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

Stephen McPartland visited various space technology companies around the Stevenage area as part of a campaign to understand the future of a fast growing UK space industry, currently estimated to add over £6 billion to the UK economy each year. Tessella, the information technology and consulting services company selected by R&D, science and engineering leaders for business-critical assignments was one of these firms.

Commenting on his tour of Tessella, Stephen said: "The visit to Tessella was extremely interesting and it was fascinating to see and understand the company's offerings in the space sector."

Alan Gaby, Director at Tessella said: "We were keen to show our long standing involvement and commitment in the space sector and briefed Mr McPartland on our plans for the future." Tessella Stevenage has been responsible for the design, analysis and simulation of on-board attitude determination and control algorithms for a number of the European Space Agency’s scientific and telecommunications satellites.

Following a series of discussions with Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education, Stephen McPartland MP has successfully secured capital funding for Nobel, Marriotts and Lonsdale schools.

Stephen said, “This fantastic result could not have been achieved without the full support from the local head teachers and County Council, who provided a unified front for our campaign to raise educational attainment in Stevenage. Over the last thirteen years there has not been any investment in our schools, this is evident when looking at the state of disrepair these buildings are currently in. This is an absolute disgrace and we were shocked some members of the local council were trying to play petty politics instead of supporting me, the head teachers, and the County Council in trying to get the investment our schools so badly need”.

Stephen added, “We must invest in our children’s future, we have worked hard to achieve this result and I will continue to fight for further investment. There has been too much talk and not enough action over the last thirteen years. I am committed to getting on with the job and improving local services for local people”.

Stephen McPartland MP, in partnership with the Comet newspaper, launched a campaign for a radiotherapy unit at the Lister Hospital in Stevenage.  See here for the Comet's story and picture of Stephen with Nick Carver, Chief Executive of East and North Herts NHS Trust, and Tom Holmes, specialist consultant.

Stephen McPartland, MP for Stevenage, visited the Glaxo Day Centre at the Lister Hospital and was shown around by the Manager, Isobel Dunkley, where he had the opportunity to discuss the services that this unit offers to people with Dementia and their carers. During the visit Stephen saw some of the patients engaging in various activities and had the opportunity to meet with some of the carers, and discuss their concerns.

Jan Burt, whose husband has frontal lobe dementia, explained the need for an Admiral Nurse as there are currently none in the Three Counties area. As a full-time carer herself, she has experienced how difficult it can be caring for someone with dementia and how invaluable the support of an Admiral Nurse would be.

Football fever hit Stevenage at the McDonald’s Football Open Day with England and Arsenal legend Martin Keown on hand to share tips with local youngsters and the opportunity to have their skills seen by Eric Harrison, the former Manchester United Youth Academy head credited for helping to created the ‘Class of 92’ including Paul Scholes, the Neville brothers and David Beckham.

Local MP Stephen McPartland, who joined the Open Day, commented: "This was a fantastic day and a real opportunity to showcase our local footballing talent. The commitment of local volunteers, the Academy and players and staff at Stevenage FC made this a great day for parents and children. None of this would have been possible without McDonalds focus on practical community initiatives and I am delighted they have such a proactive relationship with our town. The local franchisee Mike Ghazarian, Is a real inspiration and asset to Stevenage."

Alex Tunbridge, Head of Stevenage Football Club in the Community, says: “We’re delighted to have been involved with the McDonalds Football Open Day and we know from experience that they’re a great way for our community to celebrate and share its passion for football. It was great to have Martin Keown with us.”

Mike Ghazarian, the local McDonald’s franchisee added: "I’ve been involved in helping to improve the standards of grassroots football in and around Stevenage for a few years and this summer’s event follows on from the hugely successful McDonald’s/Stevenage FC partnership in 2009. With the Open Day, we’re encouraging the wider Stevenage community to get involved and give our youngsters access to the very best in football training and coaching.”

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), played host to Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland when he came to meet the Institution’s Chief Executive and staff.

During the visit, Stephen was given a presentation on the IET’s work locally and around the world plus information about how engineering and technology careers are being promoted by the IET as great choices for young people. A walk-round of the Six Hills Way based institution also gave Stephen the chance to meet staff, many of whom live locally. Stephen said: “I was really impressed by the enthusiasm of the people within the IET and the breadth and depth of their services and products. It was great to meet people who are clearly passionate about their work. I particularly look forward to collaborating with the IET on a range of education and skills issues – an area where I can see the IET is already making a big contribution.”

Nigel Fine, the institution’s Chief Executive said: “As a major local employer, it is hugely important for the Institution of Engineering and Technology to have a strong involvement with its local MP. Stephen McPartland’s visit to our offices is a great opportunity to foster this relationship.”

The IET frequently advises Parliamentarians and Government on policy issues such as energy, health and safety, IT and transport policies and employs 384 people in its Stevenage office.

Stephen McPartland, MP for Stevenage, has taken up the cause of dementia sufferers in Stevenage by meeting with one of the UK’s leading consultants on dementia to discuss the burden of disease and current treatment options.

Mr McPartland met with Professor Peter Passmore, Professor of Ageing and Geriatric Medicine at Queen’s University Belfast and one of the UK’s foremost consultants on dementia, at the Houses of Parliament to discuss the increasing numbers of people affected by this illness and how best they can be cared for.

Stephen explained that he has a deep interest in this area stating: “I meet carers, relatives and sufferers of dementia regularly and it is a truly distressing illness. Providing dementia sufferers with the right treatment is essential and I am delighted to have met with Professor Passmore to discuss the issue in more detail. The over prescription of anti psychotics is extremely worrying and I am determined to look into the situation in Stevenage.”

Mr McPartland has asked the Secretary of State to outline the number of dementia sufferers in Stevenage and the proportion that have been prescribed antipsychotics. It is currently estimated that 820,000 people in the UK suffer from dementia, an estimated 1,200 people in Stevenage, and this figure is set to rise to over 1,000,000 by 2025.

Professor Passmore spoke of the work he does with dementia sufferers in the UK and the challenges he faces in treating the disease. He outlined that there are many treatment options for the disease, but he is concerned by the growing use of anti psychotic medication, principally licensed for treating patients with illnesses such as schizophrenia, to treat the illness. He outlined that there were many treatments for dementia and reducing the use of antipsychotics is important, as currently only 1 in 5 patients derive benefit from their use.

Professor Passmore commented that the meeting was “a fantastic opportunity to speak with an interested parliamentarian like Stephen, to discuss the problem of dementia in the UK and in Stevenage. I hope that other parliamentarians can use Stephen’s example and take up the issue in Parliament.”

Newly elected Stevenage MP, Stephen McPartland, was keen to visit his local B&Q to learn more about the innovative ways the UK’s leading home improvement and garden centre retailer works. Whilst being shown around the store, he heard about the Company’s diversity policy, which means a quarter of B&Q’s workforce is over the age of 50 years, with a similar percentage under the age of 25.

Stephen said, “I was delighted to meet both the youngest and oldest members of the Stevenage B&Q store. The knowledge of the staff is fantastic and I have first hand experience of how helpful they can be. I am delighted the store is doing well and investing in our local community.”

Stephen was particularly interested to hear how B&Q is skilling up its workforce. Having invested more than £1 million into nationally recognised apprenticeships and City and Guild’s qualifications for its staff nationwide, he was given the opportunity to see what this means in Stevenage.

Chris Thompson B&Q Stevenage stock manager says, “It was great to meet our new MP and talk to him about what B&Q has to offer as a local employer and business in the area. We’re looking forward to seeing Mr McPartland MP in our store again and wish him every success with his new post.”

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