• St Helens Council losing a further £8.8 million

    It is unacceptable and unfair that St Helens Council is losing a further £8.8 million of central Government grant support for the next two years, while at the same time having to cope with increased demand on services.

    Councils provide essential services from education and social care to waste disposal and road repair. These Tory cuts mean it is increasingly difficult to provide these services and this will have a negative impact on residents in St Helens borough.

    The Government needs to reverse these cuts that are damaging our schools, communities and essential infrastructure, and instead invest in our communities.

  • GP appointments

    I am absolutely appalled that 2,596 patients in St Helens borough had to wait more than 28 days for GP appointments in the last year.

    Delays in initial appointments increase emergency appointments as untreated conditions worsen over time, and problems become harder and more expensive to treat. It is bad for the NHS, bad for the public purse and bad for the patients.

    Cuts to NHS funding are a false economy – the Tories must properly fund our NHS now.

  • new Heritage Centre proposed for Rainford

    I was excited to see the proposal for the new Heritage Centre at Bridge Farm, Rainford, which will celebrate Rainford’s history, community and industries – past and present.

    I met with Ray Waring, chairman of the Heritage Society, and representatives of the Rainford Heritage Society to discuss the proposal. The Heritage Society plan to open a new centre located within the grounds of Bridge Farm – a family-run campsite with a lovely café and nursery attached. It will be a place for the local community to celebrate its history and industry.

    There is still much to do, but support from the local community and the enthusiasm and ambition from the society members are helping to realise this great project.

  • Adoption UK’s new report, Adoption Barometer

    I was delighted to host the official launch of Adoption UK’s new report, Adoption Barometer, in Parliament.
    Politicians, adoptive parents and a range of professionals gathered to discuss Adoption UK’s report on modern-day adoption. It looks at the Government’s performance on support for adoptive families, education for adopted children, and provides insight into all stages of the adoption journey.
    St Helens borough has significantly more ‘looked after children’ than the North West and England as a whole.
    Adoption can be a rewarding and life-changing experience for all involved, and this excellent report from Adoption UK is a great resource for all those considering adopting.

  • 180th anniversary of Rectory Church of England Primary School

    It was great to join celebrations marking the 180th anniversary of Rectory Church of England Primary School.
    I joined with the children, parents, clergy, parish and district councillors and the wider Garswood community for an outdoor church service followed by an afternoon of games and activities, a maypole and music from Trinity Girls Brass Band.
    Thanks and well done to everyone involved.

  • Armed Forces Day in Newton le Willow

    I joined the Armed Forces Day ”Picnic in the Park” Event in Newton last weekend alongside local Labour councillors from Newton and Earlestown; Cllr David Baines, Leader of the Council; our local PCSOs, and Armed Forces veterans and cadets.

    Organised and supported by members of the local community, sports clubs, and Park Rangers, the celebration has become a real highlight in the Newton-le-Willows annual calendar. A parade down Newton High Street was led by Valley Brass Band followed by the picnic in the park and other family activities.

    It was fantastic to see the many different parts of our community together and so many families enjoying themselves in the Willow Park sunshine.

  • WE DID IT!

    The Government *will* introduce Helen’s Law.
    Thank you to everyone who backed our campaign, particularly the people of Billinge & St Helens who have stood by the McCourts for over 30 years.
    A victory for victims, families, justice & decency – but most of all for my inspirational friend & constituent, the amazing Marie McCourt.
    A bittersweet day. But a good day.

  • visiting ‘The Loving Arms Dementia Group’

    I had a wonderful time visiting ‘The Loving Arms Dementia Group’ at the Gerard Arms in Windle. The group gives people with dementia the opportunity to play games, reminisce, catch up with friends, and receive advice and support.
    I was really impressed with the relaxed and friendly atmosphere – although there were a few tense moments as I called a quite competitive game of bingo!
    The group provides support for people to live well with dementia. It meets on Friday mornings and is run by Marie Smith and a dedicated team of volunteers – the group has gone from strength to strength with over 70 people regularly attending.
    It was clear to see how much this group means to those with dementia – it is making a real difference to the lives of all those who attend. I want to thank the organisers and team of volunteers who give up their time to make it happen.

  • Rainford Walking Day

    I had a great time at this year’s Rainford Walking Day alongside community organisations, churches, schools, parish councillors and the wider community.
    This fantastic day celebrates the community and village traditions. I want to thank Simon Rigby, the Parish Council, local churches and all the other organisers and stewards who ensured the walking day went so well.
    I also visited two fantastic new businesses in Rainford Village Hall – the Little Village Gift Shop, which sells handmade and unique gifts and Tech Guys 360 who specialise in tech repair – fixing phones, laptops and other IT products.
    Small businesses like these are at the heart of our economy and bring life and vitality to our high streets. I hope they both see great success, and I wish them well in the coming months and years.

  • keep free TV Licences

    As predicted, the Tory Government has broken its manifesto promise to keep free TV Licences for over-75s until 2022, and now millions of elderly people across the country will have to pay.

    In St Helens North, 4,720 pensioner households will lose this benefit, costing collectively over £710,000 annually.

    Elderly people losing their free TV licences makes a mockery of the claim that austerity is over. The Government should take responsibility – rather than passing the buck to the BBC – and save free TV Licences for the over-75s.

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