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

Stevenage MP, Stephen McPartland, has made a submission as part of the consultation process relating to the planning application by London Luton Airport as many local residents are very concerned about the proposed expansion.

Residents in Stevenage and the surrounding villages will suffer increased noise generated by overflying aircraft with the proposed expansion.  Of major concern too are night flights and the proposals should ensure residents have proper protections against disturbance.

Stephen has also highlighted concerns raised about the fairness of the process since Luton Borough Council both own the airport and are responsible for considering the planning permission, and steps need to be taken to ensure that the public interest is upheld.

Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland along with North East Herts MP Oliver Heald met East of England Ambulance Service Interim Chief Executive, Andrew Morgan, and Chairman, Maria Ball.

Both MPs took up concerns about the speed of response and low morale in the Ambulance Service.

Stephen said, “A long wait for an ambulance is not good for anybody and I am keen to ensure that we have the best NHS for local people. I am delighted that Oliver and I were able to get a commitment from the East of England Ambulance Service that there would be more ambulances on the road to ensure that we have the best NHS here.”

Stephen McPartland, MP for Stevenage, supported Holocaust Memorial Day by signing a Book of Commitment in the House of Commons honouring those who died during the Holocaust.

Stephen said, “I welcome the opportunity to pay tribute to those who perished during the Holocaust. Holocaust Memorial Day is an important opportunity to remember the victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides. I will continue to support communities who are working together against prejudice and intolerance."

Karen Pollock MBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said “We are proud that Stephen McPartland MP is supporting Holocaust Memorial Day this year. It is vitally important that we both remember and learn from the appalling events of the Holocaust – as well as ensuring that we continue to challenge all forms of hatred and bigotry." 

Holocaust Memorial Day is on Sunday January 27th which will mark the 68th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Nazi concentration and extermination camp which is the site of the largest mass murder in history. 

Trussells Butchers of Knebworth are a regional finalist for this year's Countryside Alliance Awards. Stephen McPartland the local Member of Parliament popped in to congratulate the team. Paul Elleston, the proprieter, explained they sell high-class meats sourced only from the UK and focus on the service they provide to local customers.

Stephen said, "I am delighted that Trussells Butchers in Knebworth are in the regional finals and know that Knebworth and many other villages benefit from Trussells' mobile shop. It was a pleasure to buy some sausages, which tasted great, and wish them luck in the finals as they are a fantastic local butchers."

Regional winners will be announced in the near future and will go forward to compete against winners from all over the UK.

Stephen McPartland was invited to be the guest of honour and officially launch the new "Probashe Proyashe" community group at the Oval in Stevenage.

The group is aimed at the Bengali speaking community in Stevenage and wants young and older members of the community to come together to celebrate a variety of festivals and take an active part in Stevenage's voluntary work.

Stephen said "I was honoured to be given the opportunity to launch this new community group which is focused not just on celebrating festivals but rewarding young people for good exam results and community work. The focus on hospitality and helping one another is deeply rooted in Stevenage and both the British and Bangladeshi cultures. I wish them every success with the new group and look forward to coming back to make the awards to some young people and learn more about their work."

Stephen McPartland MP for Stevenage said: “I am very impressed by the team at Stevenage branch who work efficiently and with a smile to serve all their customers with the wide range of services offered. I am delighted that Post Office Ltd recently won the DVLA contract, which will help to safeguard the future of the Post Office network. It was so easy to renew my driving licence using the Post Office driving licence checking service.”

Trudi Clarke, Branch Manager commented: “We were really pleased that our local MP, Stephen McPartland, came to show his support for Post Office workers and delighted he was able to use our driver licence renewal service, which is such a quick, efficient and affordable service to use.”

Photocard driver licences need to be renewed every ten years. Stevenage Post Office is one branch that has cutting-edge biometric technology to capture a customer’s details digitally and send their application securely to the DVLA. This makes it quick and easy to keep a licence up-to-date. The hassle-free service offered by the Post Office only takes a few minutes to complete.

Stephen McPartland MP has begun publishing the responses from FTSE 100 companies to his challenge for greater tax transparency at www.taxchallenge.co.uk. The responses have been wide ranging with HSBC offering to help design a tax transparency standard, BT and others welcoming the transparency initiative but not the means and Hargreaves Lansdown questioning the value of the taxes they pay.

Stephen took up the initiative after meeting Christian Aid supporters when the Tax Justice Bus tour visited his constituency of Stevenage.  The tax justice campaigners believe that tax dodging by international companies costs the UK around £35 billion and developing countries an estimated $160billion per year.

Stephen said, "Just imagine the dramatic difference such a huge sum of money would make if it was available to invest in public services, infrastructure and other vital services essential for economic growth."

"There is a growing anger and concern that some large companies are hiding behind complex accounting rules that may be strictly legal, but are considered to be unethical by the public. The problem of missing billions in tax is not just a problem in the UK, it is worldwide and does the greatest damage to poor and developing countries who cannot stand up to massive corporations."

"I know governments from all around the world will agree with the sentiments of greater tax transparency, but they will struggle to introduce it as every nation competes in the global race. Therefore, it will be up to the companies themselves to lead the way and they will only do that if their customers, the British public in many cases, drag them kicking and screaming towards tax transparency and a fairer tax system for us all."

Stephen McPartland MP has written to the Chief Executives of all the FTSE 100 companies to ask them individually if they are willing to pledge their support for corporate tax transparency and if they will support a new international accountancy standard for country-by-country reporting. The responses are being published at www.taxchallenge.co.uk so that the general public know which FTSE 100 companies are willing to sign up to tax transparency and which are not.

Stephen added, "Everyone of us can then decide individually whether the biggest companies in Britain really do care about the poorest in our society at home and abroad."

It has been a fantastic year for Stevenage and my favourite moment was welcoming the Queen to the Lister hospital to open the new Maternity Unit, closely followed by the arrival of the Olympic Torch. Stevenage continues to go from strength to strength and is helping to lead the country out of these difficult economic times. Unemployment continues to fall, more young people are in apprenticeships than ever before, the Da Vinci studio school has opened its doors and is specialising in Science and Engineering for 14-19 year old students. The newly built Nobel, Marriots and Lonsdale schools will be officially opened in 2013 with other schools seeing extensions and refurbishments.

In the last few weeks we have just secured more funding which is transforming the Lister hospital into one of the most advanced and modern facilities in the UK. The next year will see lots of new buildings being constructed as part of the massive £280 million government investment in infrastructure I have secured for our local schools, hospital, housing and jobs. There are plenty of challenges ahead but 2013 looks set to be another year of hope, ambition and achievement as we build on our success.

 

With best wishes,
Stephen

www.stephenmcpartland.co.uk

Local MP Stephen McPartland visited the exhibition of work by members of the Stevenage Arts Society held this month at the Denington Galleries at Springfield House.  Earlier in the year he had tried his hand at pottery, using the specialist facilities at Springfield House, ably instructed and assisted by experienced potter Vivienne Western.  Stephen was pleased by the result and that it was included in the exhibition.

Stephen said "The standard of work in the exhibition was amazing and it was a surprise and real honour to have my bowl displayed. I had great fun making the piece and would like to thank Vivienne for her patient support."

Stephen is pictured with Mary Green who is Chair of the Stevenage Arts Society.

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