• Conor votes to ‘Keep Sunday Special’

    Conor today voted against new Sunday trading laws sneaked in by the Government under the Enterprise Bill.

    The new proposals will relax rules on Sunday trading and devolve new powers to authorities to take decisions on Sunday trading. The move may lead to retail workers having to work on Sundays instead of spending quality time with their families.

    Retailers comprise 10% of employment in constituencies across the UK and an independent survey of over 10,000 retail staff found that 80% of staff in large stores are working Saturdays and 74% already work on Sundays. 

    Before the General Election, the Prime Minister promised not to relax Sunday trading laws arguing that the “current system provides a reasonable balance between those who wish to see more opportunity to shop in large stores, and those who wish to see further diversity.”

    Commenting Conor said:

    “I oppose longer opening hours for big stores on Sunday.  I am convinced that shops are currently open long enough for people to do their shopping and that Sunday should remain a special day, different to any other.

    “The Sunday Trading Act is a great British compromise, which gives everyone a little bit of what they want. Retailers can trade, customers can shop, staff can work; whilst Sunday remains a special day, different to other days, and shopworkers can spend some time with their family.

    “It’s important that shopworkers are able to enjoy time with their families and the changes proposed by the Government threaten this and do not protect the rights of workers.

    “Changing the Sunday trading laws would be detrimental to shopworkers and their families, as well as wider society, and that is why I am voting against the changes and backing the Keep Sunday Special campaign.”

     

  • Conor visits refurbished pub

    Red cat

    Conor pulled a pint to mark the refurbishment of one of his constituency’s pubs, the Red Cat in the pretty hamlet of Crank.

    He toured the revamped premises, which re-opened recently following a £200,000 joint investment from pub operator Punch and publican, Graham Roberts.

    Commenting on his visit, Conor said:

    “I was really pleased to visit the Red Cat pub and see the transformation first hand.

    ” It’s great to see the pub doing so well and alongside support from Punch, Graham has created a thriving pub to serve the local community as well as passers-by.

    “The food and events on offer looked great too! I wish Graham and his team the very best.”

    The Red Cat, a family friendly pub, re-opened in December after a complete refurbishment with new flooring, toilets, fixtures, fittings and furniture. It continues to offer a wide range of real ales, beers and lagers, alongside traditional British pub fayre using locally sourced and seasonal produce. There are plenty of events and special offers on, including a Quiz Night each week and Steak Night on Wednesdays, with further events planned.

  • Conor calls for Government rethink after visit to local supporting housing scheme

    Conor McGinn has called for the Government to rethink its decision to cut financial assistance for vulnerable people in supported housing.

    The MP spoke out after visiting Heald Farm Court in Newton-le-Willows, one of Helena’s 22 supported housing schemes in the borough, which provides homes for over 80 vulnerable older people.

    The implementation of a cap will reduce the specialist services provided to those in supported housing schemes increasing pressures on the NHS and local authority.

    National Housing Federation research shows those affected will lose an average of £68 a week, making many sheltered housing schemes unsustainable with some estimates suggesting over 80,000 places could be lost nationally.

    On his visit, Conor heard from residents, staff and Helena’s managing director about the implications for the community in St Helens.

    Conor said:

    “This policy will have a devastating impact on some of the most vulnerable in our community. If the Tories press ahead, the loss of support will have serious consequences for older residents, veterans and victims of domestic abuse living in this sort of accommodation.

    “Schemes like the one I visited at Heald Farm Court are fantastic places, but there is only so much the staff and Helena can do to protect those that need our support. The Government must listen and act.”

  • Conor’s tribute to former St Helens MP John Evans

    I was so sorry today to hear about the death of former Newton and St Helens North MP John Evans.

    John was a much-loved member of our Labour family in Newton-le-Willows and St Helens and he will be sadly missed. He was a fine public representative who served the people of our borough with distinction since he was first elected MP in 1974.

    John was a Labour man to the core of his being, representing the National Union of Labour & Socialist Clubs on the party’s NEC and serving as its Honorary Political Secretary – roles I held and hold – for many years.

    He will forever be associated with the Parkside Colliery – which he fought so valiantly to defend from closure – and he honoured the men who worked there, and the local community, by taking Lord Evans of Parkside as his title after entering the House of Lords when he stepped down from the House of Commons in 1997.

    I know Dave Watts felt very proud to follow in John’s footsteps as MP. I too feel proud to follow in his tradition as a Labour and trade union MP, honoured as he was to represent the people of Newton-le-Willows and St Helens.

    We offer our condolences to Joan and the entire family circle at this sad time.

  • Conor and Linda Robson ‘get behind the daffodil’ for Marie Curie this March

    marie curie

    Conor  and actress and presenter Linda Robson have joined forces to ‘get behind the daffodil’ this March and help Marie Curie Nurses provide care and support to people living with a terminal illness.

    Conor and Linda were pictured together with Marie Curie Nurses, Leonie Christian and Elisabeth Goze, at a parliamentary event in Westminster to celebrate the launch of the Great Daffodil Appeal, Marie Curie’s biggest annual fundraising campaign.

    Conor pledged his support to the appeal and is encouraging local people to help the charity raise more money than ever before by simply giving a donation and wearing a Marie Curie daffodil pin, available from volunteers across the country, or Superdrug and WHSmiths shops, and Wyevale garden centres, during March.

    Commenting Conor said:

    “I am proud to be backing such an important campaign and would like to pay tribute to the important work done by the nurses who provide invaluable care and support.

    “High quality palliative care services should be widely available and we should be giving as much support as we can to the Marie Curie Nurses.

    “I encourage people in my constituency to give a small donation and wear the Marie Curie daffodil pin to help raise as much money as possible.”

    Linda, who plays Tracey in the hit television show Birds of a Feather, and co-presents ITVs Loose Women, is a long-time supporter of Marie Curie, having experienced first-hand the vital work of the charity.  She said: “Our mum Rita was cared for by Marie Curie and we could never have coped without their constant support and care in her final months.  Our family still cannot put into words just how grateful we are.”

    “I’m delighted to be here with Conor to help launch the 30th anniversary of the Great Daffodil Appeal – and to thank personally Leonie and Elisabeth for their incredible care and support when we needed them the most.”

    Scott Sinclair, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Marie Curie, said: “Having the support of Conor and Linda makes a huge difference to Marie Curie in terms of raising awareness about what we do and helping us to reach more people who need us.

    “We know that seven out of 10 carers say people with a terminal illness don’t get all the care and support they need. We don’t think that’s good enough. That’s why we are asking MPs to commit to ensuring that everyone has the right to palliative care when they need it and help support our annual fundraising appeal.”

    “Our services rely on charitable donations, so I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who gives a donation and wears a daffodil pin during March.”

    The money raised from the Great Daffodil Appeal will help Marie Curie Nurses provide care and support to people living with a terminal illness and their loved ones at home and in one of the charity’s nine hospices.”

    To coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Great Daffodil Appeal, Marie Curie has also published a new report which shows that people living with blood or brain cancer – which together account for around 10% of all cancer deaths annually – are more likely to miss out on care and support focussed on providing relief from symptoms, pain and emotional stress. The report, backed by Bloodwise and the Brain Tumour Charity, argues that all people with cancer should have their palliative care needs assessed when they are first diagnosed.

    For more information about the Great Daffodil Appeal and to volunteer to collect for Marie Curie, please call 0845 601 3107* or visit mariecurie.org.uk/daffodil.  To donate £5 text *DAFF to 70111 or call 0800 716 146 and donate over the phone.

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