• policing concerns

    At a recent constituency surgery in Rainford, I met with a group of residents to talk about policing in the village, the number of burglaries and anti-social behaviour taking place.

    I am a strong supporter of our police officers, PCSOs and civilian staff and have raised my concerns in Parliament over police cuts – and the impact of those cuts on policing our community and on the officers themselves. Merseyside police have seen officer numbers drop by over 270 in the last three years alone, while at the same time crime has risen by nearly 14%.

    I will be taking up residents’ concerns with the police, the Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner and the Home Secretary. The issues raised in Rainford are the same raised by residents in areas across the constituency – residents at surgeries in Billinge, Moss Bank and Blackbrook reported the same problems and issues.

    The thin blue line is being stretched to breaking point. Jack, the young son of one of the residents, read out a letter (pictured) he asked me to send to the Chief Constable about crime in the area. If a primary school pupil can see what the problem is, why can’t the Home Secretary?

  • Conor’s visit to Rectory CofE School

    Conor visited Rectory CofE School in Garswood to meet the children at the school and talk to staff about additional needs provision.

    As well as mainstream provision, Rectory also offers specialist education for children with autism and moderate learning difficulties. Conor visited a number of the classes and discussed the challenges faced by the school in meeting the needs of the additional needs pupils given the increased pressure on the schools budget.

    He also took questions from the year 5 and 6 pupils – and some of their teachers!

    Conor said: “I really enjoyed my morning at Rectory and the dedication of the head teacher Mrs Sweeney and the staff is clear to see. The school has strong links to the local church and wider community, and the children were a real credit to their families and carers. But like so many other schools in the borough, funding cuts are impacting on the resources our education establishments need. I’ve said time and again that our schools must be properly funded to give our teachers the resources they need to give children the best possible start in life – and it’s a message I’ll be taking from Garswood to Westminster.”

  • Mersey Gateway Bridge tolls

    On the first anniversary of the opening of the Mersey Gateway Bridge, I joined a group of Labour MPs in writing to the Transport Secretary to call for the scrapping of the tolls.

    Many of my constituents have been left financially worse off by the tolls, and I know of businesses that have relocated because of their impact.

    While the bridge is to be welcomed for its impact on improving the region’s transport infrastructure, the tolls are in fact a barrier to economic growth.

    An early end to tolls on the Severn Bridge between England and south Wales has been announced but here in the North West we are already short-changed when it comes to investing in transport infrastructure and the tolls mean we are over-charged too.

    If the Government is serious about its commitment to the Northern Powerhouse and increasing regional productivity then it needs to scrap the tolls, and put the money back in the pockets of local residents and businesses.

  • launch of a new not-for-profit company in our local communities

    Conor joined representatives from local housing associations, the voluntary sector, St Helens Council and Jobcentre plus for the launch of a new not-for-profit company aiming to provide jobs, education and training in our local communities.

    As well as back to work programs, Genesis plans to organise courses on everything from first aid and food hygiene for local businesses. It will be working closely with local employers and assisting those they work with look for jobs, improve English and maths skills and will provide IT support.

    Among the sites it will work from is Derbyshire Hill Family Centre in Parr.

    Conor said “it is important that we give local people the chance to take advantage of the employment opportunities being created in the local area. Initiatives like this are vital to improving skills, building confidence and enjancing employability. I wish Genesis well in playing its part in supporting residents into work.”

    Company founder, Roy Williams, added “it was good to see so many people at the Genesis launch event to hear about the work we are doing to support local people and improve their skills and help employers find new staff. I would like to thank Conor for his support and commitment to initiatives like this.”

  • New Brain tumour support group set up in St Helens

    As a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Brain Tumours, I was really pleased to give my support to this new group set up in St Helens.

    It’s clear from the fantastic turnout of people who attended the launch of the St Helens Brain Tumour Support Group that this is needed in our borough. This collaborative project set up with assistance from St Helens Public Health and The Brain Charity will be a valuable link for those in St Helens dealing with this difficult diagnosis in all its forms.

    Recently, the Brain Tumour Charity has been raising awareness of the challenges they are facing around the cost of data sharing and its impact on research. The Brain Tumour Information and Analysis Network (BRAIN) has been created to improve people’s lives and outcomes through research but its facing a large financial outlay in order to access the available data, its important ensure that this pioneering project is not put at risk due to high costs.

    Well done to all those involved and a special mention for my friend and St Helens Labour Councillor Jeanie Bell who has been heavily involved in this initiative, and to Claire at Momo’s Coffee Shop who doing such fantastic work in the community.

  • New parliamentary group launched to fight for St Helens and Liverpool City Region

    Conor McGinn has been elected to a senior position in a new All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) set up to champion the Liverpool City Region at Westminster.

