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

Stevenage Community Trust has been presented with nearly £1,000 from Stevenage International Club which after 51 years was wound up at their AGM Jubilee Dinner earlier this year.

A cheque for the amount was presented to Alex Lang, a Trustee of Stevenage Community Trust and Stephen McPartland, Member of Parliament for Stevenage, by Christine Saint-Leitner who was a founder member of the Stevenage International Club and chair for the past 30 years, in the presence of former Club members and coinciding with Christine's 80th birthday celebrations.

The Stevenage International Club had members from over 22 countries and organised programmes of regular meetings and activities, as well as a number of language groups.

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Stephen McPartland MP for Stevenage along with the two generations of the Grix family were celebrating the launch of Stevenage Through The Ages, an initiative by the Garden House Hospice, a local charity that provides respite and helps many Stevenage families.

Stephen said, "This is a fantastic project which is raising money for a very worthwhile cause. Many people may be surprised to learn that almost half of the people who access the services at the Garden House Hospice come from Stevenage and this number will continue to rise as our local population ages. I am delighted to be supporting this initiative and very much look forward to seeing the Stevenage Through The Ages film when it is completed."

Grix's Ltd Marymead one of the first shops in Stevenage was the perfect backdrop for the launch of the Stevenage Through The Ages film, with many members of the local community contributing to the film and bringing some unique experiences and perspectives to Stevenage old and new.

Tina Fletcher, Corporate Fundraiser for the Garden House Hospice said, "A huge thank you to everyone who have supported this initiative - We could not achieve this fantastic fundraising event for the hospice without the support of the local businesses and community."

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Stephen McPartland, Member of Parliament for Stevenage, said, "IPSA completely disgust me and should be abolished if they try to force this pay rise through. IPSA was created after the expenses scandal before I was a Member of Parliament to rebuild trust in politics. If they think this will help - then they are absolutely mad.

"I do not claim personal expenses and commute from my home in Stevenage every day. I only claim for my office costs such as rent and staff salaries which are not considered expenses by HMRC or most working people. I cannot speak for other Members of Parliament but I take my duty to represent my constituents very seriously and believe IPSA is forcing those of us from modest backgrounds out of Parliament so it becomes the plaything of millionaires."

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Stephen McPartland, Member of Parliament for Stevenage, joined hospital staff and volunteers and the Revd Jane Hatton, Hospital Chaplain, as well as representatives of various churches and other faiths, at the dedication service for the new chapel at the Lister Hospital.

The chapel was dedicated by the Rr Revd Dr Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans, and contains a beautiful fused glass window specially commissioned from a local artist, Tess Verrecchia.

The new chapel provides a very welcoming and visible space for relatives, visitors and all those who work at the hospital, more readily accessible on the ground floor.

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Stephen McPartland MP was invited to officially open the Knebworth Fun Day and award the prize in the Knebworth Primary School fancy dress competition on Saturday.

Stephen said, "It was a real honour to be given the opportunity to officially open the Knebworth Fun Day with large crowds present. The weather was fantastic which helped draw the community together and I would like to thank all those volunteers, the parish Council and Primary School for making the day such a success.

"The fancy dress competition was amazing as all of the children from each class in the school dressed up and after a very tough decision the judges awarded the prize to the Romans and Celts."

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Stephen McPartland, Member of Parliament for Stevenage, said, “It was an honour to be asked to speak again at the third Armed Forces Day held in the indoor market in Stevenage.

"The event is normally the biggest in Hertfordshire with thousands of people attending throughout the day to show their support for the wonderful work our Armed Forces do.

"I am proud of the community spirit in our area and our market traders do an amazing job by making this event such a huge success. They have my complete support and the event clearly showed how much we all value our Armed Forces and the biggest cheer was reserved for the Chelsea Pensioners who kindly came to take part.”

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Stephen McPartland MP opened a Lottery Funding event at Knebworth Village Hall to help small community groups and charities learn more about accessing funds for their projects.

Stephen said, "I have been working with the Big Lottery Fund for six months to pull this event together, as I was really keen to get the whole Lottery family into one room. I was delighted we were able to persuade representatives from the Big Lottery Fund, Arts Council, Heritage Lottery Fund and Sport England to come together at Knebworth Village Hall.

"My idea was to put together the smaller local charity and community groups, who traditionally find it difficult to access lottery funding, with the people who make the decisions. There were over 80 groups present at the event and the message from the whole lottery family was a very loud and clear, we are here to help.

"Pretty much every group is going away to work on an application and I look forward to seeing lots of successful projects over the coming months. 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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Stevenage's MP, Stephen McPartland, visited a care of the elderly ward, Barley, at the Lister to see one of the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust's latest initiatives to help improve the experience of patients in its care. Working with the charity Kissing it Better, the aim is to provide patients with little changes that have big impact.

Stephen said, "I was amazed at how much the patients look forward to a visit from the beauty therapy students who give their time up voluntarily and of course everyone loved Yogi and Adem who make an incredible team. The Kissing it Better team are a real inspiration and seeing the difference such little changes make to patients really does show the important work this charity does.

"I would also like to thank the Lister Hospital who are focused on making the patient experience as positive as possible and I am proud that they have taken the opportunity to work with Kissing it Better.There are very few hospitals that would allow a friendly dog on a ward to make a patient's day, but the Lister are leading the way once again as they continue to be a centre of clinical excellence."

Liz Pryor from Kissing it Better said, "Kissing it Better uses simple ideas to create big change. We are proud to be working with the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust and enormously grateful to Mr McPartland for spending time with us today."

Kissing it Better, supported by the Trust, arranged for Adem Fehmi and his Pets As Therapy dog to visit patients on a regular basis, as well as a range of other events.

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Stephen McPartland, the Member of Parliament for Stevenage, welcomed the Care Quality Commission's decision to suspend the ClinicentaCarillion’s licence at the Surgicentre. The Care Quality Commission, which is the independent regulator of all health and social care facilities in England has begun the process to suspend the ClinicentaCarillion’s licence to operate at the Surgicentre.

Stephen McPartland, Member of Parliament for Stevenage said, “I have been campaigning 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 has 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 is 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.

"I have made it clear that ClinicentaCarillion’s licence to operate at the Surgicentre should be suspended and the facility should be handed to the local hospital to manage. I welcome the fact that the Care Quality Commission have begun the formal process and issued a notice to suspend ClinicentaCarillion’s licence to operate at the Surgicentre. The deadline for ClinicentaCarillion to appeal against the suspension was Thursday 13th June, if they appealed as I imagine they would, then the Care Quality Commission have to decide if they will issue a Notice of Decision. This then gives ClinicentaCarillion another 28 days to appeal to a First Tier Tribunal.

"It does seem a long and torturous process and the Care Quality Commission are prevented from discussing the situation publicly, but I believe transparency is important. It is clear that ClinicentaCarillion have failed local people and lost the confidence of local medical professionals, but I wanted to reassure our local community that enforcement action is taking place and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I have also made it clear to the Secretary of State for Health that the facility should be transferred to the management of our local Lister Hospital and we can begin the process of rebuilding confidence once again.

"I do believe it really is only a matter of time and that we are only weeks, if not days, away from a solution to this terrible situation. I am proud of our NHS and I want to see our local hospital manage the Surgicentre.”

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