• Conor calls on the Government to act on school holiday hunger

    Conor has added his name to Labour MP Frank Field’s Bill calling on the Government to act to stop children going hungry during the school holidays, which has been presented in Parliament.

    The issue of food poverty among children is often worse during school breaks when free school meals are not available, adding to the pressure facing families and forcing some to rely on food banks.

    The School Holidays (Meals and Activities) Bill that would put a legal duty on local councils to ensure the provision of free school meals and activities for children during the summer break.

    The move comes after a report from MPs revealed that around 3 million children were at risk of going without school meals during the summer – with the loss of free school meals for two months adding up to £40 a week to a family’s outgoings for one child.

    In St Helens, the council had holiday schemes running on weekdays in churches and children’s centres where children could get a hot meal and join activities.

    Conor has visited the Make Lunch St Helens project that aims to help parents who struggle to provide a hot meal for their children during the school summer break.

    But he warned that the Government must do more to help cash-strapped councils and parents ensure that children do not go hungry during school holidays.

    Conor said: “A growing number of families in St Helens and across the region are finding it hard to make sure their children get a hot meal during the school holidays.

    “The absence of free school meals puts them under increasing financial pressure and they often have to try to find extra money to pay for activities for their children during school breaks.

    “There are some fantastic local projects doing their best to provide support, but we need more action from the Government to make sure children do not go hungry during school holidays.”

  • Conor campaigning for transport improvements in St Helens North

    Conor McGinn has stepped up his campaign for urgent transport improvements in St Helens and across the North West.

    St Helens North MP Conor also accused Government ministers of backtracking on pledges to invest in transport as part of the Northern Powerhouse project.

    He spoke out following a major summit to discuss Cross Rail North and wider transport investment for the Northern Powerhouse held in Leeds.

    Conor accused the Government of pouring cash into London’s £30 billion Crossrail 2 project at the expense of the North West and appearing to water down a previous commitment for the full electrification of the Trans Pennine Line.

    He is also demanding assurances about progress on improvements at Newton-le-Willows station, plans to upgrade Garswood station and the proposed improvements at junction 23 of the M6 motorway.

    Conor said: “Yet again the Government is snubbing the North West at the expense of London and the South East.

    “We desperately need good transport links to help drive economic growth in St Helens and across the North with improvements from West to East from Liverpool to Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle.

    “It is these transport improvements that will increase jobs and prosperity for St Helens and Merseyside – not the proposed HS2 rail link or London’s Crossrail 2.

    “We need the Northern and Trans Pennine Express operations to deliver better connections between Merseyside and other economic centres in the region.

    “The Government should shift its focus away from London to other cities and towns like St Helens that are crying out for better transport connections.”

  • Conor supporting constituents facing “rip off” Leasehold charges

    Conor McGinn, St Helens North MP, has vowed to continue fighting for people being forced to pay “rip off” leasehold charges.

    His pledge came after the Government responded to the campaign supported by Conor and Parliamentary colleagues to stop leasehold exploitation.

    It announced plans to ban the sale of houses leasehold and set the ground rent for new flats at a peppercorn level.

    Conor welcomed the Government’s response to the campaign, but said more must be done to help those who had already bought properties and faced exorbitant leasehold charges.

    He took up the case of dozens residents in St Helens North who are among the many households across the North West who have been hit by the unjust fees.

    Commenting, Conor said: “The Government’s response to our demands for action is not before time. Urgent action is needed to stop these rip-off charges.

    “But we must also help those who have already bought a home and are being ruthlessly exploited through these unjust, sky-high charges.

    “I am helping a number of constituents who have contacted me over this issue and I will continue to fight for justice on their behalf.

    “For those people already trapped in this leasehold nightmare, the promise of Government action in future is not a solution.

    “I will be pressing ministers to end these unfair charges as swiftly as possible and to help those who have already been hit by these exorbitant charges.”