    Mr McGinn will act as Secretary of the APPG for the Liverpool City Region (LCR), which is chaired by Labour Wirral West MP Alison McGovern. It brings together over 20 MPs and members of the House of Lords to work alongside LCR Mayor Steve Rotherham, local council leaders and representatives from the private and voluntary sector to maximise opportunities and bring jobs, growth and funding to the city region. Former Liberal MP now Lord David Alton and ex-Tory deputy Prime Minister now Lord Michael Heseltine are the other officers of the cross-party group.

    Speaking about the launch of the group, Mr McGinn said: “By working together through this new group, the city region and in turn St Helens will have a stronger voice in Parliament. Alongside colleagues, I will be working to fight for increased investment for St Helens and will challenge the government to use the Autumn Budget to support the city region.

    He continued: “I will also be working to ensure the benefits that can be created through the LCR are felt not just in Liverpool, but across the entire region. I was delighted to be elected Secretary of this dedicated new group and look forward to working alongside Alison as Chair, my St Helens colleague Marie Rimmer and fellow MPs to campaign for the best future for communities here in St Helens and across the region.”

  • policing cuts

    There are currently just under 3,500 police officers in Merseyside Police, serving and protecting a population of nearly 1.5 million, including communities here in St Helens.

    In 2010, this figure stood at 4,500, meaning that eight years of austerity on this Tory Government’s watch has resulted in 1,000 fewer officers across Merseyside – a drop of 22 per cent.

    Ministers said that cutting the number of officers would not affect crime rates, but this has categorically not been the case, with total recorded crime in Merseyside up 25 per cent over the same period.

    It’s particularly concerning that crimes involving violence against the person are up 129 per cent and sexual offences have risen by 186 per cent.

    But new figures that I obtained from Ministers in a series of parliamentary questions show staff cuts and the resulting pressure on police officers has also damaged Merseyside Police behind the scenes.

    The answers revealed that Merseyside Police’s “wastage rate” – which is the number of officers leaving as a percentage of the force of – has increased from 4.7 per cent to 8 per cent between 2010 and 2017, an increase of 3.3 per cent compared to a national increase of just 1.6 per cent over the same period.

    And Ministers could not say how many officers would be in Merseyside Police in the next five years in a refusal to rule out further cuts, meaning that numbers could fall further as crime continues to rise.

    Police officers in Merseyside are working incredibly hard under difficult circumstances, but all the Government has to offer is cuts and a hollowing out of staff as wastage rates continue to climb.

  • meeting young people taking part in the NCS

    I recently met with young people from across the constituency taking part in the National Citizenship Service program.

    National Citizenship Service is an opportunity for young people aged 16 and 17 to learn new skills, meet new people and make a difference in our community. I met them as they were in the process of planning their social action projects, working hard to design and deliver a volunteer project which would have a real impact, working with other community groups. We talked about how they had chosen local charities to support such as Zoe’s Place and Jenson’s Twinkle stars, and how they wanted to help them.

    There were over 50 young people from St Helens taking part, and it was interesting to speak to them about how they got involved, and what they wanted to achieve through the NCS, as it provides a real opportunity to make a positive impact in their communities, enhance their CVs and future prospects. Through the NCS, young people can feel more equipped to tackle issues, become more involved in the community, are more confident about finding a job. If you think it’s right for you or a young person you know and want to learn more, please visit www.ncsthechallenge.org.

  • regional business award winner, ATG

    I visited ATG Access in Haydock to personally congratulate the company President Glen Cooper on the company winning the International Business of the Year award at the Liverpool Echo Regional Business Awards 2018.

    The award was in recognition of the company’s flourishing export business which has grown rapidly in recent years and continues to expand, making up 75% of ATG’s work as they build an international reputation for the access control and high security barrier systems they produce.

    The international success of the company means jobs here in our community, with 85 already employed locally and plans to recruit more – an important boost for the local economy in Haydock.

    ATG has rightly received this award in recognition of all their hard work and drive to build a world leading company, based right here in St Helens.

  • standing up for our towns

    I’m proud to be a part of the new Labour Towns group, which is made up of Labour MPs, councillors and members to stand up for our towns and call out the Tories for the damaging effect that eight years of austerity has had on them.

    As the Member of Parliament for St Helens North, I represent two towns: Newton and St Helens. I have seen how our borough faces a complex blend of challenges that often don’t apply to larger cities or to more rural areas.

    New research from the Labour Towns group has shown that towns have had half the rate of new jobs and businesses as cities since 2010, with the overall economy in towns growing at two thirds the rate of cities in the same period.

    This lag in growth has been accompanied by savage tory cuts to our local government finances, with central government funding to St Helens Council falling form £103 million in 2010 down to a projected £56 million by 2020 – an expected drop of 45 per cent.

    What the Government needs to do is focus on our towns as a new centre for economic growth, and St Helens and Newton are ideally placed to lead this work as it marks its 150th year.

    I’ll be supporting Labour Towns in its important work making the case for places like St Helens and you can find out more about this here:www.labourtowns.co.uk

Page 3 of 2412345...1020...Last »