** Welcome to my February Newsletter!
My newsletter is designed to give an overview of what I've been doing as Member of Parliament for Surrey Heath and as a member of the Government, 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]) .
Windlesham Pram Race: It was great to see so many brave the rain on Boxing Day to take part in the Race, and it was a huge pleasure to volunteer as a marshal. It was wonderful to meet so many of the enthusiastic competitors and spectators, all taking part for a great cause.
Christmas Card Competition: At the end of September, I invited all the Primary Schools in Surrey Heath to submit pupils' entries. As you can imagine, the judges had a very difficult task in choosing the winners. Group 1 winner was Ruby, in Year 2 of South Camberley Primary and Nursery School, and Group 2 winner was Sofia, in Year 3 of Lyndhurst School. You can read more here ([link removed]) , and I was delighted to visit their schools in January to present both of them with Parliament-themed prizes.
Burglaries: At the beginning of January, I met Bob Darkens, Surrey Heath’s Neighbourhood Commander, to discuss policing in the Borough and the challenges that officers are facing. I know that residents are greatly concerned by recent burglaries, and I wish to assure everyone that the Police are working incredibly hard to catch the criminals responsible. There are certain practical things that residents can do to help deter burglars, and you will find useful tips and advice on measures to help keep your home safe here ([link removed]) . I know that many of you are already looking out for each other, your neighbours, so if you notice any suspicious activity, please report it at once to Surrey Police.
Rail Services: South Western Railway (SWR) has a new Managing Director, Mark Hopwood, and we met last week to discuss his plans to improve the service for my constituents. I am anxious to secure all the improvements we need, and I will be meeting Network Rail this week to learn more about what should be done.
Planning applications: It is ever more important that we protect our green spaces and the Green Belt, and that is why I am extremely pleased that development plans for both Chapel Lane in Bagshot and Fenns Lane in West End have been rejected by the Planning Applications Committee at Surrey Heath Borough Council.
Planning Consultation: Guildford Borough Council has produced a Draft Strategic Development Framework Supplementary Planning Document, which includes land to the South of Ash and Tongham. The consultation is open until midday on Monday 24 February, and to find more information and to submit your views, please visit this website ([link removed]) .
Heathrow: Better transport connections are desperately needed in order to reduce congestion along the M3, especially as the Airport wishes to expand. I have been backing calls for a new fast bus service from Surrey Heath to Heathrow Airport, and I met the Chief Executive, John Holland-Kaye, to press for such a scheme to be adopted. I shall, of course, report back when I have news.
Gove's Business Breakfast Club: I held my first Business Breakfast of the year in early January at Windlesham Golf Club, and it was fantastic to have almost 80 guests. I hold four Breakfasts a year in Surrey Heath to strengthen ties with the local business community and Councillors, and if you would like to join or find out more information, please email me.
Rough Sleeping Initiative: The Government has announced funding to provide local support for those living on the streets, and I am pleased to report that the provisional 2020/21 funding allocation for Surrey Heath Borough Council is £82,600, and for Guildford Borough Council it is £300,470. I know that a great deal of work is being done to help those in need, particularly by brilliant charities, such as the Hope Hub in Camberley, and this funding will help to achieve our aim of ending rough sleeping by the end of this Parliament.
Local Conservative Team: I recently held a meeting with local Councillors, and we discussed how to deal with unsuitable over-developments, tackling congestion, improving traffic safety, supporting our precious NHS and fighting crime. If there is a local issue that you wish to raise with me, please get in touch.
Tours of the Houses of Parliament
Free guided tours of Parliament are available to constituents. The walking tour of the Palace of Westminster includes:
* Westminster Hall, the ancient hall at the heart of the Palace where Parliament first sat, and where many historic events have taken place;
* The House of Commons, including the Speaker's Chair, the famous green benches and the 'lobbies' where MPs actually vote;
* The House of Lords, including the Royal Throne;
* The Queen's Robing Room, Royal Gallery and many other fascinating parts of the Palace of Westminster.
Please note that tours are very popular and places are limited, so generally have to be booked about six months in advance. Please contact me to enquire about a visit to Westminster.
It is fantastic that we now have a sizeable majority in the House of Commons following the General Election in December, and the Prime Minister and my colleagues have been hard at work delivering on our promises.
The Prime Minister has now signed the Withdrawal Agreement, at last delivering the result of the 2016 referendum.
As he said: "We can now move forward as one country – with a Government focused upon delivering better public services, greater opportunity and unleashing the potential of every corner of our brilliant United Kingdom, while building a strong new relationship with the EU as friends and sovereign equals."
The best way to reach me is by email or post, and please include your full address, including postcode, in all communications.