Welcome to my website
John Whittingdale has represented Maldon in Parliament since 1992. On this website, you will find how to contact him as well as examples of some issues and projects he has recently been involved with.
There are also links to the local Councils and other local information which should be of use to you if you live in the District. If you are a constituent and would like to get in touch, John would be very happy to hear from you. If you are an organiser of a local group, a teacher at a local school, or involved in a local business which you feel would benefit from a visit or a meeting, do let John know.
The majority of the former Maldon and East Chelmsford constituency forms the basis of the new Maldon seat. Additionally, the areas around South Woodham Ferrers come in from the former Rayleigh constituency and Stock and Margaretting are added from the former West Chelmsford constituency. Other wards from the previous Maldon and East Chelmsford form parts of the new Witham and Chelmsford constituencies which are represented by John's colleagues Priti Patel and Simon Burns.
The electoral wards used in the redrawn Maldon constituency are;
Althorne, Burnham-on-Crouch North, Burnham-on-Crouch South, Heybridge East, Heybridge West, Maldon, Essex East, Maldon North, Maldon South, Maldon West, Mayland, Purleigh, Southminster and Tillingham from Maldon district. Bicknacre and East and West Hanningfield, Little Baddow, Danbury and Sandon, Rettendon and Runwell, South Hanningfield, Stock and Margaretting, South Woodham Ferrers, Chetwood and Collingwood, and Elmwood and Woodville from Chelmsford district.
John Whittingdale officiated at a train-naming ceremony at Wickford station to mark the 125th anniversary of the Crouch Valley Line.
The train naming ceremony completed a series of events put together by Abellio Greater Anglia and the Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership to celebrate the anniversary. Originally called the ‘Dengie Hundred’ section of Essex Railways; The Crouch Valley Line, as it has become known, was opened to passengers in July 1889 by the Great Eastern Railway Company. This 16.5 mile stretch of railway is now operated by Abellio Greater Anglia who run 334 services a week with approximately 1.6 million passenger journeys a year made through the seven stations along the route.
John Whittingdale MP unveiled the newly named Class 321 train ‘Crouch Valley 1889 – 2014’ to honour the occasion and an additional commemorative plaque was presented to John Jolly to be exhibited at the Mangapps railway museum in Burnham on Crouch.
John Whittingdale MP said, “I am delighted to be able to take part in this naming ceremony of the new “Crouch Valley 1889-2014” train, which is the culmination of the events to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Crouch Valley line. Having already attended events at both South Woodham Ferrers and Burnham on Crouch stations marking the anniversary, I am very conscious of the importance of the line to my constituents. I very much welcome the commitment shown by Abellio Greater Anglia to the future of the service which I know will be of great reassurance to passengers and to local residents.”
John Whittingdale is pictured unveiling the new train with Jonathan Denby, Head of Corporate Affairs for Greater Anglia and later with Una Norman, Cllr Bob Boyce, Ursula Benjafield, County Councillor Ray Howard and Jonathan Denby.
Stock Post Office
John Whittingdale cut the ribbon to open the new facilities at Stock Post Office at 36 High Street, Stock. As part of the Post Office programme to modernise the network and extend opening hours for customers, the new Stock Post Office offers services from an open-plan counter instead of a full screened counter. The branch will now open significantly earlier and close later with no lunchtime closing. This offers customers an extra 30 hours Post Office Service each week. John joined Lesley Pervez who has been Subpostmistress at Stock Post Office for 20 years as well as local resident Steve Davis who took a break from snooker to show his support for his local post office.
John Whittingdale MP said: "I am delighted to be able to open the new Stock Post Office and congratulate Lesley Pervez on all her hard work. I am very conscious of the vital role that Post Offices play in many village communities and it is very good news that Stock will now have a new modern branch. In particular, I am sure that local residents in Stock will welcome the longer opening hours and the more customer friendly design which will ensure that the Post Office continues to play a central part in the life of the village”
Armed Forces Day
John Whittingdale attended the Armed Forces Day ceremony organised by Maldon District Council at Stow Maries Aerodrome. At 1.00pm, a flag raising ceremony took place and a short service. The Tiger Club Turbulent Display Team then flew a Missing Man formation in tribute to the Stow airmen who lost their lives.
Following the ceremony, John visited the exhibitions including the aircraft that had flown in for the day. These included two reproduction BE2es operated by the World War 1 Aviation Heritage Trust which had been brought over from New Zealand. They are intended to return to Stow Maries once the hangars are completed. One of the two aircraft is in RFC 37 Squadron’s colours. 37 Squadron was based at Stow Maries from 1916 to 1919.
