Michael Gove


Michael Gove MP Surrey Heath




Michael Gove made a comeback in June 2017, with the prime minister bringing him back into cabinet by appointing him environment secretary.

In the 2016 reshuffle he was sacked as justice secretary after serving as David Cameron's education secretary and chief whip in the Tory-Lib Dem coalition.

Despite campaigning alongside Boris Johnson for Brexit, he withdrew his support for Mr Johnson to be Conservative leader and prime minister following the referendum, choosing instead to stand himself. He was eliminated in the final round of voting by MPs, coming third.


What next then for Mr Gove? Well, let's not dwell on that for now. Perhaps we should concentrate on the present position as Environment Secretary, though we do wonder just a little about the Climate Change question when he was the Education Secretary and what he may be thinking about ocean plastic pollution.


Our main concern in reducing our carbon footprint and working on how to achieve that, given that we only have 14,000 charge points to cater for 25 million registered vehicles.


Other concerns are as to planning applications that hold the potential to damage the environment, such as the live example at Herstmonceux in East Sussex, via and application by Clarion Housing Group, Latimer Developments and Thakeham, all being property developers active in the Weald area. In his capacity as Environment Secretary of State having control of the Environment Agency, the question of groundwater, sewage and surface water contamination fall to be considered by him. We have been copied a letter that was sent to Mr Gove on September 24 2018, reproduced below as it contains a lot of information about environmental protections that may benefit many people in the country facing what looks to us to be inappropriate development of a similar nature in epidemic proportions to counter our National Debt.






Rt Hon Michael Gove MP
Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Seacole Building 
2 Marsham Street
London, SW1P 4DF                                                                                                                 24 September 2018

Dear Mr Gove:




Thank you for your letters dated 14 August and 19 September, both received on September 22 2018.

Regardless of your desk based risk assessment, our problem is that once a dirty deed is done it will be very costly, take a very long time, and involve Wealden Council, the Developers and Householders in a chain of litigation claims for many years to come. The best way to avoid all of that is to take precautions at the planning stage, prevention being better than cure, otherwise many innocent persons will become criminals and potentially lose their homes, as the lack of enforceable conditions is sure to see the gardeners in the new build houses unwittingly poison our water supply and become the subject of prosecutions and injunctions.

Ignorance of the law is of course no defence in this case, but counterclaims against anyone in the chain who allowed the development may offset financial hardship against the cost of remedial works and legal fees, that in this case could be considerable.

Ultimately, it will be the fault of the authorities who knew of our concerns, but failed to act to protect the present enjoyment of a sustainable water source from a historic well, thereby violating Articles 6, 8, and potentially Articles13 and 17 of the European Convention of Human Rights where in the UK there is no Effective Remedy, invoking Article 17, plus Article 1 of Protocol 1 of the Human Rights Act 1998, being: the right to peacefully enjoy possessions without interference by the state. A tainted planning consent upsets such enjoyment and should not be thrust upon the owners or renting quotient of those occupying such homes.

Please see the attached photographs demonstrating the angle of the hill above the wells, and the plan showing 50 and 100 meter radius circles drawn around the wells, revealing that the gardens of 8 houses are within the 50m radius and another 20 houses within the 100m radius, totaling 28 houses with gardens to present as a danger to this unique public water source.

With respect, the 50 meter rule is far from adequate to protect wells at the foot of a hill where the groundwater flows directly downhill carrying herbicide and other pollutants to enter this public water supply. Where the 50 meter limit encroaches into the proposed house build footprint identifying 8 units, a more appropriate 100 meter safe zone takes us almost to the top of the field concerned, making all of the proposed houses in this line of flow potentially dangerous to well drinkers. You should know that we have a fountain that provides water to casual visitors and interested passers by in Lime Park, who are eager to drink from the ‘Fountain of Youth.’

Doubtless, you will be aware of the danger of popular gardening chemicals like glyphosate and the harm they do, being toxic to Human DNA at concentrations 450 times lower than used in agricultural applications. Ethoxylated adjuvants in glyphosate-based herbicides have been found to be “active principles of human cell toxicity.” Cell damage and even cell death can occur at the residual levels found on Roundup-treated food crops, as well as lawns and gardens where Roundup is applied for weed control. Liver, embryonic and placental cell lines are adversely affected by glyphosate at doses as low as 1 ppm.

