• Conor responds to Autumn Statement

    Labour’s St Helens North MP Conor McGinn, responding to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement in Parliament today, said:

    “George Osborne’s u-turn on cuts to policing is welcome. But let’s not forget that the Merseyside force has already been subjected to huge reductions in funding under this Tory Government.

    “Likewise, the decision not to cut tax credits will provide some short-term relief to working families in St Helens who have seen costs rising and wages falling, but in 2018 all families will still suffer the full cuts under Universal Credits.

    “At first glance this Autumn Statement includes even further cuts to local government funding alongside a plan to place the burden for paying for social care on to local authorities. I have huge concerns about the impact this will have in place like St Helens.

    “Other than that, all we have seen today is more smoke and mirrors on growth forecasts, tax receipts and the deficit from George Osborne who seems to either get the sums wrong or change the question mid-exam, or in most cases simply make it up as he goes along.”

  • Conor McGinn MP congratulates local schools on winning top regional awards

    On Friday night, the annual Educate Awards were presented at the Anglican Cathedral, Liverpool. The five schools nominated from St Helens North all achieved runners up awards or came away as winners.

    The awards celebrate the achievements and best practice of schools and colleges within the Liverpool city region, Lancashire and Cheshire, and 19 awards were handed out to schools and teachers.

    Commenting Conor said:

    “I would like to congratulate the five schools from my constituency on their awards. St Helens was well represented and we should take pride the great work going on in our schools.

     “The schools deserved recognition for the hard work they do, and the innovative and creative teaching which inspires our young people in the classroom.”

     The winners and runners up are listed below.

     Eco Project of the Year
    Runner up: Cowley International College

     Spirit of Enterprise Award
    Winner:
    Rainford C E Primary

     Innovative and Creative Literacy Award
    Winner:
    The District CE Primary School

     Outstanding Commitment to Sport in a Primary School
    Runner up:  Billinge St Aidan’s C of E Primary School

     Outstanding Commitment to Sport in a Secondary School
    Runner up: Rainford High Technology College

     

     

  • Conor challenges Prime Minister on Army numbers

     

    Conor McGinn MP challenged the Prime Minister on army numbers following the Government’s statement on the Security and Strategic Defence Review (SDSR).

    Speaking in Parliament, Conor directly questioned the Prime Minister’s commitment to increasing the number of deployable armed forces by 20,000 by 2025 given simultaneous plans to cut the Regular Army by 20,000 by 2020.

     Commenting McGinn said:

     “The Defence of the UK and its people is the first duty of any Government, and in a dangerous world the threats we face are complicated and challenging.

     “The Government’s promise to increase the number of deployable armed forces personnel by 20,000 over the next ten years whilst reducing the regular army by 20,000 over the next five years seem inconsistent. It is vital that a reduction in Army numbers does not affect the capability of our Armed Forces to deal with the modern challenges they face.

     “The SDSR should set out a comprehensive, joined-up vision for how the UK meets, prevents and mitigates the threats our country currently faces, and will face.

     “A lack of strategic long-term thinking in the last Parliament saw David Cameron waste millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money on time-wasting reviews, botched procurement decisions and a flawed reconfiguration of the Armed Forces .

     “Whilst there are some welcome measures in the SDSR, the Government will need to show that its deeds match its words, and the British public will be watching closely.”

     

  • Conor nominates local chef for Parliamentary pub food award

    Rainford pub not sidewaysConor McGinn has nominated Phillip Smith the Chef at Rainsford’s Junction Pub for the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group pub chef of the year award.

    The prestigious award encourages all MPs to recognise pub chefs in their constituency renowned for their great food, and aims to encourage young chefs towards a career in the pub trade and help promote job opportunities in the pub industry.

    Commenting Conor said

    “The Pub Chef of the Year nomination provides an opportunity to recognise great local pubs like The Junction, and the important role they play in our communities.

    I have visited The Junction a number of times and I have always enjoyed the fantastic food there. It’s a great pub that offers tasty food made with the best local produce.”

     

     

  • Conor visits St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School for pupils’ Q&A

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    Conor McGinn visited St Cuthbert’s High School on Friday to meet head teacher Mrs Twist and the school’s Student Senior Team. At the school he spoke to students about his role as their local MP, and why he became involved in politics.

    The students took the opportunity to question Conor on a wide range of issues including dealing with confrontation, funding cuts to mental health and his hobbies.

     Speaking after the visit Conor said:

    “It was great to meet the students today, they asked some interesting questions. It was important to hear about the issues and concerns they have, as well as learning more about what they do.

    “It is evident from my visit that Mrs Twist and the whole school are working hard to raise both the aspirations of the pupils and their attainment levels. I look forward to visiting again in the future.”

     

     

  • Conor supports local arts and culture venture

    Arts cafeConor McGinn stopped by the Pop up Café Hunt and Darton for a bite to eat and to enjoy entertainment from the artists. Whilst there he met Holly Darton and Jenny Hunt, who run the café.

