• Conor & Labour uncover statistics showing St Helens North has 4th highest number of early winter deaths in England – with a further rise predicted

    Fuel Poverty

    Shocking figures released by the Office of National Statistics predict that the number of people dying prematurely in winter 2014-15 are two and half times higher than in the previous winter.

    In St Helens North the reported number of excess deaths has averaged 68 over the past 5 years, the 4th highest in England. With the total for England and Wales leaping from 17,460 to 43,900 it is almost certain that St Helens North will see a further worrying growth in local figures.

    The number of excess winter deaths (EWD) are defined as the difference between the number of deaths which occurred in the winter months of December to March and the average number of deaths which occurred in the rest of the year. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimate that between 30 and 50% of EWDs are caused by poorly insulated cold homes.

    The ONS figures show that fatalities in women have more than doubled with people aged over 75 worst affected.

    Commenting Conor McGinn said:

    “The average number of EWDs was already cause for concern, these new figures show that government cuts are really hurting the most vulnerable people.

    “These figures are truly shocking. As the weather turned cold last week I am gravely concerned for the many people living in fuel poverty in St Helens North.

    “Regrettably it will be those on low incomes and in poor quality housing who will suffer because of this government’s lack of investment.”

    Clive Lewis, Labour’s Shadow Energy Minister, said:

    “The latest figures show the highest number of EWDs since the winter of 1999, with many of these being older people, often living in homes with poor insulation. Yet the government is cutting back on life-saving energy efficiency measures by up to 65%.

    “Labour believes that everybody has a right to access the basic level of energy they need to keep their home warm enough to live in. With 2.35 million households now living in fuel poverty, this government clearly doesn’t share our vision.”

  • Conor praises Age UK Mid Mersey after visit to Mansion House

     

    Mid Mersey Mid mersey 2

     

    Conor McGinn MP called in to The Mansion House, Victoria Park to meet local residents enjoying one of the Age UK Mid Mersey’s active care sessions.

    The sessions are run on a daily basis and provide are a great opportunity for people who may otherwise be home alone to meet up, enjoy activities and a good meal at the bistro restaurant.

    Commenting Conor said:

    “Age UK Mid Mersey are doing a great job, offering support to over 60,000 people across St Helens. This winter they distributed over 5000 packs to help keep older people warm.

    “They also provide activities and support for older people as well as much needed advice, guidance and advocacy for those that need it, especially given the rise in older people living in fuel poverty as government cuts and inaction on measures to help our most vulnerable stay warm.”

    CEO of Age UK, Mark Lunney, said:

    “Many of our older people across St Helens can be lonely or at risk of the recent cold weather, and not just at Christmas time.

    “I’m delighted that Conor was able to pop in and see some of the work Age UK do. Our active care service offers a great way to reduce such risks for the elderly.

    “If anyone wants to find out more about our active care please give us a call.”

  • Conor receives Commons assurance that Foreign Office “will do everything it can” to help Mark Middlehurst

    Conor McGinn MP has raised the plight of his constituent Mark Middlehurst in the House of Commons today. Mark is in critical condition in hospital in Perth, Australia, after suffering a severe brain injury as the result of an accident. His family, who live in Billinge, have travelled to Australia to be with him. They need to raise over £50,000 so that he can make the journey back to the UK, accompanied by a full medical team.

    The St Helens North MP said:

    “I have been in touch with Mark’s parents Julie and Malcolm since shortly after his tragic accident. I and my office are liaising closely with the family to do whatever we can to help get them the support they need in Australia, and to enable them to make the journey back to the UK with Mark.

    “I hope by raising this in the House of Commons it will help Mark’s family with their fundraising efforts and ensure they receive the full support of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. I know they have received tremendous support from the community in St Helens and I know everyone will get behind them to help raise the money they need to get Mark back home to Billinge.

    “I am grateful to the Leader of the House for his assurance that the Government and the Diplomatic Service will do everything they can to help the Middlehursts, and I will be in contact again with the Foreign Secretary next week to ask for an update.

