• Conor takes questions from Hope Academy students

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    Last week, students and staff from Hope Academy organized a whole-school EU Referendum; this was one of the biggest democratic exercises undertaken within the Academy since its inception. Each student was given the opportunity to have their say on whether they thought Great Britain should leave or remain within the EU.

    Students from the Hope Current Affairs Society led assemblies throughout the week where they presented the ‘Leave’ and ‘Remain’ arguments. In the lead up to the referendum on Thursday, during form time each morning students reflected on the main points from each campaign and discussed the consequences of both. Each student was given a ballot paper on Thursday morning and given the opportunity to vote. The mock referendum created much interest around the Academy whilst ensuring that students had an active role in the national democratic debate.

    To culminate their referendum week, the Hope Academy Current Affairs Society and the Student Council held their own Question Time with Conor McGinn, MP for St Helens North, and Councillors Jeanie Bell, Gill Neal and Andy Bowden. Conor took questions from a range of students on whether we should remain or leave, the impact this would have in Britain and the impact the EU has had since its inception. The event was a fantastic experience for students and staff alike.

    Commenting Conor said:

    “It was great to visit Hope Academy and take part in their Question Time. The questions from students were insightful and challenging. The school is doing some great work in encouraging young people to engage with politics. I hope the students found the day informative and interesting, and I hope good work being done by the Current Affairs Society continues.”

     

  • Conor marks Armed Forces Day and gives backing to Royal British Legion campaign

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    It was great that St Helens played its part in joining thousands of people up and down the country to mark Armed Forces Day.

    I joined the public at local events in St Helens and Newton-le-Willows and was delighted to be with regular and reserve forces, sea cadets from TS Scimitar and TS Warspite and veterans and their families.

    But servicemen and women need support every day, not just on Armed Forces Day. They need to be sure that help there is on hand when they need medical treatment or special care.

    We have the Military Covenant – introduced under a Labour government in 2000 and enshrined in law five years ago – that means we have an obligation to the armed forces and their families to make sure they are properly looked after.

    It exists to deal with the disadvantages that they can often face which do not affect ordinary members of the public  – like having to move home frequently because of military postings.

    The Covenant also allows for special consideration to be given in some cases, especially to the injured and bereaved.

    But, for it to work properly we need to know more about more about how many veterans, reservists and dependants there are and where they live.

    At the moment, we don’t have that information and it makes it hard to target help for them properly.

    Under the current set of questions asked in the national census, we know more about who claims to be a Jedi as their religion than how many former soldiers there are.

    That’s why I’m supporting an important campaign by the Royal British Legion called Count Them In.

    The campaign aims to help charities and local authorities get that basic information by adding some extra questions to the next census.

    Building up a clear picture about the number and whereabouts of current and former military personnel will help better direct care and improve support for them.

    Although the next census won’t be carried out until 2021, possible changes are being discussed now.

    So, I’m supporting the call for the Government to include extra questions in the next census that will help veterans and current service personnel who make up an estimated tenth of the population.

    As the Royal British Legion says, making these changes would also show the armed forces and their families that we count on them – and we want to count them in.

    You can find out more about the campaign here: http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-involved/campaign/count-them-in/

  • Conor’s statement on the EU referendum result

    “I respect the result of the referendum, both nationally and in St Helens. Naturally, I am disappointed with the outcome and worried about what it means for our country’s future.

    “Our people and the country are divided. Therefore, all of us in positions of responsibility and leadership now have a duty to pull together and do what is right for the country and the people we represent.

    “The UK now faces a period of uncertainty and unprecedented challenge. It will affect every person, every family and every community, including here in St Helens.

    “My priority is continuing to work hard doing the job I love and am so proud to have, representing all of the people of St Helens North as their Member of Parliament.”

  • Conor officially opens St Helens College’s STEM Centre

    STEM Launch  (002)

    St Helens College recently proudly unveiled the newly refurbished STEM Centre at the Technology Campus.

    The STEM Centre will help contribute towards the achievement of St Helens College’s STEM strategy, to foster a culture of innovation, entrepreneurship and enterprise and develop areas including: advanced engineering, robotics and smart utilities.

