• Conor watches St Helens FC on Non League Day

    ST Helens 1  St Helens FC

    To mark Non League Day, Conor McGinn watched the football match between St Helens FC and Chadderton FC.  Afterwards he met with the Man of the Match, Adam Lawrence.

  • Conor campaigns to keep St Helens Courthouse open

    Conor’s response to the consultation in full can be found below.

    Conor McGinn MP response to the Court Consultation

    I welcome the opportunity to respond to the consultation. I do not agree with the planned closure of St Helens Magistrates’ Court and County Court. There are some serious reservations and concerns that need to be addressed, the closure of the court could have a detrimental impact on the town, its residents and access to justice. There are also some concerns about the transparency of the decision.

    An immediate pertinent issue which is linked to the primary issue of access to justice, is access to transport. As a result of the court closure residents and other stakeholders will have to travel from St. Helens to Liverpool to attend Court. Travelling to Liverpool and Knowsley Magistrates Court and Liverpool Civil & family Court in lieu of a court in St Helens will increase travel time and create additional expense for residents. Whilst the consultation document indicates that 95% of citizens will be able reach the specified courts within an hour by car, over half of those who will be travelling by public transport may face journeys of up to 2 hours. The journey times stipulated for direct rail and bus services between St Helens and Liverpool also fail to take into account the distance travelled by residents who live in outlying rural areas. Many appointments at court are often early in the morning and without access to adequate transport, attendance would simply be unfeasible for many people.

    The cost of extra travel will also have an impact on vulnerable people’s ability to access justice. Many court users, whether they be victims, offenders, or witnesses are often vulnerable. As court users they are most likely to have limited financial resources, be in receipt of benefits, lack access to a motor vehicle, or in some cases have a disability. The increased transport cost combined with cuts to legal aid would mean that many vulnerable people would be unfairly denied access to justice, if the court were to close.

    Whilst HM Courts and Tribunals service have acknowledged users “should not have to make excessively long or difficult journeys to attend hearings” and commented on the role new technology could play in place of physical attendance, currently there are not adequate provisions in place. The use of new technology to mitigate the negative effects of any potential court closure should be in place before, not after, the proposed closure.

    The closure of the court would also have a detrimental economic impact on the town. The Court building located in the town centre currently employs 32 members of staff, and there are 13 solicitors’ firms based in the town that would be negatively impacted by the court closure. Many clients may choose to use alternative firms in Liverpool as a result. This in turn could have a knock on effect on other businesses that are reliant on the presence of the court, and could have unintended wide ranging economic implications and consequences for the town of St Helens and its residents.

    The process of determining which courts would be subject to closure has also not been transparent. Ministers were written to on numerous occasions, with requests for comparative analysis and data on Sefton and Wirral courts, however, this information has not been provided. Nor has any clear framework of the criteria used to determine which courts should be closed, with a clear comparison and rationale.

    In sum the closure of the court would denigrate the status of St Helens as a town. There are not only worries about the transparency of the process, rising costs court users will face and concerns about access to justice, but potentially serious economic ramifications.

  • Conor presses Charity Minister to save Newton Community Centre

  • Conor says devolution must work for St Helens North

    Conor McGinn MP spoke at Fabian Society event on the Northern Powerhouse at Labour Party Conference.

    Speaking at the panel event, McGinn spoke of the importance of a strong relationship between MPs and local authorities. He praised the work done by St Helens Council in the face of unprecedented cuts.

    McGinn said further devolution to a Merseyside City Region should be the right fit and take into account local identities and priorities.

    He also argued that for the north to truly be considered a powerhouse, economic equality in region would have to be addressed.

    Commenting McGinn said:

    “The Labour Party should be at the forefront of the devolution agenda and promoting economic prosperity in the North West. We are in danger of the letting the Tories dominate the devolution space despite their commitment to a Northern Powerhouse being much more about style than substance. So far, all we’ve seen is the electrification of railways cancelled and local police forces and councils facing huge cuts.

    “Councils like St Helens do a tough job in ensuring critical services are maintained despite the scale of the cuts they face. Barrie Grunewald and his Cabinet team have my full support in continuing the work they are doing.

