I had a busy weekend, both thanks to two big campaigns I am spearheading at the moment.

The first concerns the building of a new Cancer and Surgical Innovation Centre at the Royal Surrey.

As many of you know, I am hoping this will be open by the end of next year to help tackle the huge cancer backlog following the pandemic.

As is widely recognised, the NHS did a magnificent job making sure everyone who needs a ventilator or intensive care bed got one during the pandemic.

But less well understood was the price of doing so, namely switching off much other care including vital cancer care. Around 45,000 fewer people started cancer treatment in 2020 leading, sadly, to many lives being lost.

If we are to avoid this happening in a future pandemic we need more capacity in the system – and the new Royal Surrey centre will treat thousands more people every year, saving many more lives.

The project needs £30m and following a meeting I had with Sir Simon Stevens, the NHS committed £25m towards that total. But if we are going to equip the new centre with the very latest Da Vinci robots, we still need to raise £5m.

So far we are on just under £150,000 – and on Sunday I ran a 5k race in Stoke Park in Guildford with local MP Angela Richardson to raise more.

I am pleased to say our efforts added another £2,398 to the pot – so many thanks to the South West Surrey residents who contributed.

We both completed the course – admittedly with the odd stretch of walking, which was allowed! – and I had my 12-year-old son and ten-year-old daughter with me, who made me feel particularly ancient as I creaked round.

Unfortunately the rest of the weekend was rather less fun because of the terrible fire at Hankley Common.

The fire service declared it a major incident and sent 25 appliances to the site. They got things under control, greatly to their credit given the heat.

I was in touch with our Borough Commander Sam Adcock and Tim Oliver, leader of Surrey County Council, throughout the day. I would also like to thank Elstead councillors Jenny and David Else who did a brilliant job dealing with queries from holiday makers, visitors and local residents worried about whether they should move.

What I am afraid this reminds us is that climate change is causing more extreme weather. Since the 1980s each decade has been warmer than the previous one and this is expected to continue.

Last year was one of the hottest seven on record – and all of them have come since 2015. The urgency of what was decided at COP26 in Glasgow could not be more stark.

Ninety per cent of countries have now committed to net zero, up from 30 per cent before the event.

But there are still not enough plans in place to keep the rise in temperature below 1.5 degrees, the level of increase the experts say is the absolute maximum the planet can sustain.

Until we crack this, we will have to spend more resources on mitigating the worst effects – including preventing terrible fires such as at Hankley.

But the longer-term lesson is surely clear. Climate change is not just affecting remote Pacific islands or parts of Africa with large deserts: it is a clear and present danger to all of us.

My Green Spaces campaign, about which you should have received a leaflet, talks about what more we can all do locally to protect the environment. Please do fill in and email back the survey – or you can complete it online at https://www.jeremyhunt.org/greenspaces

I will be taking a break from this column in August but look forward to seeing Herald readers again in September. Have a wonderful summer!