• Real term cuts to policing

    With crime rising, the police and emergency services need as much support as they can get. But this Tory Government has frozen the grant for Merseyside Police at its current level – effectively a real terms cut.

    The Government’s attempt to shift funding from the central grant on to local council tax payers will do nothing to replace the 1,000 police officers that Merseyside Police has lost since 2010.

    The Government must urgently end its failed austerity policies and support our hardworking police and emergency services in fighting crime and protecting law and order in our communities.

    Last week I met Chief Constable Andy Cooke and assured him of my continuing support for the police and welcome his assurance of a continued focus on St Helens.

  • Dementia with Lewy Bodies awareness video

    Dementia with Lewy Bodies – or DLB – affects up to 100,000 people in the UK, but many people are unaware of the condition.

    DLB can cause nightmares, hallucinations, confusion and memory loss, but the condition is often misdiagnosed.

    The Lewy Body Society is raising awareness this winter of DLB, and campaigning for more people to understand and recognise the symptoms.

    For more information on Dementia with Lewy Bodies, you can watch the Lewy Body Society awareness video here.

    https://itnproductions.wistia.com/medias/4uzqqjvgg4

  • Chocolate Oranges campaign

    It was great to welcome Chris Lamb from St Helens to Parliament to promote Chocolate Oranges – giving something back to hardworking emergency and public service workers.

    Chocolate Oranges organises an annual collection of chocolate oranges for distribution to emergency and public service workers who care for us in times of need.

    The group was formed in memory of Chris’s son Elliott, whose sad death in 2010 due to a condition called Congenital Cytomegalovirus spurred Chris on to buy chocolate oranges for those who had cared for him.

    Since then, the tradition of giving chocolate oranges has gone from strength to strength. Keep up the good work Chris!

  • Conor elected Chair of the new All Party Parliamentary Group on Darts

     Conor McGinn has been elected Chair of the new All Party Parliamentary Group on Darts – the new group in Westminster championing the sport of darts.

    Conor hosted constituents Karl Holden and his dad Dave at the inaugural meeting, where they spoke about the fantastic growth in the St Helens Darts Academy and what the future has in store for darts at grassroots level. Karl also runs A180 Darts, a UK and worldwide darts business based in St Helens.

    St Helens is producing world-class darts players like Dave Chisnall, Stephen Bunting and Michael Smith and has a thriving grassroots darts scene, and the award-winning St Helens Darts Academy is improving the maths, discipline and skills of local kids through enjoyment of sport and competition.

    Conor hosted a reception and MP’s darts tournament in Parliament with Gary Anderson and Phil Taylor.

    The new cross party group will help bring our fantastic darts talent in St Helens and across the country to the fore, and will be working closely with the PDC, BDO, Government and sponsors to promote the sport.

     

  • National Postal Workers Day

    Tuesday 12th December was National Postal Workers Day, a chance to recognise the year round hard work and dedication thousands of men and women who collect, sort and deliver letters and parcels.

    Our posties work in all weather – like in the icy cold today – to get the post delivered, and today is one of the busiest days of the year in the run up to Christmas.

    Conor proud to have the support and endorsement of the postal workers’ union, the CWU.

    Thank you to all hardworking postal workers in St Helens.

  • Trussell Trust Annual Food Collection

    Conor visited the Tesco store in Earlestown to meet store manager Sam Aldred, Leslie and Linda and to support the Trussell Trust annual food collection, which last year alone collected 3.6 million meals for people in need.

    2,600 Tesco stores across the UK are taking part in the annual Food Collection, which encourages shoppers to donate to The Trussell Trust to support to people who might otherwise go hungry this Christmas in St Helens North.

    People should not have to rely on food banks. However, the Tory Government’s austerity policies are the reality for many people, both in and out of work.

    But thanks to the generosity of many people, those in need will be able to get support through The Trussell Trust’s foodbanks and the work of organisations such as the Hope Centre in St Helens and their volunteers who are working hard to prevent people going hungry at Christmas

  • St Helens Chamber of Commerce visit to Parliament

    It was a pleasure to welcome members of St Helens Chamber of Commerce to Parliament to discuss ways we can work together to help local firms, entrepreneurs and workers in St Helens.

    Members of the Chamber travelled down to Westminster from St Helens for a working lunch, where the challenges of Brexit and the impact of leaving the EU on local and regional businesses was high on the agenda.

    The Chamber members also highlighted the need for the Government to invest in infrastructure in St Helens and across the North West to help businesses grow.

    Total infrastructure spending per head from 2016/17 onwards is just under £5 billion across the North West, compared to almost £20 billion for London and the South East.

    Alongside my colleague Marie Rimmer MP, I will be working closely with St Helens Chamber to stand up for workers and businesses across St Helens and get the best possible Brexit for our community with more investment from Government in our area.

  • Palmer and Harvey

    In recent days the Palmer and Harvey company – which has a regional centre in Haydock – went into administration.

    This will result in hundreds of job losses in the constituency and across St Helens and the wider region, which is devastating news for the community just weeks before Christmas.

    Some workers only found out they had lost their jobs when they arrived for their shift and the gates were closed.

