Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Stephen Metcalfe MP congratulates Gable Hall on National Award

Stephen with Headteacher, Dr Asong, and students from the school

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and Thurrock, has congratulated Gable Hall School for receiving a national Educational Outcomes Award.

The Award recognises the outstanding progress made by Gable Hall students at GCSE level and the value added by the school to student’s achievements.

Gable Hall’s success was identified in a recent in-depth analysis of official Department for Education data on all state funded schools in England by SSAT, the national school’s membership organisation for improvement and collaboration. The school qualified for the award by being in the top 20% of schools nationally for progress made by pupils between their key stage 2 results at primary school and their GCSE results at age 16.

Mr Metcalfe commented: “This is an exceptional achievement and a real testament to the hard work and dedication of the staff and pupils at Gable Hall. I would like to offer my warmest congratulations to all involved and my thanks to everyone who works so hard to maintain these standards.

“I look forward to seeing the school go from strength to strength and hope that it demonstrates what schools in South Basildon and East Thurrock can achieve.”

Sue Williamson, Chief Executive of SSAT said: “Gable Hall School have proved themselves to be leading the field in improving GCSE outcomes for their students. There is so much good practice that this school could share, and I hope many schools will join us at the celebration ceremony for the chance to network and share strategies with award-winning schools.” 

“These results are testament to the commitment and hard work of the students, teachers and leadership team at Gable Hall School, and show what can be achieved when skilled teachers have high expectations and ambition for every young person. I am proud that this school is a member of the SSAT network.”

Monday, 28 April 2014

Stephen Metcalfe MP: Crime continues to fall in Essex

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, has welcomed the
news that crime has fallen once again over the last twelve months. Latest figures from the independent Office for National Statistics show that since 2010 recorded crime in Essex has fallen by 3%.

This trend is supported by the independent Crime Survey of England and Wales and a fall in violent crime shown by fewer people going to hospital with injuries from violent incidents. 

More broadly across England and Wales, crime is down by more than 10% since the general election and down 15% in 2013 meaning that it is now at the lowest levels since records began in 1981.

Commenting, Mr Metcalfe said: “It is great news that crime has fallen in Essex and local police officers in South Basildon and East Thurrock can be rightly proud of their success in cutting crime.” 

“The Government has cut police red tape and given them one simple target: cut crime.  And that’s what they are doing.   This means people are safer on the streets, at home, and at work – helping to build better communities in the local area and across Essex. I have every confidence that this trend can continue and look forward to seeing even safer streets in the future.”

Stephen Metcalfe MP pitches in at Project 58:7

Stephen Metcalfe, MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, recently visited Basildon based Project 58:7 and pitched in with their work helping the homeless.

Run by volunteers from 10 churches in Basildon, Project 58:7 works to implement the words in Isaiah Chapter 58 verse 7 which encourages the sharing of food, the provision of shelter and clothes, and urges the reader not to turn away from those in need.

Working in partnership with a number of local agencies including Basildon Citizens Advice and Bureau and Basildon Community Resource Centre, the project provides invaluable assistance to the homeless through the provision of  hot meals and drinks, prayer, clothing, sleeping bags, and signposting to other agencies who may be of help. Last year alone they provided 3,200 meals to rough sleepers.

Mr Metcalfe commented: “Homelessness is something I have worked on in the past so It was a real privilege to visit Project 58:7 and to pitch in with serving food. The volunteers work selflessly to provide for others and in doing so demonstrate the crucial role that local churches can play in our communities.” 

“I would like to thank all involved in running this service and whilst I obviously wish there was no need for it, I look forward to supporting their work in any way I can.”

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Stephen Metcalfe MP: Unemployment falls again in South Basildon and East Thurrock

Local MP Stephen Metcalfe has welcomed the news that unemployment has once again fallen in South Basildon and East Thurrock.

The number of job seeker claimants has fallen by 769 since March 2013 and by 54 since February 2014.

Nationally unemployment is also down with long term unemployment falling by 93,000, the largest annual fall since 1998. Over one million of the jobs created have been full time and the number of young people claiming Jobseeker’s allowance has been falling for the last 22 months.

Mr Metcalfe commented: “These strong job figures are fantastic news and suggest that our long term economic plan is working. There are now a record number of jobs in Britain and we have taken a step further in meeting the ambition the Chancellor has set for full employment.” 

“This is not to say that there is not more work to be done. I appreciate that times are difficult for many households but I am confident that we are heading in the right direction and that living standards will follow suit.”

Stephen Metcalfe MP welcomes yet more investment in Thurrock

Following news that the Solena Fuels in partnership with British Airways has committed to building the world’s first facility to convert landfill waste into jet fuel in Thurrock.

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for the area said: "I am delighted that this groundbreaking initiative is coming to Thurrock. It is fantastic news for the local economy, creating jobs and ensuring that this site is put to good use. Basildon and Thurrock are proving once again that they are the places to invest and I look forward to seeing my constituents reap the rewards of this excellent project." 

