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

The staff at FIRA, one of Stevenage's oldest established companies on Gunnelswood Road since 1963, are raising money for the Garden House Hospice with a cycling challenge. Stephen McPartland, Member of Parliament for Stevenage launched the challenge with FIRA’s Chief Operating Officer, Phil Reynolds. Staff from FIRA and The Furniture Ombudsman are raising money for the Garden House Hospice charity by cycling 874 miles, the distance from Lands End to John O’Groats, on an exercise bike.

Stephen said, "The staff at FIRA and The Furniture Ombudsman really are going the extra mile for the Garden House Hospice and I was delighted to launch the challenge. I have done a few miles myself to help hit the target and support this amazing fundraising effort."

FIRA’s Chief Operating Officer, Phil Reynolds, who had the idea for the challenge, said, "We are really pleased that Stephen McPartland MP joined us to launch the challenge. We will be asking our furniture industry members for support and I hope that we can raise much needed funds to help support the work of the Hospice.”

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Stephen McPartland, Member of Parliament for Stevenage, expressed his delight that as a result of his campaign the Lister Surgicentre will be taken over by the NHS from the private sector firm ClinicentaCarillion.

Stephen said, "I am absolutely delighted with the news that the Lister Surgicentre will now be managed by our local Lister Hospital. It has been a long and difficult campaign, but I have persuaded Jeremy Hunt the Secretary of State for Health that ClinicentaCarillion just had to go so patients can be safe.

"I campaigned hard on behalf of local people to improve the level of service available at the ClinicentaCarillion owned Surgicentre ever since they opened their doors almost eighteen months ago. The service never reached a satisfactory standard despite the best efforts of the NHS staff who work in the facility on a day to day basis under intolerable pressure. Quite simply, the Surgicentre was not managed properly by the owners ClinicentaCarillion and we are clearing up the mess of the previous government, which placed a building company in charge of highly sensitive and complex surgical procedures. This must never happen again.

"At least three people died, 8,500 patient records were lost and a whole host of serious failings that led to the Care Quality Commission beginning proceedings to suspend ClinicentraCarillion's licence to operate at the Surgicentre because of serious concerns for patient safety. They lost the confidence of the local community and the medical professionals, as GP's refused to refer their patients to the facility for treatment, because they were so concerned about the lost records, missed appointments and a range of serious failings found during the several Care Quality Commission inspections.

"I believe Carillion should never be allowed to manage another hospital facility in the UK and both they and the Labour Party should apologise to the local community for putting profits before patient safety and playing roulette with our local health service. They can never again be trusted with the NHS.

"I am proud of the NHS and proud of the staff who work in it every single day to try and improve our quality of life. I am delighted that the Lister Surgicentre will now be managed by the Lister Hospital which is a centre of clinical excellence. We can now begin the job of rebuilding trust and this facility with state of the art equipment can be managed properly inside our NHS, where it should have been from day one."

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In just one afternoon, the students of Barnwell School raised over £1,150 for charities at its annual Community Day. There were stalls ranging from face painting to space hoppers with music provided by students and local bands. Greenside School sold sweets, local charity groups came along to raise awareness of their work and DogWatch's Lawful Larry was on duty too.

Stephen McPartland, Member of Parliament for Stevenage, who supports the event annually, said, "The Community Day was absolutely amazing with all the pupils and staff enjoying themselves. I had a lot of fun especially on the space hoppers, although I did not quite win. It was a wonderful event and raised funds for some great causes."

Tony Fitzpatrick, headteacher, was very pleased with the way the event went. He said, "It is a long standing tradition at Barnwell School that the students organise and hold a Community Day event. Many thousands of pounds have been raised over the years for very worthy charities. This year’s event did not disappoint with many exciting stalls and competitions for the students to enter. The day reflects the true spirit of Barnwell where we come together as a one big family to help less fortunate people."

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Stevenage MP, Stephen McPartland, opened the new £3.0 million Lister Scanning Centre which has two state-of-the-art CT scanners and an MRI scanner, with a second MRI scanner in the process of being installed.

