they are unhappy with the landlord’s final response, and you can find out more about the campaign here ([link removed]) .
Conservative Budget: Levelling Up has been placed at the heart of the Government's recent budget, and you can read more here ([link removed]) . On 21 March, I opened the Budget Debate in the House of Commons Chamber, and you can watch it here ([link removed]) .
ASB Action Plan: I launched the Government’s Anti-Social Behaviour action plan to crack down on anti-social behaviour which blights too many communities across the country. Measures include faster, tougher and more visible justice; hotspot policing in problem areas and measures to revitalise our high streets. You can read about it here ([link removed]) .
New Developers' Levy: A new levy will see developers pay a fairer share for affordable housing and local infrastructure such as roads, schools and GP surgeries. You can read more here ([link removed]) .
Building Safety Contract progress: Thirty-nine of the country’s biggest developers have now signed the contract providing relief for thousands of leaseholders and tenants. You can learn more here ([link removed]) .
Building Safety Contract progress: Forty-three of the country’s biggest developers have now signed the building safety contract committing to over £2bn of remediation and providing relief for thousands of leaseholders and tenants. You can learn more here ([link removed]) .
The best way to reach me is by email or post, and please include your full address, including postcode, in all communications.