• McGinn: The Tories are failing working families – 1/3 of Sure Start centres in St Helens have been lost

    Sure Start

    Conor McGinn MP & the Labour Party have uncovered shocking figures which show a third of Sure Start centres in St Helens and the UK have been lost since 2010.

    The Tories famously pledged to be the “most family friendly Government we’ve ever had” and promised to protect Sure Start. However, new research, based on Freedom of Information requests to councils, reveals the Tories have broken their promise.

    The figures show that the number of designated Sure Start children’s centres in St Helens has dropped by a third from 12 in 2010 to 8 in 2017. There are also 173 fewer centres in the North West.

    Commenting Mr McGinn said:

    “These shocking figures reveal yet another broken promise by the Tories, who are failing working families by making them pay for their economic mismanagement.

    “The closure of Sure Start centres in St Helens – taking away support from children and their families – has made life harder for many in my constituency.

    “A Labour Government would support Sure Start and stand up for families by building the services they need so we can give children the support they deserve.”

  • Conor & Labour: free school meals for all primary school children in St Helens

    Free school meals

    Conor McGinn MP has welcomed the Labour Party’s pledge that the next Labour Government will provide free school meals for all primary school children, a change that could benefit 7,986 children in St Helens.

    Labour will fund the policy by introducing VAT on private school fees, it is estimated this will raise £1.5billion. The House of Commons Library estimates that the cost of providing free school meals for all primary school children would be £700-£900 million.

    Research confirmed by the National Centre for Social Research and the Institute for Fiscal Studies has shown offering universal access to free school meals improves educational attainment. The provision of free school meals also has been proven to improve the health of pupils through better nutrition.

    Commenting Conor McGinn MP said:

    “No child in St Helens should go without a decent lunch and be hungry at school.

    “By charging VAT on private schools fees, the next Labour Government will make sure all primary school children, no matter what their background, get a healthy meal at school.

    “This will benefit lower income families in my constituency who don’t qualify for free school meals currently, but are still struggling to make ends meet.

    “Research shows that this will improve educational attainment and will help make sure that no child is at a disadvantage because of their background.”

  • Conor McGinn MP urges Ministers to protect the future of Lancashire’s historic county regiment

    The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment covers Merseyside and the historic county of Lancashire.

    The Government has announced its Regimental Headquarters at Fulwood Barracks is to be sold but has given no details or commitment about where it or the Regimental Museum will be based in the future.

    In addition, 2 LANCS is to lose over half of its complement of personnel and be moved to Aldershot, leaving just one regular infantry battalion in this regiment left in the North West.

    In Parliament this week, I asked the Defence Secretary about these proposals and raised the concerns of the Armed Forces community and the wider public in St Helens and the North West.

  • Conor welcomes talks over ex-miners’ pensions

    Miners

    Conor McGinn has welcomed news that talks will be held to get a better pension deal for former miners.

    The trustees of the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme (MPS) have written to Labour MPs from coalfield communities agreeing to their demand for a meeting.

    The MPs called for the meeting to review an arrangement that has deprived ex-miners of billions of pounds in pension payments.

    Under an agreement made by the Tory Government and the trustees of the British Coal pensions schemes in 1994, half of the surplus made by the MPS goes to the Government.

    Commenting, Mr McGinn said:

    “I’m pleased the trustees of the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme have agreed to our request for a meeting.

    “Thousands of former miners who worked in local pits like Parkside and across the region worked hard for decades to build up a pension for when they retired.

    “This country owes a debt of gratitude to our former miners. We owe it to them and their families to secure a far better, fairer deal for them and I will continue to fight on their behalf.

    “Victory to the Miners.”

  • McGinn in Parliament: Keeping juveniles in prison in solitary confinement is shocking, wrong and probably unlawful

    Keeping juveniles in prison in solitary confinement is shocking, wrong and probably unlawful. Whatever chance these young people have of turning their lives around, they won’t find it locked in a cell for 23 hours a day. The Government must order an end to this practice. My question to the Justice Secretary this week.

  • Conor welcomes Labour’s candidate for Liverpool City Region Mayor, Steve Rotheram MP, and Shadow Secretary of State for Housing, John Healey MP to St Helens

    Rotheram Visit 2 Rotheram Visit 1

    Conor welcomed Labour’s candidate for Liverpool City Region Mayor, Steve Rotheram MP, and Shadow Secretary of State for Housing, John Healey MP, to St Helens to see plans for a new housing scheme in Parr and meet local community activists from re:new.

    The Torus housing development at Chancery Lane will provide over 30 homes for those aged 55 and above. The scheme will also offer support to meet the needs of those forced to move home due to recent housing benefit cuts.

    The re:new neighbourhood management project in Parr is a joint initiative between St Helens Council and Helena Partnerships. It aims to create better places to live and to improve the quality of life for local residents.

    Commenting after the visit, Conor said:

    “It was great to have Steve and John visit St Helens and see some of the impressive community development and housing projects like this one in Parr.

    “It and others like it will provide a much-needed boost in housing quality and supply for the local area.

    “Merseyside is bearing the brunt of Tory cuts to supported housing and local government, as well as imposition of the bedroom tax. In addition, this Government has ended funding for remedial work to make contaminated land fit for development, which has a hugely negative impact on industrial areas like Parr.

    “Despite this we are lucky to have a strong community ethos across St Helens, and I pay tribute to people like Bernie and many other volunteers and activists like her who continue to work hard to improve neighbourhoods and make life better for local residents.”

  • Conor backs International Women’s Day

    IWD

    Conor McGinn MP has backed International Women’s Day and called for the Chancellor to deliver a Spring Budget that works for women.

