WELCOME TO MY SOUTH WEST SURREY UPDATE NO.234.
I started the week in New Delhi, having productive conversations with Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. In South West Surrey, there have been encouraging developments on The Edge and Bramley speed cameras amongst other local issues.
WHAT’S GOING ON IN WESTMINSTER
VISIT TO INDIA As I wrote in this week’s Farnham Herald, so many of the issues we face today are global and face-to-face conversations are a powerful way to find solutions. Rishi Sunak is a rockstar in India with government ministers there thronging him for selfies - and that personal connection is having a transformative effect on the UK’s relationship with India. He and I spent the weekend in India at the G20 summit where he announced a record climate aid commitment from the UK of $2 billion, and I took part in an economic and financial dialogue with the Indian Finance Minister. As I explain in this video, India is one of our key friends and a burgeoning economic relationship not least because they are Asia’s Silicon Valley and we are Europe’s. Our main win from the trip was that India will consider the London Stock Exchange as an international destination for the listing of Indian companies for the first time. We also announced a new pensions and insurance partnership and established knowledge and expertise sharing – all on top of the strong ongoing talks towards a free trade agreement.
EMPLOYMENT This week the Office for National Statistics published data showing wage growth is for the first time since March 2022 higher than inflation. That is good news for families and combined with a fall in vacancies shows that interest rate hikes are helping to cool the economy. But we do still need to stick to the plan to halve inflation. We also saw that we still have close to a record high of people in employment but as I said in both this video (and the Budget) we need to ensure that everyone who wants to work is able to do so if we want to grow the economy. I therefore announced that we are carrying out six pilots to understand more about some of the barriers to work. This includes, for example, looking into how endometriosis affects the working lives of the one in ten women who have it.
BIG VOTE OF CONFIDENCE FOR MINI CARS The UK is a leading European car producer and last week I wrote about my visit to open one of Europe’s largest EV charging sites in Birmingham. So it was fantastic to see another vote of confidence in our electric vehicle economy with BMW announcing plans to invest £600 million into its Mini factories here in the UK, securing thousands of jobs.
WHAT’S GOING ON IN SOUTH WEST SURREY
ROYAL SURREY CANCER CAMPAIGN Okay quizzers…get ready for our latest fundraising event for the Cancer and Surgical Innovation Centre campaign. Taking place in the beautiful village of Albury (one mile from where I grew up in Shere), why not get together a team? Grab friends, family, neighbours or work colleagues for an evening of fun (with a little healthy rivalry thrown in for good measure) and there’s even a good old fashioned ploughman’s supper included in the ticket price of just £20 each, as well as lots of first-class prizes on offer. For more information please contact: 07932 411108 or email@example.com.
GREEN SPACES Farnham Rotary Club has recently been working hard to achieve a Surfers Against Sewage Plastics Free Champion Award for Farnham. As you may already know, reducing single-use plastics is a key priority in my Green Spaces campaign and winning this would be a real feather in Farnham’s cap. They are keen to encourage lots of local businesses, schools, and individuals to achieve the same award, which involves identifying and removing single-use plastic from daily life. If you would like to learn more, do read more about it here. There are also similar efforts in Wonersh, Godalming, and Cranleigh.
THE EDGE I had another catch-up with Tim Oliver, Surrey County Council leader, this week about the closure of the Edge. Surrey has offered funding to help get The Edge back up and running after the borough council’s mistaken decision to terminate their long lease (incidentally leaving Waverley with a £1m+ dilapidations bill). Hopefully Waverley will play ball as this would fix the problem for a couple of years whilst a more permanent solution can be found - and make a massive difference to the voluntary sports groups who depend on it.
BRAMLEY SPEED CHECK CAMERAS Following my campaign last year, Bramley is finally getting average speed check cameras, which will be so important for children going to school– a particular thank you to Tim Oliver and Surrey County Council for listening. I will continue to press for speed reduction measures in other parts of the constituency, including the A283 through Chiddingfold.
WOODHILL SANDPIT Thank you to all those who contacted me about the application to deposit inert waste material into the Woodhill Sandpit, which sits right in the heart of the Surrey Hills AONB. I submitted an objection letter last month to Surrey County Council which you can read here.
PROBLEMS WITH SCHOOL BUSES Some secondary school children in Cranleigh and Bramley have had a bumpy start to the term last week, with several children struggling to get a space on packed private and public buses now that the services have changed. This is absolutely not ideal – and especially not with last week’s heat. I am working with the local borough and county councillors to try to resolve.
CHARTERHOUSE CLUB The club will be reopening following refurbishments on 30th October, which will be great news for those who use it. It is a brilliant club.
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JOIN ME Want to get more involved locally? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to join my growing team supporting our work in our community.
AND FINALLY… Thank you so much to all who voted for Poppy to be Westminster Dog of the Year – it wasn’t her year but a huge congrats to the winners!