Thursday, 24 July 2014

Stephen Metcalfe MP gets Westminster promotion

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, has secured a promotion in the latest Government reshuffle.

As well as continuing his normal duties for the local area the MP will now assume the role of Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS’s) to the Secretary of State for Justice, Chris Grayling MP.

Whilst the role offers no salary increase, PPS’s are subject to the Ministerial code and Mr Metcalfe will now be responsible for tracking backbench opinion in Parliament on Justice issues and offering support to both the Secretary of State and the Department in general.

Mr Grayling, who assumed office in 2012, has overall responsibility for the Government’s strategy on criminal justice, cutting crime, penal policy, human rights, and offender rehabilitation.
Mr Metcalfe commented: “I am delighted to have been asked to assume this role and am very much enjoying the challenge of serving in my new capacity.” 

“I know that justice, crime, and policing are extremely important issues in South Basildon and East Thurrock and I be working extremely hard to ensure that we continue to make progress in these areas.”

Monday, 21 July 2014

Stephen Metcalfe MP: $75 billion investment in Airbus is great news for local economy

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, has welcomed the news that orders have been placed for 496 airbus aircraft after this year’s Farnborough Air Show.

The order, which has been valued at $75 billion, is great news for our local economy as a number of  component parts for Airbus are made here in Basildon.

The local MP visited the Air Show to demonstrate his support for the industry and to see first-hand how Basildon and Thurrock based companies are helping to keep planes in the sky.

“There is not a single Airbus A380 in the air that doesn’t use parts from Basildon” said Stephen. “I am extremely proud of this fact and am delighted to see that so many orders were placed at the Farnborough Air Show.” 

“This $75 billion investment can only be good news for the local economy as a whole. It shows that Basildon has a key role to play in global industries and I will do all I can to support the work of engineering and Aerospace businesses in South Basildon and East Thurrock.”

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Stephen Metcalfe MP shows his support for Tractor Plant family day

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, recently joined Basildon’s Case New Holland (CNH) at their Family Day to thank their employees for their hard work.

The Day gave employees the opportunity to bring their families to their workplace and to enjoy a range of events laid on by the Management including tours of the plant, engineering activities, and of course, rides on some of the many tractors produced there.

It was also a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the impressive landmark of 50 years of uninterrupted tractor production in Basildon.

The local MP commented: “It was brilliant to join Colin Larkin and all at the tractor plant for their Family Day and to have a tour of the production line. There was so much on offer for people of all ages and I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did.” 

“I would like to thank all employees past and present for their hard work, for boosting the local economy, and for the work they do with young people.  I am extremely proud to tell people of their fantastic track record of production in Basildon.”

Stephen Metcalfe MP and Secretary of State congratulate Basildon Hospital staff in House of Commons

Local MP Stephen Metcalfe, and Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt MP, rose on the floor of the House of Commons recently to praise Basildon Hospital for the progress it has made since it was placed into special measures.

The chief inspector and Monitor have confirmed that Basildon and Thurrock NHS Foundation Trust can leave special measures with no further support. Both Mr Metcalfe and Mr Hunt highlighted the inspired leadership of Chief Executive, Clare Panniker, who has overseen this process.

In addition to employing an additional 241 nurses, the hospital has now received a ‘good’ rating with its maternity unit the first in the country to be rated “outstanding”.

The Secretary of State joined Mr Metcalfe in congratulating the management team and all staff at Basildon Hospital who have worked hard to turn the hospital around and confirmed that the Government will continue to support the hospital as it strives to make further improvements.

He also suggested that people will want know why it is that when there was a CQC report under the previous Government, it was sat on for six months and nothing was done. 

Mr Metcalfe commented: “Unlike the previous Government, this Government has faced up to the issues at Basildon Hospital and tackled them head on. The results speak for themselves. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of staff at every level at the Hospital, we have seen substantial positive change and I have every confidence that this will continue.”


Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Stephen Metcalfe MP: Unemployment falls again in South Basildon and East Thurrock

Local MP Stephen Metcalfe has welcomed the latest unemployment figures which show that 851 more people in South Basildon and East Thurrock have found work since June 2013.

