• Haydock Band Sucsess

    Congratulations to all members of The Haydock Band on their performance at the Wychavon Festival of Brass Champions, and for winning a section prize. This year’s performance was the band’s first time entering the competition, in which brass bands from all over the country compete.

    It’s great to see excellent musical talent from St Helens performing on the national stage, and the band should be proud of their performance this year.

    Musicians, venues and events like the Wychavon Festival provide a huge boost to our economy, as well as their creative and cultural impact. I’ll be leading a debate in the House of Commons on Friday to call on the Government to do all it can to support our thriving music sector moving forward.

  • Miners Deserve A Fair Pension

    Former miners in St Helens, Lancashire and across the country deserve a fair pension. But it turns out that vast sums of money made from investing their pension contributions has been going straight into the Government’s coffers instead of into miners’ own bank accounts. The Government has received an incredible £3.4billion thanks to an unjust deal that was struck years ago.

    This is unfair and unjust treatment. Alongside other MPs representing coalfield constituencies, I have been campaigning on this issue and recently attended a meeting with Trustees of the Mineworkers Pension Scheme and the National Union of Mineworkers, and we are now all jointly calling for a renegotiation of the scheme and asking to meet the Government to find a resolution.

    As my colleague Gloria de Piero MP said:

    “Miners powered our country for generations. They survived one of the most brutal strikes this country has ever seen. And they deserve the pension they worked their entire lives for and is rightfully theirs.”

  • Government Needs To Support Defence Workers In The North Of England

    St Helens North MP Conor McGinn has called on the Government to do more to support defence workers in the north of England, including bringing forward an order for new Red Arrows jets to keep the iconic team flying British aircraft.

    The world famous Red Arrows fly the BAE Systems built Hawk but without new orders now, production is at risk of ending. BAE has recently announced a thousand job losses and this week Mr McGinn met the company and defence workers affected, as well as trade union representatives from GMB and Unite.

    He also took part in the Air Combat Power Visit at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, which is a full scale display of the RAFs abilities and strengths, from Force Protection and sustaining operations on the ground, to surveillance, intelligence acquisition and air power. Mr McGinn met with the Chief of the Air Staff Sir Stephen Hillier and the RAF personnel who maintain the UK’s Quick Reaction Alert, made up of high readiness units that can scramble to meet airborne threats.

    Commenting, Mr McGinn said:

    “RAF personnel, including those I met at Coningsby, and workers in the defence industry make a huge contribution to the UK’s national security, yet production is at risk and skilled jobs in the north of England could go, including in the supply chain which would have an impact in towns like St Helens.

    “The Government must commit to ensuring the UK maintains a strong defence industrial base and properly resourced Armed Forces on air, land and sea”.

  • Conor slams Tory cuts to Merseyside fire safety inspectors

    Conor McGinn has slammed Government cuts to the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service as new figures show the number of fire safety inspectors is down by a fifth since 2013.

    Fire safety inspectors are responsible for vital statutory safety inspections and audits, but cuts mean there are now just 34 inspectors across Merseyside – down from 42 in 2013.

    The 19 per cent reduction in fire safety inspectors puts extra pressure on the Fire and Rescue Service, with less firefighters available to carry out safety checks on hospitals, schools and shops.

    Mr McGinn is calling for the Government to immediately halt the decline in fire safety inspectors and is backing a campaign by the Fire Brigades Union to keep buildings safe, protecting the public and firefighters.

    Commenting, Conor said:

    “Our firefighters do an incredible job with dedication and professionalism, often under very difficult circumstances.

    “But Government cuts to fire safety inspectors puts more pressure on already overstretched services by making it harder to spot fire risks in public buildings.

    “The Government needs to urgently get to grips with this and halt the decline in fire safety inspectors, which are down by a fifth in Merseyside since 2013, and put public and firefighter’s safety first.”


  • Conor campaigning against education cuts

    Conor met with Patrick White, Secretary of the St Helens National Education Union, in Parliament as part of the Union’s lobby to raise awareness of the Government’s new funding formula for schools. The new funding formula will mean cuts in budgets and teacher numbers in schools for St Helens, at a time when our hardworking pupils and teaching staff need support most.

    Across the country, 88 per cent of schools are still facing real-terms budget cuts per pupil between 2015/16 and 2019/20 and for the average primary school this will mean a loss of £52,546 per year. For the average secondary school this will mean a massive loss of £178,321 per year.

    Conor has committed to continuing  to work with the National Education Union to call out the Tory Government’s unfair and poorly thought out education cuts in St Helens and across the country.

  • Conor Congratulates Local Schools Shortlisted For Educate Awards

    Congratulations to all St Helens schools, including Rainford High School, The Distict CE Primary School, Parish CE Primary School and Hope Academy on making the Educate Awards Shortlist. Yet again, despite the many challenges, schools in St Helens North are being recognised for excellent teaching and innovation in bringing the best out of our young people.

