• Conor visits local business Handepay

    Handepay

    Conor McGinn MP paid a visit to locally-based national business Handepay in Haydock.

    Conor met with the Managing Director, Andy Peake, to talk about the company’s success and their plans for the future.

    Handepay provides debit and credit card processing services to 26,000 independent businesses. They employ 210 people with 150 jobs based at their headquarters in Haydock.

    Andy, from Newton-le-Willows and educated at Selwyn Jones High School, has worked hard to build his business. Last year Handepay celebrated their tenth year anniversary and marked it by pledging to raise £10k for the Steve Prescott foundation.

    Speaking after his visit, Conor said:

    “It was good to meet with Andy to talk about the success of Handepay, and how he wants to develop his business and continue to make a positive contribution to the local economy and community.

    “Chances are if you have paid for goods or services with a credit or debit card, you will have at some point used a Handepay card machine.

    “Andy is a great example of what can be achieved through hard work, creating the right product and a skilled and motivated workforce.”

  • Conor attended the induction of the Revd Malcolm Fife

    Malcom fife 2 Malcom fife

    Conor attended the induction of the Revd Malcolm Fife to the joint pastorate of Christ Church United Reform Church (URC) Haydock, Cross Lane URC & Huyton URC.

    The service was a very moving and uplifting event with Merseyside Synod Moderator, Revd Jacky Embrey, members from all three churches present along with the representatives from other Christian denominations and the wider community across St Helens, as well as Revd Malcolm’s family and friends.

    The church was founded in 1891 as Haydock Congregational Church and has served the local community ever since. The church also introduced a community centre which continues to support Haydock and the surrounding areas.

    Speaking after the event, Conor said:

    “It was a pleasure to attend a very uplifting service of celebration for Revd Malcolm’s induction as the United Reform Church Minister for this pastorate, and welcome him into our Haydock, Newton-le-Willows and entire St Helens community.

    “I look forward to working with Revd Malcolm in the future to continue the excellent work the church does in and for our whole community.”

  • Conor McGinn MP urges Ministers to protect the future of Lancashire’s historic county regiment

    The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment covers Merseyside and the historic county of Lancashire.

    The Government has announced its Regimental Headquarters at Fulwood Barracks is to be sold but has given no details or commitment about where it or the Regimental Museum will be based in the future.

    In addition, 2 LANCS is to lose over half of its complement of personnel and be moved to Aldershot, leaving just one regular infantry battalion in this regiment left in the North West.

    In Parliament this week, I asked the Defence Secretary about these proposals and raised the concerns of the Armed Forces community and the wider public in St Helens and the North West.

  • Conor welcomes talks over ex-miners’ pensions

    Miners

    Conor McGinn has welcomed news that talks will be held to get a better pension deal for former miners.

    The trustees of the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme (MPS) have written to Labour MPs from coalfield communities agreeing to their demand for a meeting.

    The MPs called for the meeting to review an arrangement that has deprived ex-miners of billions of pounds in pension payments.

    Under an agreement made by the Tory Government and the trustees of the British Coal pensions schemes in 1994, half of the surplus made by the MPS goes to the Government.

    Commenting, Mr McGinn said:

    “I’m pleased the trustees of the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme have agreed to our request for a meeting.

    “Thousands of former miners who worked in local pits like Parkside and across the region worked hard for decades to build up a pension for when they retired.

    “This country owes a debt of gratitude to our former miners. We owe it to them and their families to secure a far better, fairer deal for them and I will continue to fight on their behalf.

    “Victory to the Miners.”

  • Conor met with the new Chair of St Helens Chamber, Graham Worsley

    GPW recruitment

    Conor McGinn, MP for St Helens North, met with the new Chair of St Helens Chamber, Graham Worsley, to talk about his role and vision for businesses in the borough.

    Graham, who is also Chairman of GPW Recruitment based in Windle, is a highly successful businessman with a strong commitment to St Helens. GPW has been a long-term supporter of The Steve Prescott Foundation.

    After the meeting, Conor said:

    “It was great to meet Graham and hear about his pride in becoming the new Chair of St Helens Chamber, which has won Chamber of the Year three times in recent years.

    “We discussed the challenges of Brexit but also the opportunities ahead for the borough and local economy, and how we can work together to make the most of them. We also spoke about our shared passion for horse racing and importance of Haydock Park to our borough.

    “Graham’s commitment to St Helens is clear to see. He is passionate about the borough and delivering good quality apprenticeships to develop a skilled workforce for the future.

    “I look forward to working with him and continuing to build on the already excellent work of St Helens Chamber.”

  • Conor visits BOC’s nitrogen and hydrogen plant in Moss Bank

    BOC

    Conor McGinn, MP for St Helens North, paid a visit to BOC’s nitrogen and hydrogen plant in Moss Bank in St Helens.

    Whilst there he looked around the site and met with Site Manager, Chris Jeal, and Grant Holland, Head of Energy Strategy, to hear about their concerns over increasing energy costs.

    The St Helens BOC site produces nitrogen and hydrogen and provides the industrial and medical gases to a range of companies across the UK including Pilkington Glass, where the gas supplied is an essential component in the production process.

    Conor discussed the challenges faced by energy-intensive companies such as BOC and Pilkington and the impact increasing taxation is having on the industry.

    Speaking after the visit, Conor said:

    “It was good to visit the site, learn more about the production process in St Helens and hear about important concerns of energy intensive industry.

    “Industry has a responsibility to play its part in responding to climate change and becoming more energy efficient, but in facing these challenges we cannot put our industries at a disadvantage.

    “Energy costs in the UK are twice as high comparative to some EU countries. If industries based in St Helens and the North West are to be competitive on a European and global level this has to change.

