Monthly Archives: November 2014

Stephen Metcalfe MP takes part in successful Parliament Week for schools

Stephen Metcalfe, local Member of Parliament for South Basildon and East Thurrock has this week highlighted the huge success of Parliament week, both locally and nationally. Parliament Week is a nationwide programme of events and activities that connect people across the UK with Parliament and democracy.

This year Stephen Metcalfe chose to focus on engaging with schools and young people and visited and spoke at a number of local schools. At Woodlands school, he took part in a question and answers session with year 10 and 11 students from the Citizenship Group; at Hassenbrook School in Stanford-le-Hope he spoke to the Student Voice Group about their concerns around anti-social behaviour; while at Great Berry Primary School he talked about what an MP does with the year 6 students. Finally, Stephen finished off the week with a visit to Pitsea Junior School where he took part in a Great War project event.

Stephen Metcalfe commented: “Parliament week is vitally important for ensuring that our young people are not left behind by our democratic and parliamentary processes. It was such an uplifting experience taking part in the Q&A sessions with the school pupils; the questions were intelligent and thoughtful and the children I met are a real credit to our local community.

“It was also a wonderful privilege to be invited to take part in the Remembrance services at Pitsea Junior School. The school has done a wonderful job at bringing the message of Remembrance to the pupils and teaching them about life in the trenches. To see them making individual poppies for each of the fallen soldiers from the Basildon Parish was incredibly moving.”

“I am a huge supporter of Parliament Week and it has truly become one of my favourite occasions on my Parliamentary calendar.”

“Parliament week is vitally important for ensuring that our young people are not left out of our democratic process.”

Debunking UKIP EU claims

An election UKIP News tries to expose the top 10 myths about the EU. They have got it mightily wrong.
Let me say at the outset that I do not like the interference in the British way of life that other European Countries seek to change by diktat.
Myth 1. UKIP are wrong. Britain will lose jobs. Using two industries as examples, the motor industry and the aero industry. Both of these are dominated by large corporations with vast sums of capital to invest or by State supported schemes. I cannot see how companies like Ford or Peugeot would continue to invest in Britain when the bulk of their manufacture and assembly is done in other European Countries. The UK market is no longer big enough to sustain a purely British motor industry. Building aircraft is equally problematic. If we lost either of these industries then the loss of small and medium sized companies in the supply chain in the UK would be devastating.
Myth 2. This is not unlinked to my comments to the first myth. If tariffs were re-imposed then companies such as Ford would have to pay a tariff on all goods imported from the UK and we would be required to raise tariffs on imported finished goods which would increase the costs of the product to the end user without any gain. Companies like Ford would reduce their manufacturing in the UK and move it to some other Country in the EU and there are plenty of Countries to choose from and many of them would be grateful of the inward investment.
Myth 3. Britain can exist outside the EU whilst the Pound is a reserve currency. If adverse impact from loss of industry were two occur because of a change of attitude from our European trading partners then the Pound could lose it’s status and we would suffer.
Myth 4 and 5. There is no doubt the EU is over regulated and if we were outside the EU we may have greater difficulty selling our products if they to not meet the exacting standards of the EU. This could lose us business and there might be a need to implement certain regulation to continue to trade with Europe. The best way to tackle over regulation is to change it. The UK cannot do that if we are not members of the EU.
Myth 6. This is the most mischievous comment of the lot. The EU has brought peace to Europe. It has nothing to do with NATO. Two World Wars in the 20th Century were the result of tension and conflict in Europe, largely because of antagonism between France and Germany during the late 19th and early 20th Century. From 1959 and during the 60s France withdrew from NATO but it continued to work with Germany via the European Coal and Steel Community and later the EU. The EU not NATO had the greater influence.
Myth 7. To suggest that farming has suffered as a result of the EU is to misunderstand the nature of farming. The problem is not the EU, it is the continuing system of subsidy and support for farming and EVERY European country has some system in place over the years, in fact over centuries. To cite only 2 or 3 industries as examples of bad practice does not address how the economy of the UK had benefitted. There is no doubt that some Japanese car makers, looking to invest in Europe, chose the UK as their destination. That would not have happened if we were not Members of the EU.
Myth 8. I think I have answered that in some of the points above. We do see foreign investment because we are members of the EU.
Myth 9. Can we say with any certainty what our international influence would be outside the EU. If the sort of losses in industry that have been discussed above were to take place would be be able to maintain our position in the G8 or G20 Nations, or with the IMF and WTO? If we lost our position on those bodies we would lose influence in the greater World Affairs? There is no doubt that withdrawal from the EU would cause all other nations to reassess how they viewed the UK.
Myth 10. Of course we could repeal the European Communites Act and all other attendant legislation. UKIP then suggest we could replace this by merely replicating the existing EU trade agreements. What nonsense is this? Tear up the trade agreements and then replicate them, not once but individually with each Member State. That sound like ‘Jobs for the Boys’ to me.
There is no doubt the EU needs change. Change only comes when one member State or another say ‘NO!’. More often or not this has been the UK. I may wish that we had never started this journey in 1972 but can we really overturn more than 40 years of change and development simply by saying ‘Let’s walk away’.
It is not as simple as that. It never was and it never will be. So before you offer support to UKIP take time to consider all the impact this might result in. It will not be easy.

Record turnout at Laindon Remembrance Service

Sunday 9th November 2014 saw a record 100 people attend the Remembrance
Day service conducted by the Bishop of Bradwell, the Rt Revd John Wraw.
Recent years has seen an increasing attendance at the Laindon
Remembrance Service but numbers have rarely been above 40 attendees.
This year, following the retirement of the Vicar of Laindon, the Bishop
of Bradwell stood in to conduct the service.
Local residents made sure that the service was publicised by putting
posters in and around the Laindon Centre and the Triangle shops. In
addition members of the British Legion and the Scouts Movement as well
as many local people spent their time making sure the event was well
The Meeting was attended by Members of the British Legion and other
ex-services organisations, Mr Stephen Metcalfe MP and a representative
of John Baron MP, Members of the Basildon and Laindon Scouts, Essex
Police, local Councillors and many members of the public.
More than 12 wreaths were laid as well as individual tokens of
Cllr Stephen Hillier, who laid a wreath on behalf of Basildon Council
said “In the 14 years that I have attended this service on Remembrance
Sunday this year has seen a record number of people attending.”