  • Meeting UK Youth Parliament representative Kian Jepson

    It was great to meet St Helens Member of the Youth Parliament Kian Jepson to discuss issues affecting local young people. Kian is a pupil at Hope Academy and was elected by his peers to represent them in the UK Youth Parliament.

    It’s important that the voices of young people are heard locally and nationally and Kian and I will be staying in touch about these issues.

  • Conor supports the Protect The Protectors campaign

    Our emergency services do an amazing job under the most difficult circumstances. But these staff often face abuse and assault, with the Police Federation for England and Wales figures showing there were more than two million physical assaults on officers in 2016, and a further three hundred thousand using a deadly weapon. The PFEW estimates that this means there is an attack on a police officer every four minutes.

    The Royal College of Nursing also highlighted a rise in assaults on NHS staff, with a survey of more than 6,000 staff showing 28 per cent had experienced physical abuse in the previous 12 months and seven in ten had experienced verbal abuse.

    Our firefighters also do an incredibly tough job under the most difficult of circumstances, and it’s important that offences against them are dealt with severely by the law.

    I was proud to sponsor Holly Lynch MP’s Bill to Protect the Protectors back in February and I am proud to continue supporting the Protect The Protectors campaign, calling for tougher sentences for those who assault emergency workers and improved support for staff.

  • The Government needs to review tolls on new Mersey crossing

    Mersey Gateway is a fantastic piece of engineering and will have a positive impact on travel times across the Mersey. But that cannot disguise the fact that a crossing that was free until now will impose tolls on drivers. That will mean serious financial consequences for St Helens drivers who need to make regular crossings, especially those commuting to and from work, local businesses and those with caring responsibilities.

    Earlier this year, the Tory Government announced free tolling would be extended beyond Halton residents. But it has reneged on this commitment. My colleague Justin Madders, the MP for Ellesmere Port, raised this directly with Transport Ministers. The Minister tried to claim that it would cost Councils huge amounts per year if there were no tolls. But major road projects should be funded by central government. And it’s worth noting that no other previously free crossings have had charges introduced in the last decade.

    I have also raised my concerns and will continue to fight alongside Merseyside Labour MPs to get the Government to review its charging policy so that residents in St Helens and elsewhere get a fair deal.

    You can help us by signing the petition below which is being organised by Maria Eagle MP.

  • Public sector pay cap

    I believe a pay rise for all public sector workers, both in our constituency and across the country, is fair and affordable. Public sector workers have been subject to years of falling real wages and I do not believe that this is sustainable. The large number of letters and emails I have received on this issue highlights the strength of public concern. Indeed, an online petition calling on the Government to end the public sector pay cap has been signed by more than 230,000 people. The previous Coalition Government imposed a two year pay freeze on public sector workers in 2011, and as you are aware, in 2015 the Government announced a maximum pay increase of 1% in public sector pay until 2019-20. A report published by the Office of Manpower Economics in July found that real earnings have fallen since 2010 and remained below their 2005 level in 2015. The report states that the decline in earnings from 2010 coincides with the wage freeze imposed on public sector pay settlements by government in 2011-2013 and the average 1% rise in 2014-15. On 12 September the Government announced a partial lift of the 1% pay cap for police and prison officers. This will come as cold comfort for those nurses, teachers and other public sector workers who the Government has ignored and will face even steeper pay cuts on top of what they have lost since 2010. Furthermore, with inflation now at 2.9%, the reality is that the Government is still going ahead with a pay cut in real terms for police and prison officers. In Westminster , I was delighted that Labour’s frontbench put forward my Early Day Motion (132) on NHS pay for debate in Parliament. 70 MPs from all parties – except, of course, the Tories – had already signed the motion calling on the Government to scrap the pay cap for NHS workers.

    When it became clear that the majority of MPs were likely to vote with Labour in support of this yesterday, the Tories cynically announced an end to the pay cap but then ran away from the vote. It was passed unanimously by the House of Commons.

    It is a great victory for our NHS staff and all those who have been campaigning for a pay rise like the Royal College of Nursing and Unison.

    I’m proud to have played a role alongside Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth in pushing the issue to the floor of the House of Commons, putting it up to the Tories and getting the motion passed unanimously. The Government now needs to act and pay our nurses, NHS staff and all public sector workers properly and fairly.

    At the General Election I stood on a manifesto that pledged to end the public sector pay cap and make a return to public sector pay being agreed through collective bargaining and the evidence of independent pay review bodies. I will continue to press the Government to lift the pay cap so that public sector workers are paid at a level which recognises the skill and dedication which they bring to their jobs.

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