• Conor calls on government to scrap planned changes to tax credits

    Conor McGinn, Labour’s Treasury Whip, was on the frontbench today for a debate calling on the Government to reverse its decision to cut tax credits.

    The Government plans to cut the income threshold for Working Tax Credits from £6,420 to £3,850 a year.

    IFS analysis has also shown that the proposed ‘National Living Wage’ will only account for account for a quarter of the losses working families will face as a result.

    Commenting Conor said:

    “These changes will hit many working families hard and at a time when many are struggling to make ends meet. The cuts to tax credits amount to a ‘work penalty’ and will hit families on middle and lower incomes – more than 3 million working families will be on average £1,300 worse off next year.

    “In the North West 417,800 families may suffer as a result and 5100 families will be affected in my constituency, St Helens North. This is simply unacceptable, we should not be making life harder for working families.

    “This is yet another broken promise from David Cameron who promised not to cut tax credits before the General Election. Even a former Tory Minister is calling for the plans to be tweaked. 

    “Today I call on David Cameron and George Osborne to reverse their decision to cut tax credits. If this does not happen then the next Labour Government will reverse them.”

     

  • Conor says police and public will suffer from Merseyside force cuts

    star front page full 151015

    Conor McGinn MP responding to the news that Merseyside Police may be forced to scrap Police Community Support Officers in St Helens North and across the region, said:

    “PCSOs provide an important public-facing policing role in communities in St Helens North. The officers I know are professional, dedicated and popular. They are a visible presence which reassures many people that the police are accessible and available.

    “Merseyside Police has suffered unprecedented cuts under this Tory Government which has had a real impact on the frontline. As we have tragically seen just this week with the murder of PC David Phillips, police officers bravely and selflessly serve our communities. They are being badly let down by this Government. I will be meeting with both the Police Commissioner and the Chief Constable in Merseyside to offer my support to our police in these very difficult times and to seek assurances about the service that will be provided to keep people in St Helens North safe and secure.”

    The story in St Helens Star can be found at the link below:

    http://www.sthelensstar.co.uk/news/13844609.MP_seeks_reassurance_on_safety_after_police_cuts_proposals/

  • Conor presses for action after Haydock residents rally for decent broadband

    Broadband 2

    Broadband 2

     

     

     

     

     

    Conor McGinn, spoke to over a 100 Haydock residents on Saturday about the poor internet access they receive.

    Residents from Ashbury Drive and the surrounding area spoke to Conor about the problems they experience because of dire levels broadband speed.

    Some of the issues raised included students struggling to complete coursework and difficulties experienced trying to work or run businesses from home.

    The meeting preceded a debate in the House of Commons on Monday over ‘non spots’; those areas with slow or no broadband services.

    Commenting Conor said:

    “I’d like to thank all the residents who came to meet me and the large turnout shows the scale of the problem. It’s not just an issue for residents in this part of Haydock but in Windle, Parr and across the constituency. 

    “It is simply unacceptable that many of my constituents do not have access to decent quality broadband.

    “Access to the internet is a necessity, not a luxury, and problems with the roll-out are having an adverse effect on small businesses, students, and families in my constituency who struggle to cope with slow internet speeds.

    “I want to see action taken so that everyone has access to good quality broadband, and I will press the issue with Ministers and BT Openreach so that we get a speedy resolution.”

    The full story in the St Helens Star and Reporter can be found at the link below:

    http://www.sthelensstar.co.uk/news/13846943._It_is_not_fit_for_purpose___Residents_express_anger_over_slow_Internet_speeds/?ref=rss

    http://www.sthelensreporter.co.uk/news/local/downloading-a-film-can-take-two-days-campaign-to-improve-st-helens-dodgy-broadband-1-7515911

     

  • 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.

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