Latest News from Priti Patel MP

Priti Patel MP Newsletter - Reporting Back
This month the Chancellor's Autumn Statement was presented to Parliament, which gave me the opportunity to make the case again for low taxes and economic freedoms, which would benefit both families and businesses across the country and especially in Essex.

In Parliament, I have also raised the issue of legal aid being abused in appalling cases involving dangerous foreign national offenders, called for better broadband across rural Essex, I have raised with Minister's again the National Grid's proposals to build pylons across Essex and I spoke in the debate on the Criminal Justice Bill in favour of introducing a new criminal offences on spiking and delivering effective measures to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour.

Locally, I have visited schools and engaged with local businesses. I also visited Cressing School, which will be joining the Witham constituency after the boundary changes at the next General Election to discuss the expansion of the school site and all the three schools affected by RAAC - Honywood Community and Science School, Thurstable School and St Andrews Junior School in Hatfield Peverel to check in on their progress.

You can read more about my work this month below.

Christmas Card Competition

With the festive period weeks away, I was delighted to look through an impressive amount of artwork I have received in response to my 2023 Christmas Card competition. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the schools and pupils who have taken the time to submit their artwork.

This year's competition was, as always, tough to judge, and I was impressed by the extremely high level of the artwork produced. I will be announcing the winner soon and look forward to presenting them with a prize.

Autumn Statement

As an advocate of low taxes and economic freedoms, I have been pressing the Government to cut the tax burden on families and businesses in the Autumn Statement.

I welcome the announcement to reduce the rate of national insurance paid by employees and reforms to national insurance for those who are self-employed, but I do not believe these measures go far enough to support working people. I continue to call upon the Government to go further and raise the tax free threshold and the higher rate threshold, so people can keep more of the money they earn.

I also welcome the Government freezing the business rates multiplier for small businesses, which I have campaigned for. However, to support further economic growth I will be continuing to press the Government to cut taxes on businesses, keep fuel duty down and supply side reforms.

Pull the plug on pylons plan

I continue to voice my strong opposition on behalf of constituents on the National Grid's plans to impose over 100 miles of pylons and overhead powerlines across the East of England.

These proposals have not been justified by Government Ministers and I am continuously holding them to account to explain why Ministers are not supporting offshore alternatives to the pylons.

Local communities throughout the East of England are furious with these plans and I have been making the case to the Government to pursue an offshore grid instead.

Priti in Parliament

Better support for businesses across Essex

During Work and Pensions Questions in Parliament, I raised with the Minister the frustration many local businesses are facing when trying to recruit and train new staff. This requires cross-departmental work to support business and should be supported by reducing the barriers to recruitment in order to help them grow their business.

Read article
It's time to support business and cut taxes

Rural communities deserve better broadband

During Science, Innovation and Technology questions I raised local concerns over the switching off that will take place when the public telephone network is switched off to ensure that vulnerable household are supported to make the transition away from this technology. I also pressed the Government to support the upgrading of communication infrastructure in rural parts of Essex, including ensuring the roll out of modern high speed broadband services and 5G.

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World Diabetes Day

This month marks World Diabetes Day and I had the opportunity to meet with campaigners and health professionals to discuss support for people living with diabetes. It is essential that the Government works together with the NHS to raise awareness of diabetes prevention and care. Diabetes is a serious condition, which needs a holistic approach and not a one size fits all strategy.
Priti meets health professionals to discuss diabetes.

Improving the Justice System for victims

During Justice Questions this month I asked Ministers if they will ensure that legal aid processes are reviewed and that the Department dusts off the previous plans to introduce wasted costs orders in immigration cases, especially when these processes are abused to prevent dangerous foreign national offenders being deported.

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We need robust laws to tackle crimes that blight our communities

Speaking during a debate on the Criminal Justice Bill, I have called for new robust laws to be put in place to tackle a range of crimes that blight our communities. Whilst I welcomed several elements of this important legislation, I called on the Government to introduce a new criminal offence on spiking and ensure measures put in place legislation to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour are implemented in a way that is effective, supports victims, and keeps our communities safer.

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Priti calls for robust laws to tackle crime

Out and About Across the Witham Constituency

Remembrance Sunday

On Remembrance Sunday, I had the opportunity to pay my respects to Witham and Tollesbury’s fallen service men and women. We remembered those who have died for our country in war and defended our freedoms. I would like to thank the Royal British Legion, and every organisation who took part in these commemorative services including Essex police for keeping everyone safe.

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Priti attends Tollesbury Remembrance Service and pays respects to war dead.

RAAC Update

This month I once again visited the three schools in my constituency which have been most affected by RAAC. I was pleased to see the progress made at Honywood Community and Science School and the new space village which has been built in a record amount of time. Thurstable School also successfully returned all students to full time and in person learning. St Andrews Junior School has now returned to learning in temporary accommodation on the school site and I continue to engage on behalf of all three schools with Local Authorities and the Department for Education.

Police take action to protect children from dangerous drivers

Following my visit to Tiptree Heath Primary School last month, and my subsequent contact with Essex Police on behalf of the school, the police together with the Safer Roads Partnership have now undertook speed checks. The police in partnership with the school educated drivers by allowing pupils to speak to them about the dangers they are posing to the children, parents, and staff at the school.

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Priti visits Tiptree Heath Primary school.

Great Ormond Street fundraising at new development visit

I was delighted to support David Wilson Homes' fundraising for their charity of the year, Great Ormond Street Hospital, while visiting their new development site, Mortimer Place in Hatfield Peverel. I have presented an award to Louise Hewitt and Sarah Tew in recognition of their fundraising efforts.

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Priti presents fundraising award for Great Ormand Street Hospital to Louise Hewitt and Sarah Tew along with senior representatives from David Wilson Homes.

Cressing School

This month, I had the opportunity to visit Cressing School in Braintree which is set to join the Witham constituency after the boundary changes after the next General Election. During my visit, I met with Sarah Orley, the Chief Financial Officer of Attain Academy Trust and Mr Stewart Caplen, the Headteacher at the school to discuss the schools expansion consultation. The school needs to expand due to the development of 225 new houses on the land adjacent to Braintree Road. The new houses will put significant pressures on the provision of local education provision. Cressing is expected to generate 27 early years and children places, 90 primary places and 60 secondary school places. I am in touch with Local Authorities with regards to these plans.

Illegal migration, Rwanda and RAF Wethersfield

In a detailed judgement, the Supreme Court ruled that the removal of asylum seekers who entered the UK illegally to Rwanda was unlawful because of expressed concerns over risks of refoulment.

During a debate in the House of Commons, I questioned the Government about the actions that had been taken over the last year to respond to concerns over refoulment and I also called on the Government to take all the action necessary to ensure the operational and practical delivery of the migration and economic partnership with Rwanda about the concerns raised by the Court about the issue of refoulment are overcome.

I also continue to raise concerns about the use of the RAF Wethersfield site for asylum seekers accommodation. I have already met with the new Home Secretary and the Member of Parliament for Braintree, the Rt Hon James Cleverly, and discussed with him the future of the site.

Transport Update


Unfortunately, ASLEF trade union has announced a further strike day on Tuesday 5th December which will affect Greater Anglia services. Very few routes are expected to operate on that date and customers are advised to check with the operator before travelling.

ASLEF has also called action short of a strike from the 1-9th December inclusive, which means that on the 1st - 4th December and 6th - 9th December, there will be a small number of cancellations on most Greater Anglia Routes. Further disruptions to travel are also expected on 3rd December due to a combination of industrial action and planned engineering work.
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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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