From Michael Gove MP <[email protected]>
Subject January Newsletter from Michael Gove MP
Date February 4, 2024 3:42 PM
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** Welcome to my January Newsletter!

Belated Happy New Year!

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
Citizens Advice Surrey Heath: I am the patron of Citizens Advice Surrey Heath and at the start of January, I had a catch-up with Kate Sawdy, the Chief Officer, and the new Chairman, Greg Scott, for an update on how this brilliant charity is doing. We also discussed important issues concerning access to housing, housing-related debt, and the Household Support Fund, and it was incredibly helpful to hear their thoughts. Citizens Advice Surrey Heath provides a hugely valuable service to local residents, so please do check out their website ([link removed]) .

Nationwide Building Society: I visited Nationwide Building Society’s Camberley branch to mark 50 years since it first opened on the High Street in 1973. I had a tour of the branch and spoke to the team there about their commitment to my constituents. I also heard about the help that they are providing to customers struggling with the cost of living, and the work Nationwide is doing to support first-time buyers.

Accent Housing: I have been working with local Conservative councillors to press for improvements for social housing tenants in Surrey Heath, and Cllr Trefor Hogg and I met Accent Housing’s Director of Assets and Compliance, together with Surrey Heath Borough Council’s Strategic Director for Environment and Community, at St Martin’s Church in Old Dean on 5 January to discuss the issue of pest control in local social housing.

Problems with pests, such as rats and bedbugs, can cause a huge amount of suffering and misery for tenants, and it is often incredibly difficult for a tenant to tackle an infestation alone, especially if it has spread to more than one property in the building. I am anxious to see them get the help they need, so that these issues are resolved as quickly as possible.

I am incredibly grateful for all the work that Cllr Trefor Hogg ([link removed][0]=AZWxhrSlnBLkR-0PDHvcK-JGpOPZb-Q9l9eREXYGGVMJk_fWBYe7HtYeNa3Kfvi8Gi_hd55p7QwhaESb1IkVXlXgZvvdt-b-eJw7mwlrPTyWBquwGFHwEpV7jlkBIbMQ5Ea9xDj5IGmgX5C90ElLp1PQIJlEy2LB5tWyQlhU1pPYpfXvjOIkF0SXraYG7poMEU8&__tn__=-]K-R) , Cllr Lewis Mears ([link removed][0]=AZWxhrSlnBLkR-0PDHvcK-JGpOPZb-Q9l9eREXYGGVMJk_fWBYe7HtYeNa3Kfvi8Gi_hd55p7QwhaESb1IkVXlXgZvvdt-b-eJw7mwlrPTyWBquwGFHwEpV7jlkBIbMQ5Ea9xDj5IGmgX5C90ElLp1PQIJlEy2LB5tWyQlhU1pPYpfXvjOIkF0SXraYG7poMEU8&__tn__=-]K-R) and Cllr Shaun Garrett ([link removed][0]=AZWxhrSlnBLkR-0PDHvcK-JGpOPZb-Q9l9eREXYGGVMJk_fWBYe7HtYeNa3Kfvi8Gi_hd55p7QwhaESb1IkVXlXgZvvdt-b-eJw7mwlrPTyWBquwGFHwEpV7jlkBIbMQ5Ea9xDj5IGmgX5C90ElLp1PQIJlEy2LB5tWyQlhU1pPYpfXvjOIkF0SXraYG7poMEU8&__tn__=-]K-R) have been doing to help local residents who are suffering, and I am pleased to report that Accent Housing has promised
to provide an infestation action plan in the very the near future.

Chobham Common: We are very fortunate to have such beautiful green spaces in Surrey Heath, and on 12 January I was out on Chobham Common to meet Sarah Jane Chimbwandira, Chief Executive of Surrey Wildlife Trust, and James Herd, Director of Reserves Management. The pandemic highlighted the huge importance of green spaces for both our physical and mental wellbeing, so it was great to hear all about the brilliant work that Surrey Wildlife Trust is doing to protect and preserve this important heathland.

Business Breakfast: I hosted my first Business Breakfast of 2024 at The Sun Inn on Chobham High Street, welcoming almost 50 guests from businesses across Surrey Heath. It was a pleasure to see everyone, and I very much enjoyed the Q&A session. My Business Breakfast Club meets quarterly to help strengthen ties with local businesses and Conservative Councillors, so if you would like to join or find out more information, please email: [email protected]

Chobham Sewage Treatment Works: Following the bad weather in early January and concerns of discharges for many hours from Chobham Sewage Treatment Works into the River Bourne, I was in touch with Thames Water once more and visited Chobham STW again on 12 January. During the visit, I was updated on the progress of the upgrade works to improve storm resilience at Chobham STW, and I am continuing to monitor Thames Water’s performance in Surrey Heath.

Chobham Rugby Club: I very much enjoyed visiting the hugely popular Chobham Rugby Club, which was founded in 1967 and has over 1600 members and 800 players. I met the Chair, Mark Fisher, and the Commercial Manager, Mike Vandenberg, and I heard all about the army of volunteers managing the Club, and the Club’s charity fundraising and its support for the surrounding communities. We also discussed the local issues they are experiencing, as well as their ambitions for the Club's future and plans to improve facilities. You can find out more about this fantastic Club here ([link removed]) .

