• Conor watches St Helens FC on Non League Day

    ST Helens 1  St Helens FC

    To mark Non League Day, Conor McGinn watched the football match between St Helens FC and Chadderton FC.  Afterwards he met with the Man of the Match, Adam Lawrence.

  • Conor campaigns to keep St Helens Courthouse open

    Conor’s response to the consultation in full can be found below.

    Conor McGinn MP response to the Court Consultation

    I welcome the opportunity to respond to the consultation. I do not agree with the planned closure of St Helens Magistrates’ Court and County Court. There are some serious reservations and concerns that need to be addressed, the closure of the court could have a detrimental impact on the town, its residents and access to justice. There are also some concerns about the transparency of the decision.

    An immediate pertinent issue which is linked to the primary issue of access to justice, is access to transport. As a result of the court closure residents and other stakeholders will have to travel from St. Helens to Liverpool to attend Court. Travelling to Liverpool and Knowsley Magistrates Court and Liverpool Civil & family Court in lieu of a court in St Helens will increase travel time and create additional expense for residents. Whilst the consultation document indicates that 95% of citizens will be able reach the specified courts within an hour by car, over half of those who will be travelling by public transport may face journeys of up to 2 hours. The journey times stipulated for direct rail and bus services between St Helens and Liverpool also fail to take into account the distance travelled by residents who live in outlying rural areas. Many appointments at court are often early in the morning and without access to adequate transport, attendance would simply be unfeasible for many people.

    The cost of extra travel will also have an impact on vulnerable people’s ability to access justice. Many court users, whether they be victims, offenders, or witnesses are often vulnerable. As court users they are most likely to have limited financial resources, be in receipt of benefits, lack access to a motor vehicle, or in some cases have a disability. The increased transport cost combined with cuts to legal aid would mean that many vulnerable people would be unfairly denied access to justice, if the court were to close.

    Whilst HM Courts and Tribunals service have acknowledged users “should not have to make excessively long or difficult journeys to attend hearings” and commented on the role new technology could play in place of physical attendance, currently there are not adequate provisions in place. The use of new technology to mitigate the negative effects of any potential court closure should be in place before, not after, the proposed closure.

    The closure of the court would also have a detrimental economic impact on the town. The Court building located in the town centre currently employs 32 members of staff, and there are 13 solicitors’ firms based in the town that would be negatively impacted by the court closure. Many clients may choose to use alternative firms in Liverpool as a result. This in turn could have a knock on effect on other businesses that are reliant on the presence of the court, and could have unintended wide ranging economic implications and consequences for the town of St Helens and its residents.

    The process of determining which courts would be subject to closure has also not been transparent. Ministers were written to on numerous occasions, with requests for comparative analysis and data on Sefton and Wirral courts, however, this information has not been provided. Nor has any clear framework of the criteria used to determine which courts should be closed, with a clear comparison and rationale.

    In sum the closure of the court would denigrate the status of St Helens as a town. There are not only worries about the transparency of the process, rising costs court users will face and concerns about access to justice, but potentially serious economic ramifications.

  • Conor presses Charity Minister to save Newton Community Centre

  • Conor says devolution must work for St Helens North

    Conor McGinn MP spoke at Fabian Society event on the Northern Powerhouse at Labour Party Conference.

    Speaking at the panel event, McGinn spoke of the importance of a strong relationship between MPs and local authorities. He praised the work done by St Helens Council in the face of unprecedented cuts.

    McGinn said further devolution to a Merseyside City Region should be the right fit and take into account local identities and priorities.

    He also argued that for the north to truly be considered a powerhouse, economic equality in region would have to be addressed.

    Commenting McGinn said:

    “The Labour Party should be at the forefront of the devolution agenda and promoting economic prosperity in the North West. We are in danger of the letting the Tories dominate the devolution space despite their commitment to a Northern Powerhouse being much more about style than substance. So far, all we’ve seen is the electrification of railways cancelled and local police forces and councils facing huge cuts.

    “Councils like St Helens do a tough job in ensuring critical services are maintained despite the scale of the cuts they face. Barrie Grunewald and his Cabinet team have my full support in continuing the work they are doing.

    “I want to see evidence and a commitment that any devolved arrangements for Merseyside work for people in St Helens North. We need to ensure communities here are not left behind, and that they receive the same level of representation and provision as anywhere else on Merseyside.”

    The discussion in full can be watched at the link below:

    http://www.fabians.org.uk/listen-again-northern-powerhouse-spin-or-substance/

  • Conor attends Labour Party conference

    A link to coverage in the local paper can be found below.

    http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/st-helens-mp-jeremy-corbyn-10163528

  • Conor meets with Edgehill University Students Union and NUS representatives

    Conor McGinn - edgehill

    Conor met with the Edgehill University Students Union Chair and representatives from the National Union of Students. He discussed the challenges that many students face and the negative implications the cut to maintenance grants will have on St Helens students.

  • Conor meets with Merseyside Police Federation

    Conor McGinn - Merseysdie Police Federation

    Conor met with the Merseyside Police Federation to discuss the challenges to local policing, and the huge spending shortfall the Merseyside Force face.

  • Conor appointed to Labour’s Frontbench team

    Conor McGinn MP has joined Labour’s Shadow Ministerial team as an Opposition Whip.

    Commenting Conor said:

    “I’m honoured to be joining Labour’s Frontbench team and look forward to playing my part in helping to hold the Government to account and to getting Labour’s message across in Parliament.

    “I’m delighted to have been appointed to the Whips Office to work as part of a committed team of colleagues under our Chief Whip, Rosie Winterton MP.

    “I’ll continue to speak out and stand up for my constituents and St Helens North in Westminster, and keep working hard to bring about a Labour Government which people in communities like ours so desperately need.”

  • Conor votes against cuts to tax credits

    Conor McGinn MP has voted against cuts to tax credits proposed by the Government in parliament.

    The IFS estimated that the cuts would lead to 3 million families losing over £1000 a year.

    Commenting McGinn said:

    “These changes to tax credits will hit many working families hard at a time when many are struggling to make ends meet.

    “Some 4,000 families in St Helens North alone will be over £1000 a year worse off because of these cuts.

    “The Tory Government claims that their so-called national living wage will offset these changes, but the latest report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies rubbishes this.

    “This is the latest attack on workers’ rights and pay from the same old Tories.

    “Although we lost this vote, I will continue to stand up in Parliament for St Helens North and won’t shy away from taking on the Government on these issues.”

  • Conor welcomes Irish Guards affiliation to the GAA

    Conor McGinn MP, Chair of the All Party Group on the Irish in Britain, commenting on the news that a team from the Irish Guards has affiliated to the GAA in London, said:

    “This is a hugely positive development and underlines how far we have come.

    “The difficult history between the GAA and the British Army is well-documented, and so this is a significant moment both for the Irish in Britain and for relations between Britain and Ireland.

    “The GAA has once again shown its commitment to building peace and reconciliation within and between these islands.  

    “I pay particular tribute to my friend Noel O’Sullivan, the Chairman of the London GAA County Board, for his leadership and courage.

    “As a lifelong member of the GAA, and an MP who sits on the Defence Select Committee, I wish the Irish Guards team every success and look forward to watching them play against my own club, Éire Óg, in the future.”

     

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