Thursday, 28 November 2013

Stephen Metcalfe MP encourages constituents to be ‘ElectricSafe’

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, recently attended a parliamentary drop-in session to show support for improving electrical safety in the home by raising awareness of the importance and benefits of using a competent, registered electrician to householders via ElectricSafe.

The importance of ensuring home electrics are safe should not be underestimated.  Around 3,340 people were admitted to hospital following an electric shock in the UK during 2010/11 and in 2011/12 there were 3,822 domestic electrical fires in Great Britain, resulting in 14 deaths. 

Mr Metcalfe commented: “Electrical safety in the home is an important and life threatening issue as shown by the above statistics. It’s important that the general public are aware of the simple steps they can take to reduce potential electrical risks in their home. The most important of these, and a precaution we can all take, is to hire a competent, registered electrician when requiring electrical work to be done in the home.”

“I fully support the efforts of organisations like ElectricSafe that exist to raise awareness and make it easy for the general public to find a competent, registered electrician in their local area. I would strongly encourage the people of South Basildon and East Thurrock to make use of their services.”

ElectricSafe is a single, recognisable, consumer facing register of competent, electricians from across England and Wales. All ElectricSafe electricians are regularly assessed to demonstrate their ongoing competence; they are required to meet strict qualification requirements, work to a high standard and operate a fair and efficient process for dealing with complaints.

The ElectricSafe register is free to join for all full scope electricians who are registered on a DCLG authorised electrical Competent Persons Scheme. It is designed to make finding, identifying and checking competent electricians locally easier than ever before. It strives to eliminate unnecessary jargon and complexity, bringing a simple message of electrical safety in the home to every household in England and Wales. 

For more information, visit

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Stephen Metcalfe MP leads the Tree of Life Service at St Luke’s Hospice

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, joined the founder and patron of St Luke’s Hospice, Trudy Westmoore-Cox, in leading St Luke’s annual Tree of Life Service.

The service, now in its 17th year, forms part of Help the Hospice’s ‘Light Up A Life’ campaign which aims to provide members of the public with an opportunity to dedicate a light in memory of a loved one.

Mayor Mo Larkin conducted the countdown to the switch-on of the Tree of Life which was followed by carols from local school choirs. The Thurrock Spectrum Brass Band provided the prelude to the event.

For many hospices, including St Luke’s, the Light Up A Life service is one the best loved and most meaningful events in the calendar.

The local MP commented: “I was delighted to play a small role in this extremely moving and beautiful service. It provided a moment of reflection amidst Christmas preparations for people to remember those who are no longer with us. It also provided an opportunity to reflect on the fantastic work of St Luke’s which in itself has become a light in the community.”

“I would like to thank all those who took part in the event, particularly the local schools choirs who sang beautifully.”

St. Luke's Shops will display new dedication lists on the 15th November, 29th November, 13th December and 23rd December. Each list is subsequently updated. All dedications should be received no later than Friday 13th December to ensure the final list on December 23rd is correct. 

To make your dedication simply go to the Tribute and Legacy page under the Light Up A Life heading on St Luke’s website where you will be able to make a donation ensure that your loved one(s) will be remembered on the Light Up A Life tribute lists when they are produced:  

Stephen Metcalfe MP backs campaign to get children learning about money

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, has called for local schools to get their pupils talking and learning about money, as part of a charity’s new campaign to help improve the financial capability of young people.

Every primary and secondary school in South Basildon and East Thurrock has been sent free Get Money Smart posters and teaching materials by national charity PFEG (Personal Finance Education Group), which wants to get children talking about money in the classroom.

The charity’s Get Money Smart posters are designed to encourage classroom discussions about things children can do to learn more about money and personal finance.  Ideas for different ages include checking your change, estimating the cost of a weekly shop, comparing mobile phone tariffs and planning and budgeting for a trip.

Schools in South Basildon and East Thurrock are being encouraged to hold discussions with their pupils over 4 things the posters suggest they can do to learn about money – with the 5th being left up to each class to decide.  Ideas for the 5th activity can then be shared with other classes across the country on Twitter using the #5thingstodo hashtag.

Stephen Metcalfe MP has thrown his weight behind the effort as a way of helping young people in the local area to gain the vital skills and knowledge they will need to manage their personal finances throughout their lives.  The move follows news that financial education will be taught in secondary schools as part of the National Curriculum from September 2014.

