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

Misya restaurant in Stevenage Old Town will open on Christmas Day from 12noon to 4pm to spread a little Christmas cheer. The family run business wants to give more back to the local community and are offering a free lunch to the homeless, lonely and emergency response staff working on Christmas Day.

Stephen McPartland, Member of Parliament for Stevenage said, “This is an incredibly kind gesture from a wonderful local business that is opening its doors on Christmas Day. Isa Demir, the owner of this family business, is really putting the festive spirit back into Christmas. I am so proud of the whole team and the massive community spirit that we have here in Stevenage.”

Isa Demir, owner of Misya restaurant, said “I chatted with my family about how we could do something more this Christmas and they decided they wanted to open the restaurant up to those people who will not be sitting down to a family dinner. We decided that we would provide a free lunch to the homeless, lonely and emergency response staff such as the Police, Ambulance and Fire Service staff to provide a little festive cheer. We will be open 12noon to 4pm for a free meal.

Matthew Nicholls, Chief Superintendent of Hertfordshire Police said, “This is a wonderful and kind gesture from the owners and staff at the Misya restaurant in the Old Town. Along with our partner Emergency Services, Stevenage Police officers and staff will be working all hours and days of the holiday season and I fully support this opportunity to provide some company to those who may be alone on Christmas Day. Demand for local agencies can be high in the holiday season and calls are often linked to individual’s personal needs which can increase at this time of year. This local gesture is greatly appreciated.”

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Stephen McPartland MP visited the Stevenage Delivery Office to see first-hand the operation of delivering Christmas post and to pass on Season’s Greetings to its dedicated, hardworking staff. He was shown around the office by Delivery Office Manager, Barry Aldridge, and met many of the postmen and women who are pulling out all the stops to sort and deliver mail in Stevenage over the very busy Christmas period.

The Festive Season is Royal Mail’s busiest period, as millions of people shop online for gifts as well as sending Christmas cards and parcels. Royal Mail also plays a key role in e-commerce for many businesses sending goods to customers throughout Christmas shopping season.

Stephen McPartland MP said, “At no other time is the hard work and dedication of postmen and women clearer than during the festive period. There is a huge amount of effort and dedication that goes into delivering a first class Christmas all over the country.

“It was great to meet the team here at Stevenage and thank them for the extraordinary lengths they go to ensure Christmas parcels and cards are delivered to loved ones on time, as well as thanking them for delivering our mail services all through the year, in all weathers.”

Barry Aldridge, Royal Mail Delivery Office Manager, said, “Our postmen and women are working extremely hard to deliver Christmas parcels, cards, letters and parcels to people in Stevenage. We are grateful that Stephen visited the office to see our operation and to support the team.

“We would like to remind our customers to post early and to ensure all their mail is posted by the recommended dates, so that friends and family can enjoy their Christmas greetings and parcels. If everyone uses the postcode on every item of mail, this also helps us greatly in the job that we do at this very busy time.”

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Earlier this term Stephen McPartland MP was pleased to welcome a visiting teacher from India who works at St Mary's Singla in Darleeling, a school which Aston St Mary's School has had a friendship link with for a number of years.

Stephen McPartland MP said, "It is very good to see how the friendship between the schools has developed over the years, with exchange of letters and pictures between the pupils, as well as one of the teachers from Aston St Mary's visiting India. I was very pleased to meet Miss Sudhina and that she hopes to establish a School council when she is returns to her school."

Aston St Mary's School has raised funds for their friendship school in India including to help purchase computer equipment. During her visit Miss Sudhina has spent time joining in with the school activities and has been able to pick up new ideas around teaching and pupil interaction to take back and introduce to her school in India.

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Stephen McPartland, Member of Parliament for Stevenage, visited St Nicholas Primary School, Six Hills Way, for a question and answer session with the pupils. The visit was part of their work learning about democracy and he also met up with the School Councillors.

Stephen McPartland MP said, “Visiting schools such as St Nicholas is an integral and rewarding part of my job. It is encouraging to see how interested they are – and who knows - some of the children may end up in politics or as an MP themselves one day!”

Deputy headteacher at St Nicholas School Mrs Lisa King commented, “We were delighted to show Stephen McPartland around our school and the children were fascinated to hear about his job. Even the younger pupils were asking thought-provoking questions.”

