Monday, 24 June 2013

Stephen Metcalfe MP shows support for National Citizen Service at Parliamentary event

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, was joined by young people who have completed the National Citizen Service (NCS) at an event hosted by the organisation in Parliament last week.

The NCS is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity open to all 16 & 17 year olds in England in the Spring, Summer and Autumn holidays. The scheme aims to help young people build their skills for work and life while they take on new challenges, meet new friends, and help the local community.

Mr Metcalfe has been promoting the program to young people in South Basildon and East Thurrock and was delighted to have the opportunity to talk to experienced participants about the benefits it holds for those who take part.

He commented: “It was fantastic to hear firsthand how the scheme has helped young people up and down the country. It has given them confidence, added to their skill-sets for work and life, and provided an opportunity for them to gain memories that will last a lifetime.”

Participants will make new friends and challenge themselves throughout the programme, first taking on outward bound activities like cave bouldering, rafting and abseiling, then learning new skills and creating community projects on issues that matter to them.

The local MP added: “I would encourage every young person aged 16 and 17 in South Basildon and East Thurrock to take part in the NCS. It really is a brilliant scheme and its benefits can’t be underestimated!”

For more information on how to take part in the nCS, visit, call 0845 460 7410, email or find "NCS East" on Facebook and Twitter.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Stephen Metcalfe MP highlights global potential of London Gateway in G8 Statement

Yesterday Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, asked the Prime Minister David Cameron if he agreed that the new London Gateway super-port will be central to both British and global growth. 

The local MP first thanked Mr Cameron for making his recent pre-G8 “ambition” speech at London Gateway before asking: “Does he agree that the investment will assist our global export aims, stimulate world economic growth, encourage free trade and, above all, demonstrate that under this Government, Britain is a great place in which to do business?”

The Prime Minister praised Mr Metcalfe for standing up for his constituency so vigorously and urged Members of Parliament who have not yet seen the port to do so. He commented: “When you are there, you think that surely this must be happening in Shanghai or Rio, but it is actually happening right here in the UK—a massive investment that will cut costs for consumers and will really benefit our country.” 

On his recent visit to Thurrock, Mr Cameron dubbed the port an ‘emblem of ambition’, adding that it will be central to Government plans of increasing trade.

Mr Metcalfe, who has been extremely supportive of the new development added: “London Gateway has been the focus of much attention lately and deservedly so. The benefits of the super-port will extend from the local where jobs and wealth will be created, to the global. I believe, as I said in my question, that the port will be instrumental in driving world economic growth, stimulating trade, and showing the world that Britain is a great place to do business.”

Stephen Metcalfe MP: Co-sponsor our Bill and help us win historic EU vote

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, is encouraging constituents to co-sponsor a Bill that will help secure an historic EU vote in the future.

The Conservative Government have today invited the public to co-sponsor a draft law underpinning an EU referendum; supporting James Wharton MPs EU referendum Bill when it is launched.

If successful, the Bill will lead to the first public vote on Europe for 40 years, after a renegotiation for a new deal in the EU.

Co-sponsors will be able to back the Bill using a newly innovated online co-sponsoring form as part of the campaign.

Commenting, Mr Metcalfe said: Conservatives want to give the British people a say. That’s what this innovative campaign will help us to do.”

If you care about giving millions of Brits a vote on Europe for the first time in 40 years, please visit Co-sponsor our Bill, and fight for change.”

Stephen Metcalfe MP urges the Government to cut Whitehall waste

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, rose on the floor of the House of Commons yesterday to ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General what steps he is taking to reduce Whitehall waste.

Mr Metcalfe asked: “What steps will my right hon. Friend take to accelerate the pace of efficiency savings in Whitehall, and what further action will he take to slice out the accumulated waste of the previous Government?”

To which the Minister, Francis Maude MP replied: “I was able to announce a couple of weeks ago that in the last financial year, 2012-13, we made over £10 billion of efficiency savings. It is a pity that it has taken so long to get on with this. If the present Leader of the Opposition had started on the process when he was in my position, the country’s public finances would now be in a much better state.”

Mr Metcalfe later commented: “It is imperative that the Government are good stewards of tax payers money and this naturally involves reducing inefficient spending in Whitehall departments.” 

“Under the previous Labour Government there was a culture of wastefulness and frivolous spending. I am pleased that this Government is tackling this, bringing some order and discipline to Government Departments and therefore ensuring that the hard earned money of people in South Basildon and East Thurrock is spent wisely.”