Stephen Metcalfe MP said: “This is a great resource that will help young people in South Basildon and East Thurrock take responsibility for their finances and think sensibly about money. It will also feed nicely into the new curriculum changes. I would encourage the schools to make the most of this opportunity.” 

Tracey Bleakley, chief executive of pfeg (Personal Finance Education Group), said: “We are thrilled to have the support of Stephen Metcalfe MP for this free new scheme for primary and secondary schools in South Basildon and East Thurrock.  I hope all local schools will seize the opportunity to use their Get Money Smart posters to bring money to life in the classroom.  This is a crucial topic that every young person should learn.  Getting pupils talking about money and the financial decisions they will face in the future is a great way to start.”

Monday, 25 November 2013

Stephen Metcalfe MP meets UK Space Camp Ambassadors

Last weekend Stephen Metcalfe, MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, met with Basildon based, Space Camp Ambassadors to the UK, Ken and Jane Lewis from Gifted Tours, to discuss how the American Camp can be promoted in the local area.

Mr Metcalfe first encountered Space Camp on a Parliamentary visit to Alabama, where to his surprise he learned that the UK Ambassadors live in Basildon. The camp, based in Huntsville, also has links with local engineering firm Selex ES.

Founded in 1982 Space Camp promotes the study of STEM subjects through an exciting combination of hands-on activities and classroom instruction. Pupils from over 40 countries have participated in the camps which include a Space Academy and a Robotics Camp.

St Clere’s school in Thurrock have been sending young delegates for the last 12 years and Mr Metcalfe is keen to explore how this can be expanded further in South Basildon and East Thurrock.

He commented: “Space Camp is a fantastic facility that can’t fail in inspiring young people about the exciting possibilities of STEM subjects. I was delighted to learn that Ken and Jane lived in my constituency and I look forward to working with them to see how we can develop our involvement with the Camp in the future.”

“I have done a great deal of work promoting STEM subjects in local schools and this might present an exciting and innovative opportunity to inspire the much needed next generation of local engineers, mathematicians, and scientists.” 

For more information on Space Camp please see

Stephen Metcalfe MP supports fundraising efforts at Bulphan Church Christmas Bazaar

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock together with local Councillor Sue Little, entered the Christmas spirit once more this week at Bulphan Church’s Christmas Bazaar.

The annual Bazaar proved to be a great success with a good turnout. There was a lot on offer with refreshments to enjoy, tombola’s, cake stalls, crafts and card stalls with all proceeds providing vital funds for the church.

Mr Metcalfe commented: “I was delighted to join the community at Bulphan Church Christmas Bazaar. There is a fantastic community spirit in the local area and it was encapsulated here. I hope everyone there enjoyed the festivities as much as I did!”

“I would like to thank all those who had a part to play in bringing Christmas to the Bulphan and I hope that invaluable funds were raised to support the ongoing activities of the church.”

Stephen Metcalfe MP calls on all drivers to have regular eye tests

On 20 November Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, joined RSA Insurance Group in Parliament to support their ‘Fit to Drive’ road safety and eye health drop-in event.

Along with road safety charity ‘Brake’ and the Optical Confederation, the event saw MPs from all political parties tested to see whether they meet the UK’s minimum eye health standards.

Research shows that poor vision results in nearly 3,000 casualties in the UK each year. In addition to injury and loss of life, road crashes are costly for individuals, their families and the wider economy. The total cost of crashes due to poor driver vision is estimated to be £33m a year.

RSA and the Optical Confederation have published a new report, Healthy Eyes, Safer Roads, which shows how regular eye testing can keep all road users safer and sets out recommendations for policymakers to ensure more tests take place. Drivers who fall below the minimum standards are 15 per cent more likely to crash their vehicle – although in many cases they are unaware of their poor or deteriorating eye health.

During the event Stephen Metcalfe MP found out more about how this issue affects South Basildon and East Thurrock and had his eyes tested by a qualified optometrist. Mr Metcalfe also signed the Fit to Drive pledge – committing to having their eyes checked every two years, wearing glasses or lenses to drive if they need them and encouraging others to do the same. 

The local MP said:  “Drivers should take their responsibilities for their own and other people’s safety extremely seriously. An important part of this is making sure their eyesight meets the standards required and they wear their glasses or lenses every time they drive if they need them.”

