In support of National Apprenticeship Week, I wrote an article for The Voice newspaper giving my thoughts on how apprenticeships are helping our young people secure better futures, and why they matter for our economy. You can read the article here.
This week (3rd-7th March) is National Apprenticeship Week.
Following my campaign last year to create 100 apprenticeships in 100 days, which saw 108 apprentices pledged for by local organisations, I was delighted to read new research exploring the value that apprenticeships can add to businesses and the economy.
The research, which was commissioned by the Association of Accounting Technicians, suggests that last year 660 people started an apprenticeship in East Surrey, giving our local businesses a boost of £1.4m.
It is estimated that every time a company in East Surrey hires an apprentice, their bottom line gets an average boost of £2,162. This benefit is immediate, after wage and training costs are deducted.
With generous support from the Government still available, I would encourage all businesses that have not already done so to look carefully at the scheme.
Photo: Sam visiting apprentices at Caterham Dene Hospital, as part of the '100 in 100' campaign
I welcome the new planning guidance that has been issued by the Government, in a statement presented to Parliament earlier today by the Planning Minister. The statement addresses several points that I and a number of other MPs have raised with the Department, and amongst other measures within the statement I am encouraged that the Government is:
You can read the full statement here.
On Friday I was in Horley to assess for myself the progress being made to repair the damage wrought by the recent floods, and discuss the ongoing concerns of residents as they continue to deal with the consequences. I visited a number of areas hit badly by the flooding, including Riverside, Meadowcroft Close, Haroldslea Drive, Balcombe Road, Balcombe Gardens, Avenue Gardens, Warltersville Way and The Coronel.
It is clear that dealing with the impact of these floods will continue to take time. However I was encouraged to see that – whether it is the clearing of pavements and ditches, the installation of temporary pumps or the ongoing assessment of river bank defences – significant action is being taken by Reigate & Banstead Borough Council, Surrey County Council, and the different agencies involved in the relief effort. I will of course continue to maintain regular contact with these bodies over the coming weeks.
Finally, I would like to thank Councillor Allen Kay and all those who are working tirelessly on behalf of local residents, in what remains a difficult time for our community.
Further information on the support available for residents and businesses in Horley is available on the Reigate & Banstead Borough Council website at:
On Thursday I will be meeting Southern Rail in Oxted to discuss rail services running throughout East Surrey, including the lines to Caterham, East Grinstead, and Uckfield, as well as services running through Horley, Godstone and Nutfield. The meeting will be an opportunity to discuss a range of issues that constituents have raised with me about local train services - from punctuality through to overcrowding.
To share your experiences and pass on any comments or questions for me to raise at the meeting, please get in touch with me via twitter (@samgyimah) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am looking forward to holding my next street stall in Caterham this Saturday at 11am. I will be near Caterham rail station and all are welcome - so do come along!
Photo: Sam with Councillor Brian Perkins at a recent street stall in Lingfield
On Saturday (22 Feb) I was in Caterham on the Hill to attend the unveiling ceremony, organised by the Bourne Society, of a new plaque to mark the location of the Caterham Soldiers' Home. The building, which is now the Raj Tandoori, operated as a recreational facility for soldiers from 1898-c1950. Following the ceremony further discussion of the site's history took place in the King and Queen pub, which also featured a fascinating exhibition of Caterham's military heritage and pictures from an army recruitment day in 1915.
The event was a reminder of the vital work that groups like the Bourne Society do to preserve the story of our community, rich with detail that would otherwise be lost. My thanks to everyone involved in making this event such a success.
Photo: Sam with Paul Sandford, Chairman of the Bourne Society
I welcome the news that Tandridge District Council has frozen its rate of Council Tax for the fourth year running, with the benefit of a £1.5 million freeze grant from central Government.
More importantly, I am delighted that they have been able to achieve this excellent feat whilst protecting local services, recycling, recreation facilities, and planning.
On Friday, I convened a meeting with businesses in Whyteleafe affected by the flooding, to look at the challenges they have faced in recent weeks. The meeting, which was kindly hosted by the BP petrol station on Godstone Road, was attended by around 15 local firms including CS Podd & Son Ltd, Litho Techniques Ltd, Wraysbury Tyres, and Premium Heating Supplies.
Whyteleafe Tavern landlord & Tandridge District Councillor Tom Dempsey, who has been very active throughout the past few weeks including offering residents beds at the Tavern, was also present, with fellow councillor Sakina Bradbury chairing the meeting. Louise Round, Chief Executive at Tandridge District Council, who is part of the multi-agency effort coordinating the flood response, discussed the long-term strategy to minimise disruption over the coming weeks.
I appreciate that the past few weeks have been very tough for residents in Whyteleafe. Having a clear plan to help the businesses affected and get life back to normal for the community is essential.
This meeting was an opportunity to look in depth at the challenges local businesses have faced – from communication issues around road closures through to the ongoing problems with sewage, which Thames Water needs to address as a matter of priority.
My role is to help ensure that we have an effective and coordinated response from the agencies involved, that firms are aware of the support available from central Government, and more generally play whatever role I can to aid the community at this difficult time.
RT @carrieapples: British jobs boom spreads as firms go on hiring spree http://t.co/0TCKCZUov3
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RT @GuidoFawkes: +++ Bob Crow R.I.P. +++
8 hours ago
RT @LauraSandysMP: V moving 4 all us who have or are close to epilepsy orgs @PaulMaynardMP @ValerieVazMP @SamGyimah @CherylGillanMP http://â€¦
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RT @piersmorgan: The 'But Arsenal play prettier football' argument is so facile. Who cares how pretty it is if we never win anything? #afc
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RT @DFID_UK: Happy Intl Womenâ€™s Day! Letâ€™s celebrate people like 12-year-old Oli whoâ€™s taking a stand vs forced marriage #IWD2014 http://t.â€¦
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Acknowledging people everywhere working to achieve dignity, rights and equality for women #IWD2014
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Train delays/cancellations/overcrowding/flexi season tickets/refunds, raised with @SouthernRailUK. Assured service improvement plan in place
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Next Sam Direct will be at Victoria Sports and Social Club in Lingfield on Thur, 13th Mar at 7.30 PM.
3.4 days ago