The figures for the last few months are equally as impressive with unemployment down 114 since May 2014.

This announcement comes in the wake of news that across the country unemployment has fallen by 121,000 in the last quarter. This is the lowest level in nearly six years according to the Office for National Statistics.

Mr Metcalfe commented: “Unemployment is consistently falling in South Basildon and East Thurrock and across the country. This is great news for families and households who now have the security of a job and a pay packet.” 

“Whilst there is still more to do, it is clear that this Conservative Government’s long term economic plan is working. I have every confidence that this positive trend will continue as we will keep striving to meet our aim of full employment.”

Stephen Metcalfe MP: New Growth Deal means more jobs and security for hardworking people in South Basildon & East Thurrock

Stephen Metcalfe, Member of Parliament for South Basildon & East Thurrock has welcomed the announcement of new funding to support businesses and infrastructure in South Essex – helping local businesses to create new jobs and train more young people.

In total over £6 billion of projects will be supported by the Growth Fund across England in 2015/16, with funding being used to deliver better roads and public transport; increase the support for small businesses and young people looking for work; and improve internet links, skills and housing availability, strengthening the local economy and backing businesses to create jobs.

Stephen Metcalfe commented: "This Growth Deal is excellent news for local people in Basildon & Thurrock. Over the next few years, hundreds of millions of pounds will be invested in the South East Local Enterprise Partnership area making a huge difference in our area. And because it’s going straight to the LEP, local businesses and local authorities have been able to make sure local people get the biggest possible benefit, with much-needed investment for things like widening the A13 and tackling congestion on the A127."

"This will help local businesses create the jobs we need so more hardworking families can have the security of a regular pay packet, and will help ensure our young people have the skills they need to compete in the global race. This is a key part of our long-term economic plan, and will help secure a better and brighter future for people here in South Essex."

Greg Clark, Minister for Cities, said: "This is a landmark day for local economies across Britain. National growth is the sum of local growth, so for Britain to prosper every part of the country needs to fulfil its potential. But no two places are the same and the people who live, work and do business in each place know best what their area needs to do well. That’s why we’re backing local leaders to create jobs and prosperity in their own area."

Monday, 14 July 2014

Stephen Metcalfe MP welcomes Eversley Primary School to live coding event at the Houses of Parliament

Stephen Metcalfe, local Member of Parliament for South Basildon & East Thurrock MP was taught computer coding skills by pupils from  Eversley Primary School, Basildon this week, when they attended the Girls Get Coding event at the Houses of Parliament.

The event, organised by PICTFOR, the Parliamentary Internet, Communications and Technology Forum in conjunction with e-skills UK, brought more than a hundred girls from around the country to the historic surroundings of the Palace of Westminster. The girls had been practising their coding skills, ready to teach their MPs the basics of this vital skill. Three students were selected to take part, and enjoyed showing Stephen and other parliamentarians how to get ahead in programming.

“I loved learning to code with Eversley” , said Stephen Metcalfe. “They were full of enthusiasm and made excellent teachers. I know how important it is that all school students learn computer programming, and it was a great opportunity for me to brush up my own skills. It’s particularly important to encourage girls to make the most of technology, so I was delighted to support Girls Get Coding and meet the students.” 

Girls Get Coding is generously supported by the Institution of Engineering and Technology and forms part of the government's Your Life campaign to encourage more young people, and girls in particular, to consider careers in science and technology. 

Stephen Metcalfe MP supports troops at South Essex Armed Forces Day

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, recently showed his support for troops at South Essex Armed Forces Day.

The MP gave a short speech in which he spoke of the great debt owed to our military personnel for their selfless courage in defending the country before officially opening the largest military celebration in Essex for 30 years.

The day featured displays in the air from Hurricane and Spitfire aircraft as well as the first public display of the Gnat Display Team in their 3 ship formation for over 12 years. Meanwhile on the ground spectators were able to enjoy motorbike and gymnastic displays, the K9 dog team display, as well as performances from the Army Air Corp Band.