"Needless to say this is also fantastic news for the national economy, for the environment, and for the aviation industry. I am grateful to British Airways and Solena Fuels for their commitment to this initiative and I hope to be able to visit the plant when it is up and running."

Monday, 14 April 2014

Stephen Metcalfe MP speaks on Science in Parliament

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock and member of the Science and Technology Committee, came together with young scientists to speak about the work of the committee and the science policy interface.

The event was organised by Newton’s Apple, a charitable non-partisan science policy foundation which aims to act as a neutral bridge between the science and policy communities. It saw Mr Metcalfe, Dr Michael Elves, Chairman of Newton’s Apple, former chair of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, Dr Ian Gibson, and Dr Sarah Main, Director of the Campaign for Science and Technology come together to form a distinguished panel.

The local MP spoke to the group about how the committee functions, explained some of their achievements, and most importantly he stressed how keen they are for scientists to get involved with their work and influence policy.

He commented: “This was a fantastic opportunity for the world of policy to engage with the world of science. This interface should sit at the heart of policy making and it is therefore vital that organisations such as Newton’s Apple provide a bridge between the two.” 

“They asked some fantastic questions and I have no doubt that we will see some of them giving evidence to the Science and Technology Committee in the future.”

Monday, 7 April 2014

Stephen Metcalfe MP hails tax cut to support jobs and businesses in South Basildon and East Thurrock

Stephen Metcalfe MP has welcomed the bold new tax cut for businesses and employers in South Basildon and East Thurrock which takes effect this Sunday. 

A new Employment Allowance will take £2,000 off the National Insurance bill of every employer – open to businesses, charities and community amateur sports clubs. This will take 68,000 small businesses in the South East out of having to pay any tax on jobs at all.

Employers will be able to hire one extra person on £22,400 a year, or four people working full time on the minimum wage, without paying any National Insurance.

Stephen commented: “This new tax cut to help businesses take on more people will be great news for people in South Basildon and East Thurrock. It will make it cheaper and easier for firms to hire new employees – helping give more people the security and stability of a regular pay packet."

“Creating more jobs by backing business and enterprise with lower taxes is all part of the Conservatives’ long-term economic plan. There are already more than 1.3 million people in work since the election, but the job is not done and that’s why the Government is sticking with its plan to build a stronger, more competitive economy."

Stephen Metcalfe MP welcomes income tax cut for people in South Basildon and East Thurrock

Local MP Stephen Metcalfe has welcomed a new tax cut for people in South Basildon and East Thurrock.

The personal allowance will rise to £10,000 from Sunday 6 April, taking around 372 people in the local area out of income tax. Taxes have been cut for more than 26 million people across the country, with over three million now taken out of paying income tax altogether.

Because of tax cuts since 2010 the typical taxpayer is now paying £705 less in income tax than they were.

Taxes will be cut even further next year when the personal allowance is set to rise again to £10,500, as announced in the 2014 Budget.

The local MP commented: “This tax cut is excellent news. This is the third time this Government has cut income tax, benefitting around 42, 152 people here in South Basildon and East Thurrock with 4,621 people now taken out of income tax altogether.” 

“Cutting taxes is a key part of the Conservatives’ long-term economic plan to build a better future for Britain. These cuts mean 42, 152 people are keeping more of the money they’ve worked hard to earn, giving them and their families more financial security for the future.’ 

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Stephen Metcalfe MP helps secure victory for the Visteon pensioners

After a long four year campaign, Stephen Metcalfe, MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, is celebrating victory for the Visteon Pensioners as Ford enter into constructive and binding talks with the view to settle claims for losses with a multi million pound deal in the very near future.

Joined by colleagues across the House, Mr Metcalfe has been tirelessly campaigning for Ford to honour their moral responsibilities to their former employees who suffered pension losses of up to 50% when Visteon UK collapsed in 2009 after being was spun off from Ford in 2000. The All Party Parliamentary Group in support of Visteon pensioners, chaired by Mr Metcalfe, have held debates in the House of Commons on the matter, made representations to the Government, attended demonstrations, and have supported the Visteon Pension Action Group (VPAG) in the fight for their pensions.

Up to this point Ford washed their hands of responsibility for the pensioners, claiming that Visteon was its own company, responsible for its own decisions. Now, to the delight of Visteon pensioners up and down the country, Ford has agreed in principle to do the right thing and settle the claim.

VPAG, who have been ardently campaigning on this issue, are said to be delighted by the news and were praised in the House of Commons for their dogged determination. 

Mr Metcalfe commented: “I am delighted to hear that Ford are living up to their responsibilities and doing the right thing. This is fantastic news for VPAG and for Visteon pensioners across the UK and I would like to congratulate VPAG for their hard fought campaign. Their dogged determination has resulted in a well earned victory and I know that the people they represent will be forever grateful for their efforts.”

“I would like to thank colleagues from across the House for joining me in this fight. Geraint Davies MP, Sian James MP and many others have been relentless in campaigning for their constituents and this cross party effort has shown democracy working at its finest.” 

