** Welcome to my March 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
Surrey Heath Head Teachers: I met virtually with Surrey Heath Head Teachers again on 22nd March. Inevitable challenges have arisen alongside the return of all school pupils on 8th March, and these talks are always crucial in shaping my understanding of how the Government can continue to provide schools with the support they need.
Traffic delays on the A322 junction with the M3: I continue to press for improvements to the A322/M3 junction. The level of congestion is unacceptable and action must be taken. I recently held a virtual call with Mike Goodman, together with Highways England representatives Nicola Bell, Regional Director South East Operations, and Eloise Phillips, Technology Engineering Manager, to discuss the urgent need for action to reduce congestion. Highways England assured me they are currently conducting a study to assess what steps can be taken to smooth traffic flow and reduce air pollution. They're looking at both short term interventions to tackle the problem and longer term engineering work to fundamentally reduce congestion. Highways England expects the results of the study to be available at the end of this month, and I will be meeting again with Nicola, Eloise, and representatives from Surrey County Council in April to discuss the outcomes of their study. I will continue to keep people updated
Annington Homes: I've been pressing the Ministry of Defence to think again about its plans to move tenants from their homes in Deepcut while we are all fighting to defeat the pandemic. I've been lobbying the Defence Infrastructure Organisation to find a solution for the families affected. I was therefore pleased the Defence Minister Jeremy Quin wrote to me to confirm that Deepcut families will be given more time in their current tenancies - and steps will be taken to explore transferring their properties to another social landlord - so they could continue in their homes. You can read Jeremy's letter on my Facebook page ([link removed]) .
Ash Ranges: I have continued to keep in contact with Minister Jeremy Quin about this issue, and have been urging him to do all he can to help MOD officials facilitate a reopening of the Ash Ranges. I understand that the need to urgently resolve the aforementioned Annington Homes issue has delayed his response, but I hope to receive news from him soon.
Catalytic Convertor Thefts: I understand that there has been a rise in theft of catalytic convertors from vehicles. I have, therefore, written to DI Alick James to ask how the police are tackling this issue, and to see if there is anything that can be done within Government to assist police efforts. If you are worried about your catalytic convertor being stolen, there are measures that can be taken to mitigate the risk, and you can find more information here ([link removed]) .
Carwarden School Q&A: I really enjoyed my virtual Q&A session with Carwarden pupils from Class 11B on 19th March. The students asked a series of brilliant questions touching on a wide range of important current affairs, and I very much look forward to visiting the school in person as soon as I can.
Vaccinations in Surrey Heath: The local vaccination effort in Surrey has been a huge success and I am so proud of all those who have done so much to help. You can find more information here ([link removed]) .
** Cabinet Office News
Relocation of over 1000 civil service jobs to Scotland: The Cabinet Office is to establish a second flagship HQ with ministerial offices in Glasgow, bringing the heart of the UK government closer to the communities it serves, you can read more here ([link removed]) .
New local election proxy voting measures: Individuals who need to self-isolate because of coronavirus will still be able to vote in the local elections through new emergency proxy voting measures. You can read more here ([link removed]) .
Covid election campaigning measures: The Cabinet Office has announced new Covid-secure rules for campaigning in upcoming local elections, and you can find out more here ([link removed]) .
EU Border Operating Model: The Cabinet Office has released a guide to how the border with the European Union will work after the transition period, which you can read 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.