    “I want to see evidence and a commitment that any devolved arrangements for Merseyside work for people in St Helens North. We need to ensure communities here are not left behind, and that they receive the same level of representation and provision as anywhere else on Merseyside.”

    The discussion in full can be watched at the link below:

    http://www.fabians.org.uk/listen-again-northern-powerhouse-spin-or-substance/

  • Conor attends Labour Party conference

    A link to coverage in the local paper can be found below.

    http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/st-helens-mp-jeremy-corbyn-10163528

  • Conor meets with Edgehill University Students Union and NUS representatives

    Conor McGinn - edgehill

    Conor met with the Edgehill University Students Union Chair and representatives from the National Union of Students. He discussed the challenges that many students face and the negative implications the cut to maintenance grants will have on St Helens students.

  • Conor meets with Merseyside Police Federation

    Conor McGinn - Merseysdie Police Federation

    Conor met with the Merseyside Police Federation to discuss the challenges to local policing, and the huge spending shortfall the Merseyside Force face.

  • Conor publishes Parliamentary Report

    Conor McGinn MP has published a Parliamentary Report detailing his work in Parliament and St Helens since he was elected in May.

    In it, the St Helens North MP gives a flavour of his activities in the local community, including some of more than 30 events he has attended in every part of the constituency from visits to schools, charity collections, festivals, family fun days, promotions of local businesses and many other civic occasions.

    Conor’s published figures also show that his office has dealt with over 1000 queries from constituents since it opened just a week after he became an MP, with every piece of correspondence received acknowledged and replied to, the majority meeting his own target.

    He and his full-time constituency caseworker, a role he promised to have in his office prior to the election, has also directly worked with almost 70 constituents who have had particular problems or issues that required the MPs assistance or intervention. He has already held 6 constituency surgeries in Rainford, Parr, Newton-le-Willows, St Helens, Billinge and Haydock, meeting his pledge to hold regular advice clinics throughout the local area.  

    On his role in Westminster, Conor has been appointed to the high-profile Defence Select Committee, where his role is to scrutinise the Government’s policies on defence, national security, the Armed Forces and veterans. He was also elected by MPs from all parties to serve as the Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Irish in Britain, a role which saw him meet the President of Ireland in Britain last month. 

    Conor says one of the most important things about his work in Parliament is the ability to raise local issues at a national level. He said:

    “In the short time I have been an MP, I have exposed the lack of government funding for pupils in St Helens compared to the national average, revealed the fact that no funding for homeless Armed Forces veterans has been made available to the North West, obtained figures that show energy bills on Merseyside have risen by 1/3 since 2010 and questioned Ministers about local transport costs, rising child poverty levels in the region and cuts to the local government budget in our borough. I will continue to stand-up and speak up for St Helens North.”

    “I have published this report so that my constituents in St Helens North can see what I’ve been doing locally in the community, how I’ve been helping people who ask my office for assistance and what I’ve been raising in Parliament at Westminster. I hope people find it useful and am happy to receive any feedback.”

    The report in full can be found here: Summer Report 2015

     

  • Conor welcomes the Planning Inspector’s decision to reject plans for a waste incinerator near Blackbrook

    Conor McGinn MP, responding to the news that the Planning Inspector has rejected plans for a waste incinerator near homes in Blackbrook, said:

    “This is a common sense decision by the planning inspector. The proposed location of the incinerator so close to peoples’ homes would have had a severe impact on hundreds of residents living between Hinckley Road, Chain Lane and Blackbrook Road.

    “I congratulate local residents and their Labour councillors Alan Cunliffe, Linda Maloney and Paul McQuade who successfully campaigned to oppose this development.

    “Added to the local concerns, the Planning Inspector also found that the proposed incinerator was not needed in terms of Merseyside’s waste strategy, and it is right therefore that for both these reasons it hasn’t gone ahead.”

    The link to the judgement made by Planning Inspector can be found here:

    https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/ViewCase.aspx?Caseid=2224529&CoID=0

  • Conor attends Liverpool Pride

    [rev_slider Pride]

    Conor attended Liverpool Pride to celebrate and show support for LGBT rights.

    He marched with LGBT Labour North West and fellow Merseyside MPs Luciana Berger and Stephen Twigg.

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