    International Women’s Day, held on 8 March, marks a celebration of the economic, social, cultural and political achievements of women.

    This year the 2017 Spring Budget falls on International Women’s Day and Conor and Labour are calling on the government to guarantee a budget that works for women.

    As of the 2016 Autumn Statement, 86% of the net gains to the treasury through tax and benefit measures had come from women, with a disproportionate impact on women from black and minority ethnic backgrounds.

    Labour have announced a twelve month consultation on a new Economic Equality Bill. This Bill will aim to strengthen legislation around equal pay and tackle the structural and economic barriers that stop women, BAME communities and disabled people from reaching their full potential.

    Commenting, Conor said:

    “Tory cuts have hit women the hardest and it is high time they put in place policies to change this – that’s why I’m calling on the Chancellor to deliver a budget that works for women.

    “Much progress has been made in the battle for gender equality but this government are turning back the clock on economic equality for women.

    “That the gender pay gap is still 18.1% for full-time workers is shocking and much more needs to be done to ensure women are on equal economic footing.

    “I will work with Labour colleagues to hold the Government to account and to introduce an Economic Equality Bill to tackle structural and economic barriers.”

  • Conor McGinn calls for Government U-turn on decision to scrap bursaries for student nurses and midwives

    STP

    Conor has called on the Government to drop its plans to abolish bursaries for student nurses and midwives.

    NHS bursaries are due to be scrapped from August in a move that could leave students paying tuition fees of more than £9,000 and forced to rely on student loans.

    But Conor is fighting the move which he warned would only worsen the recruitment crisis which had meant local hospitals are forced to rely more heavily on agency nurses to plug staffing gaps.

    His demand comes after it was revealed last year that St Helens Care Commissioning Group faced a £12.5 million shortfall in its funding.

    Conor is backing a Labour campaign for a Government U-turn over the plan to scrap the bursaries for student nurses amid fears it could worsen NHS staffing problems across Merseyside.

    Latest national figures show that students are already avoiding nursing degrees because of the extra financial burden on them.  Almost 10,000 fewer would-be nurses have applied for university courses – 23 per cent fewer than last year.

    Commenting, Conor said:

    “There has already been a big drop in the number of people applying to become nurses which is likely to have a damaging impact on healthcare in St Helens and elsewhere.

    “That should be a wake-up call to the government which needs to rethink these badly flawed plans to abolish bursaries.

    “We have seen the huge pressure that the NHS is under in St Helens and this ill-judged decision by the Government will just make matters worse.

    “With Britain leaving the EU, we will need home-trained nurses more than ever.  But the government’s decision is likely to worsen the staff shortages already faced by many hospitals.”

  • Conor McGinn steps up campaign to get a better deal for St Helens ex-miners

    Miners letter

    Conor McGinn, St Helens North MP, is demanding a far better deal for former mine workers from St Helens and across the region.

    He has joined Gloria DePiero MP in writing to the trustees of the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme (MPS) to call for a meeting to review an arrangement that has deprived ex-miners of billions of pounds.

    Under an agreement made by the Tory Government and the trustees of the British Coal pensions schemes in 1994, 50 per cent of the surplus made by the MPS goes to the Government.

    Since 1994, it has made £3.36bn from the scheme – despite making no contributions, even when the scheme was in deficit.

    Mr McGinn is working with the National Union of Mineworkers and MPs from coalfield communities to get a fairer deal for ex-miners.

    Commenting, Mr McGinn said:

    “Thousands of miners from St Helens and Lancashire and across the North West worked hard in difficult and dangerous conditions to build up a pension pot for their retirement.

    “I believe they or their widows and families should have a much greater share of the huge surplus that has been built up.

    “We will keep fighting for them. The Government might want to forget the contribution these men made, but we won’t. Victory to the Miners.”

  • Conor backs law change to tackle police assaults

    Conor policeHolly Lynch

    Conor McGinn, MP for St Helens North, has co-sponsored a Bill which would put in place measures to protect police officers, fire and rescue service workers, paramedics, doctors and nurses.

    The Crime (Assaults on Emergency Service Staff) Bill is led by the Labour MP for Halifax Holly Lynch and sponsored by Mr McGinn and nine other MPs. The Bill would make certain offences, including malicious wounding, grievous or actual bodily harm and common assault, aggravated when perpetrated against a police officer, firefighter, paramedic, doctor or nurse in the execution of their duty.

    It would also require someone who spits at an emergency responder to provide a blood sample to rule out the risk of having transmitted a communicable disease, or face a fine and custodial sentence for refusing to do so.

    Mr McGinn has previously called for tougher sentences for criminals assaulting police officers after he obtained figures for the Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy. The figures showed that 584 Merseyside police officers were assaulted in the year 2015-2016 which represented one in six of the force’s 3,635 officers.

    This week the Police Federation of England and Wales released the results of their latest welfare survey data which suggest that there were more than two million (2,113,602) unarmed physical assaults on officers over a 12 month period, and a further 302,842 assaults using a deadly weapon.

    Speaking after the Bill was presented in Parliament, Conor McGinn MP said:

    “The amount of assaults and intimidation faced by our emergency services workers is truly shocking.

    “It seems clear that something needs to be done to better protect emergency workers and it for this reason that I am proud to support and sponsor Holly’s Bill.

    “I know from my regular meetings with the police officers and representatives from the Police Federation, as well as medics and firefighters what a difficult and often dangerous job they do. They deserve our utmost respect.

    “We need tough sentences to protect those who protect us and show that attacks against emergency service workers will not be tolerated.

    “This Bill will help protect those providing vital services against violent attacks and other forms of intimidation.

    “I hope the Government take note and act now to ensure police officers and emergency service workers are properly protected.”

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