• 2300 people have fallen off the electoral register in St Helens North

    Conor McGinn MP responding to the news that changes in the electoral registration system mean around 3% of people in St Helens North have fallen off the register, said:

    “The Tories have rushed through changes to the electoral registration system, and now over 2300 people in St Helens North have fallen off the register and may not even realise it.

    “There are major local elections here in St Helens in May, and soon we have a big choice to make about whether Britain stays in the EU. But if people aren’t on the electoral register, they will not be able to vote and have their say. They could even face an £80 fine and find it harder to get a credit card or a mobile phone contract.

    “This week is National Voter Registration Drive – the perfect opportunity for people in St Helens North to register to vote. It’s quick and easy – you can register in just three minutes by going to gov.uk/register-to-vote.”

  • Conor speaks to Moss Bank residents at St Patrick’s Over 60’s Club

     

    ST Pats

    Conor McGinn MP visited St Patricks, Moss Bank to meet with the over 60s group to listen their concerns.

    Over a cup of tea, Conor and group members discussed a range of issues from transport links to Moss Bank, to the impact of rising fuel costs.

    The group meet every Thursday from 1.00 till 2.30 for a game of bingo, a drink and good company. It is just one of a number of activities organised via the church for young and old across the community.

    Commenting Conor said:

     “I visited St Patricks before the election in May and it was great to be back to catch up with Father Kevin and those attending the group, and listen to the issues and concerns affecting them.

     “This is just one example of how St Patrick’s give older people from the area the chance to meet up and enjoy each other’s company.

     “I am proud that the Labour Party is committed to improving the lives of older people, backs the triple-lock on state pension and is working to prevent discrimination against older people.”

     

  • Conor accuses Tories of public service ‘theft’ & says Merseyside Fire Service can’t suffer more cuts

    Conor McGinn MP, speaking in the House of Commons, has highlighted what he called the ‘theft’ of public services from the people of St Helens North, and criticised cuts to the fire service.

    Speaking in a debate in Parliament, about funding for the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, McGinn criticised the government for further cuts planned to the fire service. He also paid tribute to the fire authority and senior management team for mitigating the worst effects of the cuts, and commended the FBU for their constructive approach in defending their members.

    Following a consultation period it seems likely that both Eccleston station and St Helens fire station will be closed, with a new station built to serve both areas. There are expected to be 22 job losses as a result.

    Speaking after the debate Conor said:

    “Over the past five years, £20 million has been taken from Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority, with a further £6.3 million to be found this financial year.

    “The authority, senior management and those at the Fire Brigades Union are doing great job coping with huge scale of these cuts and mitigating the worst effects.

    “This Tory government seems intent on implementing public sectors cuts to the point where critical and public services are at put at risk.

    “The Tories call it savings. I call it theft. They are taking from the people of St Helens, Merseyside and the north-west of England what is rightfully theirs: their public services. Public services that have been paid for by their taxes, built by their hands and staffed by their hard work.

    “Firefighters and their families represent all that is best about our public services and communities, and I will continue to fight to protect our public services.”

  • Conor: Closing St Helens Courthouse would be “illogical and inefficient

    Conor McGinn MP has criticised the Government for being hypocritical and wasteful regarding the proposed closure of St Helens Courthouse.

    Speaking in Parliament, McGinn noted that the Ministry of Justice spent £1.7million refurbishing St Helens Courthouse in 2012 declaring it as ‘efficient and logical’, but are now considering its closure only 4 years later.

    In July 2015 the Government launched a consultation on their court closure programme, the Estates Reform Project, which proposes the closure of 91 courts and the integration of 31 courts and tribunals in England and Wales.

    Commenting McGinn said:

    “The closure of St Helens Courthouse would be illogical and inefficient and would have a detrimental effect on my constituents and people across the Mid-Mersey region. 

    “How can it be consistent that just 4 years ago the Government spent £1.7 million refurbishing the courthouse, but are now proposing its closure?

    “This exposes the wastefulness and hypocrisy of this Tory government. They are putting access to public services at risk, and are doing little to the help people in my constituency and across the North West. The Minister couldn’t even commit to a date when he will announce his decision, despite the consultation closing over three months ago.

     

     

  • Conor appeals to Ministry of Defence to reconsider veterans funding decision

    Commando Joe's

    Conor McGinn MP raised the issue of funding for the North-West based veterans Commando Joe’s in Parliament, winning a commitment from the Government to review the decision to end its funding of the organisation’s schools projects.

    Commando Joe’s works in more than 500 schools across the country, placing veterans in classrooms to share skills and experiences with young people.

    Despite robust evidence from the University of Swansea of the success of its work, its Government funding is due to end in March this year.

    Commenting McGinn said:

    “Commando Joe’s does great work in schools across the country, and the activities run have been shown to help improve pupils’ educational attainment and attitude as well as providing opportunities for veterans to share their skills an experiences.

    “I met with Director Mark Hamilton and training manager Shaun Hickey and was impressed with their enthusiasm, and commitment to helping young people achieve their potential.

    “I welcome the Veterans Minister’s invitation to meet to discuss how we can continue this great work, and I hope that we can help find future funding for the organisation.”

    Mark Hamilton, Director of Commando Joe’s, said:

    “It is fantastic to know Conor supports our programme and we’re grateful for his help.

    “The funding we receive means a huge amount, not only for the employment of ex-military veterans with the right aptitude to work with vulnerable young people, but also schools and the support we give teachers and impacts within the community.”

  • Conor visits Smarties Parent and toddler group

    Smarties

    Conor McGinn MP visited Smarties toddler group based at St Mark’s Church in Haydock.

    Conor spoke with the volunteers and parents of the under 5s who enjoy the twice weekly sessions held at the church centre.

    The parent and toddler sessions are run by the churches children’s pastor, Kay White, and a team of volunteers.

    Speaking after the visit, Conor said:

    “It was a great to meet parents, grandparents and the volunteers.

    “The group is another great example of the important role the church plays in our community. My 2 year old son certainly enjoyed himself!”

    “I am pleased that my party, Labour, supports plans for 30 hours of free childcare for working parents and is committed to ensuring that parents get a better deal on childcare.”

  • Conor attends Annual St Helens Chamber Dinner

    Conor McGinn MP joined hundreds of representatives of the St Helens Business community at the St Helens Chamber Annual Dinner.

    St Helens Chamber is one of the largest Chambers in the UK and has the highest rate of business Membership. They provide expert advice to local business as well as encouraging new businesses to start up, and helping people into work.

    Conor has worked with companies to encourage investment, challenge government policy that would harm local business, and to promote great local businesses.

    Commenting Conor said:

    “It was a great to have the opportunity join representatives of the local business community and celebrate their achievement.

    “I have been working with many local businesses across the constituency, raising their concerns in Parliament and helping promote what is best about our local economy.

    “St Helens Chamber is one of the most successful in the country, and provides excellent support to local businesses as well as helping people get into work and develop new business ideas.”

  • 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.”

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