Stephen McPartland
Working hard for you
in Stevenage, Knebworth, Codicote, Datchworth and Aston

The Campaign for Finn’s Law continues to make great progress and Ministers have agreed to meet with local Members of Parliament Stephen McPartland and Oliver Heald to discuss the next steps in the campaign. Police Dog Finn popped in to see Stephen McPartland MP today for a catch up, after the questions he raised in Parliament.

We need to keep the pressure up in our campaign for Finns Law and Stephen told Ministers in Parliament that “Police dog Finn was brutally stabbed several times in my constituency while apprehending a violent criminal. The current law treats police dog Finn, a canine hero, like a piece of computer equipment—the charge is criminal damage. This is unacceptable. My right hon. and learned Friend Sir Oliver Heald is leading a campaign to introduce Finn’s law. Will the Minister agree to meet me and my right hon. and learned Friend, so that we can provide greater protection for our service animals in the course of their duty?”

Ministers have agreed to meet to discuss Finns Law and Dave Wardell, his owner, said “This is excellent news and another important step in our exciting campaign for Finns Law, so our amazing service animals get the protection they need.”

Stephen added, “It is always great to meet Finn and he has such a wonderful personality, it is more important than ever that we succeed in this campaign.”

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Stevenage Borough Council SG1 regeneration plan is the latest in a long line of broken promises over the last 23 years. The heart of the plan is fancy new Labour Council Offices, while the shops in Queensway, the centre of the town, remain the same.

Stephen McPartland, Member of Parliament for Stevenage said, “I have asked Stevenage Borough Council to work with me to deliver a real regeneration scheme that starts in Queensway, as local people want new shops, not fancy new Council Offices. There will be 1,000 flats with less than 10% made available as affordable homes for local people and local NHS facilities could be compulsory purchased by Stevenage Borough Council on behalf of the developers.

“I cannot support a scheme whereby the public sector is providing 90% of the land and getting less than 10% of the homes back in return, because the money is being invested in new Labour Council Offices.

“Thousands of local people have signed my petition already, calling for a regeneration plan that focuses on new shops in Queensway, the centre of our town, instead of fancy new Labour Council Offices. Please speak up for our town and sign the petition here.”

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Aston St Mary's Church of England Primary School recently held elections for their School Council and invited their local Member of Parliament, Stephen McPartland, along to meet the pupils and present them with their badges at a special school assembly.

Stephen McPartland MP said, "I was delighted to award the newly elected School Councillors with their badges and look forward to hearing how hard they work to make sure the ideas from their own classes can be put forward."

Head teacher, Julie Winwood, said,  "The new School Councillors were delighted to be presented with their badges by our MP, Mr Stephen McPartland.  Learning about democracy, the children campaigned and were then delighted to be elected as their class representatives.  We look forward to seeing how our new School Council influence our whole school environment."

The School Councillors are elected by their class to represent their views and work together to make improvements to the school.  The School Councillors work together with Julie and volunteer, Dennis Preston, who help guide the children.

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We write regarding the delays to Platform 5 at Stevenage station. The huge increase in services and direct links to Gatwick and Brighton which start coming online from May 2018, due to Thameslink, means there is not enough capacity to have the Hertford Loop line using the current Platforms.

The delay to construction of Platform 5 occurred because there was uncertainty about the future of the existing station at a crucial moment in planning the new platform. The proposal by Stevenage Borough Council and request for Government funding to build a new station meant that the project to build platform 5 was put back. The proposal for a new station therefore delayed the construction of Platform 5, which was removed from Network Rail Control Period 5, as it could not be built before next year, when Control Period 6 begins. Our priority has always been to get on with the delivery of this new platform as fast as possible.

We have made our views on this to the Secretary of State for Transport very clear. Under pressure from ourselves, the Department of Transport led a Programme Board, which included Network Rail, Train Operating Companies and the Office of Rail and Road to identify a solution. We remain disappointed that Govia were unable to programme a service for Peak whilst the engineering works took place. We met with the previous Rail Minister on several occasions to push for progress on construction and ensured funding was not a problem. As far as we are aware, Stevenage Borough Council never met the Rail Minister or were involved in any of the discussions to resolve the problem they created.

Platform 5 is not just a new Platform, this only makes up 20% of the complex engineering works, there needs to be a significant section of new rail laid, electrified and new signaling installed and integrated. There have been irresponsible scare stories of 7 years engineering works, which we have always disputed as scaremongering. We have received confirmation in writing from the new Rail Minister that full design and construction is expected to take closer to two years and a bus replacement service will not be needed until December 2018, an improvement on the current plans of May 2018.

Once the platform is fully operational, then the new service and new trains available on this line will be welcome. We will continue to work with Ministers and Network Rail to resolve the issue for all of our constituents.

Rt Hon Sir Oliver Heald MP
Stephen McPartland MP
Mark Prisk MP

Click here if you would like to help Stephen make a difference

Click here if you would like to help Stephen make a difference

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