For the above reasons we believe that the proposed development plan should be changed to be sure that people drinking the well water are not put at risk. At this stage there is no reason why the proposed housing cannot be repositioned elsewhere on this field, or on other more appropriate sites in or around Herstmonceux, save for the wish of the developers to profit from as much of the area they own as possible. But this group of developers own many other sites and should know better than to jeopardise the health of fellow humans.

Please see the attached open letters from 7 other users of the well in Herstmonceux.

We are not the only organisation who has offered the developers and Wealden council the opportunity to discuss this issue with a view to reaching an acceptable compromise in Human health terms. Not forgetting that the National Planning Policy Framework also seeks to protect heritage assets, of which this public water source is acknowledged as being of historic importance by inclusion on a Monument Protection Programme by English Heritage

You have confirmed that you did not know about these wells and so have not been consulted, but now that you are aware of the topography and geographical positioning, we would again urge your Agency to consider implementing a Source Protection Zone of a suitable size to negate the angle of flow from the adjacent hill to preclude the building of houses with gardens or other potential pollution sources, such as paints and engine oils, etc., in the line of flow.

The site plan for the above planning application may be easily adjusted at this stage to obviate potential future problems and avoid any protected area. In our view this would constitute a responsible approach that is consistent with the UN’s sustainable development agenda, rather than create an anti Circular Economy precedent that is a potentially dangerous example to set.

We look forward to hearing from you on this matter as now being of considerable urgency, perhaps on a return basis, if you can manage that.

Yours sincerely,

for Herstmonceux Museum Ltd



Michael Gove aiming for a greener Britain


A CLEANER BRITAIN - The Conservative environment minister, who was summoned to Europe concerning Britain's poor air quality after the High Court ruled that the UK was in violation of Agreements with the EU. This was after ClientEarth's successful legal challenge.



Public water supply @ Herstmonceux, Sussex


WATER CONTAMINATION - If houses are built on the hill that supplies the last surviving well in Herstmonceux, all of those who presently enjoy a sustainable water supply are likely to be poisoned by pesticides from the gardens of the proposed housing. In addition, where the hard standings of a proposal for 70 houses are to be gully drained to a point lower than the twin wells, soakage that supplies the wells will be diverted away potentially starving the wells of water and increasing pesticide accumulations from the proposed garden areas. The amusing cartoon above portrays the situation that perhaps the developers were not aware of, when they bought into a situation that they should have been able to rely on - if there had been a competent appraisal by Wealden District Council, the County Archaeologist and the Environment Agency. Unfortunately, the council concerned and the advisers to the original applicants appear to have been less diligent than they might have been in the rush to profit from a windfall situation. The developers in this case are confirmed to be: Clarion Housing Group, Thakeham Homes and Latimer Developments. Previously, the site was owned by Tim Watson and then Gleeson Developments. We understand that Mrs Claire Turner and Christopher Bending are two of the planning officers now with responsibility for this application which has reached the detailed (reserved matters) stage.



CARTOON - This amusing picture is saying that the developers might just as well be urinating into the public water supply in person. Obviously, they will not be doing this, it will be the foot soldiers operating on their instructions and the occupiers of the houses who will not be told that they cannot use fertilizers and herbicides on their gardens, but will do so anyway. How can you apply a condition that cannot be enforced? Who gets prosecuted for environmental offences?




SAFE RADIUS - This picture of the site as seen from the air, shows us 50m and 100m circles drawn from the well that is a public water supply. Fifty meters would have been the appropriate distance to build houses away from the water source, if they were not to be on a hill sloping toward the wells. Unfortunately that is what is proposed. The problems do not stop there, at the other end of this field they are proposing surface water run off through two privately owned ponds that do not have the capacity to deal with that quantity of water, inevitably leading to flooding - and where sewage pumping is proposed by way of a sub holding tank, this could lead to untreated sewage floating into the ponds and watercourses downstream, before it ever gets pumped to the Windmill Hill treatment plant operated by Southern Water. Clearly, all of this is a matter for the Environment Agency that comes under Mr Gove's wing as the Secretary of State.





