• Conor visits St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School for pupils’ Q&A

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    Conor McGinn visited St Cuthbert’s High School on Friday to meet head teacher Mrs Twist and the school’s Student Senior Team. At the school he spoke to students about his role as their local MP, and why he became involved in politics.

    The students took the opportunity to question Conor on a wide range of issues including dealing with confrontation, funding cuts to mental health and his hobbies.

     Speaking after the visit Conor said:

    “It was great to meet the students today, they asked some interesting questions. It was important to hear about the issues and concerns they have, as well as learning more about what they do.

    “It is evident from my visit that Mrs Twist and the whole school are working hard to raise both the aspirations of the pupils and their attainment levels. I look forward to visiting again in the future.”

     

     

  • Conor supports local arts and culture venture

    Arts cafeConor McGinn stopped by the Pop up Café Hunt and Darton for a bite to eat and to enjoy entertainment from the artists. Whilst there he met Holly Darton and Jenny Hunt, who run the café.

    The café has come to St Helens as part of the Heart of Glass project and mixes food with performance art, an eclectic mix of poetry and dance.  

    Conor was joined for lunch by Patrick Fox the director of the Heart of Glass project. Heart of Glass is an arts commissioning project which supports work made with, for and about St Helens. The initiative aims to get more people involved in the arts.  Commenting after the visit Patrick said “It’s really fantastic that Conor popped by to see us, showing support and recognising the transformative power of arts and creativity across our communities”

    Conor added:

    “It was an interesting and entertaining lunch today, and just one of the many projects being delivered through the Heart of Glass.

    “Projects like this are important to help increase participation in the arts and support existing local artists in their work.”

     

  • Conor responds to the announcement of tax office closure

    Responding to the announcement from HMRC of the planned closure of St Helens tax office, Conor said:

    “This announcement is the latest blow to St Helens. The Tory Government seems determined to obliterate public services and destroy public sector jobs.

    “When taken alongside proposals to close our courthouse and fire station, and with huge cuts to local policing and the local authority’s budget, people will justifiably draw the conclusion that this Tory Government wants to diminish the status of St Helens as a major town and borough in the North West, and in doing so remove the associated economic benefits from our area.”  Further details of the announced closure.”

    Further details about the planned closure can be found at the link below.

    http://www.sthelensstar.co.uk/news/14029504.Tax_office_to_close_under__modernisation__plans/

     

  • Conor raises concerns about impact of Brexit on British-Irish relations

    Conor McGinn MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Irish in Britain, has highlighted concerns about the potential impact the UK leaving the EU could have on British-Irish relations.

    McGinn’s intervention in Parliament followed the issue being raised by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD at a meeting with the Prime Minister in Downing Street.

     Commenting McGinn said:

     “The Government must adequately address the concerns that have been raised and assure the Irish and British peoples that the key relationship between our two countries remains paramount.

     “Ireland is one of Britain’s most important partners, and a UK exit from the EU would have a detrimental impact upon both countries, not least in terms of trade and of course in relation to Northern Ireland. It would also be felt by many Irish people in Britain who very much value our common membership of the EU.

     “I urge David Cameron to ensure British-Irish relations remain strong and continue to develop within the EU.”

     

  • Conor addresses St Helens College Graduation Ceremony

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    On Saturday Conor addressed St Helens College Graduation Ceremony.

    Commenting Conor said:

    “It was a special honour to address the University Centre St Helens Graduation Ceremony, and to have an opportunity to recognise the achievements of St Helens College. The graduates of all ages and from all backgrounds are a testament to the work being done to widen access to education and I pay tribute to everyone associated with the University Centre. 

    “The Class of 2015 are a credit to our St Helens community and they should be proud of what they have achieved. I congratulate them on receiving their awards and wish them and their families well for the future.”

  • Conor says Tory cuts will leave local force unable to meet policing needs across Merseyside

     

    Conor McGinn MP, today spoke in a Labour-led debate in Parliament aimed at halting government plans to cut police budgets by up to 25%, and backed a campaign launched by Shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham to keep bobbies on the beat and protect communities.

    Labour has warned that while efficiency savings below 10 per cent can be achieved, any cuts in double figures will lead hundreds more local police officers to be axed.

    Conor warned of the implications further cuts would have upon the ability of Merseyside police force to deal with diverse challenges faced across the region.

    As part of the campaign Labour have also given support to a national petition sponsored by the former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, crossbench peer Lord John Stevens. The petition calls on Ministers to “drop plans for drastic cuts” and warns of the “end of neighbourhood policing”.

    The Merseyside force lost 722 police officers and 115 Police Community Support Officers (PSCOs) between 2010 and 2015, yet violent crime has risen 48% in the region.

    Commenting Conor said:

    “If Ministers cut the Police on the scale proposed, they will be putting public safety at risk and will go down as the Government that took thousands of bobbies off the beat.

    “Merseyside Police has suffered unprecedented cuts under this Tory Government which has had a real impact on the frontline.

    “With forces already stretched, new figures released that show Merseyside could lose a further 700 police officers if budgets are cut by 25%, are seriously worrying. This would have damaging consequences for policing and public safety in St Helens and across Merseyside.

    “I urge as many people as possible to sign Lord Stevens’s petition – we cannot afford to lose even more officers.”

    Andy Burnham MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, said

    “If people had known the Tories planned to end neighbourhood policing as we have known it and to take bobbies off the beat, they wouldn’t have voted for it. With crime starting to rise, now is not the time to cut the police.”

