From Michael Gove MP <[email protected]>
Subject November Newsletter from Michael Gove MP
Date November 30, 2023 8:21 PM
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** Welcome to my November 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
Online Q&A: I would like to say a huge thank you to Cllr Paul Deach ([link removed]) for hosting and moderating my online Q&A on 6 November for Surrey Heath residents. It is so helpful to hear directly from constituents about the matters that are important to them, and I was grateful for the opportunity to answer their questions.

Special Educational Needs provision: Further to my follow-up meeting with my fellow Surrey MPs and representatives from the Education and Learning Department at Surrey County Council (SCC) in September, I received a letter from Cllr Clare Curran, Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Lifelong Learning, which you can read here ([link removed]) . The letter outlines the action that Surrey County Council has been taking to improve its service for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), and you can also find SCC’s “Open Letter” to parents and carers on this website ([link removed]...) . As Clare mentions in her letter, Surrey’s SEND services have just undergone an inspection by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission. The report is due to be published in the near future, and I will continue to monitor this issue closely and will
provide any further updates as soon as possible.

Cost of Living Payment: This month, I welcomed the second £300 Cost of Living Payment from the Government to 6,800 vulnerable households across Surrey Heath. Further support will also be made available for vulnerable households later this winter. Winter Fuel Payments have been boosted again this year with an additional £300 Pensioner Cost of Living payment. In addition, nearly three million low-income households are eligible for a £150 rebate on their winter electricity bills through the Warm Home Discount, and the Cold Weather Payment came into effect from 1 November and will provide eligible households with an extra £25 a week when the temperature drops below zero degrees for more than seven days.

Parliament's Constituency Garden of Remembrance: On 7 November, I planted a Remembrance cross in Parliament’s Constituency Garden of Remembrance to commemorate all the brave service men and women who sacrificed so much for our country. It is always a huge honour to pay tribute to those who have fallen for us all, and they shall never be forgotten.

2023 Christmas Card Competition: Last month, I wrote to all primary schools in Surrey Heath to invite submissions from their pupils, and the deadline for submitting entries was 22 November. All the designs submitted are brilliant and this year, the Mayor of Surrey Heath has kindly agreed to judge the competition. I am very much looking forward to finding out which are the winning designs.

Royal Mail delays: Constituents across Surrey Heath are continuing to report problems with postal deliveries, despite the assurances that I received from Royal Mail during my visit to Camberley Delivery Office in September that improvements should be seen imminently. I am anxious to secure a better service for my constituents, and I have asked Royal Mail for a further meeting. I will, of course, provide an update in due course.

Camberley Sewage Treatment Works: I have continued to press Thames Water for compensation for residents to make amends for the foul odours the community endured during the summer. I have also been in contact with Ofwat, and hope to provide a further update in the near future.

Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice Charity: A few weeks ago, I joined the Mayor of Surrey Heath at the opening of the new floor at King’s Lodge Care Home in Camberley. I understand the new floor was built in partnership with the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice Charity, which will be temporarily relocating its In-Patient Unit to King’s Lodge while its brand-new state-of-the-art Hospice is being built on its existing site in Farnham.

UK Parliament Week: 6-12 November was UK Parliament Week, which is always an excellent opportunity to engage with young people on how they can get involved and play their part in our democracy. So on 10 November, I visited three schools in Surrey Heath taking part in UK Parliament Week activities – Holy Trinity School in West End, Hall Grove School in Bagshot, and Carwarden House School in Camberley. At Holy Trinity, I met members of the School Council, who asked me lots of questions about being an MP, the best and worst things about being in Parliament, and the fairness of taxation. I then met three students at Hall Grove representing different political parties, and we spoke about the build up to the next General Election. Afterwards, I went on to a Q&A session with around 30 Hall Grove students from Years 7 and 8. Lastly, I dropped by Carwarden House and spoke to the newly-elected School Council who asked me about democracy, the role of the media, the importance of elections, and the
difference between a Prime Minister and a President. I thoroughly enjoyed talking to all the students, and I hope that they have learnt a bit more about Parliament and the work that I do as their MP.

Royal British Legion: On 10 November, I was poppy selling in Sainsbury’s in Watchmoor Park with members of the Royal British Legion. It was a pleasure to join them in collecting much-needed donations that provide vital support to serving and ex-serving members of the Armed Forces and their families. I am hugely appreciative of all the generosity and support given to the Royal British Legion, and thank everyone who bought a poppy.

Remembrance Sunday: I had the privilege of taking part in the Remembrance Sunday Parade in Camberley. It was an honour to lay a wreath in memory of the brave service men and women who gave their lives for our country, and I wish to pay tribute to every member of our Armed Forces and to their families.

Free French Forces Blue Plaque: I spoke at the unveiling of the Free French Forces Blue Plaque in Old Dean on 11 November. Representatives from the French Embassy and Le Souvenir Français also attended, and it was a special event to mark an important part of Surrey Heath’s history and heritage. I was grateful for the opportunity to say a few words.

Mytchett, Frimley Green and Deepcut Society: On 10 November, I spoke at Mytchett, Frimley Green and Deepcut Society's half-yearly public meeting at St Andrew's Church, and also took part in a Q&A session.

