From Michael Gove MP <[email protected]>
Subject February Newsletter from Michael Gove MP
Date February 29, 2024 10:13 PM
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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
Earlier this month, I met Cathy Ashley, Chief Executive of Family Rights Group, together with the Trustee and Director, Stuart Black, who does so much locally to support and champion kinship carers.

Stuart and Cathy updated me on the vital work of the Family Rights Group, which advises parents, relatives and friends about their rights and their options when social workers or courts make decisions about their children’s welfare. You can find out more here ([link removed]) .


At the start of the month, I was out campaigning in Frimley Green with the Surrey Heath Conservatives ([link removed][0]=AZXT62gjMn_zhH7AoePR3ktR1X7EG51DoXcXx9GcCAK3pF9tklawAOigrlkfOMWTr0AVQDVpUccxuot2QdoI33JuA3cOug4J9Rhzq_hAAiz0ceyk2wn_GsfNYty-YXBFLyN_Z0nug0SDIByE44CgKMx5TdrW84OCMyVkqjTHlT4tD0R91kvjjw_UMsmr8aHnI_A&__tn__=-]K-R) Team.

I very much enjoyed chatting to local residents, and I also dropped by some of the brilliant local businesses, which contribute so much to the local community.

This month, I welcomed the launch of the Conservative Government’s Pharmacy First approach, helping patients across Surrey Heath to receive care more quickly through better use of our community pharmacies.

The new Pharmacy First approach will not only speed up access to essential care for patients, but also help to reduce pressure on local GP services by directing people to more appropriate places to be treated. Backed by up to £645 million, 95 per cent of pharmacies across England have opted-in so far, meaning that patients will be able to receive care more quickly without the need to wait for a GP appointment. You can read more here ([link removed]) .

I have continued to keep in touch with Royal Mail regarding improving the service across Surrey Heath, and I am pleased to hear that there has been an improvement in the service provided. I am planning to visit Camberley Delivery Office again next month, and it would be helpful to hear from local residents whether they have noticed an improvement or if problems continue to persist.


I recently visited Plants Ltd, a huge wholesale nursery in Chobham that has been trading since 1975. It was a pleasure to meet the Director, Rachel Blakey, and her father, Peter, along with several representatives from other nearby nurseries.

We discussed many topics, such as overseas trade and importing goods, as well as challenges this industry is facing, which I promised to relay to my Cabinet colleagues.


I know that many residents are concerned by the proposals to increase parking charges across car parks in Surrey Heath, and I want to thank Attieh Fard ([link removed][0]=AZVgB-6x29QcruhR9eKg2UL8Aso_l53dC7bunI47QSo32ToGTYho4TPxHbU0NEAhoTEFtK2lWNtyRbw-TbSwN_ESBVVhyO6GMxS2TW1llQFajgBbMAGsyZRpvauA2kN51ngoO0s_NuNDCgf2J1ELTs-vbEcwlSCchFPs5Q8QZq5dDXOvKdI2VZeT4HzWpDqRNBSiuj6UtVYcrR7Gn89j-o4t&__tn__=-]K-R) for putting together an ePetition to stop these plans. There is still time to add your voice to the objections, you can sign the ePetition here ([link removed]) .


During Apprenticeship Week (5-11 February), I took the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of our fantastic apprentices in Surrey Heath and across the country, and to reflect on the Conservative Government’s achievements in creating an apprenticeship system from the ground up.

Since taking office in 2010, the Conservative Government has delivered 5.7 million apprenticeships across the country, with 560 new apprenticeship starts in Surrey Heath ([link removed]) in 2022-23.

With nearly 700 apprenticeship training courses available now, young people have a diverse range of career pathways available to ensure they learn the skills they need to succeed in a career they love.

On 16 February, I popped into Randalls in Lightwater to enjoy elevenses with local Councillors Rebecca Jennings-Evans, Katia Malcaus Cooper and Valerie White.

I am so grateful for all the work they do on behalf of residents, and we had a catch up on several local issues, such as the M3 footbridge.


