Latest News from Priti Patel MP

Priti Patel MP Newsletter - Reporting Back
With Parliament in recess, I have been out and about across the constituency meeting constituents, community groups and local businesses.

The House returns next week, where I will continue to press the Government on a range of issues on behalf of constituents.

I would also like to begin by congratulating students across Witham who received their A Level, T Level and GCSE results this month. I know that the disruption to learning over the last couple of years caused by the pandemic has been challenging and as things return to normal I want to wish all of our local students the very best of luck in their future endeavours.

National Grid's Consultation on Pylons

The National Grid’s consultation on their plans for over 100 miles of new pylons and overhead powerlines came to a close this month, and I have been working with local campaigners to oppose these proposals.

These plans will blight our landscape, do harm to local environments and impact communities across the East of England. I have been working with campaigners to put forward an alternative offshore grid plan to the Government, which would reduce the need for onshore infrastructure. I have also expressed my concerns to the Government about plans from the Electricity Networks Commissioner Nick Winser, which would lead to less local engagement in decisions on energy infrastructure.

Out and About Across the Witham Constituency

Priti visits award winning local business

It was great to visit Facial Aesthetics, an award winning local business based in Rivenhall this month. This year they celebrated their 20th anniversary, along with having been awarded the title of 'Best Clinic South of England', and I was delighted to join Julie and her team to congratulate them on their achievements.

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Priti backs Witham Cricket Club

In a show of support for the Witham Cricket Club, I have visited their grounds at The Park. The Club have ambitious plans to support cricket in our local community and I was pleased to discuss these with John, Andy and Caroline. I was interested in the Club’s planning application to improve their training facilities and am working with them to get a decision from Braintree District Council as quickly as possible.

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Priti talking with Witham Cricket Club treasurer Caroline Godwin

Priti visits Colchester Zoo to hear about its future plans

Earlier this month I had the pleasure to catch up with Dr Dominique Tropeano, the Managing Director of Colchester Zoo for a meeting to discuss their future plans. The Zoo is undertaking a significant expansion, alongside a move to charity status from 1st January 2025.

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Witham MP visits Colchester Zoo to hear about its future plans

Priti meets with local mental health and wellbeing charity

I recently met with Liz Rotherham, the Chief Executive of mental health charity Heads2Minds, to discuss the work they do to support people with mental health challenges. The charity is focused on offering alternative therapy and works in partnership with a number of organisations, including the NHS and Essex Police.

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Priti meets with local mental health and wellbeing charity

Priti joins Birch Church campaigners

This month I met with local campaigners in Birch who are battling to save St Peter's and St Paul's Church from demolition. Last year the Church Commissioners decided to proceed with demolishing the 170 year old church and replace it with a memorial garden. With demolition works due to commence shortly, the Save Our Spire (SOS) campaign has been set up to campaign for the Church Commissioners to rethink their plans.

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Priti joins Birch Church campaigners

Priti visits Witham Hangout Youth Group

I paid a visit to the Witham Youth Hang Out Group, which was formed by volunteers in 2018, and is dedicated to providing fun activities for children and teenagers. The group has shared with me some difficulties they are having to secure funding, and I will be following up with other options available which could help further support this excellent local project.

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Priti visits Witham Hangout Youth Group

Priti meets Managing Director of Go East Anglia to discuss Hedingham bus service concerns

In recent weeks, I have been contacted by many concerned parents' about the increase in cost for school bus passes on the 95A bus service, and issues with the timetable for the 92 bus service. These services are essential for many students to get to school and parents are understandably concerned by significant increases in cost or timetable issues that mean services arrive too late for the start of the school day.

I have met with the Managing Director of Go East Anglia to raise these concerns, and been clear that Hedingham services need to engage with their customers and ensure that bus schedules are compatible with the school timetables so that students can utilise the services for travelling to and from school. I have also raised this issue with Essex County Council, who should be doing more to support local families with this important issue.

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Wickham Bishop

I am backing local residents in Wickham Bishops in opposing plans for a large new housing development on land off of Church Road. Previous development plans for this site have been refused, but it is possible the application could be recommended for permission. I am working with local residents to put representations to Maldon District Council to reject this application on behalf of constituents.

RAF Wethersfield Update

I continue to raise concerns about the Government’s decision to house 1,700 asylum seekers in RAF Wethersfield. In recent weeks I have questioned the Government over their evasiveness regarding plans for how long the site will be in use, challenged them over the suitability of this part of Essex, and was interviewed for GB News and BBC Look East on a range of issues relating to the use of the site and asylum policy.

There are many unanswered questions about this decision to use RAF Wethersfield to accommodate asylum seekers, including serious public health and safety concerns. I will continue to press the Government on this matter and question the unaccountable way in which decisions to house asylum seekers is affecting our part of Essex including the escalating cost to the local public purse.

Transport Update


Many constituents have contacted me in recent weeks to raise their concerns and objections about the proposed ticket office changes, which would see the closure of all the operating ticket offices at stations in the constituency.

I welcomed the extension of the consultation period, with a new deadline for submissions by this Friday 1st September 2023. Any comments or feedback on the proposals should be submitted to Transport Focus, the statutory rail passenger watchdog organisation which will receive and review all consultation responses, before providing recommendations on next steps.

Web form:
E-mail: [email protected]
You can also write to them at the following freepost address:
RTEH-XAGE-BYKZ, Transport Focus, PO Box 5594, Southend on Sea, SS1 9PZ

I am encouraging my constituents and rail users to ensure their views are submitted and considered as part of this consultation.

Unfortunately, further strike actions dates have also been announced by both RMT and ASLEF on Friday 1st September, and Saturday 2nd September. A reduced service will operate on all these dates and those travelling are advised to check with their train operators on the day for the services available.

Some services will also be affected by engineering works on these dates. On Saturday 2nd September, mainline services between Norwich and Ipswich, and regional services between Ipswich and Cambridge/Peterborough will also be affected by engineering work.

Labour's ULEZ Expansion

I stand with households and businesses in Essex who are affected by the Labour Mayor of London’s ULEZ expansion being introduced. This £12.50 a day charge to drive a vehicle into London for work, leisure or to see family and friends is causing worry and hardship to many and is little more than a tax grab that will hit those on the lowest incomes the hardest.


Potholes continue to be the main issue of concern under the remit of Essex County Council and Essex Highways. Whilst the announcements of increased funding and investment are welcome in our local roads, I am raising on a daily basis examples of local roads that require repair and are a concern to public safety.

Please do use the contact form linked below to raise any concerns on our roads, which I will then take up with the Highways team. Please feel free to pass this information on to friends and neighbours.
Report a Pothole

Here to Help

My team and I are always available to support constituents with any issues they may be having. Please do not hesitate to contact me via e-mail ([email protected]), with your full address and postcode and a summary of the issue that you require assistance with.

As ever with best wishes,

The Rt Hon Priti Patel
Member of Parliament for Witham
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