Stephen added: “I would also like to thank Ford for honouring their responsibilities. By righting this wrong, they have restored their proud reputation for looking after their workers and I look forward to working with them in the future as they continue to make an invaluable contribution to the national economy, and our local economy in Basildon.” 

Stephen Metcalfe MP joins residents in Orsett to oppose Option C

Stephen Metcalfe,  MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, last night spoke at a packed meeting of local residents, councillors, businesses and community representatives in opposition to Option C for a Lower Thames Crossing.

The meeting in Orsett provided interested parties with an opportunity to come together, to receive updates on the current situation and provided a forum through which local people could have their say.

The meeting, Chaired by BBC Essex Radio presenter, James Whale adopted an non-partisan approach and saw politicians from across the political divide come together to present a united front in opposition to this proposal.

The local MP, fresh from a meeting with Transport Minister, Robert Goodwill, was able to inform the group that whilst no decision has been made and that the Government are not leaning either way. This means that Option C is no more likely to be taken forward than Option A, or indeed other options that may be in consideration.

Mr Metcalfe commented: “The public meeting provided an important opportunity for all those interested in the crossing to come together. It is vital that everyone’s views are heard on this issue and it was clear that opposition to Option C remains very strong.”

“I will take what I heard on board and will continue to express my staunch opposition to this option at every opportunity, as well as continuing to push the Government to broaden its ambitions and to re-consider other options further East of the existing crossing." 

A similar meeting will take place for Option A in June. 

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Stephen Metcalfe MP backs Cancer Research campaign to make every moment count

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, attended Cancer Research UK’s parliamentary event to discover more about the power of research which, every week, saves more than five times as many lives as there are seats in the chamber of the House of Commons.  

This astonishing fact means over 2,800 people will survive cancer every week thanks to research.

Mr Metcalfe said: “It’s a real eye-opener to visualise the number of lives saved in terms of seats in the House of Commons. It is truly inspiring to see what research can achieve.  That’s why I’m backing Cancer Research UK’s campaign to make every moment count in the fight against cancer and I’m encouraging everyone to join me.”
Every year around 30,300 people in the East of England and more than 330,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with cancer. Thanks to research, survival rates have doubled in the last 40 years. This means that 45 per cent of those people will survive the disease for more than 10 years.

Cancer Research UK’s work has been at the heart of that progress.  The charity’s researchers have played a key role in the research leading to some of the landmark advances in treatment including tamoxifen for breast cancer and cisplatin for testicular cancer.

However, despite the successes, Cancer Research UK believes much more can be done to help more people in the East of England and across the UK beat cancer sooner. 

The focus of the reception was on the importance of early diagnosis, radiotherapy and surgery in helping to save more lives.

Cancer Research UK’s Head of Policy, Sara Osborne, said: “It’s great to have Stephen Metcalfe MP’s support to highlight the power of research in saving lives and to raise awareness of how much more we need to do to ensure no-one’s life is cut short by cancer.”

“Although more people are beating the disease than ever before, survival rates in the UK still lag behind the best in Europe for nearly all common cancers. This must change and that’s why we need everyone to back our campaign for improvements in all areas of the patient’s journey, from earlier diagnosis to access to the best treatments.”

She continued: “The number of people being diagnosed with cancer is set to rise steeply by 2030 so we need everyone to make every moment count. Evidence shows that early diagnosis helps save lives. That’s why we believe it’s imperative for funding to continue for public awareness programmes which boost knowledge of the signs and symptoms of cancer as well as removing the barriers to accessing breast, bowel and cervical screening.”

“We know how effective radiotherapy is in treating cancer. Radiotherapy and surgery are responsible for around 90 per cent of cases where cancer is cured. That’s why Cancer Research UK wants to ensure all patients across the UK can access vital, innovative radiotherapy and surgery treatment as soon as possible.” 

For more information on how to get involved, visit  

Stephen Metcalfe MP joins the Chancellor in Tilbury for key note speech

Stephen and Jackie with the Chancellor, Gorge Osborne together with members of the” Partyman” team, a rapidly growing Basildon based leisure business employing over 300 people.

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, joined Jackie Doyle Price MP and local businesses at the London Cruise Terminal in Tilbury today to hear a key note speech from Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne.

Before giving the speech, Mr Osborne took the time to open a new logistics academy on site which will develop the necessary talent to expand this already thriving industry. “Right here we are at the centre of the global economy” commented the Chancellor before moving to the Terminal to deliver his address.

Tilbury, chosen for its strong record in job creation, provided a perfect backdrop for a speech with employment at its heart. The Chancellor committed the Conservatives to targeting ‘full employment’, a goal that can be achieved with the help of ongoing tax and welfare reforms.

Mr Osborne went on to criticise Labour’s jobs guarantee which relies on the creation of artificial jobs with borrowed money saying that it would result in unsustainable spending, higher spending and job losses in the long term. 

Local MP Stephen Metcalfe commented: “There is no reason why Britain shouldn’t aim for this standard. We already have the fastest growing economy in Western Europe and whilst there is still a great deal of work to be done, I am confident that the Government’s commitment to creating jobs and cutting taxes will see our economy go from strength to strength.”