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.
With every good wish,
Rt Hon Michael Gove MP
Member of Parliament for Surrey Heath
Surrey Heath News
South Western Railway Follow-up: Having met the Chief Executive of SWR last year to discuss the timetabling consultation, I wrote once more to request a further meeting so that I can push once again for improved journey times for residents using Surrey Heath train stations. I will report back as soon as I have any news.
Ash Ranges update: Further to Jeremy Quin MP's latest response to my correspondence, which outlined the DIO's two proposals for improving access, I have written to him once more to follow-up. I have requested information on what progress is being made with these plans, and I have asked him to ensure the DIO continue to review levels of access with a view to extending them wherever possible.
Ravenscote Crossing update: I was delighted to hear that the road table outside Ravenscote School on Upper Chobham Road will be upgraded to a signalled crossing. You can find out more here, and my thanks to Cllr Edward Hawkins, Louise Grainger, and everyone else who worked so hard to make this happen.
Home to School Transport Consultation: Surrey County Council launched a new consultation in February to review its Home to School Travel Assistance Policy. There are a number of proposed changes, so please do visit this webpage to share your thoughts and suggestions before the Consultation closes on 31st March 2022.
Upcoming M3 maintenance works: National Highways are undertaking maintenance works on the M3 which may impact travel time. You can find out more here.
M3/A322 Junction update: Further to my update in last month's Newsletter, I have since written once more to National Highways to ask for news on the progress of the planned tree planting. I also requested further information surrounding the potential installation of sound barriers, and enquired again about what updates are available relating to potential long-term infrastructural changes.
iRhythm visit: I was delighted to visit iRhythm Technologies’ UK headquarters in Bagshot in February. This company is at the centre of the UK’s efforts to improve heart health and help the NHS adopt AI solutions. It’s well documented that cardiovascular conditions are the leading cause of death in the UK, so it’s great to see the brilliant work that iRhythm has been doing to address this issue. It’s even better that so many of the team who make this possible are from the Bagshot area.
The Workshop: It was a huge pleasure to visit The Workshop in Camberley in February with our wonderful Mayor of Surrey Heath, Cllr Sarah Jane Croke. The Workshop is a joint partnership between Surrey Heath Borough Council and the Department for Work and Pensions that aims to deliver holistic support to young people in response to the impact of Covid-19 on this specific group of working-age adults. You can learn more here.
The Square: Following my above visit to The Workshop, the Mayor of Surrey Heath and I visited The Square in Camberley Town Centre. We met the shop owners from Rock Box and Willow & Nutmeg – two fantastic independent businesses. It was a pleasure to talk to them, as small businesses like these are the backbone of our economy, playing a crucial part in the local community.
Local Mental-Health Services: Further to my virtual meeting with the interim Chief Executive of Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Graham Wareham, in which we discussed local services in Surrey Heath, I wrote a follow-up letter to Mr Wareham to enquire about specific statistics relating to the increase in demand on mental-health services. I will be sure to share any further news once received.
Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities News
Levelling Up White Paper: In early February, I set out an ambitious blueprint to improve lives and expand opportunities across the whole United Kingdom. You can find out more here.
Edinburgh’s National Robotarium Tour: On 24 February, I toured a state-of-the-art research facility for robotics and artificial intelligence in Edinburgh, which is backed by £21 million in UK government funding. You can read more about my visit here.
Scottish Local Authorities Conference speech: In February, I delivered a speech to the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities Conference 2022, and you can read it here.
Leaseholder protection: Tough new measures that will force industry to pay to remove cladding and protect leaseholders from exorbitant costs have been unveiled by my Department, and you can find out more here.
Scottish Green Freeports agreement: An agreement has been made between the UK and Scottish governments to establish two new Green Freeports in Scotland. You can learn more here.
Councils spending boost: Councils in England will have access to a share of £54.1 billion in funding for the coming financial year including more than £1 billion of additional money for social care. Read more about this funding here.
New Islands Forum to empower island communities: The UK government will establish a new Islands Forum to empower island communities to communicate directly with government, inform future policy, and work together. More information can be found here.
The invasion of Ukraine is deeply troubling, and the UK and its international partners are united in support for Ukraine.
The government is providing a range of economic, humanitarian and defensive military assistance to Ukraine, and is imposing additional sanctions on Russia and Belarus.
Across the country, everyone wants to do their bit to support those who have been forced to flee their homes because of the conflict. Here is how you can help:
The best way to reach me is by email or post, and please include your full address, including postcode, in all communications.