We are very fortunate to have such beautiful green spaces in Surrey Heath, and I’m passionate about protecting and enhancing our environment for future generations. I’ve campaigned on green issues for two decades, and have delivered this Conservative Government’s 25-Year Environment Plan, which will ensure: more landscapes for wildlife; cleaner air; more recycling; and an end to single-use plastics. You can read my 25-Year Environment Plan here.
There is still more to do, particularly as the pandemic highlighted the importance of clean green spaces for both our physical and mental wellbeing. That is why I've been pressing for investment from Thames Water in our green spaces.
Planting more trees
Trees play a vital role in our environment, helping to clean our air, moderate temperatures and cut the risk of floods, and that is why I’m championing the Government’s drive to plant more trees across the country. I’m also supporting Surrey County Council’s tree planting strategy to increase the number of trees across Surrey Heath.
Reducing noise and air pollution
I helped to secure the resurfacing of all eight lanes of the M3 with quiet surface treatment during the Smart Motorway works to reduce noise for residents living nearby. I’ve also pushed for better planting to replace the trees that were lost, and I’m continuing to press for further measures to mitigate the noise and air pollution impacting Windlesham.
Protecting the environment
Esso has been replacing 90km of its 105km underground aviation fuel pipeline that runs from Southampton to London, which will keep around 100 road tankers off the road every day. A large portion of the existing pipeline, and the new route for the replacement pipeline, passes through Surrey Heath, and I’ve been holding Esso to account in order to minimise the impact on the local environment, particularly at important green spaces, such as Turf Hill.
More broadly, I’ve delivered the Levelling Up and Regeneration Act to improve environmental outcomes, reforming the process used to assess the potential environmental effects of relevant plans and major projects, putting protecting our environment and pursuing environmental improvements front and centre.
Reducing discharges into rivers
The amount of sewage discharged into our rivers by water companies is completely unacceptable, and I’ve voted for legislation to deliver a package of measures to reduce harms from storm overflows. The Storm Overflows Discharge Reduction Plan sets out stringent targets to protect people and the environment, backed up by up to £60 billion capital investment, which is the largest infrastructure programme in water company history. Legally binding through the Environment Act 2021, the plan prioritises storm overflows that could cause the most harm while balancing the impact on consumer bills. Locally, I’m continuing to speak to Thames Water about reducing discharges in Surrey Heath, and I’ve welcomed the upgrades to Chobham Sewage Treatment Works to make it more resilient to storm conditions.
If you want to know more about my work to improve water companies, you can read my speech here.