Stephen said, "It is a great pleasure to be given the opportunity to open the new scanning centre and see the equipment at first hand. It is an amazing experience to see projects I am fighting for in Parliament built and ready to be used by staff and patients. The Lister hospital is a centre of clinical excellence and the £150 million investment we are making is creating one of the most advanced and modern hospitals in the UK here in Stevenage. I am proud of our local NHS and proud of the staff who work as a team to improve the experience of patients and their families every single day."

Nick Carver, chief executive of the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, said, "In many ways the creation of the Lister Scanning Centre is representative of the wider transformation and changes being made at the hospital currently. The Centre was created in a phased appraoch because the radiology team needed to keep its service going whilst the building, refurbishment and installation work was underway. The team has also taken advantage of the latest technology to both improve the range and quality of services provided to patients, but also to enhance patient experience at the same time.

"We are also delighted that Stephen McPartland was our guest of honour today. His support of the Trust's hospitals, services and our staff over the last few years has been much appreciated and we were pleased that he has been able to return to see the Lister Scanning Centre all but completed following a visit he made last year."

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Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland congratulated young Ambassadors from the disabled children’s charity Whizz-Kidz on their Kidz Unlimited Awards which recognise their achievements and encourage their aspirations.

Stephen said, "It was fantastic to see the Whizz-Kidz Ambassadors at the Kidz Unlimited Awards – they really are an inspirational group of young people.

"Whizz-Kidz do great work locally providing disabled children and young people with wheelchairs and with life skills through their work placements programme and wheelchair skills training. I’m very proud to be one of the charity’s Parliamentary Champions and to support their work in Stevenage and across the UK."

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Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland joined Hertfordshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, David Lloyd, to launch the first Community DriveSafe scheme in the town which will allow residents of the area around Hertford Road to take the driving seat in dealing with speeding in their neighbourhood.

Stephen said, “I have received many complaints about speeding in this particular area of Stevenage since becoming a Member of Parliament and have worked closely with the Police to try and tackle the issue. I believe the Community DriveSafe scheme may finally provide the answer as the local community will be taking the lead in tackling speeding in this area. The support from the Police is vital in making this a success and shows how once again Stevenage is leading the way.”

The DriveSafe scheme is primarily aimed at road safety education and raising awareness of speeding.

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Edd's Bikes is a new type of bike shop with lots of space, expert staff and even a repair area where you can wait while your bike is repaired or upgraded and was officially opened by Stephen McPartland Member of Parliament for Stevenage.

Stephen said, "I am always proud to open new shops and welcome small businesses to Stevenage. Edd and the team behind him have created a fantastic concept which works really well in our area as we have so many cyclists. Stevenage is very lucky to have such a large integrated cycle network and Edds Bikes is going to help us all get as much use out of bikes as possible."

Edd Littler, who runs Edd's Bikes based in The Hyde, Stevenage, said, "I really hope people like what we have done here and that they come and see us in the shop. It's been a lot of hard work and I'd like to thank so many of my friends that helped us. I'm very keen to make a difference in Stevenage, especially to the environment. Not only am I selling a green form of transport, but we are also looking at novel ways to recycle as much of our shop waste as possible and help people fix old bikes for reuse rather than simply throw them away for new models."

Edd's Bikes is great news for Stevenage whether you are looking for your first bike or you are a company interested in the Government's cycle to work scheme.

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Volunteers from St Nicholas held a Blooming Great Tea Party in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care and raised £195 from donations.

Local residents and their friends enjoyed tea and cakes in the garden, and invited along Stephen McPartland, Member of Parliament for Stevenage, to support the event.

Stephen said, "I have long been a supporter of the work of Marie Curie Cancer Care and it was a great pleasure to attend this tea party organised and supported by local people.

"I am proud of the community spirit in Stevenage which comes through in so many ways. I would like to thank the volunteers who made the cakes which we all enjoyed."

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