    “The government’s industrial and energy strategy must strike the right balance between tackling climate change and allowing our industries to compete on a level playing field.”

  • Conor paid a visit to BOC’s nirtogen and hydrogen plant in Moss Bank

    BOC

    Conor McGinn, MP for St Helens North, paid a visit to BOC’s nitrogen and hydrogen plant in Moss Bank in St Helens.

    Whilst there he looked around the site and met with Site Manager, Chris Jeal, and Grant Holland, Head of Energy Strategy, to hear about their concerns over increasing energy costs.

    The St Helens BOC site produces nitrogen and hydrogen and provides the industrial and medical gases to a range of companies across the UK including Pilkington Glass, where the gas supplied is an essential component in the production process.

    Conor discussed the challenges faced by energy-intensive companies such as BOC and Pilkington and the impact increasing taxation is having on the industry.

    Speaking after the visit, Conor said:

    “It was good to visit the site, learn more about the production process in St Helens and hear about important concerns of energy intensive industry.

    “Industry has a responsibility to play its part in responding to climate change and becoming more energy efficient, but in facing these challenges we cannot put our industries at a disadvantage.

    “Energy costs in the UK are twice as high comparative to some EU countries. If industries based in St Helens and the North West are to be competitive on a European and global level this has to change.

    “The government’s industrial and energy strategy must strike the right balance between tackling climate change and allowing our industries to compete on a level playing field.”

  • Conor welcomes Labour’s candidate for Liverpool City Region Mayor, Steve Rotheram MP, and Shadow Secretary of State for Housing, John Healey MP to St Helens

    Rotheram Visit 2 Rotheram Visit 1

    Conor welcomed Labour’s candidate for Liverpool City Region Mayor, Steve Rotheram MP, and Shadow Secretary of State for Housing, John Healey MP, to St Helens to see plans for a new housing scheme in Parr and meet local community activists from re:new.

    The Torus housing development at Chancery Lane will provide over 30 homes for those aged 55 and above. The scheme will also offer support to meet the needs of those forced to move home due to recent housing benefit cuts.

    The re:new neighbourhood management project in Parr is a joint initiative between St Helens Council and Helena Partnerships. It aims to create better places to live and to improve the quality of life for local residents.

    Commenting after the visit, Conor said:

    “It was great to have Steve and John visit St Helens and see some of the impressive community development and housing projects like this one in Parr.

    “It and others like it will provide a much-needed boost in housing quality and supply for the local area.

    “Merseyside is bearing the brunt of Tory cuts to supported housing and local government, as well as imposition of the bedroom tax. In addition, this Government has ended funding for remedial work to make contaminated land fit for development, which has a hugely negative impact on industrial areas like Parr.

    “Despite this we are lucky to have a strong community ethos across St Helens, and I pay tribute to people like Bernie and many other volunteers and activists like her who continue to work hard to improve neighbourhoods and make life better for local residents.”

  • Conor McGinn calls for Government U-turn on decision to scrap bursaries for student nurses and midwives

    STP

    Conor has called on the Government to drop its plans to abolish bursaries for student nurses and midwives.

    NHS bursaries are due to be scrapped from August in a move that could leave students paying tuition fees of more than £9,000 and forced to rely on student loans.

    But Conor is fighting the move which he warned would only worsen the recruitment crisis which had meant local hospitals are forced to rely more heavily on agency nurses to plug staffing gaps.

    His demand comes after it was revealed last year that St Helens Care Commissioning Group faced a £12.5 million shortfall in its funding.

    Conor is backing a Labour campaign for a Government U-turn over the plan to scrap the bursaries for student nurses amid fears it could worsen NHS staffing problems across Merseyside.

    Latest national figures show that students are already avoiding nursing degrees because of the extra financial burden on them.  Almost 10,000 fewer would-be nurses have applied for university courses – 23 per cent fewer than last year.

    Commenting, Conor said:

    “There has already been a big drop in the number of people applying to become nurses which is likely to have a damaging impact on healthcare in St Helens and elsewhere.

    “That should be a wake-up call to the government which needs to rethink these badly flawed plans to abolish bursaries.

    “We have seen the huge pressure that the NHS is under in St Helens and this ill-judged decision by the Government will just make matters worse.

    “With Britain leaving the EU, we will need home-trained nurses more than ever.  But the government’s decision is likely to worsen the staff shortages already faced by many hospitals.”

  • Conor visits Vulcan Rifle Club

    Rifle Target

    Conor visited the recently refurbished Vulcan Rifle Club to meet with club members and try out the shooting range.

    The new clubhouse replaces the old rifle range as part of St Modwen’s redevelopment of the area. The large scale redevelopment includes a housing development, a play area and a new home for Vulcan Bowling.

    Whilst at the club, Conor tried his hand at shooting a .22 rifle at a 25yd target and spoke to members about the sport. One of the issues raised by the club was the proposed rise in the cost of processing firearms licences, which could see the club having to pay a huge increase from £84 to £1050. The cost increase of 1250% would put financial pressure on Vulcan and many other rifle clubs across the country.

    Commenting Conor said:

    “I would like to thank club Chairman, Michael Hesketh, and Secretary, Ken Skidmore, for their invitation to visit the new range.

    “It is fantastic news that the membership of the club has increased since the new range has opened.

    “It was, however, concerning to hear about Home Office proposals. The Government should be doing all it can to support clubs like Vulcan, rather than hampering them with over a 1000% increase in firearm licensing costs.

    “I have taken this matter up with both the Home Office and Department for Culture, Media and Sport and will continue to monitor the situation closely.”

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