Monday, 29 June 2015

Stephen Metcalfe MP judges annual Children’s Art Competition at Wat Tyler Country Park

Stephen Metcalfe, the local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock attended and judged the Children’s Art Competition at War Tyler Country Park.

The competition, now an annual event in the local community, is organised by Lisa Smith and the Laboratory Art Studio.

This year’s theme was the ‘Battle of Britain versus the Battle of Waterloo’, and included three categories, including:  ages 4-7, ages 8-11, and 12+.

Stephen Metcalfe commented: “It was great fun to attend and judge this year’s annual Laboratory Art Studio Children’s Art Competition."

“All of the entries were very unique and it was particularly interesting to see all of the children’s different interpretations of such a particularly poignant theme.”

“All of the entries were a huge credit to the talent and dedication of the local children we have here in the area.”

Stephen Metcalfe, was also joined by two others judges, Jo Cullen and Sue Barnfield.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Stephen Metcalfe MP takes part in National Care Home Open Day in Basildon 

Stephen Metcalfe, the local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, has visited Basildon’s Oaklands and Cameron House care homes as part of the National Care Home Open Day.

Care Home Open Day is a UK wide initiative inviting care homes to open their doors to their local communities.

Thousands of care homes across the UK take part each year, welcoming the public and arranging events and activities that help to create lasting links between care home residents and their local communities.

On his two visits, Stephen Metcalfe had a chance to meet the staff and residents, and talk about politics and issues relating to the care sector.

Stephen Metcalfe, speaking after the day’s events, commented: “It was great to take part in National Care Home Open Day in Basildon. I had a lot of fun meeting the residents and all of the hardworking staff at Oaklands Care Home in Langdon Hills and Cameron House in Pitsea.”

“National Care Home Open Day is a great opportunity for various care homes across the country to open their doors to local communities. I believe it is a great opportunity, not just for the residents, but also for the rest of the public. It is important that we all learn as much as we can about the issues that affect our great care sector”. 

Those who would like to find out more about National Care Home Open Day, can visit the website at:
Stephen Metcalfe MP pledges support to Royal Life Saving Society UK

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock has pledged his support to Royal Life Saving Society UK, after the charity’s trip to Westminster.

The Royal Life Saving Society UK sent representatives to Westminster Palace ahead of its annual national campaign, Drowning Prevention Week which this year runs from June 20th to June 28th. They hoped to gain the support of MPs, so they in turn can support their constituents with drowning prevention messages. 

Throughout the afternoon, CPR workshops and water safety advice sessions were held, where the RLSS UK invited Stephen Metcalfe MP to find out more about the charity and how best he can support his constituents. Stephen Metcalfe MP then signed the RLSS UK’s pledge ‘to support RLSS UK in their aim to reduce the rate of drownings in the UK’.

Stephen Metcalfe commented: “RLSS UK is an incredibly important charity, and the lifesaving work they do across the country is of tremendous value. Accidental drowning is a huge tragedy when it occurs, and it is so important we do everything we can to minimise how often it occurs here in the UK.”

“The RLSS UK do incredible work educating current and future generations so that they are more informed about potential risks – and I am so glad to be supporting them”.

RLSS UK Chief Executive, Di Steer, said: “The number of accidental drowning incidences has, over the last few years, reached a plateau of around 400. There is no quick fix to get this number down further. There are many at-risk groups for many different reasons. Education to instil a change in behaviour is considered the only method that will reach the final 400, as well as future generations, and help prevent these tragic deaths and accidents.

“We can’t do it alone. We need everyone’s help to raise awareness about the reality of accidental drowning, and to get water safety at the forefront of people’s minds.”

Peter Moyes, RLSS UK’s President added to this: “We were overwhelmed with the support offered by MPs during our session on Tuesday and can’t thank Stephen Metcalfe MP enough for pledging to help us in our efforts, not only during Drowning Prevention Week but all year round, especially to get water safety education taught in all schools.”