    Among those who have contacted Conor are those who have been hit with huge ground rent increases and others who found developers had sold on the freehold to their flats to a third party without informing them.

    In other cases, householders were told they would have to pay thousands of pounds just to have their plans for an extension reviewed.

  • Conor Hosts Lloyds National Business Awards

    Conor hosted a reception in Parliament for more than 90 finalists taking part in the Lloyds National Business Awards 2017. The event gives companies of all sizes from across British industry the chance to show their excellence in business.

    Conor said: “It was fantastic to meet so many talented people who have shown innovation and excellence in their fields, including those from the North West.

    “We have many outstanding businesses in St Helens who are the engines for growth in the region and will help create more local jobs in the future.

    “I wish all the finalists across 16 award categories the best of luck in the awards and beyond.”

    The shortlisted candidates include tech start-ups to colleges and renewable energy firms to airports. The winners will be announced at a ceremony on 14 November 2017.

    More information about the awards can be found here:
    http://www.nationalbusinessawards.co.uk/

  • Mental health provision for children

    I share constituents concern about mental health provision for children and at the recent General Election I stood on a manifesto which committed to end the neglect of children’s mental health. I believe we must invest in early intervention by increasing the proportion of mental health budgets spent on support for children and young people. I also believe that schools-based counselling should be extended to all secondary schools. I am aware that YoungMinds and the National Children’s Bureau have drafted a Wellbeing in Schools Bill which aims to change the education system to make the wellbeing of students a priority. I note that the Schools (Mental Health and Wellbeing) Bill has now been introduced in the House of Lords. This Bill seeks to make provision for state-maintained schools to promote the mental health and well-being of their pupils alongside academic attainment. I will follow the progress of this Bill closely. I agree that children must be supported to be happy and healthy at school and I would like to see a new Index of Child Health to measure progress against international standards, and to report annually against key indicators such as mental health. While I welcome the current Government’s proposal to publish a Green Paper on Children and Young People’s Mental Health, I remain concerned that mental health funding is not reaching the frontline and that money intended for children’s mental health has been used to plug funding gaps in the wider NHS. It is very worrying that a recent report has found that 80% of NHS bosses fear they will have too little money this year to provide timely, high-quality care to the growing numbers of people seeking mental health support. We must ring-fence mental health budgets and I believe that the Government should invest properly in children’s mental health services by increasing the proportion of the mental health budget that is spent on children and young people. Thank you once again for contacting me about this very important issue. I can assure you I will continue to press for action to support children and young people with mental health problems.

  • ‘Back Your Local Bookie’ campaign

    The ‘Back Your Local Bookie’ campaign by the Association of British Bookmakers has successfully highlighted positive stories from staff and customers about their local betting shops. There is a long history of betting shops in many communities, and I appreciate that they make a significant tax contribution. I particularly agree that staff who work in betting shops should be supported and I have consistently backed efforts to improve the safety of UK betting shops for staff and customers. The success and sustainability of our high streets is also important. For generations, high streets have been at the heart of our communities – centres that bring people together and define the character of a place. However, in recent years the economic downturn and changing shopping patterns have left our high streets under pressure. As you may be aware, the Government is reviewing the maximum stakes and prizes for gaming machines; the number and location of gaming machines; and social responsibility measures to protect players from gambling-related harm. I welcome this review and have long believed local communities should have more power to shape their high streets. I appreciate there are strongly held views on these matters and I hope that the Government will carefully consider all views that were raised in its recent consultation on this.