“Thousands of crashes happen every year because of poor vision, at great cost to those involved and to the economy as a whole. I’m glad to say that I’m fit to drive but it’s vital everyone gets their eyes tested regularly to make sure they are safe too.”

Adrian Brown, CEO of RSA UK & Western Europe, added: "Regular testing helps maintain good eyesight and that means fewer crashes and safer roads. It's good to see local MPs getting this message out to their constituents and our ‘Fit to Drive’ campaign report sets out ways policymakers can make sure more eye tests happen.”

“We also want existing EU rules on driver eyesight to be properly implemented in the UK. We're currently lagging behind many other countries and that means our roads aren't as safe as they could be."

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Stephen Metcalfe MP: If it seems too good to be true, it is too good to be true!

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, is warning constituents of a new scam potentially dropping through letterboxes throughout the county.

Mr Metcalfe has himself received one of the letters which claims to be from a Chinese investment banker. The recipient is offered the chance to share in the unclaimed fortune of a deceased person who goes by the same surname.

The local MP is concerned that scams such as this, which are usually found online and in emails, are now making their way into people’s homes.

He commented: “I wanted to make my constituents aware of this new scam which uses personal information to prey on vulnerable people. Receiving this in the post is a lot more intrusive than the hundreds of email scams in circulation but it doesn’t make it more viable. I would advice my constituents to bin any such mail immediately and to ensure that they do not make contact with these predatory criminals.”

He added: “Remember the old adage - If it seems too good to be true, it is too good to be true!” 

Mr Metcalfe has informed the Post Office of the letters and they are now doing all they can to trace the perpetrators. 

Stephen Metcalfe MP: Start Up Loans figures show Government support for entrepreneurs is working

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, has welcomed new figures that show the Government’s Start-Up Loans Scheme has helped 681 entrepreneurs in the South East set up their own business. Across the country 10,000 Start-Up Loans have now been awarded, worth a total of £50 million.

In South Basildon and Thurrock, over 30 loans have been approved to the combined value of £192,109

Mr Metcalfe commented: “Because of the financial crisis we inherited, people who want to set up a new business have often found it hard to get a loan. This has prevented people with ideas and aspiration from putting their business plans into action.”

“These recent figures show that Start-Up Loans are changing that - here in the South East £4,368,291 has been lent to 681 budding entrepreneurs. This will ensure that all their potential and ideas don’t go to waste.”

“New businesses are the lifeblood of a healthy economy, helping to create jobs and growth. That’s why we will keep supporting hardworking people who aspire to start their own businesses.” 

Stephen Metcalfe MP celebrates Parliament Week at Basildon Lower Academy

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, joined ‘gifted and talented’ students at Basildon Lower Academy this week for a question and answer session as part of the national Parliament Week Initiative.

The local MP was grilled by students on wide range of topics from his role as an MP to current policy issues.

Mr Metcalfe commented: “It was fantastic to visit the Lower Academy and hear the thoughts of the students. As well as explaining about my role as an MP I was asked difficult questions about the economy and the welfare system and was extremely impressed by their knowledge of, and engagement with, current affairs.”

The visit formed part of the Academy’s involvement with Parliament Week, a UK-wide programme of events and activities running from 15-21 November that inspire, engage, and connect people with Parliamentary democracy.

The local MP added: “Parliament week is a brilliant initiative that brings Parliament that bit closer to people up and down the country. I am delighted that Basildon Lower Academy got involved and I look to forward to seeing Parliament Week feature more prominently in South Basildon and East Thurrock next year.”  

For further information on Parliament Week and to find out about events near you please see:

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Stephen Metcalfe MP encourages constituents to nominate outstanding young volunteers

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, is encouraging constituents to nominate outstanding young volunteers for the annual vInspired National Awards.

Now in its 5th year, the Awards, in association with RBS Early Careers, are the biggest of their kind, celebrating the achievements and dedication of young volunteers and the youth workers who support them.

This year, to acknowledge the rise of young entrepreneurs and the vInspired has added a new award for the “Most Outstanding Social Entrepreneur”. The categories are:

·         Best Young Volunteer
·         All Round Commitment to Volunteering
·         Bringing Communities Together
·         Team Activity
·         Outstanding Contribution by a Youth Worker
·         Most Outstanding NCS Team
·         Most Outstanding Social Entrepreneur

Winners will be rewarded with a star-studded awards ceremony, held at the Indig02 in London on 27th March next year, with performances from some of the best music talent. Past celebrity attendees have included Tinchy Stryder and The Saturdays as well as youth icons such as Katie Piper.

