• APPG meets Irish Foreign Minister

    [rev_slider APPG]

    The All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Irish in Britain met the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, this week.

    At the meeting the cross-party group of MPs discussed the APPG and the Irish government’s role in supporting the Irish community in Britain, British-Irish relations with the EU, and the current political situation in Northern Ireland.

    The meeting came after Conor McGinn MP, Chair of the APPG, attended the first Global Irish Parliamentarians’ Forum in Dublin last week.

    The forum brought together Irish-connected political representatives who serve in national parliaments and state assemblies in Australia, Canada, France, the U.K. and the U.S.A.

    Commenting Mr McGinn said:

    “It was a great pleasure and honour to welcome the Minister for Foreign Affairs to the Westminster and I look forward to productive working relationship between Irish Government and the APPG.

    “The first Global Irish Parliamentarians’ Forum was a great opportunity to meet, connect and form working relationships with Irish parliamentarians across the world. I and my colleagues from the APPG, look forward to developing these in future.”

     

  • Conor urges Government to invest in St Helens

     

    Conor McGinn has called on the Government to invest in St Helens North.

    Speaking in a House of Commons debate about the regeneration of towns and cities in England, McGinn noted that St Helens had seen huge cuts to local government and plans for investment delayed.

    He argued that this lack of capital funds and withdrawal service provision denigrates the status of St Helens and discourages business and constituents.

    Commenting Conor said:

    “With the huge cuts to local government, the proposed closure of the fire station in Parr, plans for a new police station in Newton-le-Willows stalled and now the possibility of the town’s court house closing, it’s clear that Government policies are having an adverse effect on St Helens and its people and will not help our borough thrive.

    “We need to see investment from Government is to provide much needed jobs and growth, as well as the retention of key public services in St Helens so that our town does not see its status diminished within the North West region.”

     

  • 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 questions Defence Secretary about UK involvement in Syria

     

    The text of question and response from the Defence Secretary can be found below.

    Conor McGinn (MP for St Helens North): It is good that the Government have invited the Leader of the Opposition and my hon. Friend the Member for Gedling (Vernon Coaker) to tomorrow’s National Security Council meeting to discuss these important issues—and I very much welcome that. In the same spirit of co-operation and in the national interest, will the Secretary of State commit to a comprehensive, transparent strategic defence and security review with full parliamentary scrutiny?

    The Secretary of State for Defence, Michael Fallon: We are committed to a full and comprehensive strategic defence and security review. It is already under way, and at Question Time last month I invited any Member to contribute to it, and we will invite other stakeholders with interests in defence matters to make a similar contribution.

  • Conor exposes lack of Government funding for St Helens pupils

    Conor McGinn has challenged the Government over the level of funding St Helens receives per pupil.

    Speaking in the House of Commons, Conor noted that funding per pupil in St Helens is set to be over a £150 less than the average across England. He added that in the same period his local authority was facing further cuts of £23 million from its budget.

    Conor called on the Minister to listen to the concerns of schools in St Helens North.

    Commenting Mr McGinn said:

    “Statistics from the Department of Education show that schools in my constituency will receive over £150 less funding per pupil than the average across England this year.

    “At a time when local authority budgets are already under pressure, and my local authority is being asked to cut a further £23 million, how can this be fair?

    “The gap in funding and the policies of this Government have put real pressure on schools in my constituency and their ability to help children, particularly from disadvantaged backgrounds, is being hindered.

    “Every child deserves the right to a good quality education and this disparity in funding is highly questionable.

    “I urge the Minister to listen to the concerns of schools in my constituency and act to ensure that we have a fairer allocation of funding in the future.”

  • Conor expresses support for equal marriage and LGBT rights

    In the House of Commons, Conor McGinn called on the Leader of the House to allow time for a debate, so that Parliament could show solidarity with lesbian and gay people throughout the world who are denied the right to marriage and many other freedoms.

  • Conor calls for local control over bus fares and routes

    Conor McGinn has told Parliament that greater power should be devolved to communities to control bus fares, set routes and integrate the services.

     Speaking in the House of Commons, McGinn noted that in the North West, 121 bus routes have been cut over the last 5 years and that there are 21 million fewer annual miles of local bus services. He added that bus fares in the North West have also risen 25% on average since 2010.

     Commenting McGinn said:

     “This government’s transport policy is not working for people who live in the North West of England.

     “Not only has the Government cancelled work on the electrification of the railways, in the North West region a staggering 121 bus routes have been cut since 2010. This has left many vulnerable people who live in rural constituencies like mine isolated.

     “At a time when people’s cost of living has increased and buses are often the only transport available, bus fares have also rise by 25 per cent on average since 2010.

     “Transport in the North West should be accessible and affordable for those who use it. It’s high time the Government devolved real power to communities so they can control bus fares and routes and integrate services.”

     

  • Conor on the Foreign Secretary’s statement on nuclear negotiations with Iran

    In the House of Commons, Conor welcomed the Foreign Secretary’s statement, but raised concern over Russia’s role in the process.

  • Conor meets local apprentice in Westminster

    Conor attended a reception organised by ADS to recognise apprenticeships in the aerospace and defence industry. He met Anna Schlautmann from Newton-le-Willows who is a business apprentice with MBDA.

     

  • Conor’s response to constituents about the vote on the Hunting Act

    Dear constituent,

    Thank you for contacting me recently regarding the Hunting Act.

    I am proud of the Labour’s strong record on animal welfare and I do not want to see the Hunting Act 2004 repealed.

    I believe that the vast majority of the British public also support the ban on hunting. Indeed, a recent Ipsos MORI survey showed that 80% of people support the ban.

    As you are aware, however, the Conservative Party’s election manifesto included a commitment to give Parliament the opportunity to repeal the Hunting Act on a free vote. The Government has recently confirmed it is committed to fulfilling this pledge.

    I believe that holding a vote on repealing the Hunting Act distracts from the real issues that are facing many rural communities, including low wages, the shortage of affordable housing and the need to improve infrastructure and protect public services. I also believe the Government should be focusing on tackling rising energy prices and protecting rural bus services.

    I will oppose this attempt to repeal the Hunting Act.

    Thank you once again for writing to me and for sharing your views.

    Yours sincerely,

    Conor McGinn

    MP for St Helens North

     

     

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