It cannot be emphasized how important RLSS UK’s work is. Jackie Roberts, the mother of student Megan Roberts, who tragically drowned in the River Ouse in January last year, has been working with RLSS UK on a number of projects. She said: “I am working with the RLSS UK as my daughter’s life meant so much and I want to do something in respect to her, and to prevent further tragedies.” 

“It was great to talk to Stephen Metcalfe MP today and hopefully raise the importance of the charity’s work and the importance of water safety education.”

To prevent further tragedies and loss of life, such as the drowning of Megan Roberts, RLSS UK’s main goal is to promote drowning prevention messages and deliver water safety education nationally. They work tirelessly to achieve this through various schemes and campaigns, including offering a range of awards and programmes that teach lifesaving skills to all ages, and the national campaign, Drowning Prevention Week.

For more information on the RLSS UK, Drowning Prevention Week 2015, water safety advice or details on lifesaving courses suitable for children and adults -  

Visit the website at 

Follow them on Twitter - @RLSSUK

Visit their Facebook page -

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Stephen Metcalfe MP celebrates work of Citizens Advice in South Basildon & East Thurrock

Stephen Metcalfe, local Member of Parliament for South Basildon and East Thurrock has this week attended an event in Parliament to thank the staff and volunteers of the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) for the work they do for local residents.

At the event, Mr Metcalfe met people from across the Citizens Advice service. He also learnt about the invaluable insight local Citizens Advice have about problems experienced by his constituents.

The Citizens Advice service provides free confidential and impartial advice to people in Basildon & Thurrock face to face and over the telephone.  There is also a national website providing advice online, over email and via a web chat from

Common issues reported to the local Citizens Advice include queries about benefits, debt problems, employment and housing.   

Nationally the Citizens Advice service helps 2.5 million people a year with 6.2 million issues.

Evidence from the charity shows Citizens Advice helps to solve two in three people’s problems.  Where problems can’t be fully resolved Citizens Advice will work with relevant local and national organisations to help sort out systemic issues.

Stephen Metcalfe, at the event, commented: “The Citizens Advice service does a great job in helping people solve their problems, and developing the skills and confidence people need to help themselves.  As the local member of Parliament, I’m keen to work closely with Citizens Advice to make sure people get access to the help they need and tackle any local issues together.” 

“Volunteers are the bedrock of the Citizens Advice service. I’d like to thank the people in South Basildon & East Thurrock who give up their own time to help others and recognise their contribution to our local community.”

Citizens Advice Chief Executive Gillian Guy said: “The right advice and support can transform lives. Local Citizens Advice solve the problems for two in three of our clients, and empower people to develop the skills and confidence they need to help themselves.”

“It’s really important that people are able to access free and impartial advice as and when they need it, whether face to face, over the phone or online.  We’re pleased to work with MPs to help them solve their constituents’ problems and address local and national issues.”
Stephen Metcalfe MP speaks at Dedication of Basildon Church

Stephen Metcalfe, local Member of Parliament for South Basildon and East Thurrock recently attended the dedication of the new Bread of Life Church in Rushley, Basildon following its transfer from the Burnt Mills Hall Trust. 

The hall which had fallen out of use some time ago will now be the permanent home for the Bread of Life Church and will throw its doors open again to the wider community.

During the service, Stephen Metcalfe was invited to address the congregation and spoke on a number of issues, including the importance of community and morality in politics and public life.

Speaking after the event, Stephen said: “This was a very special occasion for the local community and the church. As Member of Parliament, I believe it is vital to support peoples’ efforts to better their communities as the Bread of Life Church is doing in Basildon.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Pastor Tapiwamunashe Nduna, and all of the churchgoers today. Their dedication to charity and community is to be highly commended, and it makes me even more proud to be MP for the area”.

“I wish them well for the future and hope that their outreach plans for the area bring Church and community closer together.” 

