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

Stephen McPartland, Member of Parliament for Stevenage, formally opened the newly named Lister Treatment Centre after campaigning successfully for the facility to be handed over to the NHS.

Stephen said, "This is a fantastic day for the local community as we officially open the newly named Lister Treatment Centre and put the disastrous management of Carillion behind us. It was a long and exhausting campaign but I am delighted we have won and I was able to persuade Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Health, to give us the money to buy the facility and hand it over to the local hospital to be managed.

"This facility should have been in the NHS from day one and I still cannot understand why the Labour Government handed such complex surgical procedures over to a bunch of builders to manage. There are no excuses and Labour can never again be trusted with our local NHS.

"However, today is the start of a new and exciting period as we all move forward and begin to rebuild confidence in the facility. I made it clear throughout my campaign that the staff who worked in the facility on the front line day after day were doing an incredible job under intolerable pressure. I have the utmost respect for their professionalism and dedication to helping patients.

"I am delighted the facility has been renamed the Lister Treatment Centre and is under the management of our local hospital which is a centre of clinical excellence. I will continue working closely with local health professionals and believe we can now go from strength to strength with a relentless focus on putting the patients and their families first."

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Stephen McPartland, Member of Parliament for Stevenage, is supporting the fight against breast cancer and raising awareness of Breast Cancer Campaign’s wear it pink day, #wearitpink which has raised £23 million over the past 10 years.

Stephen said, “Every year thousands of women, and hundreds of men, are diagnosed with breast cancer and sadly thousands die from this disease. This is why I am happy to support Breast Cancer Campaign’s fundraising efforts so they can continue to fund research which will one day lead to a cure. If you are holding an event in support of wear it pink day just let me know as I have agreed to attend as many locally as I can.”

This year's wear it pink day is on Friday 25 October 2013. Breast Cancer Campaign is asking everyone to pull on something pink and donate £2 to raise vital funds for Breast Cancer Campaign’s lifesaving research.

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The Heritage Lottery Fund is making available at least £1 million a year until 2019 to help local communities remember the centenary of the UK entering the First World War.

Stephen McPartland, Member of Parliament for Stevenage said, "I am delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund is making this money available to local communities and I would urge local groups to start applying for funding now. The impact of the First World War was felt in every community and the grants of £3,000 to £10,000 can be used towards projects which create a community archive or collection, research and identification of local heritage, or conserving and finding out more about war memorials.

"It is really important that local groups know the money is available and they can apply for it, which is why I recently invited the Heritage Lottery Fund and all the other members of the Lottery fund family to Knebworth Village Hall to explain how small community groups and charities can access funds for their projects.  We have been very lucky in obtaining lottery funding as an area but it normally goes into a small number of very large projects that often have no real positive impact on the wider community. I would like to see lots of smaller charity and community groups successfully bid for small amounts of funding that we know from experience will make a massive impact on the wider community."

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The Health Bus came to Stevenage town centre this week to offer free breathing checks to local people as part of the Know It, Check It, Treat It campaign to raise awareness of COPD, a lung disease, ahead of the winter when coughs, colds and chest infections can worsen symptoms.

Stephen McPartland, Member of Parliament for Stevenage dropped by and had his breathing checked by Jacqui Carrett, Respiratory Clinical Lead at Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust.

Stephen said, "The Health Bus is a fantastic idea and I am delighted to welcome it to Stevenage. The free breathing check will help hundreds of local people. In Parliament I am Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary group on Respiratory Health and I have seen the evidence which clearly shows how many people suffer with breathing problems on a day to day basis. It sounds crazy, but millions of people just accept these problems and get on with it, without realising that help is at hand that could improve their quality of life and in some cases save their life."

The Health Bus is run by Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust respiratory team in collaboration with the Acute Trust Respiratory nurses, Clinical Commissioning Group, Smoking Cessation Service, and assisted by Breathe Easy – a part of the British Lung Foundation.