Mr Metcalfe commented: “There is an army of volunteers in South Basildon and East Thurrock who give up their time to help others and who work to make our community a better place. Many of these are young people and I would encourage anyone who benefits from their dedication to make a nomination. It would be a great way of celebrating their contribution and hard work and will also highlight to the others the great benefits that volunteering can bring.”

Terry Ryall, CEO of vInspired said, “We have seen some truly amazing nominations in past years and are always proud to put on a tear jerking, eye-opening award ceremony celebrating the great things that young volunteers up and down the country are doing in their community.

“So please think about the young people who inspire you, who give their time energy and passion to good causes in your community.  Or who have overcome a tough time themselves, and still want to help others.  They deserve a celebration, so tell us all about them so we can give them the party of a lifetime!” 

For more information or to nominate someone who inspires you, visit: Nominations close on the 24th November 2013.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Stephen Metcalfe MP joins residents for Christmas Lights Switch On

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock joined local residents to see the Christmas lights switched on in Basildon. 

He commented: “It was brilliant to see the Basildon Christmas Lights switched on. The turnout was absolutely fantastic and there was a great atmosphere with people young and old getting into the Christmas spirit. My thanks go to all those who have been involved in organising the lights and I hope that everyone will enjoy them in the run up to Christmas.”

Stephen Metcalfe MP celebrates the Best of British Innovation

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, recently attended the Institute of Physics’ (IOP) exhibition in Parliament in order to support the Institute’s Innovation Awards.

Hosted by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, The Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP, the awards celebrate companies that have managed to successfully commercialise a physics-based innovation – contributing millions of pounds to the UK economy.

This year’s five winners were: Coherent Scotland Ltd, which has developed an ultrafast laser system for medical imaging; Tracerco Ltd, which has produced a leading gamma-radiation based tool for pipe measurement in the oil and gas industry; Zephir Ltd, which has designed a portable Light Detection and Ranging device that can assess a site’s suitability for a wind farm; Elekta Ltd, which has produced a beam-shaping device for targeted radiotherapy; and Simpleware Ltd, which has developed a software solution that converts 3-D images into high-quality computer models.

Local MP Mr Metcalfe commented: “It’s great to see innovative businesses that are helping to drive the UK economy being rewarded for their hard-work and original thinking by the IOP.”

“We have companies here that are researching high-tech medical treatments which are benefiting families in South Basildon and East Thurrock who have been impacted by illnesses like cancer – that’s physics with a real practical application.”

Dr Frances Saunders, President of the Institute of Physics, added, “Nearly ten per cent of the UK’s economic output is due to physics-based businesses like those being celebrated at the awards.  These companies show how the innovative application of physics research can create both world-changing technologies and successful businesses.”  

The IOP Innovation Awards are a unique celebration of commercial success built on physics.  To find out more about how physics is driving economic growth across the UK, including a regional breakdown, see the Importance of Physics to Economic Growth 

To learn more about the winning companies and for quotes from them visit: ttp://

Stephen Metcalfe MP champions views of constituents at local Rail Summit

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, championed the views of local residents at his second Rail Summit this week, held at East Tilbury Library.

The Summit, organised and chaired by Mr Metcalfe, brought together key stakeholders and organisations to discuss local rail related issues such as level crossings throughout Thurrock and plans for a possible transport hub at Stanford-Le-Hope Station.

Among those in attendance were local rail providers C2C and Network Rail, community leaders including representatives from Thurrock Council, and members of the Stanford Forum.

The local MP presented attendees with a report containing the results of a survey on level crossings in East Tilbury that was sent to over 2,000 local residents. As a result, all parties have committed to working together to look into potential solutions to the problems at the crossing which primarily include limited access to emergency services and congestion when the barriers are down.

Mr Metcalfe commented: “Like earlier this year, the Rail Summit provided an excellent opportunity to air local concerns and to look cooperatively for potential solutions. Whilst there no quick fixes to many of the issues raised I was extremely pleased to see the wide array of parties come together to put local people at the heart of their future plans.”

“I would like to thank all those who responded to my survey on level crossings in East Tilbury and those who let me know their views by email or letter. I appreciate the strength of feeling that this issue engenders and I am committed to keeping the pressure on to find a solution. I will also look carefully at how a full feasibility study of the crossing might be undertaken.” 