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Stephen Metcalfe MP urges Government to improve healthcare for children with diabetes

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, has urged the Government to improve healthcare for children with Type 1 diabetes after meeting with a constituent in Parliament to discuss the matter.

Cheryl Edmeades, who lives in East Tilbury and has a 15-year-old son who has Type 1 diabetes, travelled to Westminster to meet with Stephen Metcalfe MP as part in a lobbying event organised by Diabetes UK to highlight the essential care and support that every child living with Type 1 diabetes needs.

The charity says that too many children with Type 1 diabetes are not getting the essential checks and services they need to manage their condition, which is reflected in the fact that 85 per cent of children with Type 1 diabetes have poor blood glucose control. This puts them at increased risk of devastating health complications later in life such as blindness, amputations and stroke.

Cheryl Edmeades said: “I was delighted to take part in Diabetes UK’s lobbying event and meet with Stephen Metcalfe as it gave me the chance to raise my concerns about poor diabetes healthcare for children.”

“Diabetes is a serious condition but too many children with Type 1 diabetes here in Essex and across the country are not accessing the essential care they need to manage their condition. All children deserve the best healthcare and that is why change is urgently needed.”

Mr Metcalfe added: “I was extremely grateful for the opportunity to meet with Ms Edmeades to learn more about her son’s condition and to hear more broadly about what needs to be done to improve the healthcare for children with Type 1 diabetes.”

“It is not acceptable that some children do not receive the care and support they need and it is vital that this changes. I have written to the Department for Health and to the local hospital to communicate this message.” 

“If people in Essex have a child with Type 1 diabetes, they should make sure they are aware of the Type 1 essentials for children and young people guide, which sets out the 10 things every child with Type 1 diabetes needs.”

Diabetes UK’s Type 1 essentials for children and young people guide can be downloaded at:

Stephen Metcalfe MP congratulates Thurrock Male Voice Choir on 75th Anniversary

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, attended a dinner on Saturday in celebration of Thurrock Male Voice Choir’s 75th Anniversary.

The Choir, now around 40 strong, was formed in 1938 and has been going strong ever since.

Mr Metcalfe commented: “I was delighted to be able to support the choir at their 75 anniversary celebration. It is a fantastic achievement to reach this milestone and I hope that there will be many more to come in the future!”

The choir gave a special performance at the dinner which is one of many throughout the year. Through their performances over the years the choir have raised over £100,000 for local and national charities.

Mr Metcalfe added: “As well as being dedicated to first rate performances, the choir have shown great dedication in raising money for good causes. I am sure that every charity who has benefited from their superb singing is extremely grateful and I would like to thank the choir for their continued work in this area.”

The choir meet in Grays Methodist Church Hall on Monday evenings at 7:30pm. If you are interested in joining them, go along and see if you would like to become a member. Further information can be found here:

Monday, 17 June 2013

Stephen Metcalfe MP champions local volunteers at the 2013 ‘Play Your Part’ awards evening

Recently,  Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, challenged local organisations to harness the enthusiasm of young volunteers at the 2013 Basildon Borough ‘Play Your Part’ volunteers awards evening.

The well attended evening, sponsored by Basildon Council, aimed to celebrate the hard work and dedication of the volunteers who ‘play their part’ throughout the Basildon Borough.

Mr Metcalfe delivered an inspiring speech before presenting some of the well deserved winners with their awards. In his speech he praised the work of volunteers, saying that they ‘act as beacons of hope for wider society.’ He also called on local organisations to tap into the rich vein of energy and enthusiasm that exists in our young people, to recruit a young person, and to pledge to value the commitment they make.

He later commented: “Young people are bursting with energy, new ideas and enthusiasm. I have seen this first hand in the schools of South Basildon and Thurrock. It would be fantastic if we could harness this to benefit the community and create a culture where volunteering is the norm, not the exception.”

“I would like to congratulate all those who won an award, all those who were nominated, and all those who give up their time for others.”

This year, Basildon Council received more nominations than ever before for the 6 awards on offer. Categories included young volunteer, volunteering through adversity and the prestigious Tony Guyon Memorial Cup. Tony Guyon, who passed away in 2010, was a dedicated volunteer and a source of inspiration to the volunteering community.

Mr Metcalfe added: “I would once again like to thank every volunteer in South Basildon and East Thurrock. I am extremely proud to have such a diverse, committed and dedicated army of volunteers in my constituency and long may it continue!”

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Stephen Metcalfe MP supports Thurrock Art Trail

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, stopped off recently at ‘Create 217’ to show his support for the Thurrock Art Trail.

