• Invest in St Helens Ambassadors

    It was great to open the Invest in St Helens Ambassadors event on Monday, and to see so many local businesses backing the programme.

    St Helens is a fantastic place, with a proud tradition and a great future.

    There is a particularly bright opportunity to bring train building back to St Helens – and back to Newton-le-Willows specifically – and I’m currently working to try and bring about investment in Parkside by a major international train manufacturer that would build on the proud tradition of the Vulcan works and bring skilled jobs for the future at the cutting edge of modern technology.

    This is exactly the kind of investment that we need and I know that all the St Helens Ambassadors will work hard to promote the borough and the opportunities that exist for investment, jobs and growth here.

    You can find out more at www.investinsthelens.com

  • Haydock Band Sucsess

    Congratulations to all members of The Haydock Band on their performance at the Wychavon Festival of Brass Champions, and for winning a section prize. This year’s performance was the band’s first time entering the competition, in which brass bands from all over the country compete.

    It’s great to see excellent musical talent from St Helens performing on the national stage, and the band should be proud of their performance this year.

    Musicians, venues and events like the Wychavon Festival provide a huge boost to our economy, as well as their creative and cultural impact. I’ll be leading a debate in the House of Commons on Friday to call on the Government to do all it can to support our thriving music sector moving forward.

  • Miners Deserve A Fair Pension

    Former miners in St Helens, Lancashire and across the country deserve a fair pension. But it turns out that vast sums of money made from investing their pension contributions has been going straight into the Government’s coffers instead of into miners’ own bank accounts. The Government has received an incredible £3.4billion thanks to an unjust deal that was struck years ago.

    This is unfair and unjust treatment. Alongside other MPs representing coalfield constituencies, I have been campaigning on this issue and recently attended a meeting with Trustees of the Mineworkers Pension Scheme and the National Union of Mineworkers, and we are now all jointly calling for a renegotiation of the scheme and asking to meet the Government to find a resolution.

    As my colleague Gloria de Piero MP said:

    “Miners powered our country for generations. They survived one of the most brutal strikes this country has ever seen. And they deserve the pension they worked their entire lives for and is rightfully theirs.”

  • Conor slams Tory cuts to Merseyside fire safety inspectors

    Conor McGinn has slammed Government cuts to the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service as new figures show the number of fire safety inspectors is down by a fifth since 2013.

    Fire safety inspectors are responsible for vital statutory safety inspections and audits, but cuts mean there are now just 34 inspectors across Merseyside – down from 42 in 2013.

    The 19 per cent reduction in fire safety inspectors puts extra pressure on the Fire and Rescue Service, with less firefighters available to carry out safety checks on hospitals, schools and shops.

    Mr McGinn is calling for the Government to immediately halt the decline in fire safety inspectors and is backing a campaign by the Fire Brigades Union to keep buildings safe, protecting the public and firefighters.

    Commenting, Conor said:

    “Our firefighters do an incredible job with dedication and professionalism, often under very difficult circumstances.

    “But Government cuts to fire safety inspectors puts more pressure on already overstretched services by making it harder to spot fire risks in public buildings.

    “The Government needs to urgently get to grips with this and halt the decline in fire safety inspectors, which are down by a fifth in Merseyside since 2013, and put public and firefighter’s safety first.”

     

  • Conor Congratulates Local Schools Shortlisted For Educate Awards

    Congratulations to all St Helens schools, including Rainford High School, The Distict CE Primary School, Parish CE Primary School and Hope Academy on making the Educate Awards Shortlist. Yet again, despite the many challenges, schools in St Helens North are being recognised for excellent teaching and innovation in bringing the best out of our young people.

  • Meeting UK Youth Parliament representative Kian Jepson

    It was great to meet St Helens Member of the Youth Parliament Kian Jepson to discuss issues affecting local young people. Kian is a pupil at Hope Academy and was elected by his peers to represent them in the UK Youth Parliament.

    It’s important that the voices of young people are heard locally and nationally and Kian and I will be staying in touch about these issues.

  • The Government needs to review tolls on new Mersey crossing

    Mersey Gateway is a fantastic piece of engineering and will have a positive impact on travel times across the Mersey. But that cannot disguise the fact that a crossing that was free until now will impose tolls on drivers. That will mean serious financial consequences for St Helens drivers who need to make regular crossings, especially those commuting to and from work, local businesses and those with caring responsibilities.