Supporting local business: This month, I dropped by the newly re-opened Railway Arms on Frimley High Street, and was one of their first customers. I also stopped by Randalls Coffee and Wine Bar in Lightwater, and Coffee Gallery in Bagshot. Surrey Heath has lots of fantastic local businesses, and it is so important we do everything possible to support the local economy, especially small independent businesses, which do so much for our local communities.

Kinship Care: I visited Frimley Green Community Centre this month to join a Kinship Care Strategy meeting that was organised by the brilliant charity, Family Support Group, which gives valuable support to local families providing kinship care. I met several local kinship carers and heard about the circumstances that led to them stepping forward to care for the children they look after. They told me about the difficult challenges they face, and their wishes for better financial, educational and mental-health support. I greatly appreciated the chance to hear their particular experiences, and I have relayed all the powerful and important points they made to my colleagues in Government.

Jenoptik: On 17 November, I visited Jenoptik in Watchmoor Park in Camberley, which is an incredibly interesting company that develops and deploys cutting-edge Intelligent Transportation Systems. I had a fascinating tour of the facility, including the A.I simulation lab, and it was brilliant to see such an innovative business in Surrey Heath.

St Paul's CofE Infant School: I visited St Paul's CofE Infant School, which is a wonderful school in Tongham, to discuss the plans to open a community-focused nursery, and to expand the school’s age range from 5-7 to 2-11. Surrey County Council recently consulted on this, which I posted about last month, and you can read more about the proposals here ([link removed]) . I also had a wonderful tour of the school with the dedicated Headteacher, Mr Hilyard, and met Year 1 and 2 pupils, who asked me delightful questions about being an MP, including if I have met the King!

Children of the Dump and the Heatherside Pop Up Coffee Shop: A couple of weeks ago, I enjoyed a lovely coffee with friends at Heatherside Pop Up Coffee Shop ([link removed]) , which raises money for various charities and good causes with the help of local volunteers and generous donations of cakes and other delicious treats. It normally pops up on the third Saturday of the month at Heatherside Community Centre and this month, the chosen charity was Children Of The Dump. I am the patron of this amazing local charity, based in Camberley, which helps to provide much-needed education and support for children who are living in the Payatas and San Isidro rubbish dumps in Manila. If you can, I encourage you to donate via this Big Give link ([link removed]) before midday on 5 December, as every donation will be doubled by Big Give.

Children's Business Fair: On 18 November, I was in Camberley Town Centre for some Christmas Shopping at the Christmas Cracker Fair, bumped into some friends, and also looked in on the Children’s Business Fair in The Square. The Children’s Business Fair is an amazing initiative, and it was wonderful to meet so many young and talented entrepreneurs from Surrey Heath - it was evident that the judges were going to have a very tough time choosing a winner!

Cyber Security Training: Last week, I shared news of the offer of free cyber security training from Surrey Police to any local small business, community group, charity, education facility or other group that could benefit. Please see details on my website ([link removed]...) .

Frimley Park Hospital: Following the fantastic news earlier this year that the funding has been granted to build a brand-new Frimley Park Hospital by 2030, as part of the government’s New Hospital Programme, Frimley Health Trust has now begun its initial period of public, staff and stakeholder engagement into its plans. During the past few months, the Trust has been identifying potential sites for the location of the new hospital, and during my visit to Frimley Park last month, I expressed my hope that the new hospital will remain in Surrey Heath. The Trust is now asking patients, local people, stakeholder partners and staff to provide details on what they feel is most important to them when thinking about the site for the new state-of-the-art replacement for Frimley Park Hospital. This feedback will help shape the evaluation criteria the Trust is developing to assess viable sites, together with other commercial and value-for-money considerations. People have until 7 January 2024 to share
their views about the site evaluation criteria to ensure the project stays on track to open by 2030. More information is available on the Trust’s website, including how people can get involved, details of upcoming events and drop-ins, and an online questionnaire. Please visit this website ([link removed] ) to find out more. Shortly after this initial consultation closes, I shall be meeting the Chief Executive again, so please do share with me any thoughts or concerns you may have.

** Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities News
Leasehold Reforms: The Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill was introduced to Parliament on 27 November and will give homeowners a fairer deal, and greater rights and protections. You can read further details here ([link removed]) .

£122 Million to breathe new life into Scottish towns and cities: Six projects are awarded grants from Round 3 of the UK Government's Levelling Up Fund to support major regeneration and transport projects. You can read more here ([link removed]) .

£1 billion boost for levelling up: 55 local projects awarded share of nearly £1 billion from Round 3 of government’s flagship Levelling Up Fund, to spread opportunity, create jobs and revitalise local communities. For more details, please click here ([link removed]) .

Protections for families and crack down on rogue landlords: Private landlords banned from having ‘no DSS’ and ‘no children’ policies and Decent Homes Standard introduced in the private rented sector for the first time. You can read more here ([link removed]) .

Ground rent reforms to save thousands for leaseholders: Consultation launched including a number of options to cap ground rents for existing leaseholders. You can read more here ([link removed]) .
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Post: House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Email: [email protected] (mailto:[email protected])

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