Camberley Sewage Treatment Works: Following my Teams meeting on 30 November with Alastair Cochran, the then Interim Co-Chief Executive of Thames Water, to press for financial compensation for the foul odours that plagued Camberley during the summer, I convened a further meeting on 15 January to continue the work towards a resolution.

Wishing to ensure that Thames Water makes amends and rebuilds goodwill with the community, I brought together: Alastair Cochran, now Chief Financial Officer of Thames Water; Danny Leamon, Director of Waste of Thames Water; Cllr Shaun Macdonald, Leader of Surrey Heath Borough Council; Cllr Lisa Finan-Cooke, Borough Councillor for Watchetts Ward; Cllr Murray Rowlands, Borough Councillor for St Michaels Ward; Cllr Jonathan Quin, Borough Councillor for St Michaels Ward; and also Cllr David Lewis, County Councillor for Camberley West.

This meeting provided a further opportunity to underline the significant impact of the odour incident on residents last summer, and I am grateful to the Councillors and the team at Surrey Heath Borough Council for continuing the work to find a suitable project for a financial contribution from Thames Water.

I have also welcomed Thames Water's apology to residents, following publication of the results of Ofwat’s research into customers’ experience of how Thames Water handled the incident. You can read more here ([link removed]) .

Ravenscote Junior School: I was invited to Ravenscote Junior School to watch the teaching of RAW (Religion and Worldviews) to Year 4s. It was fascinating to watch the class, and I very much enjoyed talking to a group of students afterwards to hear their thoughts about this particular subject, and it was wonderful to hear their enthusiasm.

Flooding: On 19 January, I was out and about with Cllr Paul Deach ([link removed][0]=AZV7Ql_1-cJEgazPMETusITp5FPOn3HsxRSfkVxZZvz-VEelch3CLj3820xe4VwTgqgJUkhtmWYhtdATWxPjCCJLWVPj5otwasCLikESSNYTuIVzLEAPGKc33lvJD6EHeOsGi4TCtIqfwaWCd0UoKDztfq21aIQrFPk0x2tayvuPVBc703vKO5Hg2NDqkYCRfCU&__tn__=-]K-R) in Frimley Green, Mytchett and Deepcut. We first visited Willow Close in Mytchett to discuss the persistent flooding issues affecting residents, before stopping off for lunch at The Frog Pub in Deepcut. We then went on to Gresham Way in Frimley Green to talk about the flooding problems there. As many will know, Paul works incredibly hard on behalf of residents, and I am hugely grateful for all the work he does.

Supporting small businesses: I stopped off at George Arthur Butchers a couple of weeks ago, which is an award-winning family business in Lightwater selling fantastic produce. Small businesses like this are the backbone of our economy, so it is incredibly important that we all do that we can to support local independent shops, helping to keep our high streets thriving.

M3 Voids Roadworks: National Highways has informed me that there will be a full weekend closure of the M3 London-bound carriageway between junctions 4a-3 from 9pm on Friday 9 February to 6am Monday 12 February 2024. I have shared further details on my Facebook page.

Old Dean Forest School: Last week, I joined local councillors Shaun Garrett and Lewis Mears in Old Dean to meet Marck Miller, who has put forward an exciting new proposal to turn an unused piece of land into a Forest School area for local children. It was wonderful to look around the site with Marck, hearing about its potential, and I was very interested to learn all about the plans and ambitions for an Old Dean Forest School. It seems it would be a fantastic initiative for the local area, and I look forward to hearing further news in the near future.

Camberley Town Youth FC: I am delighted that Camberley Town Youth Football Club is set to benefit from funding for brand new goalposts, as a result of the Conservative Government’s long-term investment in grassroots sports. You can read more here ([link removed]) .

Measles: Cases are rising in England. It is a potentially serious disease, but thankfully it is entirely preventable with two doses of the MMR vaccine. It provides the best protection and it’s never too late to catch up. You can ask your GP practice for the MMR vaccine if your child has missed either of these 2 doses. For more information, please visit: ([link removed])

Holocaust Memorial Day: 27 January was an important opportunity for us all to reflect on the unique evil of the Shoah. Now, more than ever, we must re-commit ourselves to countering prejudice wherever we find it. You can watch my video message here ([link removed]) .

** Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities News
A further £600 million boost for Councils: Councils across England will receive a £600 million support package, in addition to funding outlined at the provisional settlement, to help them deliver key services. You can read further details here ([link removed]) .

Payments for communities affected by flooding: Flood-hit communities impacted by Storm Henk (2 to 12 January) can now apply for thousands of pounds from the government to help them recover. The financial support announced will be available to eligible areas in England that have experienced exceptional localised flooding. You can read more here ([link removed]) .

Emergency hazards to be repaired in 24 hours through Awaab's Law: New plans to clamp down on rogue social landlords who fail to provide safe homes have been announced, supporting the government’s pledge to deliver Awaab’s Law. For more details, please click here ([link removed]) .
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Post: House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Email: [email protected] (mailto:[email protected])

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