• National Postal Workers Day

    Tuesday 12th December was National Postal Workers Day, a chance to recognise the year round hard work and dedication thousands of men and women who collect, sort and deliver letters and parcels.

    Our posties work in all weather – like in the icy cold today – to get the post delivered, and today is one of the busiest days of the year in the run up to Christmas.

    Conor proud to have the support and endorsement of the postal workers’ union, the CWU.

    Thank you to all hardworking postal workers in St Helens.

  • 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.

     

  • 2017 Educate Awards

    Congratulations to St Helens schools The District CofE Primary School and Rainford High on winning awards, and to Hope Academy for being a runner up at the 2017 Educate Awards in Liverpool.

    The District CofE Primary School in Newton-le-Willows won the Innovative and Creative Literacy award for its pioneering ‘Reading is STEMsational’ project, while Rainford High was awarded for its Outstanding Commitment to Sport in Secondary School.

    Rainford has taken part in over 200 fixtures so far during 2017 and has achieved significant team success in football, athletics, basketball, rugby and netball. The school also has a number of highly successful individuals including Jacob Kelly, who has just made the GB tumbling team.

    Conor has visited, supported and worked with both these schools, and their fantastic staff and pupils are a credit to the outstanding teaching in St Helens.

     

  • 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.

  • Remembrance Day Services

    Conor joined hundreds of local residents in taking part in Remembrance Day services across St Helens North.

    On Friday, he attended a service at Billinge Remembrance Garden, where local schoolchildren had gathered to remember.

    On Sunday, Conor joined veterans, cadets, community groups, local councillors and residents in Newton-le-Willows at a Remembrance Day parade and service at St John’s, and  laid a wreath at the War Memorial at Earlestown Town Hall.

    The day ended with an interdenominational service of commemoration at St Aidan’s Billinge where those who had died during both World Wars from the parish were remembered.

    Remembrance Day is hugely important to our communities in St Helens North and across the borough, particularly to bereaved families of service personnel and to veterans.

    Conor also thanked all those who organised, took part in and attended events this year.

  • 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.

  • Invest in St Helens Ambassadors

    It was great to open the Invest in St Helens Ambassadors event on Monday, and to see so many local businesses backing the programme.

    St Helens is a fantastic place, with a proud tradition and a great future.

    There is a particularly bright opportunity to bring train building back to St Helens – and back to Newton-le-Willows specifically – and I’m currently working to try and bring about investment in Parkside by a major international train manufacturer that would build on the proud tradition of the Vulcan works and bring skilled jobs for the future at the cutting edge of modern technology.

    This is exactly the kind of investment that we need and I know that all the St Helens Ambassadors will work hard to promote the borough and the opportunities that exist for investment, jobs and growth here.

    You can find out more at www.investinsthelens.com

  • Haydock Band Sucsess

    Congratulations to all members of The Haydock Band on their performance at the Wychavon Festival of Brass Champions, and for winning a section prize. This year’s performance was the band’s first time entering the competition, in which brass bands from all over the country compete.

    It’s great to see excellent musical talent from St Helens performing on the national stage, and the band should be proud of their performance this year.

    Musicians, venues and events like the Wychavon Festival provide a huge boost to our economy, as well as their creative and cultural impact. I’ll be leading a debate in the House of Commons on Friday to call on the Government to do all it can to support our thriving music sector moving forward.

  • Miners Deserve A Fair Pension

    Former miners in St Helens, Lancashire and across the country deserve a fair pension. But it turns out that vast sums of money made from investing their pension contributions has been going straight into the Government’s coffers instead of into miners’ own bank accounts. The Government has received an incredible £3.4billion thanks to an unjust deal that was struck years ago.

    This is unfair and unjust treatment. Alongside other MPs representing coalfield constituencies, I have been campaigning on this issue and recently attended a meeting with Trustees of the Mineworkers Pension Scheme and the National Union of Mineworkers, and we are now all jointly calling for a renegotiation of the scheme and asking to meet the Government to find a resolution.

    As my colleague Gloria de Piero MP said:

    “Miners powered our country for generations. They survived one of the most brutal strikes this country has ever seen. And they deserve the pension they worked their entire lives for and is rightfully theirs.”

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