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

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Stephen McPartland Member of Parliament for Stevenage, visited a street scene to learn more about the challenges people with sight loss face when walking.

Stephen McPartland MP said, "I had to dodge a pavement parked car, avoid stumbling across a variety of street clutter, and experienced a “shared space” area lacking safety features such as kerbs and pedestrian crossings. I also chatted with two Stevenage Guide Dog Oweners, Margaret Clarke, who came along with her guide dog Marston, and Siobhan Meade and understand the impact such obstacles have on them."

Guide Dogs is campaigning for a law to make pavement parking an offence, except on streets where local authorities agree that it is safe for pedestrians.

According to a Guide Dogs survey, 97% of blind and partially sighted people have encountered obstacles on the pavement. The most common obstacles were cars parked on the pavement: 9 out of 10 have had problems with pavement parking. Pavement parked cars force pedestrians into the road to face oncoming traffic. This is particularly dangerous for people with vision impairments, parents with pushchairs, wheelchair users and other disabled people.

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Local beekeepers invited Stevenage Member of Parliament, Stephen McPartland, to visit an apiary site in Knebworth so that he could find out more about the importance of Honey Bees to our environment.

Stephen McPartland MP said, "It was an incredible experience being so close to so many bees and spotting the Queen Bee in one of the hives was brilliant. We know how important bees are to our way of life and I was pleased to be given the opportunity to visit the apiary."

The beekeepers have a wealth of beekeeping experience between them, and provide support and training to those keeping bees, as well as offering information to schools and more widely to the public. There is a Bee Awareness Day in October as well as other events that can be found on the WBA's website: welwynbka.org

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