 -  Conditions Index A - Z
1. Permission subject to detailed particulars
2. Appearance & Landscape

3. Application for reserved matters in 3 years

4. No dev. without archaeological programme

5. No dev. until written scheme 4. published

6. Contamination to be reported subsequently

7. Details code of construction TB approved

8. Temporary contractor provisions

 9.  Noise restrictions working hours

10. Details brickwork finishes
11. Joinery details, windows, doors

12. Details hard & soft landscaping

13. Details screening, trees, hedges

14. Planting trees Chapel Row, Museum

15. Landscape management plan

16. Wildlife management details

17. Japanese Knotweed survey

18. Access prior to building works

19. Visibility splays entrance A271

20. Internal site access roads

21. Car parking details

22. Garages no commercial use

23. No felling trees hedgerows

24. Tree protection existing TPO

25. Bins refuse collection & disposal

26. Foul drainage sewerage works

27. Surface water drainage

28. No discharges foul water

29. Flood resilient buildings

30. Surface water drainage

31. Light pollution AONB

32  Renewable energy

33. No permitted dev buildings

34. No permitted gates/fences

36. Limited to included docs





IN CASE YOU MISSED IT - This is the oldest and only working well in the village of Herstmonceux. We have become so used to mains water that we have forgotten about our roots. That is what makes this well just a few hundred yards outside of this Sussex village so important.



Glyphosate is one of the ingredients of RoundUp Pro


ROUNDUP - Allowing houses to be built in such close proximity to a working well is madness. You might as well pour weedkiller, paints and oils directly into this drinking water. But who will the claims of contamination and illness be against?




FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH, OCTOBER 2018 - This fountain is fed from the old well at Herstmonceux. Anyone may imbibe the health giving qualities of this natural water supply, such as ramblers and visitors to Lime Park. It is a criminal offence with unlimited fines for any person who pollutes groundwater. By this means wells such as this last surviving working example in the village are protected in law. Alternative water supplies from wells are needed as reserves in case of pollution of reservoirs and other (aquifers) supplies. Bottled water being a last resort in emergencies. SDG 6 of the United Nations sustainability goals concerns safeguarding water supplies.









Theresa May


Theresa May - Prime Mnister

MP for Maindenhead


Damian Green


Damian Green

MP for Ashford


Philip Hammond


Philip Hammond

MP Runnymede & Weybridge


Boris Johnson


Boris Johnson

MP Uxbridge & South Ruislip


Amber Rudd


Amber Rudd

MP Hastings & Rye


David Davis


David Davis

MP Haltemprice & Howden


Gavin Williamson


Gavin Williamson

MP South Staffordshire


Liam Fox


Liam Fox

MP North Somerset


David Lidlington


David Lidlington

MP for Aylesbury


Baroness Evans Bowes Park


 Baroness Evans

MP Bowes Park Haringey


Jeremy Hunt


Jeremy Hunt

MP South West Surrey


Justine Greening


Justine Greening

MP for Putney


Chris Grayling


Chris Grayling

MP Epsom & Ewell


Karen Bradley


Karen Bradley

MP Staffordshire Moorlands


Michael Gove


Michael Gove

MP Surrey Heath


David Gauke


David Gauke

MP South West Hertfordshire


Sajid Javid


Sajid Javid

MP for Bromsgrove


James Brokenshire


James Brokenshire

MP Old Bexley & Sidcup


Alun Cairns


 Alun Cairns

MP Vale of Glamorgan


David Mundell


 David Mundell MP

Dumfriesshire Clydes & Tweeddale


Patrick Mcloughlin


Patrick McLoughlin

MP Derbyshire Dales


Greg Clark


 Greg Clark

MP Tunbridge Wells


Penny Mordaunt


Penny Mordaunt

MP Portsmouth North


Andrea Leadsom


Andrea Leadsom

MP South Northamptonshire


Jeremy Wright


Jeremy Wright

MP Kenilworth & Southam


Elizabeth Truss


 Liz Truss

MP South West Norfolk


Brandon Lewis


Brandon Lewis

MP Great Yarmouth



Nus Ghani

MP Wealden





 Huw Merriman

MP Battle










The Independent reporting on Michael Gove and air pollution





THE INDEPENDENT 19 JANUARY 2018 - Air pollution: Michael Gove summoned by EU to explain UK's illegal levels

The Environment Secretary is invited along with eight other European ministers from countries that have violated legal limits for pollutants - so we are not alone - but we could have been leading the race if concepts like the Bluebird service forecourt system had been supported back in 1996 - yes that is how long ago such proposals were on the table.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove has been asked to attend a meeting of the European Commission in Brussels, to explain why the UK still breaches legal air pollution limits.

Britain is one of the five member states that have received a “final warning” from the commission after persistently surpassing limits for nitrogen dioxide levels.