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Stephen Metcalfe MP welcomes continued fall in unemployment

Stephen Metcalfe, the local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock has today welcomed the latest figures showing that since 2010, the number of people in the constituency claiming Job Seeker's Allowance and Universal Credit has fallen by 1,477 – a 57% drop.

Across the UK, there are 2 million more people at work than at the end of thirteen years of Labour Government.

Stephen Metcalfe commented: "I am so pleased to hear of the continued good news for the people of South Basildon and East Thurrock as I return to Parliament as their representative."

"This is down to the hard work and the determination of people here, as well as the Conservatives’ strong leadership and clear economic plan. As a Government for working people we’re committed to go further, as we work towards a Britain of full employment, which offers working people security at every stage of their life."

Around one in 50 people in work are on zero-hours contracts. Unlike the last Labour Government, who did nothing, we have taken action to clamp down on abuses by banning exclusivity contracts. Over the last year 85 per cent of the jobs created have been full-time. Labour always try and tell Britain that all these jobs are part-time, insecure and poorly paid – in fact: "Not only is employment up by 2 million across the UK since 2010, but the total pay is also up by 2.7 per cent too. There are also more women in work than ever before!”

“Labour always try to claim that these jobs are part-time, insecure and poorly paid – when in fact, Over the last year 85 per cent of the jobs created have been full-time. And around one in 50 people in work are on zero-hours contracts. Unlike the last Labour Government, who did nothing, we have taken action to clamp down on abuses by banning exclusivity contracts.”

“The Conservative economic recovery is being felt across all parts of British society – and I am so pleased to see the benefits being felt here by local residents in Basildon and Thurrock."

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Stephen Metcalfe MP attends St Luke’s Hospice 25th anniversary fete

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock recently attended the St Luke’s Hospice fete in celebration of their 25th anniversary.
Stephen with Trudy Westmore-Cox, Patron and Founder of St Luke’s Hospice

At the event, awareness was being raised on a whole range of important issues, including healthy living and how St Luke’s Hospice provides care in the local community. The fete was also supported by Ford Motor Co, Warley & Staff at Marks and Spencer, Basildon. 

Stephen Metcalfe has been very keen to help champion the cause of St Luke’s Hospice during his time as Member of Parliament, and is always eager to attend their events and to show his support for this excellent local charity.

Stephen Metcalfe at the event, commented: “I have had great fun getting involved in all of the events today, and I even won something on the ring toss! But there was an important message to the day as well, St Luke’s has over the years touched many people’s lives but it is at a cost. The Hospice needs to raise over £4m a year to keep going, which through the dedication of its staff and volunteers it has now managed to do for 25 years.”

“I therefore want to congratulate them on their work, thank them for what they do and for as long as I am MP, pledge to support their work and encourage others to do the same.”
Stephen Metcalfe MP in visit to Briscoe Primary School

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock recently visited Briscoe Primary School to see the results of its improvements over the last few years. During his visit, as well as hearing about how children’s lives are being turnaround by the improved teaching, Mr Metcalfe also heard about the school’s plans to create a new 11-16 school. Cordium School (as it will be named) is aiming to take its first students from September 2016.

Stephen Metcalfe commented: “I very much enjoyed hearing Briscoe’s plans for a new 11-16 school. Their enthusiasm for the project is unmatched and I commend their ambition for providing a useful addition to the educational landscape in Basildon”.

“They have now put in an application to the Department for Education and I wish them well as they continue to build on their incredible record of serving the local community and improving students educational outcomes.”

Mr Metcalfe also had time during his visit to meet and greet many of the pupils, including a visit to a music lesson where the violin and cello sections of the school orchestra where being put through their paces.” 

Stephen Metcalfe commented: “I had a very informative and rewarding visit and look forward to hearing the outcome of their application for a free school as well as returning to the school soon to continue to hear how they are helping my constituents reach their full potential.” 

