WELCOME TO MY WEEKLY UPDATE NO.240.
One of the reasons I am perennially optimistic about the UK is our technology sector with more ‘unicorns’ ($bn companies) than France and Germany put together - and this week confirmed they are attracting more venture capital too. Locally, we had a great night of fundraising in Albury for the Cancer Centre Campaign and lots more plans on the way. And contrary to some reports over the weekend, and as I have previously said, I will be standing in Godalming and Ash at the next election – parliament will (I hope) have to put up with me for much longer!
WHAT’S GOING ON IN WESTMINSTER
ECONOMY BOOST Earlier this week we saw that British start-ups have attracted $15 billion in investment from venture capital firms this year, compared to $8 billion in France and $7 billion in Germany. That means we are the third most attractive destination in the world for venture capital investments after the US and China. It may sound abstract but what it means is more money for our fastest-growing companies who are turning us into the world’s next Silicon Valley. We should be proud of our capital too because London was the only city in Europe to reach the top ten for VC investment. It was therefore great that the Venture Capital Investment Compact was announced on Tuesday morning by 20 venture firms. It unlocks £50 billion of new capital and is a big boost for both our high-growth companies and for pension pots which could be boosted by £1,000.
ISRAEL The stories coming out of Israel continue to be completely heartbreaking. Rishi Sunak is absolutely right that we must continue working together to get more humanitarian support into Gaza, which is why it has been good to see even the limited opening of the Rafah crossing through strong diplomacy. But we need constant aid coming in and I know this is something both the Prime Minister and ministers in the Foreign Office are working hard on. Last week Rishi Sunak announced £10 million extra aid in Gaza and it was good news that the UK government has now announced £20 million– more than doubling our previous support to Palestinian people. We saw from the Prime Minister’s visits last week that the UK’s diplomatic voice does matter, not least because of our efforts over the years to support the two-state solution. We need to avoid escalation (particularly into the wider region) so Rishi Sunak has called for pauses in fighting to allow more of that aid to get in. We saw from the PM’s visits last week that the UK’s diplomatic voice is making a difference, not least because of our efforts over the years (including during my time as Foreign Sec) to support the two-state solution. Hamas of course wants to destroy Israel - and use terror and murder to get there - which is the polar opposite.
ANTI-SEMITISM We must support Palestinian people and British Muslims who are understandably concerned at the moment but that must never mean any tolerance for antisemitism. Some of the scenes from protests over the weekend, including calls for jihad in London, go totally against our democratic values so I hope the police will be taking all necessary steps to tackle extremism.
WHAT’S GOING ON LOCALLY
CANCER CAMPAIGN QUIZ NIGHT Last week’s quiz in Albury was great fun and a huge success – a huge thanks to everyone who came along and supported the event. Congratulations to the team of volunteers who arranged the evening and raised £1,400 for the Royal Surrey’s new Cancer and Surgical Innovation Campaign. Special thanks must go to Shere Cinema who generously donated £500 and Tillingbourne Farm and Smokery who supplied some delicious food. Also, a big thank you to all the local businesses for donating some lovely raffle prizes.
Save the date for our next event which will be a festive evening of song from four amazing choirs – Friday 8th December at The Medici Theatre, Weydon School, in Farnham. I’m informed tickets will be bargain £10.00 each – why not bring the whole family? For tickets visit this website or call 07932 411108.
GREEN SPACES- FARNHAM LITTER-PICK Thanks to those of you who have already written in to say you’d be interested in joining this session, which will be taking place in Farnham at 10.00am on Saturday 4th November. If you’re free for an hour, please email email@example.com with your details. The meeting place will be sent to those who express an interest a day or two before the date.
ASH ROAD BRIDGE Whilst I was very pleased to hear of progress on a recent visit to the new Ash Road Bridge site, near Ash station, I am also hearing of people's frustrations over delays with the supporting infrastructure. This is a massive inconvenience for residents and causing delays to traffic so I will investigate what is going on and do what I can to help.
CHARLIE COSSER Please do take a look at this raw and powerful video by Martin Cosser, whose son Charlie was murdered only 13 weeks ago—a victim of knife crime. I am overwhelmed how the Cosser family are channelling their grief to fight knife crime and to try to ensure other families don’t suffer the pain they are going through. I met Martin and his father, Steve, a few weeks ago and said I would do what I can to help.
FARNHAM CRIME I have been reading reports of a ‘crimewave’ in Farnham, including anti-social behaviour, shoplifting, and an assault of a teenage girl. This is all hugely concerning so I will speak to Lisa Townsend, who is the Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner, about the issue.
MOSS LANE SCHOOL Well done to Moss Lane School who have gathered loads of donations for Godalming & Villages Community Store!
TALES FROM THE SURREY HILLS The Godalming Writers’ Group have just published their fourth book of short stories, all of which are related to our local area. You can order any of their books here.
HALLOWEEN There are still lots of events going on over half term including family days at Watts Gallery and Pumpkin Week at Secretts in Milford.
FIREWORKS Bonfire Night is fast approaching and there are lots of local fireworks events! Here are the links for fireworks in Bramley, Cranleigh, Chiddingfold, Farnham, and Guildford.
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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… Parents will be relieved to see that supermarket pumpkins are nowhere near as heavy as the 200kg ones in competitions– such as in this article where dreams of a competition victory were “squashed” when the owner got stuck in traffic on her way!