Latest News from Priti Patel MP

Priti Patel MP Newsletter - Reporting Back
This month I launched Get Witham Reading 2023, which is my campaign to promote literacy skills and encourage a love of reading among younger people. I was delighted to visit a number of local schools who were taking part in this years event and I was pleased to be joined by the Schools Minister, the Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP.

I have continued to press the Government on key local issues, including the inappropriate use of RAF Wethersfield as a housing scheme for asylum seekers who have recently arrived to the UK through illegal channel boat crossings.

My representations against plans by National Grid for over 100 miles of overhead powerlines and pylons across the East of England continue and I joined constituents to discuss these proposals. Transport and NHS issues continue to dominate my work and I am pressing the Government on these important local issues.

Parliament is in recess until Monday 4th September. My office remains open throughout the summer recess to assist constituents, and as always, if I can help on a particular matter, please do get in touch.

Priti in Parliament

Priti at the Visit Britain Reception

Tourism contributes around £127b to the UK economy each year, it employs over 2 million people and supports thousands of businesses. Making up over 80% of the UK's total visitor economy, England's tourism sector is vibrant and vital. It was brilliant to hear from Visit Britain at their reception about their role in promoting the UK as the great tourist destination it is.

Priti visits Versus Arthritis drop-in event

I had the opportunity to thank ‘Versus Arthritis’ for all their work supporting people with musculoskeletal conditions. They provide advice, care and support to long term sufferers of musculoskeletal conditions and I have followed up with our local NHS providers on how we can bring this expertise locally to reduce patient waiting times for diagnosis and treatment.

Priti joins the The National
Lottery Community Fund’s parliamentary reception

I was delighted to join the National Lottery Community Fund for the launch of their new strategy 'It Starts With Community.' The National Lottery Community Fund is a fantastic organisation that provides funding to support activities and projects across the country, including schemes in the Witham constituency totalling over £420,000 so far.

The projects which have been supported by the National Lottery in the constituency include £10,000 for Woodham Walter Parish Council to create a new play area in the village; £10,000 for the Lauriston Farm to update the farm's kitchen facilities and allow it to host educational farm walks; and £10,000 for the Silver End Youth Club to set up a weekly youth club and provide activities and trips for young people aged 11 to 19.

I have visited a number of these projects, including Lauriston Farm and Silver End Youth Club, and seen first hand how this funding has made an important difference to them. I look forward to supporting the National Lottery Community Fund and the further work it's doing to invest in local communities.

Out and About in Witham

Priti launches Get Witham Reading 2023

On Friday 7th July I launched Get Witham Reading 2023 at Templars Academy. I was joined by the Minister of State for Schools, the Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP, Mr Ceri Jones the CEO of Templars Academy, the Headteacher Ms Victoria Gooding and year 2, 3 and 4 students.

Following the launch event at Templars Academy, I visited Chipping Hill Primary School, Rivenhall Primary School, and Hatfield Peverel St Andrew’s Junior School. Kelvedon St Mary’s Primary Academy, Tiptree Heath Primary School and New Rickstones Academy also took part in this event, but on a separate date. Overall, 1,200 students across the constituency took part in Get Witham Reading this year.

This year I have donated over 1,000 books to all the schools which took part, and every student who participated has received a certificate, bookmarks and a book to promote the importance of reading.

I set up this campaign in 2012 to help boost literacy skills across the Witham constituency and over the years, it has been so encouraging to see the positive engagements from local schools who were excited to take part in my campaign. Support from successive Prime Ministers and Education Secretaries has also been welcomed, alongside Ofsted who referred to my campaign as a strong model of community engagement and participation. This wouldn't have been possible without the efforts of local teachers, and I thank all those who helped to organise and participated in this years events.

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Priti joins local residents in voicing opposition to pylons

Priti joins campaigners in voicing opposition to pylons
The plans to cover this part of Essex and the East of England with a new network of pylons and overhead power lines are concerning and local communities are worried about the impact that they will have. I share these concerns, this corridor of metal going through Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex will blight some of our most beautiful landscapes and harm the environment.

I have joined campaigners to voice our strong opposition to the plans by National Grid for over 100 miles of overhead powerlines and pylons across the East of England between Norwich and Tilbury. There is significant opposition to the plans for pylons from communities and campaigners across the region, with serious concerns being raised about the impact and blight that over one hundred miles of overhead power lines will cause.

People have come together to fight these plans and work with MPs in the region to press the National Grid and the Government to focus on developing an offshore grid alternative.

I have raised these issues with Ministers in Parliament and I will continue to press at every opportunity for the offshore grid to be developed as quickly as possible and for our landscapes and communities to be protected.

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Priti visits local construction equipment firm TCP Group in Maldon

This month I paid a visit to the headquarters of the TCP Group on the Quayside Industrial Site in Maldon.

TCP specialises in high quality plant hire, task lighting and compaction and is pioneering the use of hydrogen powered construction equipment, which it is hoped will take over from diesel equipment on most building sites by 2035.