    “People say the world is a small place these days. But the Middlehurt’s experience shows that home can feel very far away when something awful like this happens. They are in all our thoughts and prayers, and I know everyone at home will keep doing whatever we can to support them through this.”

  • Conor to hold debt advice surgery

    The average household in the North West is in £3,100 of financial debt and the start of the New Year can be a difficult time financially for many people.

    In light of this, Conor is holding a special debt advice surgery in partnership with St Helens Citizens Advice Bureau on Friday 8th January at 17:00.

     The surgery will take place in the constituency office on the 6th floor Century House, Hardshaw Street.

     

  • Conor slams Govt over rail fare rise

    Local commuters in St Helens North are now paying 25 percent more for their train fares under the Tories, because of yet another year of rail fare hikes.

    The announcement that rail fares will rise again in January 2016 means that passengers have been hit by a cost increase of 25 per cent since 2010.

    The new fare rises come into effect on 2nd January. Figures released by Labour show that the cost of an annual season ticket from Earlestown to Manchester has risen by £324 since 2010. The cost of a rail season ticket for commuters from Garswood, Rainford, Earlstown and Newton-le-Willows has risen by up to 25% since 2010.

     Conor McGinn, Labour MP for St Helens North, who has previously raised the issue in Parliament, has slammed the Tory government for hammering passengers and commuters.

    Commenting Conor said:

     “Passengers in St Helens North have been hit again and again by eye‐watering rail fare rises. Fares have now rocketed by 25 per cent under the Tories, far outstripping any increase in most people’s pay packets.

     “For many people here, travelling by train isn’t a luxury, it’s how they get to work every day. A season ticket to Manchester now costs over £324 more every year.

     “It is not good enough. More needs to be done to ensure that transport is affordable for the people who use it.

     “Labour’s policy is to bring the railways into public ownership so they can be run for passengers not profit. That means fairer fares, investment in a 21st century railway and giving passengers a stronger voice.”

     

  • Conor meets Haresfinch Road residents

    Conor has met with residents of Haresfinch Road to talk about concerns over the number of crashes taking place.
    At the meeting, Conor listened to residents’ who were worried that if no action is taken to make the road safer, more incidents will occur.  One resident had also started a petition on change.org calling on the council to take action. 
     
    The residents showed Conor the damage done to garden walls, cars, the bus stop, and spoke about the constant fear they have of another crash and the potential that it could lead to injury or worse.
     
    Speaking after the meeting Conor said:
     
    “The amount of accidents that have taken place on Haresfich Road is worrying and it was important to meet and hear the concerns of residents.
     
    “It is vital that action is taken to ensure the road is safe – residents shouldn’t be living in fear of another traffic accident.
     
    “I will be raising this issue with the council and hopefully action will be taken sooner rather than later to ensure the road is safe.”
  • Conor visits Cowley Sixth-Form

     
    Conor McGinn MP, visited Cowley Sixth Form to speak to students about his role as an MP and the importance of engaging with politics and registering to vote.
     
    Conor spoke about his work in Parliament and took questions on a wide range of issues from the future of the BBC, student fees, fracking and the situation in Syria.
     
    Commenting Conor said:
     
    “It was good to meet with Cowley’s Sixth-Form students, and the students asked some interesting and challenging questions.”
     
    The meeting was also an opportunity to highlight the importance of registering to vote and Conor added:
     
    “The rushed introduction of Individual Electoral Registration has seen hundreds of thousands of young people drop off the electoral register, and as a result many in my constituency have been disenfranchised and shut out of our democracy.
     
    “It’s important that young people make sure they are registered vote so their voice can be heard.”
     
    Mike Hesketh, Head of the Sixth-Form said:
     
    “The students appreciated Conor’s time, and they asked a number of questions on a variety of topics.
     
    “Conor gave clear explanations of his views and honest answers, and in a good natured debate the students showed real maturity.”

