• 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.


  • 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

  • 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.


  • Haydock Cottage Hospital Memorial

    Conor joined the local community, ward councillors and Mayor Joe Pearson in Haydock for the dedication and unveiling of a memorial to Haydock Cottage Hospital.

    The hospital, which was part funded by local miners making donations from their wages, was opened 120 years ago following the Haydock Wood Pit disaster in 1878 in which over 180 people when killed. At the ceremony, music was played by Haydock Brass Band, as indeed it was at the opening of the hospital in 1886.

    The dedication of the Memorial is a fitting reminder of the hospital and the people who received its care, in particular the many miners from the area, who were working in such dangerous conditions.

    Thanks to Councillor Martin Bond for securing the memorial once the decision had been made to redevelop the hospital site, and then arranging the commemoration event.

    Across the borough of St Helens, there is a proud mining heritage, and Conor is working closely with organisations like the Coalfields Regeneration Trust to preserve and protect these proud traditions as well as investing in our communities for the future.

  • Take a Break Interview On Helen’s Law

    Conor has been interviewed by Take a Break Magazine about the campaign for Helen’s Law, and the need to get a no body, no parole rule onto the statute book.

    Constituent Marie McCourt’s daughter Helen was murdered nearly 30 years ago, and her killer Ian Simms could soon be released from prison – despite never revealing where Helen’s body is buried.

    Helen’s Law is needed to ensure that family members like Marie do not face the added trauma of seeing a victim’s killer walk free while the location of the body remains undisclosed.

    In addition to the thousands who have signed the petition calling for Helen’s Law, over 6,000 Take a Break readers have sent in “coupons” to support the campaign.

    It’s over a year since Conor introduced a Bill for Helen’s Law to the House of Commons and MPs from all Parties have since backed the rule change. It’s high time the Government acted and put Helen’s Law on the statute book.

  • Dame Lorna Muirhead

    I was delighted to table a parliamentary motion paying tribute to Dame Lorna Muirhead for her outstanding public service, after 12 years as the Lord Lieutenant in Merseyside.

    Dame Lorna came to Liverpool in 1965 and worked as a midwife for 40 years, spending most of the time at the Liverpool Maternity Hospital and the Liverpool Women’s Hospital.

    She was elected to the council of the Royal College of Midwives in 1994, becoming president of the organisation in 1997. She served for seven years as a National and International Ambassador for midwives.

    Dame Lorna’s dedication to helping others and her contribution to civic life makes her a fine role model.

    Along with Merseyside MP colleagues, I wish her a happy retirement and also send my best wishes to the new Lord Lieutenant Mark Blundell.

  • Inter Faith Week

    Inter Faith Week is a chance to show the good work that comes from positive relationships and working partnerships between people of different faiths and beliefs in St Helens and across the country.

    The annual Inter Faith Week, which is now in its ninth year, aims to strengthen the bonds and understanding between different faiths at all levels.

    Conor recently attended an interdenominational Remembrance Sunday service at St Aidan’s Billinge, to remember those from the Parish who died during both World Wars.

    It was heartening to see so many members of the community from different faiths coming together for a shared purpose.

    Earlier this year, Conor also attended the fifth annual ‘Meet Your Muslim Neighbour” at The World of Glass, to promote good inter-community relations and I met with the Jewish Leadership Council in the North West to support the local Jewish community in the fight against anti-Semitism.

    You can find out more about Inter Faith Week here: https://www.interfaithweek.org/

  • Next Weeks Budget

    Ahead of next week’s budget, the Chancellor must ensure that spending on mental health services is ring-fenced and this vital area is properly funded.

    The Government has announced £1.4 billion funding over five years to deliver the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health and £1.25 billion for the Future In Mind programme for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

    This money is important but will not go far enough to meet rising demands on mental health services, here In St Helens and across the country.

    According to Public Health England 16.8% of people in St Helens have reported suffering from depression and anxiety. In the UK one in four adults experiences at least one diagnosable mental health problem in any given year.

    Conor has signed colleague Luciana Berger’s petition for the Government to use the budget as an opportunity to ring-fence mental health spending, you can sign here too https://you.38degrees.org.uk/…/ring-fence-mental-health-spe….

  • The Living Wage Foundation recommended that the living wage for areas outside London should be £8.75 per hour – which is a gross 40 hour weekly wage of £350.

    But many workers in St Helens are working full time for the minimum wage of £7.50 an hour – which leaves these workers £50 a week short of the Living Wage Foundation recommendation.

    That means less money in the bank at the end of the month, and less money for food, bills and transport.

    Conor is supporting St Helens Council in leading the way as a council committed to a Living Wage, but the Government needs to do far more to raise wages for workers in St Helens and across the country.

    That’s why a Labour Government would raise the Living Wage to £10 an hour, giving workers and families on lower pay the income security they need.

  • Armed Forces recruitment and retention crisis

    This week in the House of Commons Conor took part in a defence debate led by Labour’s frontbench.

    Conor 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.

    The Defence Minister said that Conor’s figures were inaccurate. The only problem with that was that they weren’t Conor’s figures, they were his from an official Ministry of Defence report.

    You can see the intervention below and read Conors entire contribution – in which I pay tribute to St Helens veterans’ champion Andy Reid – here https://hansard.parliament.uk/…/44334061-A7…/ArmedForcesPay…

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