    Earlier this year, the Tory Government announced free tolling would be extended beyond Halton residents. But it has reneged on this commitment. My colleague Justin Madders, the MP for Ellesmere Port, raised this directly with Transport Ministers. The Minister tried to claim that it would cost Councils huge amounts per year if there were no tolls. But major road projects should be funded by central government. And it’s worth noting that no other previously free crossings have had charges introduced in the last decade.

    I have also raised my concerns and will continue to fight alongside Merseyside Labour MPs to get the Government to review its charging policy so that residents in St Helens and elsewhere get a fair deal.

    You can help us by signing the petition below which is being organised by Maria Eagle MP.

  • Conor Visits Willowbrook Livingwell Centre

    It was good to meet staff, volunteers and Chairman Alan Chick at Willowbrook Hospice recently. The Hospice does a fantastic job of caring for individuals and families across St Helens, providing a really valuable service and delivering comfort when it is needed most.

    The Hospice has helped over 7,500 people since opening in 1997. Health funding is being increasingly squeezed by central government, with a £20 million shortfall in funding across the health economy in St Helens alone. This puts pressure on the hospice movement to raise more funds, and this is where the Living well Centre is such a valuable asset in supporting its fundraising.

    But Willowbrook still needs support, not just from the thousands of individuals who donate and fund-raise but also from the Clinical Commissioning Group and the Government. That is why I am calling on the Government to fully recognise the valuable work hospices do and give them the support they need and deserve.

  • Conor McGinn backs bid for St Helens regeneration funding

    Conor McGinn backs bid for St Helens regeneration funding

    Local MP Conor McGinn has pledged to work with the Coalfields Regeneration Trust (CRT) and back its bid to secure £40 million in funding – helping communities in St Helens.

    The Trust supports former coalfield communities and invests in jobs and skills, and St Helens will stand to gain if the funding bid is successful.

    Four in ten people in St Helens live in the top 20 per cent of most deprived neighbourhoods in the country – making it a priority areas for regeneration funding.

    On top of this, 23 per cent of people in St Helens have a limiting long-term illness, compared to the national average of 18 per cent.

    Under plans set out by the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, the new funding will assist 10,000 young people into work and help a further 200,000 people access sports and fitness projects.

    Throughout the country, an estimated 5.5 million people live in former coalfield communities – one in ten across England.

    Commenting, Mr McGinn said:

    “Communities in St Helens face higher levels of deprivation and rates of long term illness than the national average.

    “As a former coalfield community, it’s important that St Helens benefits from central government regeneration funding, which is why I am proud to back the important work of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust and support their bid for £40 million of funding.

    “Jobs, skills and training are all vital for our communities and it is important the Government invests in our young people through regeneration funding – here in St Helens and across other former coalfield communities.”

    Coalfields Regeneration Trust Chairman Peter McNestry added:

    “People may think that £40 million is a lot of money to ask for, but when you consider the scale of the challenges that still remain, it requires this level of ambition if we are to make the significant and lasting impacts needed.

    “We know that we can deliver a social return on investment of £10 for every £1 spent. There is no other organisation in the country that could achieve this in our communities.”

     

  • Conor gives his support to St Helens libraries and Libraries Week

    Conor McGinn visited Moss Bank and Haydock libraries as he praised dedicated library staff in St Helens and threw his support behind Libraries Week.

    Over the last week, local libraries have showcased the creativity, innovation and diversity they offer. In St Helens, the activities range from tea and talk events, family reading sessions, examining the Borough archives and Read and Rhyme sessions that introduce children to the fun of reading.

    Conor said: “Libraries Week is a wonderful showcase for all that our libraries have to offer thanks to the efforts of their dedicated staff. As well as their traditional role, our award-winning library service is a key partner in tackling social exclusion and isolation by giving people a place to meet and socialise.

    “We have also seen our libraries used as venues for top quality arts and drama productions and exhibitions through the Cultural Hubs programme. Like thousands of constituents, I and my family have enjoyed using our library service which is an invaluable asset, and Libraries Week gives us the opportunity to shout about its success and importance to our communities.”

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