The meeting which is set to take place at the end of the month, will be an opportunity for Mr Gove and other European politicians to discuss air quality and how to protect “a basic quality of life” for European citizens.

Poor air quality resulting from pollutants including nitrogen dioxide have been linked with deadly health conditions such as heart disease and lung cancer. Experts have estimated air pollution kills 50,000 people annually in the UK alone. 

Last year the nation was warned it would face a European Court of Justice case if the nitrogen dioxide problem was not dealt with.

Environment ministers from Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Romania, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia were also called to attend the meeting on 30 January.

All the invited ministers represent countries that have been violating air quality limits for key pollutants. The invitations came from EU environment commissioner Karmenu Vella, who will chair the meeting.

“Every year, more than 400,000 Europeans die prematurely as a consequence of poor air quality,” Mr Vella wrote in a blog post explaining his decision to call the ministers to Brussels. “Our job is simple. It is to help reduce and ultimately do away with these numbers.”

Mr Vella emphasised the importance of EU member states sticking to the limits they have agreed to and stated the measures already in place in those states will not be enough to meet existing targets.

“It is the improvements, not the process, that interests Europeans,” he wrote. “It is no use telling the parent of a 7-year-old child with chronic bronchitis that things will improve by 2030. Much less telling the daughter of a 70-year-old woman with COPD [chronic obstructive pulmonary disease] that the air quality will be better in 10 years’ time.”





The EU provides funding to its member states to help tackle air pollution, and has implemented a number of measures to deal with emissions from power plants and vehicles.

“It’s not a good look when a government that promised environmental leadership has to be chivvied by Brussels into doing something about illegal air pollution,” said Rosie Rogers, head of Greenpeace UK’s clean air campaign. “Michael Gove promised to make cleaning up our cities’ air a top priority but has little to show for it as yet.”

Ms Rogers added that diesel vehicles were responsible for the vast majority of air pollution from road transport, so bringing the proposed ban on the sale of new diesel cars forward from 2040 to 2030 would be an effective strategy.

This chimed with a report released earlier this week by the Committee on Climate Change that called for most new car and van sales to be electric by 2030.

Ms Rogers also recommended that the Government support local authorities with the introduction of clean air zones in the areas of the UK worst affected by air pollution. 

Next week the Government will appear in court as part of case brought by legal activist group ClientEarth. The group has previously stated there were “major flaws” in the UK’s plans to tackle air pollution.

A spokesperson for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said it would respond to Mr Gove’s invitation in due course. “Air pollution has improved significantly since 2010, but we recognise there is more to do which is why we have put in place a £3.5bn plan to improve air quality and reduce harmful emissions,” the department said.

It also noted that the majority of air pollutants in the UK are currently below the legal limits, and said a key reason the nation missed targets was the failure of European emission standards for diesel cars to deliver the expected emission reductions of nitrogen oxides.

“We are at the forefront of calls for the EU to introduce real driving emissions testing which is essential in meeting our air-quality goals, the first stage of which came in for new models of vehicles in September 2017,” it added. “We continue to actively engage at a European and international level to tackle air pollution.”




DELHI NOVEMBER 2017 - Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall have arrived in the Indian capital of New Delhi on a day where the city’s levels of pollution are so high that it has been likened to a ‘gas chamber’. Experts say that in some parts of the city, residents breathing the polluted air will smoke the equivalent of 50 cigarettes. The future King of England has been outspoken about marine litter and joined forces with the Ellen MacArthur Trust to find ways of reducing single use plastic for packaging.




Did Michael Gove try to stop teaching climate change



Did Michael Gove really try to stop schools in England from teaching about climate change in geography?

His ministerial return, as secretary of state for the environment, food and rural affairs, has prompted a wave of claims that Mr Gove tried to remove the teaching of climate change when he was in charge of the education department.

"This is a man who tried to stop young people in our schools learning about climate change, who tried to take it out of the geography curriculum," said Caroline Lucas, co-leader of the Green Party.

On social media, these claims about climate change have been linked with pictures of Mr Gove's visit to the newly elected President Trump, as though their awkward thumbs up were evidence of some kind of global compact.

But is there any substance to the claims?

Anyone taking geography GCSEs or A-levels this summer will wonder what the row is about, because pupils will have been grilled - probably the wrong word - about climate change and global warming.