The trail, now in its second year, is set over a 14 locations in Thurrock and aims to showcase local artists and highlight the depth and diversity of art and creativity in the local area. Exhibitions range ‘Snapshots of Equality’ to ‘Craft Candy’.

‘Create 217’ is the twelfth stop on the trail set in Stanford Boiler Room. The venue has a proud record of encouraging creativity and this was no exception. Visitors were treated to a display of woodwork, manga, 3D sculpture, jewellery, painting, photography, and creative writing.

Mr Metcalfe commented: “The trail is a fantastic way of putting creativity and art at the heart of Thurrock. The standard of the work is incredibly high and I would encourage all of my constituents to make the most of the last two days of the exhibitions.”

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Stephen Metcalfe MP: Labour would take over £4m from local pensioners

Research by local MP Stephen Metcalfe has shown that Labour’s plan to cut pensions would hit 17,740 pensioners in South Basildon and East Thurrock, many of whom depend on their Basic State Pension to pay their bills and put food on the table.

Labour have chosen to cap pensions rather than benefits, meaning the Basic State Pension would be £234 less a year by 2017/18.

Stephen Metcalfe MP said: “Now we know that when Labour say they would cut welfare, what they really mean is they would choose to cut the Basic State Pension over capping benefits.”

“This would take £234 a year away from thousands of pensioners in South Basildon and East Thurrock, people who have worked hard all their lives. That’s over £4m removed from local pensioners. This is completely unacceptable and it just demonstrates that Labour are not on the side of hard working people.”

Stephen Metcalfe MP joins constituents at St Luke’s Hospice celebration

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, joined his constituents at a service of thanksgiving and celebration of the fantastic work of St Luke’s Hospice.

St. Luke’s provides specialist care for people who have an advanced disease, as well as those who love and care for them, in a warm caring and friendly environment. The service marked their 25th anniversary of serving the local community in Basildon, Thurrock, and the surrounding areas.

Mr Metcalfe commented: “It was a real privilege to be at the service to celebrate the invaluable service provided by St Luke’s. Everyone involved in the running of the hospice should be extremely proud of all that it does for the local community and I would like to thank the many staff and volunteers for their dedication and hard work.”

The service was attended by a variety of local actors including the Mayor and Mayoress of Thurrock, the Deputy Mayor of Basildon, and the Chairman of Billericay Council. The Chief Executive of St Luke’s, Eileen Marshall, was also on hand to update the attendees on the progress of the hospice.

Mr Metcalfe added: “St Luke’s Hospice really is a fantastic charity. They do not charge anything for the services they provide and have kept close to their roots as a community project.”

“It costs almost £3million per year to keep the Hospice up and running and although they receive some support from the Local Primary Care Trust, the majority of funds are raised by St Luke’s. I would encourage anyone who can support the charity to do so!”

Stephen Metcalfe MP helps launch BNTVA recognition campaign

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, joined other MPs, nuclear veterans, and their descendents at the launch of the British Nuclear Test Veterans (BNTVA) campaign for the official recognition of the contribution made by veterans of the British nuclear testing programme.

The launch, sponsored by fellow local MP, John Baron, also included artwork by artist Gary Bennett, Kathrine Connery (the daughter of a test veteran), and members of the BNTVA. Their work is inspired by the nuclear tests, and aims to portray the mental anguish experienced by British nuclear test veterans and their descendants. It depicts the mental trauma which many service personnel have experienced since participating in the British nuclear tests. A larger exhibition, taking place on Oxford Street and curated by the veterans themselves and their descendants, will be on display next week.

Mr Metcalfe commented: “Nuclear test veterans deserve official recognition for their unique contribution to the defence of our country. Their stories offer a poignant reminder of the sacrifices the veterans made and the emotions they endured, things perfectly captured in this exhibition.”

“I would encourage all those who can see it to do so and I would urge my constituents to support their very worthy campaign.”

Nige Heaps, Chairman of the BNTVA, said: “This is a fantastic start to our campaign. We have received support from all parties, clearly showing that the recognition of the contribution and suffering of our nuclear test veterans is rightly regarded as an issue of national responsibility.

“I look forward to the public launch of our Shadow of the Bomb art exhibition, which will raise awareness of our campaign in the public arena.”

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Stephen Metcalfe MP: Help us win historic EU Vote

Stephen Metcalfe MP is urging people from South Basildon and East Thurrock to help him and the Conservatives in their bid to secure the first EU referendum in 40 years.

This follows news that the Prime Minister has launched a new campaign website,, which makes it simple for people to join the campaign to back the Bill about to go through Parliament which will pave the way for a vote in 2017, after a full renegotiation. aims to “build public pressure, to give people a voice, and to urge MPs from other parties to listen to their constituents.”