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I believe in democracy and whether I win or lose by 1 vote in an election, never mind 1.3 million, then I have to respect that decision. My constituency voted Leave, as did I, and the margin locally was just under 20 percent.

The ballot paper presented voters with an unambiguous choice to remain in the EU or to leave. The consequences of either decision were communicated by campaign groups through a variety of print, audio-visual and digital media. The Government also sent a document to every household in the UK on the benefits of staying in the EU.

In every election it is up to the electorate to judge the merits of the different arguments and over 17.4 million voters decided to leave the EU. Both main political parties also pledged in their manifestos at the General Election 2017 to respect the EU referendum result and these parties received over 80 per cent of the vote.

I warned back in February 2016 that "Britain can stand alone outside of Europe, but we will not have the chance. Project Fear will be launched this weekend and if we dare to vote to leave, then we will be told we face mass unemployment, surging interest rates, increasing prices, rapid inflation and increased risk of terrorist attacks."

In June 2016, I stated that “I am saddened I was right, but I am shocked at how Project Fear manages to keep reaching new lows, frightening pensioners, patients, public sector workers, home owners, students and anyone who dares to think that we are a great country and as the fifth largest economy can stand on our own two feet in the world. Quite simply, whichever way you vote in the referendum is your choice and neither side can tell you what is really going to happen, but the companies in Stevenage will still be here, employing local people, who will buy from the shops and pay taxes to keep the economy going and fund our public services. Neither side has the answers, as no one ever knows what the future will hold – this is your choice and you must decide, but I promise you and your family, that whatever the result is - I will stand up and fight for the best deal for Stevenage.”

We are now two and a half years on since the referendum was held and the divisions in our country have not been healed. The atmosphere remains toxic. The shouting from both sides has overshadowed our progress with record investments in our NHS, Schools, Housing, Transport and a million more people in work. The UK is the fifth largest economy in the world and last year saw the highest level of foreign direct investment projects into the country in our history. The future of the UK is bright. Forbes has ranked the UK as the best country for business in 2018 and PwC predicts that the country could become the fastest-growing economy in the G7 between now and 2050. Manufacturing orders are also at their strongest since 1988 and unemployment is at its lowest since records began. We live in a stable and liberal democracy, we have a significant role in maintaining international peace and security and we are open to the world for business.

I want a free trade deal with Europe, our largest trading partner, but I also want trade deals around the world. The scaremongering about “No Deal” and “crashing out” is irresponsible and damaging consumer confidence at a critical time, when we should be supporting manufacturers and retailers during the vital Christmas trading period. Millions of jobs depend on our High Streets and we cannot have first class public services without a strong economy to pay for them.

I cannot support the Withdrawal Agreement in its current form. There is much to dislike, but I accept the need for compromise in any negotiation. However, I cannot compromise on an “indefinite backstop” that prevents us from ever leaving the European Union and delivering on the result of the referendum.

Yours sincerely,

Stephen McPartland
Member of Parliament for Stevenage

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Stephen McPartland, Member of Parliament for Stevenage, had a further meeting with Highways England about the upgrade of the A1(M) at Stevenage to a Smart Motorway.

Stephen McPartland MP, said, "I have had a series of meetings with Highways England, about the widening of the A1(M) between Junctions 6 and 8 at Stevenage, since I secured the funds in the first Road Investment Strategy in autumn 2014.

"The scheme includes widening of the two lane section between Junctions 6 and 8, Welwyn to Stevenage, to three lanes with the hard shoulder converted to a permanent running lane. The upgrade will be for both north-and southbound, with a developing estimated cost of up to £170m, but it is important the scheme remains value for money.

"A huge amount of work has already been undertaken by Highways England, as they will be responsible for the full design and delivery of the scheme, and expect the preliminary design work to be completed in Spring 2019. I was delighted they confirmed the scheme is still on track to start construction work in March 2020, for completion before Spring 2022.

"Comprehensive planning at this stage is important to help reduce both construction time and any delays once construction is underway.

"I am grateful to Highways England for the work they have done to take into consideration a number of points I have raised on behalf of local people. The latest meeting was an exciting discussion and shows that by working closely together we can make excellent progress towards a highly beneficial upgrade that will release a chokehold on Hertfordshire's economy."

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