John is pictured by the War Memorial at the Aerodrome and also standing by one of the BE2e airplanes with Dick Forsythe of the World War 1 Aviation Heritage Trust, his daughter and the pilot.
Burnham Railway Station
John Whittingdale attended a service at Burnham Railway Station to mark the 125th Anniversary of the Foundation of the Crouch Valley line. Originally called the ‘Dengie Hundred’ section of Essex Railways; The Crouch Valley Line, as it has become known, was opened to passengers in July 1889 by the Great Eastern Railway Company. This 16.5 mile stretch of railway is now operated by Abellio Greater Anglia who run almost 140 services a week with approximately 1.6 million passenger journeys a year made through the seven stations along the route.
Following the service, John Whittingdale unveiled a series of paintings which had been designed by local children and painted by local artists to decorate the Station House. Earlier in the year children and young people in Burnham were asked to submit designs for the blocked in windows of Burnham station. 15 designs were chosen and these, with one exception, were painted by adult artists. John Whittingdale unveiled each of the window paintings and presented certificates to the child designer and artist.
John is pictured with Chairman of Maldon District Council, Cllr Frank Delderfield, Cllr Peter Elliot, County Councillor Bob Boyce, Mayor of Burnham, Cllr Ron Pratt, Yvonne McDermott and Tracy Saunders, organiser of the Burnham Art Trail, and representatives of Abellio Greater Anglia.
All Party Parliamentary Group for Air Ambulances
John Whittingdale attended an event in Parliament organised by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Air Ambulances. At the meeting, John met representatives of the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Trust.
John said: “The Air Ambulance provides a vital service in Essex, particularly in rural areas like the Dengie Peninsula from where it can take 40 minutes to reach Broomfield Hospital by road. It does so I am delighted that in his Budget this year, the Chancellor showed his support for air ambulances by rebating the VAT which they pay on aviation fuel. However, the charity depends on voluntary donation to keep going and I would like to pay tribute to all those who give it such generous support. I am looking forward to visiting the air ambulance at their Headquarters in Earls Colne soon”.
John is pictured with:
• Paul Leaman (Assistant Chief Executive of East of England Ambulance Service Trust)
• Jane Gurney (Chief Executive Officer of the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Trust)
• Brian Shipley (Chair of the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Trust)
Burnham Rugby Club
John Whittingdale attended the Burnham Rugby Club Funday. John is pictured with the Burnham Ladies Rugby team before their match against South Woodham Ferrers.
Reporting on the match, Becky (Specks) Diss wrote:
What a morning/afternoon of rugby. The ladies managed to get a tournament going for the Annual Fun Day, with one Burnham squad, one Woodham Squad (plus a few extras!), and two Chelmsford Squads we were set for a great couple of hours of rugby. John Whittingdale kicked off the proceedings during the afternoon which brought much merriment to the whole day.
The first match was Woodham v Burnham, always a very fun match with great team spirit. Burnham were fortunate enough to be awarded a penalty and this was taken quickly which meant a try was scored (Diss). The match then continuted in a fast and furious way with Woodham popping a try over! All matches were fast and furious with some great crash balls from Michelle Puxley, to mention a few.There were some incredible runs and changes of lines from Hannah G, Portia Hutchings and Michelle Clark. All teams were relentless in defence, constantly putting the pressure on, especially Claire Miller and Barbara Hvidt and Jenny Nelson. The matches continued in a similar vein with continued strong running from several players, in particular Michelle Clark, who set up a few tries for Dave Kelly who was always there in support. Burnham played in the third and fourth place play off and did fantastically well, never giving up and with the incredible support of Jakey on the side line really lifted their game.
Cherry Trees Opening
John Whittingdale officially opened the newly refurbished Cherry Trees Therapy Centre at St Peters Hospital, Maldon.
A plaque was unveiled and a ribbon cut by John to mark the event.
Cherry Trees Therapy Centre, which is managed by North Essex Partnership, has been refurbished and extended – it now has extra space to accommodate services that were previously provided from two separate buildings. It has a new reception with a skylight for improved natural light.
A wide range of services for adults and older adults including community mental health, recovery/reablement and occupational therapy are provided from the centre.
Andrew Geldard, Chief Executive said: “We have invested into transforming this centre into a fantastic place for our service users. Over 95% of our patients are treated in the community and we have brought Cherry Trees into the 21st century with modern design and facilities that is good for our service users.”
John is pictured with Chris Paveley, Chairman and Andrew Geldard, Chief Executive.