Those interested in the proposed new school, can visit

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Stephen Metcalfe MP calls on Prime Minister to back UK science

Stephen Metcalfe, the MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock has called on the Prime Minister to support UK science and fight for increased funding to the British scientific community.

Stephen Metcalfe who has recently announced his intention to stand for chairmanship of the prestigious Parliamentary Science and Technology Committee has been keen to champion the cause of the UK science community throughout his time as MP – and has been increasingly vocal about the need to include the technology industry as part of the Government’s economic plan.

Rising to the floor of the House of Commons during discussions following the recent G7 meeting, Stephen Metcalfe, asked the Prime Minister: “One way to deliver on our climate change target (as agreed at the G7) and boost our economy is through the development of new technologies. Will my right hon. Friend therefore commit to supporting our UK science community, fight for an increase in funding around the Cabinet table and pledge to aim towards spending the same percentage of GDP on research and development as our European partners?”

The Prime Minister responded in agreement with Mr Metcalfe’s sentiments, saying: “We have looked very carefully at this in the past and recognise that science is an important part of enhancing the growth, production, productivity and potential of the United Kingdom.”

Stephen Metcalfe, speaking later, commented: “Being MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, I see first-hand the contribution that the science and technology industries have on the overall British economy. Basildon and Thurrock have a rich history of technological success. 1 in 10 of all the world’s tractors are made locally – and there is not an Airbus A380 that flies, that does not have a part made in Basildon.”

“That is why I am dedicated to calling on the Prime Minister to build on this Government’s already strong record on Science and Industry – and I will continue to do so if I am lucky enough to be elected as Chair of the Science and Technology Committee here in Parliament”.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Stephen Metcalfe MP: backs Foster Care Fortnight

Stephen Metcalfe, the local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock is backing the call for people to come forward and make their connection with fostering during The Fostering Network’s annual Foster Care Fortnight campaign.

This year alone, 8,370 new foster carers are needed right across the UK to ensure that the rising number of children coming into care can have the best chance of find a loving foster family who can not only meet their needs, but help them build a positive future.

Over 63,000 children live with almost 55,000 foster families across the UK each day. There is a particular need for foster carers to look after teenagers, disabled children and sibling groups, with the need for more foster carers meaning that children may end up far from home, be split up from brothers and sisters or lose touch with family and friends.

There are very few barriers to fostering and your local fostering service will provide you all the training and support you need to ensure you can be a foster carer that can change lives. All children are unique, so we need a diverse foster carer population to provide the best home to help each individual child flourish and fulfil their potential.

Stephen Metcalfe commented: “Foster Care Fortnight is a hugely important occasion, because as each year passes, we see more and more children coming into care. It is vital that more people open up their minds and homes to fostering so that children and young people can get crucial support in their lives.”

“I know of some brilliant foster carers here in Basildon and Thurrock, and it is important to use Foster Care Fortnight to recognise all of the work that these people do in supporting children and young people. However, it is also important to use this occasion to raise awareness of the need for more and more people to become involved in fostering.”

Jackie Sanders, director of The Fostering Network, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that Stephen Metcalfe is supporting this year’s Foster Care Fortnight.”

“It shows that they recognise the need to make sure that the children and young people of South Basildon and East Thurrock who most need support, love and care have it.”

If you believe you have the skills and qualities needed to provide a loving home to children and young people in foster care, then find out more by visiting
Stephen Metcalfe MP congratulates Woodlands School on reaching National Rocketry Final

Woodlands School runners-up after successful launch of rockets 
South Basildon and East Thurrock students could be the next generation of rocket scientists 

MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, Stephen Metcalfe MP has congratulated local pupils from Woodlands School on reaching the final of the UK Aerospace Youth Rocketry Challenge which took place at Stow Maries Aerodrome on Wednesday.

Two teams from Woodlands School made it to the final following tough competition and impressive rocket launches. 