     

  • Conor calls for review of parole guidelines and secures Ministerial meeting for Marie McCourt


    Conor McGinn MP, has urged the Government to review parole guidelines for convicted murderers who do not reveal the location of their victim’s remains.

    McGinn spoke in Parliament on behalf of his constituent Marie McCourt, whose daughter Helen was murdered in Billinge in 1988.

    Helen’s killer was convicted and received a life sentence, but has repeatedly refused to reveal the location of Helen’s remains. He could now be released on parole, despite showing no remorse for his actions.

    Justice Minister Mike Penning, in response, agreed to meet with Marie McCourt and her family.

    Commenting McGinn said:

    “I’m glad the Minister has agreed to meet with Marie and I hope that this will lead to a review of the guidelines.

    “The impact of a murder to the family and friends of the victim is devastating, even more so when the killer refuses to allow a dignified final resting place.

    “Those who are convicted of murder should not be considered for release if they do not provide information about the location of their victim’s remains, which compounds the loss and devastation of the victims’ families.”

     

  • Conor calls on government to address TTIP concerns to deliver the jobs, growth and fairer deal for consumers

    Conor McGinn MP has said that TTIP must be transparent, promote decent jobs, avoid a race to the bottom, and ensure that the NHS and workers rights are protected.

    Commenting on TTIP Conor said:

    “Much has been debated in recent months on TTIP, and it is both welcome and vital that this deal is receiving proper scrutiny from trade unions, civil society and business.

    “I have heard from a number of constituents about their concerns on TTIP, for example that it could include insufficient exemptions for the NHS and other public services; that it could lead to serious legal challenges; and that the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) could result in transferring power away from people. These are all reasons why pushing for more transparency and accountability is vital.

    “We also need to recognise potential benefits that a deal on trade could provide for Britain’s workers and industries. Britain is a trading nation and balanced trade deals have a positive impact on jobs and growth. It is therefore crucial then that any benefits which an EU-US trade deal delivers filters down to employees, small businesses and consumers, that the deal is open and accountable, and that it does not dilute current labour, consumer, environmental and food safety standards.

    “Trade deals also provide unique opportunities to properly regulate global trade. This means we need careful and reflective thinking because in a rapidly changing global economy we are increasingly trading with countries, for example China, whose labour laws do not match our high standards. A balanced TTIP, one that promotes, rather than weakens social, labour and environmental standards, regulating a quarter of all global trade, could provide a welcome departure from a race to the bottom.

    “The proposals should receive proper scrutiny at both a UK and EU level and that any final deal must have transparency and accountability at its heart. I was disappointed that the Coalition Government paid such little attention to these concerns and I believe it is important the current Government ensure they are covered in the negotiating process.

    “I fought the General Election on a Labour manifesto that recognised the potential benefits of TTIP, but emphasised that any final agreement needs to ensure that the NHS is protected, promotes decent jobs and avoids a race to the bottom. Labour MEPs have also made the case in the European Parliament to exclude public services – including our NHS – from TTIP negotiations and to ensure workers’ rights, environmental standards and food safety standards are protected. A number of worries similar to our own have been raised by other EU member states and these will need to be reflected to secure agreement and therefore will have to be taken on board by the European Commission.

    “I hope that the Government now listen and respond to these concerns. I can assure you that I will follow this issue very closely and press the Government to ensure that TTIP delivers the jobs, growth and fairer deal for consumers we all want to see.”

     

     

     

  • Conor joins residents at Rainford Christmas Fayre

    Conor joined local residents at the Rainford Chirstmas Fayre at the weekend.

    Rainford Parish Hall was packed out with stalls and visitors. The event is organised through the Rainford Hub, and was only its second year.

    Conor visited the stalls, set up by local businesses such as Connoisseur Ales and Bridge Farm Landscapes and Nurseries, alongside local community groups.

    Speaking at the event, Conor said:

    “It was a great turn out despite the weather and it’s fantastic to see so many local people supporting the event.

    “Today has shown the strength of the community spirit here in Rainford and what can be achieved when local businesses, community groups, schools and people come together.”

     

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