I enjoyed coffee with friends at Heatherside Pop Up Coffee Shop, which is run by a group of amazing volunteers and raises money for various good causes.

The Coffee Shop pops up at Heatherside Community Centre on the third Saturday of the month and this month, any money raised will go to Macmillan Cancer Support. Please keep an eye out for details of next month’s Pop Up Coffee Shop here ([link removed][0]=AZWQnxW4TxgnFmhO2Sk56GoP_fPIZW6EHWoSzK7LWsReXV5YPuoHrS7YNOlLYM0kBkJjNHckj6sKQi_VT_AkCV0ycSghue8NIeZSzBYWHa9gp8lI8JaryTFUGVnUiON6bGFeFF-mH9SLevWPYQaFH95nzEFNDFo50ouX1pkEmDZoTKfnOgAQ5d7feNNJ2hBiTE0&__tn__=-UK-R) .

On Friday 8 March, the third annual #LetGirlsPlay Biggest Ever Football Session will be taking place in schools across England.

The Football Association wants as many schools as possible to take part, so I have recently written to local Headteachers to encourage them to sign up to the FA’s campaign to support girls’ football in schools.

I know there are many constituents in Surrey Heath who have struggled to access NHS dental care, so I am delighted that the Conservative Government has published its NHS Dental Recovery Plan.

Backed by £200 million of new Government funding, the plan sets out a package of measures to deliver 2.5 million additional NHS dental appointments over the next 12 months, ensuring they are where they are needed most, and expanding preventative care for younger children to help reduce tooth decay. You can read more here ([link removed]) .


I often drop into Camberley Town Centre for shopping, and always enjoying bumping into familiar faces and catching up with their news.

It’s so important to support the local economy and to keep the Town Centre thriving, so please do pop by whenever you can.

On 16 February, I joined local Conservative Councillors Trefor Hogg, Shaun Garrett and Lewis Mears, at the newly-renovated Old Dean Café, to discuss boosting the local economy and ensuring vacant units on Old Dean Parade open once again.

It was Cllr Trefor Hogg who inspired me, as Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, to introduce a new High Street Rental Auction law, which enables local authorities to take action to ensure empty shops are brought back into use.

These new powers afforded to local authorities were delivered through the landmark Levelling-Up and Regeneration Act, which will also deliver more homes for communities across the country and unleash levelling up in left-behind places.

After enjoying refreshments at the Café, we headed out to knock on local doors to ask residents to support Cllr Hogg’s petition to Surrey Heath Borough Council to take the essential steps needed to ensure that the abandoned and empty shops on Old Dean Parade are brought into use once again.


The Police have launched an ambitious webinar project on Cyber Security, spearheaded by a dedicated Protect and Prepare Officer from the Surrey and Sussex Police Cyber Crime Unit.

There will be two monthly webinars from the Cyber Crime Unit, all focused on Cyber Security and Online Safety.

You will find further details here ([link removed]) .


Safe routes to and from school are hugely important and this month, I met the Health and Safety Manager at Tomlinscote School in Frimley to discuss road safety on Tomlinscote Way.

We discussed his important suggestions on how the area could be made safer for the children and parents attending the school, and I have written to Surrey County Council to raise the recommendations.

CHANGES TO SHORT-TERM LET RULES: Local residents will be protected from being pushed out of their communities by excessive short-term lets thanks to changes in planning rules. You can read further details here ([link removed]) .

PRIORITISING BROWNFIELD SITES: Building homes on brownfield land will be turbocharged under a major shake-up to planning rules to boost housebuilding while protecting the Green Belt. You can read more here ([link removed]) .

BOLSTERING COUNCIL BUDGETS: The final local government finance settlement for 2024-25 makes available up to £4.5 billion more for councils in England in 2024-25, an above-inflation increase of 7.5% on the previous year – with £64.7 billion for local government overall. For more details, please click 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.

Post: House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Email: [email protected] (mailto:[email protected])

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