Stephen said: “Britain deserves a vote. It’s been nearly 40 years since the British people last had their say on Europe and I know that the people of South Basildon and East Thurrock want to change this.”

“People feel the EU is heading in a direction they never signed up to. That is why Conservatives want to give Britain a clear vote – in or out – before the end of 2017, after a full renegotiation.”

“A draft Bill to make this happen will soon be debated by MPs – but, crucially, it needs the support of other political parties to pass. Britain needs everyone to build public pressure on this. That’s why we are launching today: to give people a voice, and to urge MPs to listen to their constituents. Please sign up today at and make your voice heard.”

Stephen Metcalfe MP presents Lee Chapel Primary School with Speaker’s School Council Award

Recently in the Houses of Parliament, local MP Stephen Metcalfe and Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow MP, presented six representatives from Lee Chapel Primary School with the prestigious Speaker’s School Council Award.

The national awards scheme, now in its fourth year, is run by Parliament’s Education Service on behalf of the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Rt Hon John Bercow MP. It is designed to celebrate the achievements of school councils across the country and is open to every infant, primary and secondary school in the UK.

Lee Chapel’s school council won the award in the 7-11 age category for their school news channel. ‘Lee Chapel News’ was the idea of two pupils who wanted to bring the school together, increase the confidence of their peers and encourage teamwork.

They have so far reported on a range of topics including friendship week, languages week, and have conducted a number of interviews with teachers on the latest school issues. Their project beat over 100 entries to the national prize.

Mr Metcalfe wrote to schools in South Basildon and East Thurrock earlier this year asking them to submit their most successful council project that had made a difference to their school and their community.

After the awards ceremony, he commented: “It was a real privilege to join the Speaker to present Lee Chapel Primary school with their well deserved trophy. I was extremely proud to have South Basildon and East Thurrock represented at the awards and I would like to once again congratulate Lee Chapel Primary school for their fantastic achievement.”

“I hope that the award will inspire school council’s across the local area to make a difference in their schools and in the wider community. I also think Lee Chapel’s success goes to show that we must not limit the aspirations of children in South Basildon and East Thurrock.  With enthusiasm, support and a bit of self belief there is nothing that they cannot achieve. I will continue to work with schools throughout the local area to champion this message.”

Stephen Metcalfe MP joins the Prime Minister at London Gateway to welcome new £200m investment

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, joined Prime Minister David Cameron at DP World London Gateway to welcome the £200 million investment from Marks and Spencer at the site.

Marks & Spencer are the first major investor at the new 1,500-acre logistics park which will run adjacent to the super-port. They plan to build a new 900,000sq ft distribution centre which will create 700 new jobs in the local area.

After the event, the local MP stated: “It was fantastic to welcome this investment to Stanford-Le-Hope with the Prime Minister. Marks & Spencer’s will hopefully be the first of many to invest in the logistics park, creating hundreds of jobs and providing a significant boost to both the local and national economy.”

The Prime Minister branded the new development “an emblem of ambition”, adding that the super-port will be central to Britain’s expanding trade plans.

As well as championing the local development, David Cameron used his speech at London Gateway to deliver his vision for Britain’s role in the wider world and asserted the Government’s commitment to building a stronger economy, a welfare system that works, and a world class education system – things the Government are pursuing with “ruthless ambition”.

Mr Metcalfe later commented: “The Prime Ministers’ speech demonstrates that the UK are not spectators in the global race but leaders.  As he stated, the Port is an emblem of ambition and it should serve as a reminder that we too should be ambitious about Britain’s domestic policies, and about our place in the world. We are a great country and I am pleased that this Government is committed to behaving as one and delighted that the Prime Minister chose to deliver this message in the symbolic setting of London Gateway.”

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Stephen Metcalfe MP welcomes £2.3 million infrastructure boost for Basildon

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, has welcomed the news that the Department for Transport will be investing £2.3 million in improving the A176 in Nether Mayne, Basildon.

The investment will add to the £3.4million ‘Nether Mayne Local Pinch Point Fund’ scheme being promoted by Essex County Council which aims to reduce congestion and increase accessibility along the A176, a strategic gateway into Basildon from the South and the A13.

The local MP Stephen Metcalfe commented: “This is fantastic news. Drivers on the A176 face a frustrating bottleneck which causes congestion and understandably infuriates road users. I am delighted that the Government, in conjunction with Essex County Council, have chosen to invest in solving this problem.”

