27th November 2018

Visit by Michael Gove to RAU

This was my second visit in a fortnight to the RAU after the Commonwealth Canopy Tree Planting ceremony. After months of negotiating this visit, I finally managed to persuade Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Defra, to visit the RAU in Cirencester.

His packed agenda first saw him visit the skills centre at Harnhill where he was able to hear about the innovative work that is taking place on the market for male calves, which have hitherto been making very low prices due to the lack of demand.

The Secretary of State then visited the new Growth Hub where he was able to learn of the work of “Farm491” and the excellent help that the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) provides for a range of SMEs.

Following this, I joined Michael in a meeting with local farmers where topics included the Agriculture Bill, Government policy post-Brexit, TB, agrichemical restrictions and problems with the Countryside Stewardship scheme payments.

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown with Secretary of State Michael Gove and local farmers

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP with Secretary of State Michael Gove and local farmers

Moreton and Chipping Campden Car Parking

In essence both towns have similar problems regarding car parking and in both, I have been deeply involved in a number of meetings over many years to achieve a solution.

Overcrowded high streets and a reluctance by all-day shoppers and workers to park a little further away all contribute to this problem.

Chipping Campden appears to be making greater progress after having identified a possible mechanism via a temporary Traffic Regulation Order (far cheaper than a permanent one) so that parking on the High Street for the first hour or two would be free and then charged for any longer. This would hopefully deter all-day parking; freeing up parking for shoppers and visitors

In Moreton, the parking working group held an excellent exhibition of the possibility of using part of the Glebe Land as a space for 150 cars. This would allow the High Street to be regulated so that only the first hour of parking would be free.

Unfortunately, there is very little cooperation between the parking working group and the Town Council. I therefore urged all groups to set aside their differences and work together constructively to achieve a long-term solution for the people of Moreton.

North Cotswold Hospital

In Moreton, I met with David Cunningham and Cllr Ally Coggins to receive the 5,000 strong petition against cuts to x-ray services at North Cotswold Hospital based in Moreton-in-Marsh, which I have signed.

I am also concerned about the Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust (GCS) proposals to designate local hospitals as local treatment centres. Under these proposals, Moreton would not be classified as such and therefore its invaluable Minor Injuries Unit could disappear altogether. This is particularly disturbing as the nearest local treatment centre would be in Cirencester, which can take 45 minutes to travel to from Moreton.

To seek reassurances on this, I have written to the NHS Trust to ask, given these circumstances, Moreton be made a special case.

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown with David Cunningham and Cllr Ally Coggins receiving the petition against cuts to x-ray services at Moreton hospital

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown with David Cunningham and Cllr Ally Coggins receiving the petition against cuts to x-ray services at Moreton hospital

RAF Fairford

I was pleased to learn of the relocation of US Air Force personnel to RAF Fairford from RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk. I, along with the Cotswold District Council, has am supportive of this decision and I am pleased that the close engagement between the local authorities and the Ministry of Defence will ensure that this relocation is managed as smoothly as possible.

The presence of over 1,200 personnel and dependents to the area will bring substantial financial benefits to the local economy and our local community.

I look forward to welcoming all incoming personnel to the Cotswolds and I hope this represents a continuation of our long-lasting and deep military cooperation with our American allies.

Cirencester Flooding Meeting

In a change to the usual agenda, this year saw only what flood resilience meeting in Cirencester as last year I made the decision to no longer hold a Moreton area meeting as a great deal of progress had been made.

Officials from Thames Water, the Environment Agency, and all levels of local government were present to listen to constituent’s concerns and answer their important questions.

A number of matters were raised including the sewage problems around Melmore Gardens, the Chesterton development,  landowner maintenance of the Churn and River Coln and Thames Water’s actions over the last year.

I hope to see good progress made on all of this before the next annual meeting provisionally arranged for 17 November 2019. I will also be publishing the verbatim minutes on


Sir Geoffrey Clifton_Brown MP with David Cunningham and Cllr Ally Coggins and the petition against cuts to x-ray services at North Cotswold Hospital based in Moreton-in-Marsh

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Ten Climate Actions To Celebrate

The Cotswolds

1. The UK passed the world’s first Climate Change Act over a decade ago with cross-party support. This gave us both a framework to set statutory carbon budgets and set up the independent Committee on Climate Change.

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Meeting between Chief Constable and Gloucestershire MPs

It has been 1,317 days since the result of the Brexit Referendum, I am sure I am not the only one who feels it has been longer, but tonight at 11 pm the Withdrawal Agreement comes into force and we will be leaving the EU immediately.

31st January 2020

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