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Stephen McPartland, Member of Parliament for Stevenage, is chairing the 2013 Commission on Youth Literacy and Employability. This is a joint effort between the All-Party Parliamentary Literacy Group and the National Literacy Trust.

The Commission took oral evidence in Parliament last week and heard from a wide range of individuals during an expert witness session. These included senior representatives from the education sector, industry and pupils.

Stephen said, " I am delighted to be chairing the 2013 Commission on Youth Literacy and Employability. It is an issue very close to my heart as I know the best route out of poverty in the UK is via education. We must reduce the gap between education and employability to ensure our young people have the skills they need to compete in the workplace.

"It was clear that there was a need to define what literacy means as employers and education professionals seemed to be discussing two very different aspects of what was required when they were discussing literacy standards."

Volunteers from industry and young people also spoke about their experiences on the National Literacy Trust’s Words for Work programme; the students felt it had transformed their attitude and given them greater confidence in finding employment.

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Bare Bones recording and events studio managed by local couple, Carl and Michelle Dawson, opened their doors for Stephen McPartland Member of Parliament for Stevenage to try out their facility. Bare Bones recording and events studio are based at 29 Wedgewood Way and have celebrated their first year in business.

Stephen said, "It was great fun trying out the drums and meeting the team behind Bare Bones Studios. Carl and Michelle are an inspirational couple who really want to provide the local community with a great facility. Michelle does a range of great photography from her photography studio, which also serves as one of the rehearsal studios for local bands. The quality of the recording studios available to local bands was out of this world and they even managed to make me sound good on the drums".

Bare Bones celebrated their first year of business on Saturday 7th September with an open studio and live music playing.

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The start of the new academic year will be met with even more excitement than usual for students attending Thomas Alleyne in Stevenage.  The school was delighted to learn this week that its application to convert to an Academy, sponsored by North Hertfordshire College, has been accepted by the Department for Education.

Stephen McPartland, Member of Parliament for Stevenage, said, "I am delighted Thomas Alleyne has been successful in converting to an Academy. The school has a great future because it will offer parents real choice and give students an amazing educational experience. The school will go from strength to strength and I am proud of the efforts of all the staff who have worked so closely together in Thomas Alleyne and North Hertfordshire College to make the Academy a reality. Their commitment to improving educational opportunities for the young people of our town is inspirational."

Headteacher Mark Lewis, will continue to lead as Principal of The Thomas Alleyne Academy.  "We are delighted to have received confirmation that we will become The Thomas Alleyne Academy on 1st September." Mr Lewis said.  "Our partnership with North Hertfordshire College and the Da Vinci Studio Schools has been developing over the past year and we are looking forward to working together to create a ground breaking educational partnership that offers a unique range of opportunities of exceptional quality for our community."

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Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland visited local students undertaking a project to regenerate the wildlife area at Shephalbury Park Primary School as part of their National Citizen Scheme programme.

Stephen said, "Stevenage Football Club is really taking a lead in our community and I am proud to support them as they run the National Citizenship Scheme for Stevenage. It was great to see how engaged the students were in getting to grips with their projects and tranforming the nature area of Shephalbury Park Primary School, which will be a huge boost to the learning of younger children. I am proud of our young people locally and the fantastic contribution Stevenage Football Club is making to give them a range of new opportunities."

The government programme lasts for 4-weeks during the summer and has involved seventy eight 16-year olds in the local scheme run by Stevenage Football Club.

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Stephen McPartland, Member of Parliament for Stevenage said, "Today was a terrible day for democracy as the Labour Party tried to create political capital out of the suffering of innocent children, women and men in Syria.

"I voted against the Labour motion which set out a road map to war and I voted against the government motion also.

"No one is winning and millions of innocent civilians in Syria are suffering, our efforts should be focused on reconciliation rather than firing a few missiles to salve international consciences.

"I voted against military intervention in Syria, because I believe it will just prolong an already dreadful civil war."

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