• Maria Eagle MP’s Public Advocate Bill

    I was proud to co-sponsor my Merseyside Labour colleague Maria Eagle MP’s Public Advocate Bill. In public disasters it would give bereaved relatives access to independent advocacy to help them get answers and justice.

    Public disasters with tragic consequences, such as the Grenfell fire and Hillsborough inflict such trauma and distress for the bereaved family and friends. This bill will offer voice to the bereaved when dealing with officials – helping them gain truthful and meaningful results.

  • a new deal for leaseholders

    I support Labour’s new deal for leaseholders.

    It is estimated that between 4.3 and 6.6 million properties in England are owned on a leasehold basis – this means that one in four homeowners own the right to live in the property but not on the land it sits on.

    If charges are unfairly increased, it is a finically crippling situation for many leaseholders – including hundreds of people in new build properties across St Helens borough. The structure of this system needs to be much more transparent, and fundamentally change.

  • supporting the renegotiation of the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme

    I support the renegotiation of the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme’s agreement with the Government and am working with Parliamentary colleagues, the NUM and local campaigners in St Helens and the North West on this important issue.

    In 1994 a surplus sharing arrangement saw the Government guarantee the pension scheme – a vital step – but at an extraordinarily high price. Since 1994 the Government has received £4.1 billion from the scheme but has paid nothing.

    This must be renegotiated – a greater proportion of the funds should return to the hard-working former miners. The 50% share is disproportionate and denies former miners the deal they deserve.

    I signed an letter to the Chancellor calling on the Treasury to undertake a formal review into the surplus sharing agreement. Former mineworkers, their families, and our communities must receive their fair share for their decades of hard work.

  • St Helens Council losing a further £8.8 million

    It is unacceptable and unfair that St Helens Council is losing a further £8.8 million of central Government grant support for the next two years, while at the same time having to cope with increased demand on services.

    Councils provide essential services from education and social care to waste disposal and road repair. These Tory cuts mean it is increasingly difficult to provide these services and this will have a negative impact on residents in St Helens borough.

    The Government needs to reverse these cuts that are damaging our schools, communities and essential infrastructure, and instead invest in our communities.

  • visiting the NATO Baltic air-policing mission

    I joined a cross-party Parliamentary delegation to Estonia to visit the NATO Baltic air-policing mission, currently led by the Royal Air Force. It was good to see at first hand the important work being done to uphold international law, security and democratic values.

    We also spent time with the UK Ambassador in Tallinn and at the Estonian Ministry of Defence.

    As always it was good to meet servicemen and women from St Helens and the North West, all of them missing home and their families but doing a vitally important job.

  • GP appointments

    I am absolutely appalled that 2,596 patients in St Helens borough had to wait more than 28 days for GP appointments in the last year.

    Delays in initial appointments increase emergency appointments as untreated conditions worsen over time, and problems become harder and more expensive to treat. It is bad for the NHS, bad for the public purse and bad for the patients.

    Cuts to NHS funding are a false economy – the Tories must properly fund our NHS now.

  • mandatory life sentences for those who cause death by dangerous driving

    I spoke in the House of Commons to support my colleague Marie Rimmer MP and the petition presented to Parliament on behalf of the family of Violet-Grace Youens.
    It calls for mandatory life sentences for those who cause death by dangerous driving. I fully support the Youens family, as do the people of St Helens.

  • fundraising for Racing to School’s

    I was delighted to support Racing to School’s fundraising dinner in Westminster which raised over £35,000 for the charity. The APPG for Racing & Bloodstock – which I co-chair with Laurence Robertson – took on Racing to School as our nominated charity.
    This fantastic cause delivers outdoor learning activities for young people at racecourses, studs and trainers’ yards across the country. Last year I joined them for a day long programme with young people at Haydock. They also work with young people with special educational needs and those from inner city, rural and deprived areas.
    Initiatives to introduce disadvantaged young people to racing are really important to me, and I was delighted to be involved in supporting this worthy cause.

  • new Heritage Centre proposed for Rainford

    I was excited to see the proposal for the new Heritage Centre at Bridge Farm, Rainford, which will celebrate Rainford’s history, community and industries – past and present.

    I met with Ray Waring, chairman of the Heritage Society, and representatives of the Rainford Heritage Society to discuss the proposal. The Heritage Society plan to open a new centre located within the grounds of Bridge Farm – a family-run campsite with a lovely café and nursery attached. It will be a place for the local community to celebrate its history and industry.

    There is still much to do, but support from the local community and the enthusiasm and ambition from the society members are helping to realise this great project.

  • Adoption UK’s new report, Adoption Barometer

    I was delighted to host the official launch of Adoption UK’s new report, Adoption Barometer, in Parliament.
    Politicians, adoptive parents and a range of professionals gathered to discuss Adoption UK’s report on modern-day adoption. It looks at the Government’s performance on support for adoptive families, education for adopted children, and provides insight into all stages of the adoption journey.
    St Helens borough has significantly more ‘looked after children’ than the North West and England as a whole.
    Adoption can be a rewarding and life-changing experience for all involved, and this excellent report from Adoption UK is a great resource for all those considering adopting.

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