    The event was well attended by local councillors, employers and businesses from across the region as well as College employees who have contributed to the development.

    Conor who officially opened The STEM Centre said “I’m really impressed with these state of the art facilities. It’s clear to see how St Helens College are aligning to meet the needs of the economy. Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics (STEM) subjects are key disciplines for bolstering industrial competitiveness. Preparing the next generation of STEM-educated workers should be a priority for the Government and must feature heavily in any future regional growth strategy.”

    Jette Burford, College Principal added “STEM is such an important priority for us and as a College we continue to invest STEM facilities. We are currently working towards obtaining STEM assured status which will help us to ensure that we are responsive to an ever evolving marketplace by diversifying the curriculum that we offer in order to meet the demand from industry.”

    The STEM Centre received a substantial £5million investment and was part-funded by the Skills Funding Agency. It now boasts a brand new dining area, internal courtyards, entrance piazza, remodelled workshops and classrooms plus a new library space complete with study suites and PC zones.

    The new STEM Centre will enable St Helens College to lead the way in STEM areas such as low carbon technologies and sustainable

  • Conor congratulates motor vehicle department on prestigious award

    Motor Vehicle

    St Helens College’s motor vehicle department was recently presented with an award from The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) Recognised Employer Award, demonstrating their impressive professional standards within the automotive industry.

    The award, which is held by less than 60 employers in the UK, forms part of the IMI Employer Recognition Scheme, developed in response to the growing demand for ethical conduct and quality within automotive businesses.

    The presentation coincided with the unveiling of the College’s £5million STEM Centre at the Technology Campus and was well attended by local councillors, employers and businesses from across the region.

    Business Development Manager at the Institute of the Motor Industry, Michelle Barrett, said, “It was a great honour to present the motor vehicle department at St Helens College with such a prestigious award. They have shown themselves to be among the elite of motor industry professionals and this will have a positive impact on the local businesses they serve.”

    Conor, who was also in attendance during the event, said, “It’s such a great accolade for St Helens College to receive this award which reassures the public that the services on offer are of the highest professional standards.”

    St Helens College’s automotive hub offers a unique experience to its motor vehicle students, enabling them to learn and practice their skills, under close supervision of industry specialist tutors.

    The College also offers a full garage service to the general public, including MOTs, car service and body repairs, paintless dent removal and smart repairs.

  • Conor talks business with Chair of International Business Festival

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    With the international Festival for Business in Liverpool fast approaching, Conor met with Liverpool Vision Chief Executive and Chair of the IFB, Max Steinberg, to talk about the festival, its success in previous years and what the festival is looking to achieve this year.

    Thousands of delegates are expected to attend the International Festival for Business between 13 June and 1 July, coming from all over the world to do business and develop links to boost the local economy.

    Conor said:

    “It was good to meet Max today and it was a great opportunity to talk about the festival and the aspiration for what it can and will achieve.”

    “It was also a chance to talk about St Helens place in the economy of Merseyside and how St Helens can benefit from the festival and the opportunities to encourage investment and growth in our area.”

  • Taking to the streets for young people in Newton

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    Conor McGinn MP for St Helens North, joined over 100 Newton and Earlestown residents and supporters of the local charity, Business for Youth, as they took part in their 4th Big Walk around Newton-le-Willows.  The challenge being to walk down every street in the town.  After hours of walking the route was completed with plenty of sore feet and money raised for local good causes.

    Conor met up with the group to give a few words of encouragement and to wish them well before walking with them for part of the route.

    “It was great to see so many people give up their Saturday to raise money for young people in their local community”

    “Terry and the team have done a great job yet again in organising the walk.  He and all those that took part should be congratulated for a fantastic effort and for once again showing what a community can achieve when it pulls together.”

  • Conor visits Haydock Band

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    Conor McGinn MP for St Helens North call into Grange Valley Youth Centre in Haydock, to meet with the Musical Director of The Haydock Band, Mark Quinn and fellow band members to talk about their recent success at the regional championships and their plans for the future.