And there are plenty of references to climate change in the national curriculum for younger years.
Climate of suspicion

But the row about "climate change denial" goes back to a controversial rewriting of the geography curriculum when Mr Gove was education secretary.

In a draft version, climate change was conspicuous by its absence, prompting a wave of petitions and lobbying demands for its re-inclusion.

And when the final version was produced, climate change had been reinstated.

But instead of ending the argument, there was still a lingering fog of claims about political attempts to stifle the subject.

And the Department for Education had to publish a statement denying that climate change had been removed.

But what really happened?

People who were close to Mr Gove during this time say that the climate change allegations have taken on a life of their own, a Westminster version of an urban myth, without any foundation.

They say it's a complete misreading of what happened - and that rather than downplaying the teaching of climate change, it was to be bolstered by moving it to science.

And in the end, after a consultation, Mr Gove took the decision to keep teaching it as part of geography.

Another source said that climate change ended up being taught in geography and in science, so it hadn't been cut - so it was a meaningless row.

But there are also different versions of events.

Another very senior figure, close to the curriculum reforms, said that shifting climate change into science might have been the "formal" argument.

But they suggest that there was also an "instinctive" distrust of the topic, with lessons about climate change seen as having an underlying, politically driven agenda.

This became a political "tussle", it's claimed.
Political argument

Another person involved in the rewriting of the geography curriculum remembers ministerial interventions and political horse-trading.

They describe attempts not to "stress the human causes" of climate change as an attempt to placate the "right wing of the Conservative party".

Mr Gove was described as wanting to make specific changes to the wording.

This was the era of the coalition government - and it is claimed that the row was resolved behind the scenes after the intervention of the Department for Energy and Climate Change.

It was also suggested that "Nick Clegg was deployed" - as the deputy prime minister was sometimes involved with such departmental disagreements.

Although Mr Gove might have become the lightning rod in this row, it's worth noting that much of the controversial coverage about cutting climate change from geography was not about Mr Gove at all.

Tim Oates, who chaired the panel reviewing the national curriculum, argued it should be about core scientific knowledge, rather than issues, such as climate change, that might stem from that.

Such topics should be left to teachers to decide to teach rather than be prescribed, he said.

This had prompted reports that climate change "propaganda" was going to be dropped.
'Knee-jerk reaction'

In a statement on Monday, Mr Oates said there had been "a lot of knee-jerk reaction and misunderstanding in media reports at the time".

"The debate the national curriculum panel had was not over whether children should understand climate science - I believe that they should.

"The debate was about what fundamental concepts they needed to learn at an early age in order to understand climate science."

"I am not a 'climate change denier' and I never have been," said Mr Oates.

There are other arguments underlying all this. Should ministers, political figures moving in and out of departments, really get involved in the detail of what pupils are taught? Or should this be the domain of subject specialists and education professionals?

And the school climate has changed too. Academies do not have to follow the national curriculum - so for most secondary schools, such requirements no longer even apply.

A spokesman for Mr Gove's new department, Defra, said: "The secretary of state wanted to enhance climate change in the national curriculum when he was education secretary. It was never his intention to remove it." by Sean Coughlan




The United Kingdom has many political parties, some of which are represented in the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Below are links to the websites of the political parties that were represented in the House of Commons after the 2015 General Election:















Conservative Party

Co-operative Party

Democratic Unionist Party

Green Party

Labour Party

Liberal Democrats

Plaid Cymru

Scottish National Party

Sinn Féin

Social Democratic and Labour Party

UK Independence Party

Ulster Unionist Party





We are concerned with how the make up of the above parties and (reasonably) popular policies affects the Wealden district, because we are all brothers on two islands in the Atlantic Ocean and what we do or fail to do is likely to rebound on ourselves and our fellow man in other nations around the world. How we act today influences policies in other countries in our global community. It is not just about us and our patch.




East Sussex has five District and Borough Councils, each with a border on the coast. From west to east they are: 


Eastbourne Borough Council

Hastings Borough Council

Lewes District Council 

Rother District Council 

Wealden District Council


There is also East Sussex County Council as the provider of services to the 5 East Sussex districts.


As near neighbours and with councils now sharing facilities and working together, these area of Sussex are included in our remit and an area where climate change and affordable housing are issues that need urgent attention. Where the coastline is a feature in every Council, Blue Growth is a food security issue, especially where this side of of our local economy is under-exploited.










Client Earth wins against Conservative Party