“It will make Basildon more accessible for residents and investors and I very much look forward to its completion in 2014.”

Support from the local MP, Basildon Council, and Essex County Council were instrumental in demonstrating the need for investment in road infrastructure in Basildon. Their success means that capacity issues along the northern part of the route can be tackled through the provision of an additional northbound lane between the hospital roundabout and Roundacre roundabout; and minor changes to the layout of the Roundacre roundabout and the provision of a puffin pedestrian crossing.

Works are scheduled to begin in early 2014 with completion scheduled for late 2014.

Stephen Metcalfe MP welcomes fall in net migration

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, has welcomed the latest independent evidence that the Government’s action to fix the immigration system is working.  New figures show that net immigration has been cut by more than a third since the general election – and now stands at the lowest level for a decade.

Net immigration – the number of people coming to live in the UK minus the number leaving – more than quadrupled under Labour.

Conservatives have reformed all the routes of immigration into the UK to make the system more selective and secure. In the recent Queen’s Speech the Government announced new plans to clamp down on those from overseas who abuse our public services.

Commenting, Mr Metcalfe said: “I believe that people in South Basildon and East Thurrock want an immigration system that works in Britain’s interest. The action the Conservatives have taken to fix the system we inherited from Labour has already seen net immigration cut by more than a third, and our new laws will stop people abusing public services they’re not entitled to and make it easier to remove people who should not be here.”

“These latest independent figures show that the uncontrolled immigration Britain saw under Labour is ending and we are creating an immigration system people can have confidence in.”

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Stephen Metcalfe MP thanks local volunteers

Stephen Metcalfe MP has today, in advance of his attendance at the Basildon Borough Volunteer Awards 2013, expressed his support and thanks to volunteers working throughout his constituency of South Basildon and East Thurrock as part of Volunteers’ Week.

Now in its 29th year, Volunteers’ Week is an annual celebration of the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK which this year is taking place from 1-7 June.

Mr Metcalfe commented: “South Basildon and East Thurrock has a rich and diverse volunteering network with dedicated people committing their time and energy to helping others and to making a difference in the community.”

“Whether in hospices and hospitals, schools, sports clubs or local radio stations, the contribution of volunteers is invaluable. I would like to extend my sincere thanks and gratitude to every volunteer in South Basildon and East Thurrock and hope that Volunteers Week might inspire others to follow their lead.”

Organisations will be taking the opportunity to recognise the contribution of their volunteers through holding awards ceremonies, recruitment fairs, celebration events, training opportunities and volunteer taster sessions. 

Justin Davis Smith, director of volunteering at National Council for Voluntary Organisations commented: “Volunteers’ Week is a fabulous opportunity for us to recognise and celebrate volunteers and the incredible contribution they make to our communities.  Volunteers are an integral part of our society, and without their dedication, energy and commitment, many of the services we take for granted would simply grind to a halt.”

“But the magic of volunteering is that it is a two-way relationship. So alongside the contribution to our local communities, volunteers also benefit tremendously from the experience – learning new skills, getting back into paid work, improving physical or mental well-being, or simply meeting interesting people and having fun.”

To find out what events are taking place in the local area, see . Further information can be found at:

Stephen Metcalfe MP: Conservatives will save you money on your utility bills

Local MP Stephen Metcalfe has welcomed the news that today’s Energy Bill will save families in South Basildon and East Thurrock up to £158 on their utility bills by helping people to switch to the cheapest tariff.

The most vulnerable households will see the greatest benefit. This is on top of the £64 average saving that householders in the local area have already seen so far.

By contrast, Labour’s planned scheme for utilities would mean an immediate rise in bills by an average of £61. This is likely to increase with Ed Miliband’s plans to reorganise the utilities market by pooling energy for auction.

Whilst these plans were abandoned by Tony Blair because they drove up energy bills, the current Labour leader wants the scheme reinstated. This is in addition to his planned £61 increase as well as his unfunded commitment to rebrand the Ofgem regulator.

Mr Metcalfe commented: “The cost of living is the number one issue in South Basildon and East Thurrock and I am therefore extremely pleased that the Conservative Government is delivering on their promise to help families with the rising cost of living.”

“The choice today is saving up to £158 with the Conservatives, or paying £61 more under Labour.”

Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change, Greg Barker MP, added: “Today’s Energy Bill will put cash back in your pocket. Our plans will enable hardworking families in South Basildon and East Thurrock to save up to £158 by switching to the cheapest energy tariff.”

“Already, as a result of our policies, people are paying 5 per cent less on their gas and electricity bills than they would otherwise be.”