• support our local businesses

    I am amazed at how our brilliant local businesses are responding to these really tough times.
    ‪Overnight, lots of pubs, cafés & restaurants have set-up takeaway & delivery services
    ‪Check out their web & social media pages for information.‬
    ‪Make your night out your night in!

  • the National Lottery’s Community Fund

    I met with the National Lottery’s Community Fund, which has provided over £2.4 million worth of grants to local projects here in St Helens North alone. These include Park Farm ACYP in Moss Bank, Invest for the Future at the Deafness Resource Centre, as well as the FIT scheme at St Aidan’s in Billinge.

    Thousands of projects benefit from the Community Fund every year. To find out more, click the following link: https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding

  • visiting Crownway Community Centre in Earlestown

    I visited Crownway Community Centre in Earlestown, where I met with staff and volunteers to hear how their services are improving residents’ lives.

    The Centre’s modern, inclusive facilities and wide range of fun activities have made it a valued focal point for the communities in Earlestown and Newton-le-Willows, with truly something on offer for all age groups.

    I’m proud of all Crownway’s achievements, which together provide a shining example of how the hard work, dedication and determination of local people can pay dividends for our community. I look forward to visiting again soon.

  • the budget

    In reaction to yesterday’s budget, I called on the Chancellor of the Exchequer to go beyond mere rhetoric and make good on the Government’s promise of more funding, investment and job opportunities for highly ambitious communities like ours in St Helens and the North West.

    Rightly, this budget’s short-term strategic priority focused much on containing and defeating the threat posed by the coronavirus (Covid-19), and going forward it’s vital that MPs work in tandem with our community leaders, NHS officials and public health experts to provide an effective and measured response, as guided by the latest scientific evidence.

    But whilst extra funding to tackle Covid-19 is necessary and welcome, this budget falls far short of what’s in fact needed, and I’m concerned about its lack of measures to increase statutory sick pay for local people, or to extend it for those in low-pay work, part-time work, or indeed for those on zero-hours contracts. This Government can and must do better.

    The Chancellor talks often of “levelling up” our country, yet it is this Government’s inadequate investment in the North West’s public services, core infrastructure and skills that has stunted growth in St Helens, while seeing North / South regional inequalities cement and widen.

    Over the last decade, unreliable yet expensive transport, overstretched public services and poor connectivity have all but too often been a reality for local people. Instead of much-needed funding, the Government have slashed the grant to St Helens Council by 71% since 2010 – leaving £507 less per person to spend on essential services.

    If we’re truly to unlock our region’s great potential, places like St Helens borough need more than warm words or empty gestures, but concrete action to re-balance our economy, properly fund our public services, and promote growth right across the North West. In Parliament and in our communities, I’ll continue fighting day-in, day-out to ensure these can be finally delivered.

  • meeting with teardrops

    I visited The Hub to meet the Teardrops team to discuss the important work they do to tackle the causes and effects of homelessness in our community.

    They have also started working with young people in St Helens to tackle drug use, knife crime and anti-social behaviour.

    It’s great to see how far Teardrops have come on their journey so far and I pay tribute to the staff and volunteers making such a huge contribution to our community.

  • visiting chester zoo

    I visited Chester Zoo to discuss the zoo’s work with local schools in St Helens borough – including Allanson Street Primary School in Parr – and their wider conservation efforts.

    Chester Zoo is not only a first-class attraction bringing millions of visitors to the North West region every year, but it also supports a highly skilled staff of hundreds and its world-leading scientific research benefits over 70 field projects in 25 countries.

  • ambition for the future

    Today saw the announcement of an ambitious partnership to deliver regeneration in St Helens, Earlestown & across our borough. Political, business & community leaders are working together to make this the best place to live, work & visit in the North West.
    Labour-run St Helens Council under David Baines is meeting the huge challenge of maintaining vital local services while delivering an ambitious vision for the future of the borough.
    Our team at the Town Hall, in Parliament & in our communities are getting things done.

  • Heathrow third runway

    The Government promised that the expansion of Heathrow airport would increase connectivity to airports at Liverpool John Lennon and Manchester, and bring associated opportunities for jobs, investment and business in places like St Helens.
    The uncertainty around the third runway is a cause of concern for political and business leaders in our region. I called on Transport Ministers to provide clarity over Heathrow’s future, and commit to delivering on the promise of growth for communities across the North West.

  • know your ride

    I fully support the #KnowYourRide campaign, a fantastic local initiative which highlights the many benefits of taking a taxi licensed here in St Helens.

    In our borough, high standards of knowledge, skills, awareness and passenger safety are a prerequisite for any driver wishing to attain a taxi license. But since 2015, it has been legal to obtain a license in one area of the country, before going to work in another. While lawful, this practice makes it extremely difficult for St Helens Licensing Authority to hold drivers operating in the borough to account effectively – and also makes life harder for some of our brilliant local taxi drivers.

    By supporting #KnowYourRide, you’ll not only be championing local business and receiving expert local knowledge, but you can rest safely assured that you’ll be enjoying the highest possible passenger safety standards, as set by our local authority.

    To raise awareness of the scheme, which is now backed by Unite the Union and the National Trade Magazine, I met in Parliament with Cllr Jeanie Bell, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Cllr Dave Banks, Chair of the Licensing Committee, and Lorraine Simpson, Licensing Manager at St Helens Council. It was also great that Wes Streeting MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Taxis, could make it along too.

    I would encourage all St Helens residents to #KnowYourRide and support local drivers when you travel. Simply ask any operator for a St Helens taxi, or look out for the Gold Standard Driver symbol on vehicles.

  • Willowbrook Hospice

    I visited Willowbrook Hospice to meet with staff and see the incredible work being done there to provide care for so many people.

    The Hospice has been awarded an ‘outstanding’ rating after a recent inspection.

    Willowbrook has great support from the community in St Helens and we are very proud of it. It and hospices across the country need more certainty about their funding and more resources from Government – something I will continue to raise in Parliament and with the Health Secretary.

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