Mr Metcalfe recently completed a sky dive to raise money for The Soldiers Charity and has long been a supporter of the Armed Forces. He commented: “It was a privilege to open the South Essex Armed Forces Day. It was a fantastic opportunity for the general public to see our service personnel in action and for us to show our support for the men and women who put their lives on the line in service of this country.” 

“I know I speak for the people of South Basildon and East Thurrock when I say that we are extremely grateful for their courage, their dedication, and their commitment.”

Stephen Metcalfe MP backs Cancer Research UK’s ambition to save more lives

Stephen Metcalfe, Member of Parliament for South Basildon & East Thurrock joined Cancer Research UK scientists in Westminster to find out more about the charity’s inspiring new plan to accelerate progress and help save more lives in the East of England.

Stephen was there to find out the part he could play in helping to achieve Cancer Research UK’s ambition that within 20 years three in four of all cancer patients diagnosed will survive at least ten years.

Stephen had the opportunity to participate in interactive experiments with cancer researchers, learning about the biology of cancer and cutting-edge work to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.

There have been major advances in the fight against cancer over the last 40 years and Cancer Research UK’s work has been at the heart of that progress. 

Two in four people diagnosed with cancer today in the UK will survive their disease for at least ten years, compared to just one in four in the early 1970s.

In the East of England, this means that around 15,000* people each year can now expect to survive the disease for at least ten years.

But despite the successes, Cancer Research UK believes much more can be done to help more people in the East of England and across the UK beat cancer sooner. 

Stephen found out about what the Government can do to improve early diagnosis and ensure that all patients get the best treatment possible.

Stephen Metcalfe said: “The good news is that there have been significant steps forward for cancer patients. More people are surviving the disease and living longer and Cancer Research UK’s work has been at the heart of this progress. 

“But there is more to be done to help people beat cancer. I wholeheartedly support Cancer Research UK’s aim to improve survival through the earlier diagnosis of cancer and greater access to the best treatment possible.”

Sara Osborne, Head of Policy at Cancer Research UK said: “It’s great to have Stephen Metcalfe’s support to highlight the vital role MPs and their constituents can play in helping to tackle all cancers.

“We must not underestimate the devastating impact that cancer has on the lives of those with a cancer diagnosis and their families.

“As more people are diagnosed with the disease, it’s essential that we speed up our progress. We know that early diagnosis and access to the best possible treatments saves lives. We need the public and MPs to get behind us and help make our ambition possible. In the next two decades we can, and will, transform the outlook for cancer patients.” 

For more information on how to get involved in Cancer Research UK’s campaigning work, visit

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Stephen Metcalfe MP judges children’s ‘in the trees’ art competition

Stephen Metcalfe, MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, recently visited the Laboratory art studio in Wat Tyler Park to judge their annual children’s art competition.

This year children and young people aged between 4 and 16 were encouraged to explore, experiment and create artwork based on the theme ‘in the trees’. The local MP was then asked to judge a special category on woodlands and wildlife.

Mr Metcalfe commented: “It was fantastic to see what the young people of South Basildon and East Thurrock came up with. The standard was, as always, extremely high and I would like to congratulate everyone that took part.” 

“I would also like to thank the Laboratory for their ongoing work in the community and for making art accessible for people of all ages.”

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Stephen Metcalfe MP: Noise barrier ban overturned in Vange

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, has welcomed the news that plans for a noise barrier in The Meads, Vange, have been reinstated after his campaign with local Conservative councillors.

Residents in The Meads have long been complaining about the unacceptable levels of noise caused by the high volume of traffic from the Pitsea flyover and have been calling for a noise barrier to be installed.

Plans for a barrier were submitted to the Highways panel but were subsequently turned down. Thanks to the hard work of local resident, the local MP and Conservative councillors, this decision has been overturned.

The plans will now go forward to the design stage before going to the Highways Panel for approval.

Mr Metcalfe commented: “This is fantastic news for local residents who have had to put up with unacceptable noise levels for too long.  Whilst the barrier will not be installed over night, this is a huge step in the right direction and residents can now rest assured that this issue is being dealt with.” 

“I would like to thank all those who have worked hard with me to overturn the original decision and I look forward to seeing a barrier installed in the future.”