Dengie Project Trust
John Whittingdale attended a celebratory tea at Knightswood Centre to thank all those volunteers who support the Dengie Project Trust. The Dengie Project Trust provides a range of services to empower older people to make choices, enabling them to reach optimum levels of health and fitness and to lead rich, safe and fulfilling lives. The Trust seeks to assist and enable people, who live to the South of Maldon Town and in the surrounding villages and hamlets on the Dengie Peninsular.
John presented certificates to all the volunteers in recognition of their support. The event was held as part of Volunteers Week.
John is pictured with Sharon Dodson, Trust Manager.
Chief Inspector Alan Cook
John Whittingdale met Chief Inspector Alan Cook, District Commander for Maldon and Chelmsford to discuss local policing issues. Chief Inspector who was previously staff officer to the Chief Constable of Essex has recently taken up post and is responsible for policing throughout the Maldon District and Chelmsford City areas. John discussed with him the forthcoming changes to Policing in the county which will restore local commands as well as issues of concern to residents such as anti-social behaviour and rural crime.
John Whittingdale visited Challenger Solutions in South Woodham Ferrers to help the company celebrate its 20th Anniversary. Challenger Solutions is a Contract Electronics Manufacturer which began in May 1994 with just one employee. Since then it has seen steady growth with 50 employees and having extended its premises from one to four. The company s a growing player in the defence industry and exhibited at DSEI 2013 demonstrating its leading edge electronics assembly capabilities.
John is pictured with Nick Quill, Managing Director, and Jon Webb, Quality Manager.
John said: “I warmly congratulate Challenger Solutions on their 20th Birthday. The company is a great example of a small business based in South Woodham Ferrers which is beating the competition and growing steadily. I was delighted to have the chance to talk to talk to a number of the employees and I wish the company continuing success in the future”.
John Whittingdale congratulates Continence Care team at St Peter's
John Whittingdale MP attended the National Continence Care Awards 2014 presentation in the House of Commons in order to congratulate Jane Miranda, Clinical Nurse Specialist at Provide, St Peter’s Hospital, Maldon, who was highly commended in the category of Clinical Leadership. The awards are designed to recognise and celebrate ambition, excellence and leadership in continence care across the country. They are chosen by LUTS – the expert group on lower urinary tract symptoms.
John is pictured with Sue Monk, a nurse on the team (centre), and Jane Miranda, team leader. John said: “Jane and her team do a fantastic job in providing advice and support to those suffering from continence problems across Mid Essex. I am delighted that Jane has received national recognition for her leadership and I warmly congratulate her and her team on this award”.
SET for Britain Competition
John Whittingdale MP attended the SET for Britain event in the House of Commons to meet Dr Zoe Barker, one of the finalists who lives in Maldon. SET for Britain is the major scientific competition and exhibition in Parliament to highlight the work of Britain’s Early-Stage Researchers in Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematical Sciences.
Dr Barker, who is a post doctoral research assistant at Writtle College, was one of the finalists in the Bioscience section with her colleague, Dr Jorge Vazquez Diosdado of Essex University. Dr Barker and Dr Vazquez Diosdado have been developing a method of Early-Automatic Detection of Welfare Problems in Dairy Cows by using a tracker device to monitor the behaviour of individual cows in order to provide early warning of behaviour which may indicate health or welfare problems. Around 270 applicants entered for the Biology and Biomedical Sciences category and Dr Marker and Dr Vazquez Diosdado were one of the 60 short-listed.
John Whittingdale is pictured with Dr Barker and Dr Vazquez Diosdado in front of their poster explaining their work. John Whittingdale said:”I warmly congratulate Zoe and Jorge on making it through to the finals of the SET for Britain Competition. The pioneering work that they are doing offers real benefits to dairy farmers and is a great example of the quality of research and innovation being carried out by our young scientists in Essex”.
John Whittingdale’s support for pubs has been recognised as he received a new “Beer Champion” award in Parliament. The special award is a joint initiative from the British Beer & Pub Association, the Campaign for Real Ale, and the Society of Independent Brewers and recognises John’s role in supporting the brewing industry and pubs, and his successful campaigning for an end to the Beer Duty Escalator and a cut in Beer Duty which was announced by the Chancellor in last year’s Budget.
John Whittingdale said: “Pubs play a vital role in local communities and need support. In the Maldon constituency, we have 90 Pubs and four breweries, directly providing over 1,000 jobs. After successive tax increases totalling 42 per cent over 4 years, I am delighted that the Chancellor listened to our concerns and cut the duty on Beer. This will provide a real boost to local pubs and I am proud to be recognised as a Parliamentary Beer Champion”
John is pictured receiving his certificate with Keith Bott of the Society of Independent Brewers, Brigid Simmonds of the British Beer and Pub Association and Colin Valentine of the Campaign for Real Ale.
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