“I would also like to thank all those who gave up their time to attend the Summit and contribute so constructively to the discussion. I look forward to continuing our work together in the future.”

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Stephen Metcalfe MP kick starts the festive season at Orsett Churches Centre

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, kicked off the festive season with local residents at the St Giles and All Saints Christmas Bazaar at Orsett churches centre last weekend.

The annual Bazaar proved to be a great success with a good turnout. There was lots on offer to do and refreshments to enjoy with tombola’s, cake stalls, crafts, card stalls and a raffle, with tickets drawn by the local MP and Cllr Sue Little.

Mr Metcalfe commented: “This was a great way to start the run up to Christmas. There was lots for people of all ages to enjoy and participate in and looking around I could see that everyone enjoyed the Bazaar as much I did!” 

“I would like to thank all those who worked so hard to organise the event and to the volunteers who manned the many stalls and activities. In enjoying the moment it’s easy to forget that a great deal of effort and hard work has gone on behind the scenes and this has not gone unnoticed.”

Stephen Metcalfe MP pays his respects to fallen soldiers

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, paid his respects to fallen soldiers this week at a Remembrance Sunday service in Pitsea Church Hall. The local MP also joined veterans at the local Tesco branch earlier in the week to sell poppies.

During the moving service Mr Metcalfe laid a wreath of poppies at the memorial before joining the community in a two minutes silence.

He said: “It was a privilege to join local residents in remembering the brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country in wars past and present. Their heroic deeds changed this nation forever and it is vitally important that we take a moment to remember this.”

Earlier in the week Mr Metcalfe joined local veterans at Pitsea Tesco to encourage shoppers to buy a poppy and support the Poppy Appeal. This year, the appeal is focusing on the range of work the British Legion does to support Armed Forces families, whether they are families of personnel on active service, of those currently in transition from military to civilian life, or of veterans. 

The MP added: “Each poppy sold helps the Royal British Legion support the British Armed Forces past and present and their families.  Remembrance Sunday may have passed but there are still plenty of ways to show your support for our Armed Services and I would encourage all those who can to do so.” 

For further information on how you can give to the Poppy Appeal and support the families of armed servicemen and women, please visit:

Monday, 11 November 2013

Stephen Metcalfe MP joins young engineers for Big Bang @ Parliament

Stephen with Selex ES at the 2013 Big Bang Fair

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, recently joined young engineers from across the country to get a taste of The Big Bang Fair in Parliament.

The Big Bang Fair is Europe’s largest science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) event for young people and Big Bang @ Parliament aimed to give politicians, policy-makers and the business community the chance to meet award-winning young scientists and engineers, and experience the careers inspiration behind The Big Bang Fair on their own turf.

Young winners of the regional stage of the National Science + Engineering Competition  showcased a range of exciting projects to guests and MPs. Pupils’ projects tackled issues from global problems, such as bee sustainability and water purification in third world countries, to technological innovations, including a transporter robot and an interactive bin. The finalists are competing for the titles of UK Young Scientist of the Year and UK Young Engineer of the Year, which will be awarded  at The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair in Birmingham in March next year.

Alongside the engineers of the future, some of the UK’s leading engineering business and industry, BAE Systems, Balfour Beatty, Jaguar Land Rover and UTC Aerospace Systems, were there to help demonstrate the variety of careers that studying STEM subjects can lead to.

The Big Bang @ Parliament was part of Tomorrow’s Engineers Week, a collaboration between the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the engineering community. The aim of the Week is to bring engineering to life for young people and to promote the message that engineering offers rewarding, creative and well-paid job opportunities for young men and women, in a broad range of dynamic environments like music, sport, computer gaming, construction, fashion, film special effects and environmental technology.

The local MP said: “It was fantastic to see young people so enthusiastic about STEM subjects and to see them looking at how to apply STEM to some of the world’s most pressing issues. I joined local firm Selex ES at this year’s Big Bang Fair so it was great to see it brought to Parliament. This is an area I am extremely passionate about and I hope to see more and more young people in South Basildon and East Thurrock aspiring to be engineers and scientists.”

“In order for this to happen, we must excite young people about the range of great careers that science, technology, engineering and maths subjects can lead to. That’s what The Big Bang and Tomorrow’s Engineers is all about and why Tomorrow’s Engineers Week is such a valuable initiative.” 