    The café has come to St Helens as part of the Heart of Glass project and mixes food with performance art, an eclectic mix of poetry and dance.  

    Conor was joined for lunch by Patrick Fox the director of the Heart of Glass project. Heart of Glass is an arts commissioning project which supports work made with, for and about St Helens. The initiative aims to get more people involved in the arts.  Commenting after the visit Patrick said “It’s really fantastic that Conor popped by to see us, showing support and recognising the transformative power of arts and creativity across our communities”

    Conor added:

    “It was an interesting and entertaining lunch today, and just one of the many projects being delivered through the Heart of Glass.

    “Projects like this are important to help increase participation in the arts and support existing local artists in their work.”

     

  • Conor responds to the announcement of tax office closure

    Responding to the announcement from HMRC of the planned closure of St Helens tax office, Conor said:

    “This announcement is the latest blow to St Helens. The Tory Government seems determined to obliterate public services and destroy public sector jobs.

    “When taken alongside proposals to close our courthouse and fire station, and with huge cuts to local policing and the local authority’s budget, people will justifiably draw the conclusion that this Tory Government wants to diminish the status of St Helens as a major town and borough in the North West, and in doing so remove the associated economic benefits from our area.”  Further details of the announced closure.”

    Further details about the planned closure can be found at the link below.

    http://www.sthelensstar.co.uk/news/14029504.Tax_office_to_close_under__modernisation__plans/

     

  • Conor raises concerns about impact of Brexit on British-Irish relations

    Conor McGinn MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Irish in Britain, has highlighted concerns about the potential impact the UK leaving the EU could have on British-Irish relations.

    McGinn’s intervention in Parliament followed the issue being raised by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD at a meeting with the Prime Minister in Downing Street.

     Commenting McGinn said:

     “The Government must adequately address the concerns that have been raised and assure the Irish and British peoples that the key relationship between our two countries remains paramount.

     “Ireland is one of Britain’s most important partners, and a UK exit from the EU would have a detrimental impact upon both countries, not least in terms of trade and of course in relation to Northern Ireland. It would also be felt by many Irish people in Britain who very much value our common membership of the EU.

     “I urge David Cameron to ensure British-Irish relations remain strong and continue to develop within the EU.”

     

  • Conor addresses St Helens College Graduation Ceremony

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    On Saturday Conor addressed St Helens College Graduation Ceremony.

    Commenting Conor said:

    “It was a special honour to address the University Centre St Helens Graduation Ceremony, and to have an opportunity to recognise the achievements of St Helens College. The graduates of all ages and from all backgrounds are a testament to the work being done to widen access to education and I pay tribute to everyone associated with the University Centre. 

    “The Class of 2015 are a credit to our St Helens community and they should be proud of what they have achieved. I congratulate them on receiving their awards and wish them and their families well for the future.”

  • Conor says Tory cuts will leave local force unable to meet policing needs across Merseyside

     

    Conor McGinn MP, today spoke in a Labour-led debate in Parliament aimed at halting government plans to cut police budgets by up to 25%, and backed a campaign launched by Shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham to keep bobbies on the beat and protect communities.

    Labour has warned that while efficiency savings below 10 per cent can be achieved, any cuts in double figures will lead hundreds more local police officers to be axed.

    Conor warned of the implications further cuts would have upon the ability of Merseyside police force to deal with diverse challenges faced across the region.

    As part of the campaign Labour have also given support to a national petition sponsored by the former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, crossbench peer Lord John Stevens. The petition calls on Ministers to “drop plans for drastic cuts” and warns of the “end of neighbourhood policing”.

    The Merseyside force lost 722 police officers and 115 Police Community Support Officers (PSCOs) between 2010 and 2015, yet violent crime has risen 48% in the region.

    Commenting Conor said:

    “If Ministers cut the Police on the scale proposed, they will be putting public safety at risk and will go down as the Government that took thousands of bobbies off the beat.

    “Merseyside Police has suffered unprecedented cuts under this Tory Government which has had a real impact on the frontline.

    “With forces already stretched, new figures released that show Merseyside could lose a further 700 police officers if budgets are cut by 25%, are seriously worrying. This would have damaging consequences for policing and public safety in St Helens and across Merseyside.

    “I urge as many people as possible to sign Lord Stevens’s petition – we cannot afford to lose even more officers.”

    Andy Burnham MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, said

    “If people had known the Tories planned to end neighbourhood policing as we have known it and to take bobbies off the beat, they wouldn’t have voted for it. With crime starting to rise, now is not the time to cut the police.”

    On his petition, Lord John Stevens, said:

    “We call on the Government to listen to the public and police officers, drop plans for drastic cuts and protect visible, locally-responsive neighbourhood policing.

    “In the last five years, police forces across England and Wales have lost 12,000 front-line officers. Government plans to cut the Police by between 25% and 40% over the next five years could lead to the loss of over 20,000 more. Indeed, any budget cuts in double figures would spell the end of neighbourhood policing and put the public at risk.”

    Lord John Stevens was Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police for five years. The petition can be signed here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/111560

     

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