The investment by TPC into high quality plant and equipment hire will catalyse economic growth and investment in Essex, which is needed as key schemes such as the Lower Thames Crossing and A12 expansion come together.

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Priti presents the Chief Scout’s Gold Award to a Silver End Scout

I was delighted to be able to present Alexander with the Chief Scout’s Gold Award, who has demonstrated commitment, resilience and adaptability. It was very inspirational to hear about the way he approached the many tough challenges of the Chief Scout’s Award. I am sure his parents will be extremely proud of what he has achieved.

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Priti welcomes increase in funding for schools in Witham

The Department for Education published its schools national funding formula allocation for 2024-25, which will see nearly £70m for primary and secondary schools across the Witham constituency. This is an increase of 2.9% in national funding formula allocation per pupil in the constituency, compared to 2023/24. The funding for 2024/25 will be at its highest ever level, both per pupil and overall.

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Priti visits the Woodham Walter Festival of Flowers

As ever, I was delighted to visit the annual Woodham Walter Festival of Flowers held at the Church of St Michael The Archangel. The theme this year was 'Anything Goes' and visitors enjoyed refreshments, live music, and of course, beautiful flowers around the Church.

St Michael's Church was built in 1563 and is the sole Elizabethan church in Essex and one of only six built in England during Queen Elizabeth's reign.

The church has strong links with the local community and plays an active part in village life. Thank you to the organisers of the festival.

Witham Carnival

It was wonderful to take part in the Witham Carnival proceedings once again this year and share the community spirit. The Carnival is organised by the Witham Carnival Association, all of whom have kindly volunteered their time to bring this excellent event together, and I was delighted to be asked to judge the Majorettes as they pass by as part of the Carnival procession and to catch up with the Mayor of Witham, Cllr Susan Ager.

RAF Wethersfield Update

I have continued to speak out against the former MOD site at RAF Wethersfield being used for asylum accommodation. The Government’s plans are ill-thought-through and have not been transparent.

The RAF Wethersfield site has now been occupied with the first 43 people who have arrived straight from crossing the Channel and up to 1,700 could be on site during the course of this year. I have visited the site and seen for myself the facilities including newly refurbished bedrooms and living accommodation, on site catering provided by an external catering company, a new bespoke onsite medical facility, and free bus shuttles to Braintree, Chelmsford and Colchester.

There has already been one confirmed case of scabies on the site and people are not medically screened prior to arrival at RAF Wethersfield, which the Home Office had previously said would take place outside of Essex.

I am continuing to question ministers over the suitability of the site, the way in which they have handled every aspect of moving people on site without the full disclosure and transparency of their plans, as well as pressures that is now placing on public services across Mid-Essex.

You can watch my interview with GB News following my visit to the RAF Wethersfield site by pressing the button below.

Supporting Businesses and Tax Reforms - Let Me Know Your Views

I have always been a strong advocate of keeping taxes low, reducing complexity in the tax system and ensuring that households and businesses can keep more of the money that they earn.

Earlier this year I successfully campaigned for the Government to maintain the 5p reduction in fuel duty, which is saving families hundreds of pounds a year and businesses thousands of pounds. I am not stopping at this and am working with local businesses to make representations to the Government in advance of the next Budget on ways in which taxes can be reduced and regulations changed to help businesses grow, secure new investment and create jobs.

I would welcome hearing your views on how the Government can reform taxes and regulations to make doing business easier. Please share your views with me via e-mail on [email protected]. I look forward to hearing from you.

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 welcome the recent announcement that the consultation has been extended, with a new deadline for submissions on 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.


I continue to press Essex County Council over the condition of our local roads.

In Witham town the recent incident of the sinkhole that appeared on Newland Street, Witham, was the result of an issue with the surface water sewer that has now been repaired by Anglian Water. I have therefore asked the water company to review the condition of their assets locally and to check for further defects that could pose a potential future risk to our roads and public safety.


I know that constituents are keen to know about the A12 Widening Scheme DCO Application. The examination in public of the plans by National Highways for the widening of the A12 into a three lane carriageway between the Boreham Interchange at junction 19 and Marks Tey at junction 25 has completed its work gathering evidence. An inspector will now consider the evidence and produce a report for the Secretary of State to consider on National Highway's application for a Development Consent Order (DCO) to commence the works. I pay tribute to all the local community groups and residents who put forward evidence to the inspector on the DCO application.

While the widening scheme proposals - which will improve safety, reduce congestion and support economic growth - are welcomed, there are concerns about certain aspects of the design and the impacts on locations and communities along and close to the A12. There are particular issues around the junction design at Hatfield Peverel, junction 24 near Inworth and Messing, the proposed crossing by Gershwin Boulevard, integration and connectivity with a future re-aligned and dualled A120, traffic in Marks Tey, and the future arrangements for the sections of the current A12 which will be de-trunked. I have made representations on these issues and will continue to raise them with the Secretary of State as I recognise the importance of National Highways addressing these local concerns as part of this once in a lifetime investment project.


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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