    Conor raised this as an urgent matter in Parliament and asked the Business Secretary to intervene and support Conor and the USDAW trade union to stand up for those affected. Since then, Conor has spoken with the administrators PwC. Conor has also spoken to St Helens Chamber of Commerce, which is offering free, in-house re-training and CV writing guidance for any workers who have been made redundant and they can be contacted on 01744 698800.

    Since the announcement Conor has been working with all involved to try and salvage something from this desperate situation.

    It is know known that at least 250 jobs will be lost at the Haydock site and there are huge questions for the company to answer about how this situation arose. Conor intends to pursue those questions in Parliament and by whatever other means necessary, along with MPs in other areas affected and the trade union movement.

    But the priority now is to try and find alternative employment for those affected as quickly as possible and to make sure they receive their full redundancy and associated entitlements where that applies.

    To that end, an event has been organised in St Helens Town Hall this Thursday 7th December at 10am.

    The event will commence with a presentation from the Jobcentre Recruitment Team providing advice and guidance on:
    • Redundancy Rights and Information
    • Financial Information
    • Jobsearch
    • Welfare Benefits
    • Other Options
    • Useful Contacts

    Following the presentation there will be the opportunity to meet some local employers who have current vacancies.
    In addition, Conor has written to the Business Secretary to ask if he can provide a hardship fund for those affected to tide them over from their last pay packet at the end of November to hopefully their next one or at least to help them through the Christmas period. This is especially important for those who have worked for the company for under 2 years and therefore are not eligible for any redundancy pay.

    Conor has also written to the DWP to ask for any benefits claims by those affected to be expedited so they will receive payments before Christmas.

    If you are an affected worker and need more information, you can contact your union rep, the administrators (who assure me they have written to every employee affected) or, if you are a St Helens North constituent, Conors office.

     

  • The Fight Against Terrorism

    We have seen several horrific terror attacks in our country this year and more have been foiled. The variety of attacks and the varied backgrounds of their perpetrators shows the multiple threats that we face, from Daesh-inspired plots to far-right extremism. Daesh continues to commit acts of indiscriminate barbarism across the globe and I believe we must take all lawful action necessary to counter and confront it. I welcome the progress that has been made towards eliminating Daesh in Iraq and Syria. The Royal Air Force has delivered over 1,600 air strikes against Daesh and it has lost 90% of the territory it once held. I commend the bravery of our servicemen and women who have participated in Operation Shader against Daesh, and I am pleased that they will be recognised with a dedicated operational service medal. I believe Armed Forces personnel also deserve a fair pay rise, in the House of Commons I took part in a defense debate led by Labour’s frontbench.

    I raised the Armed Forces recruitment and retention crisis that has arisen on the Tories’ watch, and the fact that more service personnel are leaving and fewer joining both regular and reserve forces year-on-year.

    I have also called on the Government to do more to support defense workers in the north of England, including bringing forward an order for new Red Arrows jets to keep the iconic team flying British aircraft.

    Here at home, our frontline emergency service workers have also shown incredible bravery in response to terrorism and I believe we need to ensure that both our frontline and security services are properly resourced. Unfortunately, cuts to police and security since 2010 have resulted in 37,000 fewer staff. I was also deeply concerned to learn recently that the Office for Security and Counter Terrorism faces cuts of £50 million over the next two years. The importance of neighbourhood policing cannot be overstated in the fight against terrorism. Neighbourhood engagement at all levels, building a community’s confidence, can often encourage people to come forward with information that may help to stop future terrorist activity. The manifesto I stood on at the General Election in June therefore committed to recruiting 10,000 additional police offices, as well as increasing staffing levels at our security and intelligence agencies to better ensure our collective safety.

    It is also important that we prevent people from being drawn into terrorism by having effective measures against the growing problem of extreme and violent radicalisation. I believe a thorough review of the Prevent counter-radicalisation strategy is therefore needed. I also advocate the creation of a long-term multinational political strategy, led by regional actors, to tackle the spread of extremism. My thoughts are with all those who have been affected by terrorism and I hope this helps to outline my views on this incredibly important issue.

  • Live Animal Exports

    I support British farming and want it to be economically viable, environmentally sustainable and to lead the world with high standards in animal welfare and food quality. I would like to see a growth in the trade and export of meat rather than live animals and I believe animals should be slaughtered as close as possible to where they are reared. The current Government has committed to examine the future of live animal exports and I will await any proposals that it brings forward on this issue. At the recent election, I stood on a manifesto which pledged to promote cruelty-free animal husbandry and to consult on ways to ensure agreed standards are better enforced. I will continue to press for the highest possible animal welfare standards across British farming. We must prioritise a sustainable, long-term future for our farming, fishing and food industries. We cannot allow Brexit to be used as an excuse for food standards to be reduced or to allow cheap and inferior produce to flood the UK market. I believe we should reconfigure funds for farming to promote sustainable practices so that the industry can thrive and succeed while benefitting local communities. I can assure you I will continue to call for action to promote a humane and sustainable British farming system. I will also press for our existing environmental and animal welfare standards to be retained and strengthened once we have left the EU. But I believe the most significant issue for animal welfare is the distance that animals are transported and the condition those animals are housed in rather than exports, for this reason I am unable to sign this EDM.