The UK Big Bang Fair will take place on 13-16 March 2014 at The NEC, Birmingham. For further information or to register go to

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Stephen Metcalfe MP joins local apprentices to launch 2014 Youth Rocketry Challenge

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, teamed up with apprentices from Selex ES and the broader aerospace industry last Wednesday to take part in a rocket launching competition.

Supported by the Science and Technology Committee, the competition celebrated the launch of the 2014 UK Aerospace Youth Rocketry Challenge (UKAYRoC) which sees teams of students aged 11-18 years old design, build and launch their own rockets to exacting specifications.

The event coincides with Tomorrow’s Engineers Week – a Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) initiative to showcase the many exciting engineering careers options available to young people.

Earlier this week Professor John Perkins, the chief scientific advisor to BIS published his Review of Engineering Skills. The Review, highlighting the importance of engineers to the UK economy, recommends that government, industry, the engineering profession and the education sector work together to inspire young people into engineering. The UKAYRoC is an important initiative to achieve this, and has become increasingly influential in enthusing young people about the variety of opportunities on offer in the aerospace sector. Next year’s challenge is set to be bigger than ever before, with places for 150 teams to take part.

Mr Metcalfe commented: “The event offered a fantastic opportunity to meet with some of the bright, ambitious young people that are just starting their engineering careers. The Rocketry Challenge is a brilliant way to show more students in the area what fun engineering really is, and I am keen to encourage as many schools and colleges from South Basildon and East Thurrock to enter the 2014 challenge.”

Speaking at the event, Paul Everitt, chief executive of aerospace trade organisation, ADS Group commented: “The Rocketry Challenge is a unique initiative to ignite enthusiasm for our sectors. We believe the challenge has an important role to play in galvanising more young people to take up careers in the aerospace sector, ultimately helping the UK take advantage of the significant growth opportunities available as air travel continues to increase.”

Apprentices from Airbus, Astrium, Axis Electronics, Cobham, GE Aviation, GKN, Marshall Aerospace and Defence, MEP, Raytheon UK, RLC Engineering, Selex ES and UTC Aerospace Systems were on hand on the day to support their MP team leader in the successful launch of the rocket. 

Schools can find out more about the Challenge at

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Stephen Metcalfe MP celebrates 150 years of football in England

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, joined colleagues from across the House last week to celebrate the 150th anniversary of The Football Association and to learn more about the connections between elite and grassroots football.

The local MP was invited to join England Manager Roy Hodgson and FA Chairman Greg Dyke at the special event in parliament to celebrate this landmark anniversary and to get a better understanding of how The FA supports football in England.

Mr Metcalfe, who was photographed at the event with The FA Cup, said: “Football has come such a long way since that first meeting back in 1863 which created the first laws of the game.”

“Today it plays a huge part in the lives of millions across the country and whilst it’s great to see so many people in South Basildon and East Thurrock enjoying the game, I think more can be done to support grassroots football. This is something I will be looking into.”

In England there are seven million players of all ages and backgrounds who regularly play the game, as well as 400,000 volunteers, 300,000 coaches and 27,000 referees.

Stephen added: “I would like to thank all the volunteers, coaches, and referees in South Basildon and East Thurrock for giving up their time and energy so that people can play football. The life skills gained from being in a team are invaluable and I know players in the  local area appreciate your hard work.” 

For more information about how to get involved in football whether through playing, coaching or refereeing please visit:

Monday, 4 November 2013

Stephen Metcalfe MP: Real help for energy consumers unlike Labour’s price freeze con!

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, urges constituents to arm themselves with information from the latest Government guide: Helping Consumers with Energy.

The guide is a simple brochure that explains the range of support and help available to householders, and where to go for more information and advice. The full brochure can be downloaded via this link:

It includes information on the Government’s Winter Fuel Payment; the Warm Home Discount Scheme which will provide over 2 million households, including over 600,000 vulnerable pensioners, with a £135 discount on their electricity bills; and Cold Weather Payments which have been permanently increased from £8.50 to £25, helping the most vulnerable when extremely cold weather strikes.

Stephen said: “Despite the well-publicised differences of opinion in the House of Commons about energy policy, consumers across the country are looking for guidance and leadership this winter. I am delighted that the Government have responded with this brochure. It is packed with useful information that will help people in South Basildon and East Thurrock manage their energy consumption and bills.”

