Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Supporting the National Garden Scheme in Bowers Gifford

With John Spooner supporting the National Garden Scheme
I was delighted to visit John and Barbara Spooner's garden in Bowers Gifford, which they kindly opened up to the public to support the National Garden Scheme (NGS).

NGS encourages homeowners across the country to open up their private gardens to the public in support of a number of nursing charities, including Macmillan Cancer Care, Marie Curie, and Hospice UK.

So far this year NGS has raised over £3million, with the garden season now entering full bloom.

I was very grateful for the invitation to visit their beautiful garden, for their hospitality, and also for their dedication and hard work in supporting the National Garden Scheme - which helps to raise crucial funds for nursing charities across the country.

I would encourage anyone from the local area and beyond to visit next time it is open, or check the NGS website for other open gardens!

Monday, 17 July 2017

Traveller occupation of Rushley Park

At Rushley Park, Basildon, after recent events
Recently we saw the third occupation of Rushley Park by travellers. This incursion has again caused much distress to local residents with reports of intimidation, fires being lit on both park furniture and in the trees, fly tipping on an industrial scale, and a general disregard for acceptable behaviour.

These events have again rightly resulted in a call for more action to be taken to ensure that everyone, regardless of social status, is treated equally under the law. Trespass, malicious damage, fly tipping, and intimidation of others are all criminal acts and anyone breaking these laws should be treated in exactly the same way.

Local residents are rightly concerned about the impact of the occupation on the local park, a much loved public place. It is also the third time in nine months that the local community has been affected by such an incursion.

I am grateful to the Police and the local Council for the actions they have taken to clear the site, but I am calling on all authorities - locally and nationally - to do more. I have therefore written to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government asking what more we can do collectively to ensure the protection of our public spaces and how we can prevent such trespass in the future.

Likewise I am opening discussions with Basildon Borough Council, Thurrock Council, and Essex County Council to explore putting in place a borough-wide Section 61 order similar to that imposed by Harlow Council. This could help to protect the environment and residents from the constant abuses both during and after such incursions.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Opening the Horndon Feast & Fayre

It was a tremendous honour to help open the Horndon-on-the-Hill Feast & Fayre with Thurrock mayor Tunde Ojetola and cut the ribbon!

The event dates back to the 13th century when Horndon-on-the-Hill was granted a Royal Charter to hold the annual end-of-June celebration.

More recently it has hosted the Horndon 10k run and brings different parts of the local community together to celebrate summer in the village.

I look forward to hopefully attending the event again next year!

Meeting the new student leadership team at Hassenbrook Academy

I was recently delighted to visit Hassenbrook Academy to meet the new Head Girl, Boy and their deputies, who were all optimistic about what they can achieve at, and for, the school.

It was also very encouraging to see that Hassenbrook continues to make progress under the leadership of Executive Head Dr Asong and her teaching staff.

As MP I always enjoy the chance to catch up with local schools and see first-hand the hard work all our teachers do to drive up standards and give pupils a great start in life. Education is one of the most important gifts we can give to local young people and it can make all the difference.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Thank you for your support in the General Election

I am delighted and humbled to have been re-elected to represent South Basildon and East Thurrock with such an increased majority of over 11,000, winning 26,811 votes and a 56.9% share of the vote.

Across the last seven years I have worked hard to be a strong voice in Parliament for local residents and will continue to do so over the course of this Parliament.

I am grateful to voters for putting their faith in me and also to my dedicated campaign volunteers, who helped me run a positive campaign across all parts of our local area.

Whilst the election did not deliver an outright majority for any party I am pleased that the Conservatives won the most seats and a huge 42.4% of the national vote since the Thatcher era.

It is now crucial that Theresa May is allowed the opportunity to form a Government, giving our country certainty and security as we begin the Brexit negotiations.

Meanwhile locally I will continue to campaign on important issues such as inappropriate development, options for a new Lower Thames Crossing, and helping every student to achieve their full potential.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Visiting new UPS development at DP World

I was pleased to visit the UPS development at their DP World site to view the progress in construction of their brand new UK centre.

I saw first-hand the work on the construction and was informed that the facility will be fully operational in the near future, which is very positive news.

Once operational it will be the first fully automated hub in Britain. It's an exciting development in the area that will bring many new jobs and opportunities to Basildon and Thurrock.

It's also a shining example of the confidence the company has in our post-Brexit local and national economy.

To get in touch about my campaign priorities for South Basildon and East Thurrock please email me at You can also follow me on Twitter: @Metcalfe_SBET.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Football Shirt Friday: Supporting the Bobby Moore Fund with William Hill in Corringham

It was great to visit the William Hill branch in Corringham for the "Football Shirt Friday" initiative, which helps support the Bobby Moore Fund.

The Bobby Moore Fund was set up in 1993 by Stephanie Moore MBE, widow of the England football legend, to raise money to combat bowel cancer and fund live-saving research.

It was the second year in a row that William Hill sponsored Football Shirt Friday and is part of the company's pledge to support local communities.

In Corringham I met Regional Manager Chris Batham and paid a £2 donation to proudly wear my East Thurrock United FC shirt, helping to promote our local club!

During the visit I was shown the mechanisms that William Hill have to encourage responsible betting and also saw the preventative measures in place in the premises.

For a bit of fun the local branch gave me a £50 bet, the proceeds of which will be donated to charity. Naturally I placed it on Tottenham Hotspur to win the Premier League, with odds of 6/1 - a long-shot with Chelsea doing so well but hopefully a winner!

Find out more about the Football Shirt Friday initiative and its work to support the Bobby Moore Fund here.