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

Stephen McPartland MP met some of the newest and longest serving staff during his recent visit to Barclays in Stevenage.  Stephen was shown behind the scenes by branch manager Helen McAndrew and also heard from other staff about the help provided to personal and business customers.  Ryan Whitworth, who is Senior Business Manager for the local area, provided further details on the assistance provided to small and medium business, including the hosting of regular business networking events held.

Staff also provide a lot of support the Stevenage community and a branch day in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support is being held on March 23rd.

MP Stephen McPartland visited a Stevenage resident who recently had a replacement heating system under a Government scheme that provides grants for home heating and insulation.

Stephen was able to see first-hand the impact the scheme is having and commented, “Rising energy prices are a major worry for all of us, but the best way to cope is by making our homes more energy efficient. This resident's new heating system has made an enormous difference to her level of comfort - and has given her the added peace of mind that she can afford to keep her house warm all year round."

Stephen McPartland, Member of Parliament for Stevenage, is heading a campaign because of local concerns about the proposed expansion of Luton Airport:

I am leading this campaign because I know many local people value Luton Airport but are very concerned about the new plans they are consulting on, which could lead to an increase in passenger numbers from around 10million passengers per year to 18 million passengers per year. This is a huge increase and we are already suffering from the noise generated by overflying aircraft and this will only increase. I am concerned that the projections always factor in quieter aircraft, but from my own experience of living in Stevenage and directly under the flight path, the planes do not seem particularly quiet to me when they are coming in to land or to the many constituents who contact me about aircraft noise particularly in the summer months. It is important that any increase in capacity has to include noise reduction measures, so our quality of life locally is not affected.

I am also not convinced that the consultation process is fair as Luton Borough Council owns the airport and they will be responsible for agreeing the planning permission for it to expand. This is a direct conflict of interest and the plans must be fully scrutinised and decided by an independent party. I will be contacting the Secretary of State for Transport to ask her if she can intervene and ensure any planning decisions are comprehensively reviewed.

I would urge you to complete the online/paper survey being run by one of our local papers, the Comet, and to get involved in the consultation process so the views of all local people are taken into account before we have a plane flying over Stevenage every two minutes.

Stephen McPartland

Stephen McPartland,Member of Parliament for Stevenage has a keen interest in technology issues and has warned that new legislation from the European Commission proposes to charge mobile phone users £400 to use the internet while they are in Europe.

Stephen said “MEPs will vote tomorrow on new mobile roaming regulations, which have the potential to turn back the clock on our mobile phone technology by ten years, as they make it too expensive to access the internet while abroad.  We all welcomed the Government’s commitment to force Europe to reduce roaming charges and prices are coming down for texts and voice calls, but there is a potential disaster rushing our way as the Commission has proposed new regulations to cap the cost of using the internet on our mobiles when any of us travel in Europe.

This sounds like a great idea, but they have proposed capping wholesale charges at €100 for one gigabyte ('1GB') of data and retail rates up to five times the wholesale rate, which would mean consumers paying upwards of €500, approximately £420 for 1GB compared with paying under £10 for 1GB at home.  This is plainly ridiculous and goes against the European Commission’s commitment to reduce the difference between domestic and roaming data usage prices.

Stephen McPartland, Member of Parliament for Stevenage, presented the award at this year’s Astrium Rocket Science Project challenge for the young apprentice engineers.

Stephen said, “I was delighted to be invited to see the projects and make the award to the winning team. I was very impressed with both teams ability to design and build a pulse jet engine in such a small timescale and it is clear testament to the talent, passion, intelligence and enthusiasm of the apprentices, who are a credit to Astrium and Stevenage.”

The winning team of five young apprentices, based at Astrium’s facility in Gunnels Wood Road, Stevenage, called themselves Black Arrow, after the British rocket developed in the 1960s, and designed and manufactured a working pulse jet engine for World Space Week 2011 - real rocket science.

Stephen McPartland, MP for Stevenage officially launched the North Hertfordshire Children’s University at North Hertfordshire College’s Stevenage centre.

Stephen commented, “I congratulate North Hertfordshire College on another great project, which really helps young people satisfy their natural curiosity about the world around them and teachers trying to develop a passion for learning in their pupils.”

NHC has trialled the Children’s University concept with three local schools which has proved a huge success. Children have taken part in cake baking and animation workshops, utilising the college facilities, and have their Passport to Learning stamped each time. Once the children have achieved a number of hours they receive an award and then take part in the Children’s University graduation ceremony.

The Children’s University is a national organisation which provides children aged 7 – 14 with learning opportunities outside of school hours that complement school subjects.

Congratulations to the players and all those at Stevenage FC for a great result. I think the fans were fantastic and I agree with the manager that we have every chance of winning at White Hart Lane.

This has been another great day for our town and I am proud of Stevenage.

Stephen

Stephen McPartland, Member of Parliament for Stevenage, visited the St John Ambulance Hertfordshire County Headquarters, based on Argyle Way in Stevenage, to hear about the work the leading first aid charity undertakes in the town and beyond, and to thank the volunteers for their support in the snow and generally adverse weather conditions.

Stephen said “I wanted to say a big thank you to St John Ambulance for their huge contribution to our local community. The emergency support they provide to the Ambulance service is very welcome, especially at this time of year when they have 4x4 vehicles on standby and manned by volunteers to help paramedics get to emergencies during periods of heavy snowfall.”

He added, “I am always reassured to know that we have such wonderful back up support available at this time of year and wanted to take this opportunity to thank St John Ambulance on behalf of local people.”

Stephen heard about key aspects of St John Ambulance’s work in the local area, such as the charity’s work in schools and in community first aid training, and was shown some of the County’s fleet and spoke to staff including one of the cycle responders.

Managing Director Phil Cooper invited local MP Stephen McPartland to visit Abbeysteel's processing facilities in Pin Green and to present an award to one of their customers, Silverline, for passing 10,000 tonnes of CO2 savings in the last two years.

Stephen said, "I am delighted to present this award, and proud of the innovation shown by this local firm in taking what others see as waste material and turning it into a component for products such as metal filing cabinets."

Stevenage firm Abbeysteel produces the world’s first green brand of sustainably sourced steel by reusing prime grade steel that is a waste by-product of other processes, for instance in the automotive industry. Chairman of Silverline, Stanley Ensinger, received the awad and the company has more information about it at http://www.slideshare.net/GeorgeGeorgiou3070.

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