He added: “If you are worried about your energy bills, I would also encourage you to contact the Energy Savings Advice Service which has been contracted by DECC to offer helpful and impartial advice. The number to call is 0300 123 1234.”

Stephen continued: “This is real action to help real people, unlike Labours smoke and mirrors con-trick about freezing energy bills until 2017 if they win the next election.”

“Labours much heralded policy of a price freeze is simply a price con. Prices would go up before it comes in and after it ends. Ed Miliband has said he would break his promise during the freeze if there’s a wholesale price rise and in addition, he wants a decarbonisation target that would add £125 to every household's bill. Labour doubled gas bills in office and their policies now would put them up again.” 

“I of course recognise that this is a very tough time for many families across the country and the Government is doing all it can to help people in this difficult economic climate. The Prime Minister made a personal commitment to help get energy bills down and the regulator has recently announced that it is taking forward a package of measures to help reduce bills and make the energy market fairer, clearer and simpler.”

Stephen Metcalfe MP welcomes Basildon’s twinned town to Parliament

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, welcomed local delegates from Basildon’s twinned town in Heiligenhaus, Germany to Parliament last week.

The party from Germany included the Heiligenhaus Deputy Mayor, Heinz Peter Schreven, leader of the ruling CDU group on the town’s Council, Cllr Thorsten Thus, and Cllr Ralf Herre. 

The local MP gave the guests a tour of the Palace of Westminster and discussed with them various ways in which the ties between the two towns can be strengthened. He later commented: “It was fantastic to have delegates from Basildon’s twinned town come to visit. It symbolises the friendship of our two towns and indeed our two nations.”

Basildon is also twinned with Ville de Meaux in France in a tradition stretching back almost a century in the UK, symbolising a post-war spirit of reconciliation.  Now the twinning acts as a source of enrichment with school trips, exchanges, and leisure and sporting activities between Basildon and its twinned towns.

The local MP added: “Among many other things we discussed a project currently being organised to mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War next year which will create ever stronger ties between Basildon, Heiligenhaus, and Ville de Meaux.” 

“This is extremely exciting for Basildon and I look forward to telling everyone more about it in the near future.”

Stephen Metcalfe MP celebrates local charity champions

In the run-up to this year’s Trustees’ Week, Stephen Metcalfe, MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, is thanking local charity trustees for their dedicated work in running local charities, and highlighting the benefits of becoming a charity trustee.

There are hundreds of charities in South Basildon and East Thurrock, covering a wide range of activities and services but all depend on the trustees that oversee their work, most of whom are volunteers. Trustees’ Week raises awareness of the work they do, and also highlights how people can benefit themselves by becoming trustees, through gaining valuable experience and skills.

Mr Metcalfe said: “We have some fantastic local charities doing really important work and their trustees are integral to this success. As we approach Trustees’ Week I want to pay tribute to the tireless work they undertake to help others and keep the charity sector in South Basildon and East Thurrock so vibrant and strong.    

“I would also encourage as many people as possible to consider becoming a trustee. Being a charity trustee is a great way of learning new skills and gaining valuable experience, and could lead to new opportunities and employment. Estimates suggest that almost half of charities have at least one vacancy on their board so there’s an organisation for you, whatever your age or background.” 

Trustees’ Week runs from 4-10 November 2013. To learn more about Trustees’ Week and trusteeship, visit and follow @trusteesweek.  The website includes case studies, recruitment resources, details of local events being held during Trustees’ Week and links to trustee matching services for those who want to become a trustee.  

Stephen Metcalfe MP welcomes plans to cap pension charges

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and Thurrock, has today welcomed plans to radically reform pension charges. The changes are designed to help people who have been saving for their retirement.

Conservative MP and Financial Secretary to the Treasury Sajid Javid MP announced that the Government will:

  • Introduce a cap on pension charges to save hardworking people thousands of pounds.
  • Make sure employers and savers are better-informed about the pensions available, so they can make the choice that is best for them.

The Government will now consult on the best way of reducing these charges.

Mr Metcalfe commented: “This is great news for hardworking people in South Basildon and East Thurrock who are, or who have been saving for retirement. It will help ensure they get the value for money from their pension that they deserve.” 

“Conservatives have already taken action to cut fuel duty and income tax and we are changing the law to force energy companies to put customers on the lowest tariff. This announcement is another step Conservatives in Government are taking to help people up and down the country and I look forward to seeing the reforms implemented.”