As part of the competition, the teams from Woodlands School created their own 65 centimetre rocket, complete with an engine and detonator. Their challenge was to build a rocket that had a clear take-off, achieve  the highest possible altitude and land its crew – a hard-boiled egg – back safely to the ground, without the egg cracking. 

The competition, now in its ninth year, encourages 11-18 year olds to learn more about maths and science and discover exciting future career opportunities in engineering.

Stephen Metcalfe MP said: “Congratulations to Woodlands School on reaching the National Rocketry Final. The UK Aerospace Youth Rocketry Challenge is a great way to encourage our next generation of engineers and scientists and give them hands-on experience. I was delighted to see Woodlands in this year’s final and I hope to see both Woodlands School and other South Basildon and East Thurrock schools compete in next year’s competition.”    

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Stephen Metcalfe MP joins charities in thanks to volunteers

Stephen Metcalfe, the local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock has joined local and national charities this week to thank volunteers for all the contributions they make. Volunteers’ Week is an annual celebration in recognition of all the hard work volunteers take part in. Events are taking place across the country to mark Volunteers’ Week 2015, which runs from 1-7 June.

Stephen Metcalfe commented: “Volunteers’ week is a very important occasion, as we have so many hardworking and dedicated volunteers here in Basildon and Thurrock, who do tremendous work for the local community.”

“My constituents will all be aware of the amazing work that St Luke’s Hospice does for example. We also have Christian Care Homes and the Thurrock Christian Fellowship trust – as well as the South Essex Gymnastics club, all who rely on the work of volunteers to serve the community.”

“I encourage anyone who is interested, to get in contact with their local charities and to get involved in some of the most rewarding work they will possibly do in their lives. As the volunteers of Basildon and Thurrock will tell us all, there is so much to be gained from giving up your spare time for a cause that you believe in”.

Justin Davis Smith, director of volunteering and development at NCVO, which coordinates Volunteers’ Week in England, said: “Volunteers’ Week is the perfect opportunity to recognise volunteers who put their time, energy and enthusiasm into helping others. Whether it’s clearing out a local park, or helping with a reading club or food bank, volunteers are the social glue keeping our communities together. This week of events across the country will, I hope, show people how much their contribution is valued, and will give MPs an opportunity to see what is going on in their local areas.”

“Last year marked 30 years of Volunteers’ Week celebrations, highlighting how rich our history of social action really is. We hope that this Volunteers’ Week you will join us in saying thank you to everyone who volunteers.”

“This year, as well as thank you events organised by charities, volunteers are being encouraged to share their own stories and motivations on social media using the hashtag #ivolunteer.”

To find out more visit and follow #volunteersweek and #ivolunteer

Monday, 1 June 2015

Stephen Metcalfe MP backs Residents Association bid to buy Page Wood

Stephen Metcalfe, the local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock has announced that he will be backing the Bowers Gifford Residents Association in their efforts to buy Page Wood and keep it as a public space.

Having recently become available, the owners of Page Wood have generously offered the Bowers Gifford Residents Association a chance to purchase the space, which up until a few months ago was open to the public. If the Residents Association are successful in their bid to raise the funds to purchase the land, they have committed themselves to serving as Trustees and ensuring that the land will ‘belong to us all’.

Stephen Metcalfe MP, who has previously worked alongside Bowers Gifford Residents Association to successfully stop the development of Little Chalvedon Hall Farm, has now joined the campaign to preserve Page Wood as a public space.

Stephen Metcalfe commented: “I am so pleased to be joining the campaign to preserve Page Wood. While we do have some greenspace in the local area, local residents know that there is very little woodland.”

“This is a rare opportunity to protect Page Wood for this and future generations – and I feel it is my duty as Member of Parliament for the area to help this campaign in any way I can”.

Those interested in the campaign can visit the Bowers Gifford Residents Association website at The Association is looking for people to contact them with potential pledges as well as any ideas on how to help fundraise.