** 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]) .
With every good wish,
Rt Hon Michael Gove MP
Member of Parliament for Surrey Heath
Health in Surrey Heath: In January, I held calls with Neil Dardis, Chief Executive of Frimley Park Hospital and Andy Brooks, Chief Officer of Surrey Heath CCG, to discuss combating Covid-19 in Surrey Heath. I was extremely impressed with how local health services have handled the virus throughout the pandemic, and send my thanks to Andy and Neil for all of the brilliant work their teams are doing. It is also wonderful to see the great progress that continues to be made in rolling out the Covid-19 vaccines in Surrey Heath.
Surrey Heath Head Teachers: I keep in regular touch with Surrey Heath Headteachers, particularly throughout the pandemic. It is so valuable to hear directly of the issues schools are experiencing, and I hope to speak to local Heads again soon to ensure they are continuing to receive the support and information they need.
Traffic delays on the A322 junction with the M3: Following discussions with Cllr Mike Goodman about this issue, I have arranged a meeting between Highways England and Surrey County Council at the end of this month so we can make sure that all concerns surrounding the much needed improvements to this junction are fully discussed.
Access to the Ash Ranges: At the end of last year, I wrote to Jeremy Quin MP to ask if the DIO's decision to restrict access to parts of the Ash Ranges could be reconsidered in light of the impact the closure is having on local residents. Whilst the response I received stated that the DIO's position has not changed, I will be seeking a further meeting between Minister Quin and local Parish Council representatives so that further enquiries and concerns can be raised.
Chapel Lane CALA Homes Development: Following the approval by the Planning Inspector of this development, I convened a meeting between CALA Homes, the Leader of Surrey Heath Borough Council, and the Chapel Lane Action Group. It is promising to hear that CALA Homes will be engaging closely with residents of Bagshot moving forward.
Accent Housing: Last month I spoke to Robert Mills, Director of Customer Experience at Accent Housing, to discuss plans for Accent's housing strategy moving forward. Accent is the largest registered housing provider in Surrey Heath, and it was encouraging to hear of the positive steps being taken to make sure tenants are receiving the best possible service.
SEND Funding: I have recently been in touch with Cllr Julie Iles, Cabinet Member for All Age Learning at Surrey County Council, to discuss the importance of improved provision for children with Special Educational Needs, and I will be taking the issue up with the Department for Education. I shall, of course, provide any further updates as soon as I have them.
Annington Homes: Following notices to quit being sent to a number of families in Deepcut who are subletting MOD properties, I am hoping to arrange a meeting in the coming days with representatives from the MOD and Annington Homes, together with Cllr Paul Deach and affected tenants. The position of these families needs to be addressed urgently, and I look forward to discussing ways forward.
** Cabinet Office News
Joint Statement with Vice-President Šefčovič: Earlier this month I released a joint statement with Vice-President Šefčovič in which we reaffirmed our absolute dedication to the Good Friday Agreement. You can read more here ([link removed]) .
Brexit Business Taskforce Meeting: Last month, I chaired a meeting of the Brexit Business Taskforce, with leaders of the UK business community from the CBI, FSB, IoD, BCC and Make UK. I reiterated the government’s commitment to help companies adjust to new trading rules, and you can read more here ([link removed]) .
SME Brexit Support Fund: Following the above meeting, last week I announced a £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund to support small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) adjust to new customs, rules of origin, and VAT rules when trading with the EU. You can find out more about these measure of support here ([link removed]) .
New curriculum and campus to improve Civil Service skills and expertise: Following my Ditchley speech ([link removed]) last year, the Cabinet Office announced in January the introduction of a new Curriculum and Campus for Government Skills, which will transform training and development for civil servants. You can find out more here (http:// [link removed]) .
The best way to reach me is by email or post, and please include your full address, including postcode, in all communications.