• Conor gets down to business with Rainford Hub’s new chairman

    Rainford hub

    Conor met Rainford Hub’s new chairman Nathan Blackburn to find out about the work it’s doing to help and promote businesses in the village. 
    Since it was set up in 2014, the Hub has held meetings where local businesses can get together to exchange ideas and information. 
    It has also invited along guest speakers like St Helens RFC chairman Eamonn McManus to give inspirational talks to Hub members.

    Conor met Nathan at one of Rainford’s successful businesses, The Cherry Orchard Tearoom in Church Road, to talk about a whole range of issues affecting local traders, including the positive impact of the Village Centre Improvement Scheme on local businesses. 

    Afterwards, Conor said: “It was good to meet Nathan to talk about the Hub and their plans for the future. 

    “I am happy to do what I can to support the group as they work with others in the village and the council to support local businesses. 

    “Rainford has some great businesses ranging from engineering companies to farms, pubs, web designers, restaurants and shops which are the life blood of a village. The Hub brings them together in a constructive way which can only benefit Rainford.”

    Nathan said: “I’d like to thank Conor for his support and enthusiasm for Rainford which is encouraging and further motivates us to continue working on behalf of the village. 

    “I am really looking forward to future projects and to working to further better the businesses and community of Rainford.”

  • Conor slams impact of cuts to bus services on local residents

    Bus cuts SeneleyConor met worried residents of Seneley Green to discuss their concerns about plans by Merseytravel and Arriva to change local bus service.
    Locals packed out the Blue Bell pub on Rectory Road at the meeting set up by Conor and local ward councillors – Joe Pearson, Dennis McDonnell and Susan Murphy.


    The residents voiced their fears about the impact the changes would have, particularly on older people who needed to get into St Helens to shop and on passengers who need to get a bus home from the town centre in the evenings after work.

    Residents from Downall Green and Pewfall also spoke about how the proposed changes to bus services would affect them.

    Councillor Sue Murphy said: “I’d like to thank Conor for meeting local residents, and the residents themselves for taking part in such a positive meeting.

    “It’s good to know that with Conor’s involvement residents voices will be heard at a senior level within Merseytravel.”

    Conor thanked all the residents for coming to the meeting and making their feelings known.

    He said: “I am concerned that these changes will worsen problems for local residents already suffering due to a limited service and poor accessibility at Garswood train station.

    “I know the challenges being faced by Merseytravel and the impact that cuts are having on its ability to provide services.

    “But I hope they will listen carefully to the points being made by my constituents about the impact the changes will have to the local community in Garswood and other areas such as Rainford.

    “Bus deregulation hasn’t worked and it is the residents of communities like Garswood who are paying the price where a lack of good public transport has left older people feeling isolated, workers struggling to get to and from work and young people unable to access services for them.

    “My constituents’ experiences highlight just why Labour has been calling for the re-regulation of bus services.”

  • Conor visits project that serves up proper lunch to local youngsters

    Food storyConor has visited a scheme that is battling to make sure local children do not miss out on a daily hot meal over the summer holidays.
    A group of local churches are behind the Make Lunch St Helens project that aims to help parents who struggle to provide a hot meal for their children during the school summer break.

    Five churches are working with Cowley International College on the scheme after the problem was recognised by St Helen’s council leader Barrie Grunewald who pledged £7,500 towards the scheme that will provide youngsters with a hot meal and lay on other activities over the summer.

    Conor said: “It’s a sad fact that under this Government an increasing number of families, including many where someone is in work, are struggling to feed themselves.

    “For those families, it can be an even greater struggle during school holidays to provide a decent meal. But, with the support it has received, this project will be helping many local children.”

    St Helens Baptist Church secured funding from Veolia Environmental Trust to create a purpose-built kitchen and, along with the partner churches, is are offering a holiday club where children can get a hot, nutritious meal and enjoy a range of activities.

    Volunteers help run the project and use their skills in teaching, parenting and financial management to run activities and offer support to parents.

    Around 50 meals per day are provided from each of the centres taking part and children up to the age of 11 are fed from the churches.

    The project is designed to help parents and future plans include training for parents in cooking nutritious meals on a tight budget.