    On his petition, Lord John Stevens, said:

    “We call on the Government to listen to the public and police officers, drop plans for drastic cuts and protect visible, locally-responsive neighbourhood policing.

    “In the last five years, police forces across England and Wales have lost 12,000 front-line officers. Government plans to cut the Police by between 25% and 40% over the next five years could lead to the loss of over 20,000 more. Indeed, any budget cuts in double figures would spell the end of neighbourhood policing and put the public at risk.”

    Lord John Stevens was Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police for five years. The petition can be signed here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/111560

     

  • Conor exposes Govt betrayal of 100,000 pensioners

    Conor McGinn, MP for St Helens North, has exposed government’s betrayal of over 100,000 pensioners after delays to implement social care reforms.

    The Government pledged to introduce a cap of £72,000 on the amount people have to pay towards their care in old age by April 2016, however, this has now been delayed until 2020.

    A parliamentary question tabled by McGinn, led the government to reveal that the delay means that 23,000 pensioner’s will miss out immediately. A further 80,000 will also no longer receive state support over the next decade.

    Commenting McGinn said:

    “It is shambolic that as a result of this government’s failure over 100,000 pensioners will lose out. To delay the implementation of the cap until 2020 is simply unacceptable.

    “Many older people in my constituency and across the UK struggle with the spiralling cost of social care, and the cap promised by the government would have helped mitigate these costs.

    “The government should be doing all it can to ensure older people have the support they need to pay for social care now, not in 5 years’ time.

    “This is clearly another broken promise from a Tory government failing to deliver.”

    Further coverage of this story and the parliamentary question in full can below.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3299637/100-000-pensioners-lose-care-fees-betrayal-Ministers-admit-time-people-affected-decision-delay-introducing-cap.html

    Parliamentary question

    Conor McGinn, MP for St Helens North: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the effect of the delay in reform of social care funding until 2020 on the provision of social care; and how many people will be affected by that delay in (a) St Helens North constituency, (b) the North West and (c) the UK. (11088)

    Answer:

    Alistair Burt, Minister of State for Community and Social Care: We remain committed to the implementation of the cap on care costs, which will offer financial protection and peace of mind. The decision to delay followed careful consideration of feedback from stakeholders that April 2016 was not the right time to implement these significant and expensive reforms. The benefits of the cap have had to be weighed against the need to focus on supporting the system that supports the most vulnerable.

    In reaching the difficult decision to delay we considered the impact on those who would have entered the cap system from April next year. Though they will not benefit from the additional help straightaway, many will still benefit from the cap system when it is introduced in 2020. The delay will allow local authorities time to focus on consolidating the important reforms to care and support introduced on 1 April 2015, laying the groundwork to implement the funding reforms as successfully as possible in 2020.

    Based on the most recent impact assessment, had the cap system been implemented in April 2016, around 23,000 older people in England would have benefitted immediately in 2016/17 and by 2025/26 up to 80,000 additional older people would have received state support.

    Information regarding how many people will be affected by the delay in specific constituencies or regions is not held in the format requested. Means-tested financial support remains available for those who cannot afford to pay for care to meet their eligible needs.

     

  • Conor appears on Sunday Politics North West

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    Conor was on Sunday Politics North West this week talking about tax credits, broadband access and devolution to Merseyside. You can watch it below (from 34 minutes in).

    http://bbc.in/1MsYaN0

     

  • Conor McGinn MP gets First Class experience as he turns postie for the day in St Helens North

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    Conor McGinn, MP for St Helens North, experienced the challenges involved in delivering the post when he joined local postie, Ryan Cunliffe, on his delivery round in St Helens North.Conor is one of a number of local Members of Parliament being invited to go out with postmen and women across the UK to see the lengths Royal Mail goes to deliver the post.

    The purpose of the visits is to give Members of Parliament a unique insight into the challenges of delivering mail to every house and business in their constituency, six days a week.

    Stephen Norris, Delivery Office Manager at St Helens North, who briefed Conor before he set off on his walk said: “We’re delighted that Conor McGinn MP is taking the time to experience the everyday challenges faced by our delivery postmen and women.

    “The visit gave us the opportunity to show Conor how we are modernising and transforming the organisation. We are investing in new sorting and delivery equipment as we respond to the changing nature of the modern postbag. We are delivering more parcels and fewer letters than ever before and the tools for the job need to reflect that.”

    Commenting McGinn said:

    “Postmen and women not only deliver the mail, but play an important part in the local communities across the St Helens North.

    “I joined local postman Ryan, and it provided a real insight into the hard work posties do week in and week out.

    “They deliver a fantastic service, often in poor weather conditions, and I would like to thank Ryan and other postmen and women for the invaluable work they do.”

    Royal Mail is currently transforming its operation, which means every part of the process from collecting, transporting, sorting and delivering the mail is being improved to increase efficiency.

  • Conor speaks out against tax credits in Parliament

     

     

    Conor McGinn has criticised the governments proposed changes to tax credits in Parliament. He spoke of the impact the cuts would have on working families with children in his constituency.

     

    The text of the intervention in full and link to Hansard can be found below.

    Conor McGinn, MP for St Helens North: Does my hon. Friend agree that there is an inherent contradiction in the Government’s policy? The parents of a young family who came to see me in my constituency last week told me that they work hard, pay their way and are trying to do the right thing to set an example for their children. Should the Government not be supporting them, rather than punishing them?

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmhansrd/cm151027/debtext/151027-0001.htm#15102736000008

     

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