  • Cuts to Employment Support Allowance

    Constituents have been contacting me recently regarding planned cuts to financial support for new claimants in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) of Employment Support Allowance. I share those concern about this issue and am very disappointed that the level of support for new claimants in the WRAG is set to be reduced by around £30 a week from April 2017. This will see disabled people in the ESA WRAG group lose around £1,500 a year. During the passage of the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016, I opposed this unfair measure, as I believe it will hurt vulnerable people who through no fault of their own are suffering from serious illnesses and are in and out of work intermittently. I also believe it risks creating a perverse incentive for people with health problems to be placed in the more expensive Support Group of ESA, thereby making is less likely they will receive help and support to return to work and potentially increase social security costs. While various discretionary funds may be available, there is no guarantee of support and I am therefore concerned that the cuts to ESA will increase the numbers of disabled people living in poverty, threatening their health and wellbeing. I believe, like the NHS, our social security system should be there for all of us in our time of need, based on principles of inclusion, support and security for all, assuring us of our dignity. Thank you once again for contacting me and for sharing your views. I can assure you I will continue to stand up for a welfare state that is there to support people when they need it most, and will press for a full reversal of the planned reductions to ESA.

  • McGinn: The Tories are failing working families – 1/3 of Sure Start centres in St Helens have been lost

    Sure Start

    Conor McGinn MP & the Labour Party have uncovered shocking figures which show a third of Sure Start centres in St Helens and the UK have been lost since 2010.

    The Tories famously pledged to be the “most family friendly Government we’ve ever had” and promised to protect Sure Start. However, new research, based on Freedom of Information requests to councils, reveals the Tories have broken their promise.

    The figures show that the number of designated Sure Start children’s centres in St Helens has dropped by a third from 12 in 2010 to 8 in 2017. There are also 173 fewer centres in the North West.

    Commenting Mr McGinn said:

    “These shocking figures reveal yet another broken promise by the Tories, who are failing working families by making them pay for their economic mismanagement.

    “The closure of Sure Start centres in St Helens – taking away support from children and their families – has made life harder for many in my constituency.

    “A Labour Government would support Sure Start and stand up for families by building the services they need so we can give children the support they deserve.”

  • Conor & Labour: free school meals for all primary school children in St Helens

    Free school meals

    Conor McGinn MP has welcomed the Labour Party’s pledge that the next Labour Government will provide free school meals for all primary school children, a change that could benefit 7,986 children in St Helens.

    Labour will fund the policy by introducing VAT on private school fees, it is estimated this will raise £1.5billion. The House of Commons Library estimates that the cost of providing free school meals for all primary school children would be £700-£900 million.

    Research confirmed by the National Centre for Social Research and the Institute for Fiscal Studies has shown offering universal access to free school meals improves educational attainment. The provision of free school meals also has been proven to improve the health of pupils through better nutrition.

    Commenting Conor McGinn MP said:

    “No child in St Helens should go without a decent lunch and be hungry at school.

    “By charging VAT on private schools fees, the next Labour Government will make sure all primary school children, no matter what their background, get a healthy meal at school.

    “This will benefit lower income families in my constituency who don’t qualify for free school meals currently, but are still struggling to make ends meet.

    “Research shows that this will improve educational attainment and will help make sure that no child is at a disadvantage because of their background.”

  • Conor backs Parkinson’s Awareness Week

    Parkinson's

    This Parkinson’s Awareness Week St Helens North MP Conor McGinn has pledged his support to the charity Parkinson’s UK’s “We Won’t Wait” campaign, calling for urgent action to unlock the promise of research developments that could pave the way to better treatments and stop Parkinson’s drugs ‘falling behind’.

    Conor McGinn MP said;

    “While great strides have been made over the past 200 years, people with Parkinson’s are still waiting for a treatment that can tackle the condition head on. Because of this, I am supporting Parkinson’s UK’s We Won’t Wait campaign: we need a complete step change to deliver better treatments and a cure faster.”

    Research released by the charity revealed that despite being an incurable, degenerative condition which can affect anyone, in the North West, more than half (54%) of people are unsure, or wrongly say that it is possible to prevent Parkinson’s.

    Parkinson’s UK wants to drive forward crucial developments in Parkinson’s research to pioneer more effective treatments that are desperately needed for the estimated 14,000 living with the condition in the North West.

Page 5 of 24« First...34567...1020...Last »