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

Local MP Stephen McPartland visited the Stevenage BHF Shop to see first hand the support from local people who volunteer and donate stock, helping the British Heart Foundation, the nation’s heart charity, continue its lifesaving work.

Stephen, said "It was great to meet the team at our local BHF Shop and see them in action. They are doing a fantastic job raising money for such an important cause which affects so many people locally. The wide range of stock on offer also means there are plenty of bargains for our local community too."

Suzanne Halsey, BHF Area Manager, said, “I was delighted to welcome Stephen into our Shop today. Volunteers and donations are the lifeblood of our business so it’s great he’s here to highlight the importance of this and get the local community to support our Shop. BHF Shops raised £31 million last year in the fight against heart disease.”

The Stevenage BHF Shop is always looking for stock donations and is encouraging everyone in the local area to have a clear-out and donate any unwanted items. The BHF Shop is also looking for volunteers, if you have any time that you can spare please contact the BHF Shop and ask for further details.

Fujitsu, a major local employer, hosted key parliamentary figure, Stephen McPartland MP, to introduce him to apprentices within its Stevenage office, Fujitsu’s second biggest office in the UK. Stephen is an advocate of apprenticeships and investing in youth and the visit was held to signify Fujitsu’s continued commitment to apprentices and investment in the local community.

Stephen said, “I very much enjoyed meeting the apprentices and am proud Stevenage is home to one of Fujitsu’s largest sites in the UK. The apprentices were very enthusiastic about the opportunities Fujitsu has given them and it is clear that they have the potential to become future leaders in the company. Here in Stevenage we have more than doubled the number of apprentices working in local businesses and an apprenticeship is a great way of helping our young people into work. The IT skills that the Fujitsu apprentices are learning will give them a real competitive advantage as they become highly skilled and highly values members of the Fujitsu team. I also took the opportunity during my visit to learn more about the work Fujitsu are doing in the local community and I look forward to working with them to make this as effective as possible.”

Stephen met with a number of Fujitsu apprentices all from the local area. He shared his thoughts on the importance of apprenticeships within the local community and discussed, with senior members of the Fujitsu team, the community activities the company has been involved with over the last 12 months. As an officer of PICTFOR, the parliamentary IT and technology forum, Stephen was also able to articulate why an investment in youth in the technology industry is key for local community as a whole.

A NEW website set up to help council and social housing tenants find out how to buy their homes has been launched by Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland. The free online service, www.righttobuystevenage.com, has the support of Housing Minister Mark Prisk MP as it aims to raise awareness of the Government’s reinvigorated Right To Buy scheme.

Anyone signing up will be given advice on the support available to those looking to purchase their council property, with discounts of up to £75,000 available to eligible applicants.

Stephen said, "Housing is a big issue in Stevenage, especially as Stevenage Borough Council is raising rents faster than anyone else in Hertfordshire and providing a poor service. Many tenants are just fed up with a Council that does not care about them and want a way out. Well now they have a chance to own their home and help local people at the same time, because the money will be used to build more social and affordable housing, so it is a great deal for everyone."

Mark Prisk, MP and Minister for Housing, added, "We have learnt from the lessons of the 80s when this was first introduced.The campaign is important because local people can really benefit from the Right to Buy scheme and many just don’t know about it. People who have started on low income housing and would like the chance to buy their home can, and the money made goes back into building new houses. It’s a great scheme of growth."

For more information on the Right To Buy scheme, go to www.righttobuystevenage.com.

The scheme is open to tenants who have rented public sector-owned accommodation for at least five years and do not own any other properties. Anyone with outstanding possession orders against them or legal problems with debt are not eligible to apply.


Stephen McPartland, the Member of Parliament for Stevenage, has challenged the FTSE 100 to commit to tax transparency and is giving those companies who have not been bothered to respond a deadline. They will have until 21st March before he publicly contacts their largest shareholders to ask them to encourage some of the largest companies in Britain to take the issue seriously.

Stephen McPartland MP said, "I have written to the Chief Executives of all the FTSE 100 companies to ask them individually if they are willing to pledge their support for corporate tax transparency and if they will support a new international accountancy standard for country-by-country reporting.

"I am publishing all the company responses I receive and you can see them at www.taxchallenge.co.uk.  Some of the FTSE 100 companies have not replied and I will be publishing the names of those companies who have not responded by 21st March. I will then publicly contact their largest shareholders and ask them to encourage those companies to respond and take the issue of tax transparency seriously.

"They will only do that if their customers, the British public in many cases, drag them kicking and screaming towards tax transparency. Each of us can then decide individually whether the biggest companies in Britain really DO care about the poorest in our society at home and abroad."

Read the latest responses at www.taxchallenge.co.uk.

Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland met Paralympian double gold medallist Hannah Cockroft MBE, who received her first sports wheelchair from Whizz-Kidz in 2007, as well as two of the charity’s young Ambassadors – both of whom aspire to compete in the Games in the future.  Stephen has backed Whizz Kidz from his first day as a Member of Parliament.

Stephen said, "It was fantastic to meet Hannah and the Whizz-Kidz Ambassadors and hear about the charity’s valuable work providing mobility equipment and opportunities for young disabled people.  They do fantastic work locally in providing disabled children and young people with wheelchairs and with life skills through their work placements programme and wheelchair skills training. It’s so important that the views of young disabled people shape plans for the Paralympic legacy and I am delighted to back Whizz-Kidz."

Hannah Cockroft MBE said: "The day I received my wheelchair from Whizz-Kidz changed my life. My hope for the legacy of the Paralympics is that more young disabled people will not just be inspired – but have the opportunities - to go for gold and succeed in whatever they want to do."

In 2012, the charity transformed the lives of 2025 disabled children and youngsters in the UK by providing life-changing mobility equipment such as powered and lightweight wheelchairs, specialist sports wheelchairs and specially adapted bikes and trikes.

Members of the Stevenage Conservative Association met earlier this evening and selected Stephen McPartland MP to fight the seat again in the 2015 General Election.

Stephen McPartland, Member of Parliament for Stevenage, said, "Winning Stevenage in the 2010 General Election was an amazing experience and I am honoured the local Conservative Party have asked me to fight the 2015 General Election. I look forward to continuing to fight for the best deal for Stevenage and am delighted that I have managed to secure over £280 million of infrastructure investment from the government for our local hospital, schools, housing and jobs. Unemployment locally continues to fall and our town is helping to lead the way towards economic recovery. It is a real privilege to be the Member of Parliament for Stevenage and I am grateful for all the support I have received from local people."

Stephen McPartland MP for Stevenage fielded a wide range of questions from the 1st Great Ashby Brownies when he joined them as part of the work for their Speakers Badge, finishing up with a request for advice on how to make speeches to people.

Stephen said, "I was very impressed by the range of questions from the Brownies and interest they showed in the work I do to help people in Stevenage. They were also very committed to helping people in our community too. I gave them some tips on speaking in public and hope they all get their speaking badges this week."

In preparation for the Q&A session the Brownies read up on what is involved with being an MP.  The Speakers Badge involves learning how to talk to people and listen, and also giving a short talk on a topic of their choice.

Stephen McPartland, MP for Stevenage, attended a practice session played by Year 8 students – most of them brand new to rugby this season - at Barnwell School in Stevenage, which is one of 100 establishments around England participating in the RFU’s flagship All Schools programme which is aiming to get one million school students actively involved in sport.

Taking the opportunity of a fine winter’s day to run, catch and pass with a rugby ball himself, the Stevenage MP found out first-hand the positive effect rugby is having on students at Barnwell, in an area traditionally associated with playing and watching football.

Stephen commented, “Rugby is well known for its values of respect and teamwork, and talking to the staff at Barnwell they have noticed the change in behaviour in students taking the game up. My primary focus in Parliament is education and giving kids a chance in life. Rugby is great for teamwork and fun and that also makes it a great preparation for the workplace. This RFU programme is giving more youngsters in state secondary schools the opportunity to try rugby, to see if it’s the sport for them."

Barnwell School will receive resource and funding over three years, including kit and equipment, as well as hands-on coaching support. All Schools has been launched by the RFU to create a step-change in the number of secondary schools playing rugby union. It forms one of the RFU’s seven legacy strands of theWorld Cup 2015 to deliver the greatest participation legacy for the game.

To celebrate the launch of the refurbished, new style open-plan branch Stephen McPartland, MP cut the ribbon at High Street Stevenage Post Office.

Stephen said, “I understand this has been upgraded as part of a three-year investment programme - the largest in the history of the Post Office. I am delighted to be opening this new modern open-plan office. This will really benefit local residents as the new-style office is more bright and spacious."

Waitrose Duty Manager, Matt Skirving, said, “The refurbishment has gone extremely well. It has definitely been well received by our customers. It looks really modern. The open plan counters are very popular as staff and customers no longer have to talk through glass and people can talk face-to-face. The staff are very positive about the change. They see it as a real move forward – a leap into the future.”

Post Office Senior Stakeholder Manager for East England, Gary Herbert, said, “We understand how important having a Post Office is to residents in Stevenage and we are confident that this new modern Post Office service will meet the needs of the local community and secure services for the future."

In the upgraded branch there will be four serving positions, which will be a mixture of screened and open plan. Longer opening hours are also being trialled for six months.

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