I recently had to make one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to take in my political career.
Because of the changes in constituency boundaries decided by the Boundary Commission, I had to choose between two halves of my South West Surrey constituency.
It was an invidious choice which I deeply regret having to make.
I lived in Farnham when I became an MP, have family in Haslemere and that is the side of the constituency which has marginally more of the former South West Surrey constituents.
We are also finally making progress on the Farnham Infrastructure Plan. But my house is in the Godalming side of the constituency which will now include the village of Shere where I grew up, so very reluctantly I have decided that is the area I will seek to represent at the next election.
On Friday evening I was duly adopted as the Conservative candidate for the new Godalming and Ash seat.
I learned to swim in Cranleigh leisure centre and went to school in Shere and Godalming so if I am elected it will be an incredible honour to represent somewhere with which I have had a connection my whole life – but I will be extremely sad to say goodbye to so many friends in Farnham and Haslemere nonetheless.
It is important to reassure everyone in the current constituency of South West Surrey that nothing will change until the next general election whenever that may be in 2024. I will continue to work hard for all the areas I represent as your local MP regardless of my national role as chancellor or the new boundaries.
In particular I will continue to raise funds for the new Cancer and Surgical Innovation Centre at the Royal Surrey County Hospital. Having secured a £25million initial investment from the NHS, we have now raised £250,000 more.
I will be running the London Marathon again in April (for my sins) to raise yet more! When it is open, our area will offer some of the best cancer treatment in the south east and be able to treat an additional 7,000 patients every year, many of whom will be from Farnham, Godalming and Haslemere.
I will also be continuing my campaign to protect our green spaces and clean up our local rivers. I have been pushing hard to expand more areas as part of the Surrey Hills AONB and am also trying to make the Surrey Hills a national park to give the area even greater protection.
But there is more we can do and I have recently written to local supermarket CEOs with stores in the constituency asking them to do more to reduce the use of single-use plastics and provide better recycling points.
I have invited the environment secretary Therese Coffey down to Surrey to see for herself the amazing landscape and precious resource we have that needs looking after.
So despite the bittersweet decision I have had to make as local MP, it is very much business as usual. Let’s make the Farnham Infrastructure Plan happen, let’s sort out the water issues in Haslemere and let’s continue to work together to improve our area right up until the day of the next general election.