• meeting the Boroughs new Youth Parliament Member

    I met with Ben Lomas, Youth Parliament Member and a pupil at Rainford High, and Morgan Lamb, a Deputy Member of the Youth Parliament and student from Hope Academy.
    We discussed priority issues affecting young people in St Helens borough – including access to affordable public transport, leisure facilities, and mental health support as well as homelessness, and knife crime.
    I was impressed with both Morgan and Ben’s understanding of youth issues and their drive to make a difference. They have important roles representing young people in the borough, and I look forward to seeing the impact they have during their time in office.

  • meeting with Tami Garvey-Jones, the new superintendent for St Helens borough

    I met with Tami Garvey-Jones, the new superintendent for St Helens borough, to discuss policing issues within our community.
    Our police force is facing enormous challenges with cuts to resources and officers. We discussed key issues including anti-social behaviour, drugs and knife crime, rural crime, domestic abuse, local police station opening hours and house burglaries. I raised the importance of the need for new police stations in both St Helens and Newton-le-Willows again, and why they are essential to ensure our community is well policed.
    Merseyside police officers, PCSOs, and support staff are doing a tough job – they need and deserve our full support.

  • Marie McCourt meeting with the Secretary of State for Justice

    Marie McCourt and I had a good meeting with the Secretary of State for Justice recently. We have made solid progress and the Government is finally listening.
    Putting Helen’s Law in statute to change the parole guidelines in law is a huge victory for Marie, the McCourt family, and the many other families in similar circumstances.
    Marie has been a real driving force behind this campaign and the support we’ve received from people in St Helens has been incredible.
    My Private Members’ Bill on Helens law received the unanimous support of the House of Commons three years ago and I don’t foresee any difficulty in getting this through Parliament. Marie and I will be working closely with the Ministry of Justice to ensure that Helen’s Law is introduced as quickly as possible.

  • Eid Mubarak

    Eid Mubarak to all my constituents celebrating at the end of Ramadan.

    I visited St Helens Mosque and the Iman Trust to meet with representatives of the local Muslim community in St Helens. It was good to see at first-hand the contribution this valued and important community make to our borough.

    St Helens borough has strong and proactive faith communities who play a crucial role in supporting people in their everyday lives and at times of need. The Iman Trust and St Helens Mosque is a shining example of such fantastic work.

  • the rise of rough sleeping in St Helens

    I am absolutely appalled that between 2010 and 2018 rough sleeping in St Helens borough increased by 600%. This is a direct consequence of Tory austerity increasing levels of poverty.
    St Helens Council, alongside voluntary groups like The Hope Centre, YMCA, the Salvation Army and Teardrops, are working hard to tackle homelessness and its root causes. They support the most vulnerable people in our community and prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place.
    The Labour Party has committed to tackling this issue with a pledge to end rough sleeping within five years. The Tories must take action on this now.

  • Shocking figures from the Trussell Trust

    Shocking figures from the Trussell Trust show that in the last year in communities across St Helens North, 6822 three-day emergency food supplies had to be given to local people in crisis – with 2564 of these going to children.
    Nationally, the Trussell Trust network distributed 1,583,668 three-day emergency food supplies to help people in crisis, a record rise of 18.8% on the previous year.
    This reflects the increase in families living in poverty as a direct result of Tory austerity. They are damaging the country, our communities, and families. We need a Labour government to ensure that no one in St Helens borough or across the country goes hungry.

  • Brookvale Young Boys FC visits Rainford

    It was lovely to welcome Brookvale Young Boys FC from the village where I grew up in county Armagh to St Helens borough, where they enjoyed a series of games with one our fantastic local youth football teams Rainford Rangers.
    Brookvale YBFC have visited Merseyside several times over the past 20+ years and last year Rainford Rangers visited Ireland. It was a pleasure to see two good games, both keenly contested, and I was delighted to present the ‘player of the match’ awards.
    I am proud of this strong and special connection between these two clubs. My thanks to Paul Duffy and everyone at Rainford Rangers for their fantastic hospitality – which was a credit to the village and our whole borough – and to Brian Sloan and everyone at Brookvale YBFC who were great ambassadors for their club and community.

  • concerns over united utilities in Moss bank

    I have raised issues with United Utilities over their proposals to use Moss Bank Road and Manor House Close as an access route for pipeline work in nearby fields.

    Local Labour councillors and I met with residents to discuss their concerns. I have pressed United Utilities to find alternative access points and to work with residents in the local area. They need to give assurances that disruption during the works is kept to a minimum and that once completed remediation work will take place to bring the road and site back to its original condition.

  • International Workers Memorial Day

    On International Workers Memorial Day, a large gathering of trade unionists, activists, workers, members of the public and elected representatives gathered in Vera Page Park in St Helens to unveil a memorial to all those local workers who have lost their lives whilst in work.
    I want to congratulate former Pilks worker and Unite the Union member John Riley, and Councillors Martin Bond, Richard McCauley and Paul Pritchard for bringing the idea to fruition in just a few short years. Inspired by The Construction Workers Memorial in Ontario, Canada, the memorial acknowledges those who have lost their lives through accident or industrial disease and for those who have been left behind. I am honoured to be a Patron of the St Helens Workers’ Memorial Charity.
    I recently attended the Golborne Pit disaster memorial – we must always remember and commemorate those who died, and vow to continue the fight for the living.

  • the retirement of four long-serving Labour councillors in St Helens borough

    This election marks the retirement of four long-serving Labour councillors in St Helens borough; Keith Deakin, Keith Roberts, Sandra Dyer, and Mayor Pat Ireland. I thank them for their outstanding public service and commitment to our communities in Parr, Earlestown, Newton and Thatto Heath.
    Keith Deakin has fantastically represented the people of Earlestown for over 30 years. Keith Roberts served for more than 20 years representing St Helens at a regional level – most notably fighting for the retention of bus services. Sandra, a great representative of Newton ward, is also stepping back. As will our Mayor, Pat Ireland, who has excelled in her position with much warmth and laughter.
    They have all played a crucial part in improving our borough – protecting services and improving the lives of those they represent. Their work on behalf of residents will be missed.

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