    The Band which can trace its history in Haydock back to 1849, when Lord Gerard established a band for his militia unit before it became the Haydock Colliery Band.  Throughout this time the history of Haydock and the band have been intertwined with, for example, many band members’ connection to the Wood Pit explosion of 1868 to the regular concerts the band play in Haydock.

    Conor said:

    “I wanted to come down and meet the Band to offer my congratulations on their continuing success and hear from them how they want to play an even bigger role in the local community.”

    “Brass band music is at the heart of our communities, its rich history and links to the industries that made our area help it continue to play an important role in our culture and heritage.  That’s why I am keen to see our local bands succeed and be given every opportunity to build links in the community.”

  • Conor steps up fight to protect disabled drivers

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    Conor has stepped his campaign to tackle rogue drivers who park in bays reserved for disabled motorists.

    He invited Debbie Abrahams, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Disabled People, to St Helens on Friday (May 13) to discuss the problem.

    The move was part of St Helens North MP Mr McGinn’s efforts to deal with the menace of selfish drivers who misuse disabled bays in the town.

    Conor said: “It was great that Debbie Abrahams could come to St Helens to see the problem at first hand.

    “As Shadow Minister for the Disabled, she has a key role in helping drawing up Labour’s policies so her involvement in my campaign is invaluable.

    “We will be working together to try to find solutions to this problem and help make the lives of disabled people in St Helen’s a little easier.

    “We must not allow the selfish actions of a small minority of motorists make life needlessly hard for disabled drivers when they visit shops and other venues.”

    Debbie Abrahams said she backed Conor McGinn’s campaign and said it could be rolled out nationwide, if it proved a success in St Helens.

    She said: “It’s really important that we highlight not just the inconvenience and upset that inconsiderate use of parking spaces allocated for disabled people can cause, but the real difficulties as well.

    “Life is tough enough for anyone with a disability and the convenience of being able to park easily near to shops and other public buildings is just one simple way we, as a society, can help ease the difficulties they may face.

    “I’m sure the issue isn’t just happening in St Helens but it will be interesting to see if a campaign here can have an effect and, if it does, we may be able to roll it out across the UK.

    “Most people are considerate, of course, and don’t use these spaces. But we need to do something to get the message across to the minority who don’t act considerately that it’s an unacceptable and anti-social thing to do.

    “Conor and the residents who are tackling this problem should be congratulated for bringing it to light and doing something about it.”

    Mr McGinn begin his campaign after hearing about the plight of local residents Kelly Hayes and Lisa Brennan, who are regular visitors to Parr Swimming and Fitness Centre.

    They have both faced problems caused by motorists who have parked in the spots reserved for disabled drivers with blue badges.

    Mr McGinn said the problem was worse in off-street car parks – such as council or supermarket car parks – which are often not covered by road traffic rules.

    In such car parks, spaces, disabled drivers usually have to rely on the consideration and courtesy of other car park users.

    Among those backing Mr McGinn’s campaign is war veteran Andy Reid.  Triple amputee Mr Reid has described the misuse of disabled parking bays in St Helens as a “massive problem

  • Conor welcomes new Haydock Medical Centre

    Haydock Medical centre

    The new Haydock Medical Centre located on Woodside Road has started on site with a “Sod Cutting” ceremony which took place on Friday, 13May. A joint venture between PPE Construction and MAC Construction Solutions, this design and build project will provide a new two storey medical centre including doctors’ surgeries, pharmacy, offices, reception area, changing facilities and washroom facilities. PPE will also undertake all associated parking and landscaping works. The building works are expected to complete in February 2017.

    With over 30 attendees, the Sod Cutting ceremony was undertaken by Conor. He was accompanied by Councillor Martin Bond and the medical price was represented by Chris Williams, Pharmacist.

    Conor said: “This new medical centre will make a hugely positive difference to health provision for the local community in Haydock. I’ve been supporting GP Dr Breach and local pharmacist Chris Williams in moving the plans forward and I was delighted to be asked to join with local constituents to take part in the event to mark the beginning of work on site.

    “The team from Platinum Projects Europe and MAC Construction Solutions are doing a great job in transforming what was a real eyesore. And I look forward to returning early in the New Year to see the new building completed and the medical centre providing services to the local community.”

     

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