• Conor praises Age UK Mid Mersey after visit to Mansion House

     

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    Conor McGinn MP called in to The Mansion House, Victoria Park to meet local residents enjoying one of the Age UK Mid Mersey’s active care sessions.

    The sessions are run on a daily basis and provide are a great opportunity for people who may otherwise be home alone to meet up, enjoy activities and a good meal at the bistro restaurant.

    Commenting Conor said:

    “Age UK Mid Mersey are doing a great job, offering support to over 60,000 people across St Helens. This winter they distributed over 5000 packs to help keep older people warm.

    “They also provide activities and support for older people as well as much needed advice, guidance and advocacy for those that need it, especially given the rise in older people living in fuel poverty as government cuts and inaction on measures to help our most vulnerable stay warm.”

    CEO of Age UK, Mark Lunney, said:

    “Many of our older people across St Helens can be lonely or at risk of the recent cold weather, and not just at Christmas time.

    “I’m delighted that Conor was able to pop in and see some of the work Age UK do. Our active care service offers a great way to reduce such risks for the elderly.

    “If anyone wants to find out more about our active care please give us a call.”

  • Conor and Labour fighting Tory plans to scrap student maintenance grants

    The government are planning to scrap maintenance grants for students from poorer backgrounds, replacing them with additional loans.

    This change would mean that the poorest 40% of students going to university in England will graduate with debts of up to £53,000 from a three-year course, will impact on students studying at further education colleges.

    These sweeping changes – which were not in the Conservative election manifesto – were attempted to be forced through in committee rather than on the floor of the House of Commons, hidden away from public scrutiny.

    On Tuesday 19 January, Labour will hold a debate and a vote on the floor of the House of Commons, to challenge the government and try and halt their decision to scrap maintenance grants for loans.

    Conor McGinn, MP for St Helens North, speaking ahead of the debate, said:

    “Maintenance grants provide vital support for students from lower income backgrounds from St Helens North, and ensure that poorer students do not leave university with greater debts that their more privileged peers. But this could change if the Tories force through their plans.

    “I have been in touch with student representatives from Edge Hill University and St Helens College who have expressed their concerns about the impact this will have locally. The Government’s own assessment shows that these cuts will have a disproportionate effect on disabled people, women, older learners and people from industrial areas like St Helens”

    “The government should be doing all it can to ensure that those from the poorest backgrounds reach their full potential. This change would do the opposite, and could make poorer students think twice about going into higher education due to the considerable debts they will rack-up in the process.”

    Angela Eagle MP, Labour’s Shadow First Secretary of State and Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, responding to the scrapping of maintenance grants for loans for lower income students, said:

    “Instead of investing in future generations the Tories are betraying students and making life harder for people from the poorest backgrounds, who would leave university with substantially higher debts than their better-off peers under these plans.

    “Targeting those who are working hard and doing the right thing to better their lot in life leaves the Tories’ claim to back those who want to get on in tatters.

    “The Tories have shown yet again that they’re governing from the shadows, trying to force through the sweeping changes in committee hoping that no one would notice.”

  • Conor urges renewed focus on Ukraine and strongly backs the UK’s role in NATO and the EU

    Conor McGinn MP, has asked the Foreign Secretary for an update on the ongoing political and military conflict in Ukraine.

    Speaking in Parliament, McGinn asked about the progress of work undertaken by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

    Under the Minsk agreement the OSCE has been given responsibility for monitoring ceasefire arrangements and weapons withdrawal in Donbass.

    Commenting Conor said:

    The recent international focus has rightly been on the refugee crisis and action against ISIL Syria, however, we shouldn’t ignore the continuing conflict on Europe’s own doorstep.

    “The OSCE is doing an important job, and I would like to pay tribute to their personnel who do their work under direct threat due to the continued fighting in Donbass.

    The aggressive posture adopted by Russia towards former Eastern bloc countries shows the need for an effective European defence umbrella. Britain must play a leading role in that, and I believe that is best achieved by our continued membership of NATO and the EU.”

  • Conor receives Commons assurance that Foreign Office “will do everything it can” to help Mark Middlehurst

    Conor McGinn MP has raised the plight of his constituent Mark Middlehurst in the House of Commons today. Mark is in critical condition in hospital in Perth, Australia, after suffering a severe brain injury as the result of an accident. His family, who live in Billinge, have travelled to Australia to be with him. They need to raise over £50,000 so that he can make the journey back to the UK, accompanied by a full medical team.

    The St Helens North MP said:

    “I have been in touch with Mark’s parents Julie and Malcolm since shortly after his tragic accident. I and my office are liaising closely with the family to do whatever we can to help get them the support they need in Australia, and to enable them to make the journey back to the UK with Mark.

    “I hope by raising this in the House of Commons it will help Mark’s family with their fundraising efforts and ensure they receive the full support of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. I know they have received tremendous support from the community in St Helens and I know everyone will get behind them to help raise the money they need to get Mark back home to Billinge.

    “I am grateful to the Leader of the House for his assurance that the Government and the Diplomatic Service will do everything they can to help the Middlehursts, and I will be in contact again with the Foreign Secretary next week to ask for an update.

    “People say the world is a small place these days. But the Middlehurt’s experience shows that home can feel very far away when something awful like this happens. They are in all our thoughts and prayers, and I know everyone at home will keep doing whatever we can to support them through this.”

  • Conor to hold debt advice surgery

    The average household in the North West is in £3,100 of financial debt and the start of the New Year can be a difficult time financially for many people.

    In light of this, Conor is holding a special debt advice surgery in partnership with St Helens Citizens Advice Bureau on Friday 8th January at 17:00.

     The surgery will take place in the constituency office on the 6th floor Century House, Hardshaw Street.

     

  • Conor slams Govt over rail fare rise

    Local commuters in St Helens North are now paying 25 percent more for their train fares under the Tories, because of yet another year of rail fare hikes.

    The announcement that rail fares will rise again in January 2016 means that passengers have been hit by a cost increase of 25 per cent since 2010.

    The new fare rises come into effect on 2nd January. Figures released by Labour show that the cost of an annual season ticket from Earlestown to Manchester has risen by £324 since 2010. The cost of a rail season ticket for commuters from Garswood, Rainford, Earlstown and Newton-le-Willows has risen by up to 25% since 2010.

     Conor McGinn, Labour MP for St Helens North, who has previously raised the issue in Parliament, has slammed the Tory government for hammering passengers and commuters.

    Commenting Conor said:

     “Passengers in St Helens North have been hit again and again by eye‐watering rail fare rises. Fares have now rocketed by 25 per cent under the Tories, far outstripping any increase in most people’s pay packets.

     “For many people here, travelling by train isn’t a luxury, it’s how they get to work every day. A season ticket to Manchester now costs over £324 more every year.

     “It is not good enough. More needs to be done to ensure that transport is affordable for the people who use it.

     “Labour’s policy is to bring the railways into public ownership so they can be run for passengers not profit. That means fairer fares, investment in a 21st century railway and giving passengers a stronger voice.”

     

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