• Take a Break Interview On Helen’s Law

    Conor has been interviewed by Take a Break Magazine about the campaign for Helen’s Law, and the need to get a no body, no parole rule onto the statute book.

    Constituent Marie McCourt’s daughter Helen was murdered nearly 30 years ago, and her killer Ian Simms could soon be released from prison – despite never revealing where Helen’s body is buried.

    Helen’s Law is needed to ensure that family members like Marie do not face the added trauma of seeing a victim’s killer walk free while the location of the body remains undisclosed.

    In addition to the thousands who have signed the petition calling for Helen’s Law, over 6,000 Take a Break readers have sent in “coupons” to support the campaign.

    It’s over a year since Conor introduced a Bill for Helen’s Law to the House of Commons and MPs from all Parties have since backed the rule change. It’s high time the Government acted and put Helen’s Law on the statute book.

  • Conor’s response To The Budget

    St Helens North MP Conor McGinn has criticised the Government’s budget for a lack of action to tackle falling wages and rising costs for communities in St Helens and across the North West.

    Figures obtained by Mr McGinn from the UK Statistics Authority show that average weekly earnings for workers in St Helens North was £411.50 last year – down from £435.80 in 2010, a decrease of 5 per cent.

    At the same time, the Government is presiding over a five year high inflation rate, pushing up the price of goods and services, and the botched rollout of Universal Credit is pushing many families into poverty.

    On top of this, the Government has slashed the grant for St Helens Council from £127 million in 2010 to just £53 million last year – a drop of nearly £75 million.

    And the Government has broken its own promises to protect funding for schools and the police, with per pupil funding falling and police budgets set to be cut by £500 million in real terms by 2020.

    Mr McGinn and Labour are calling for the Government to properly fund our public services, fully remove the public sector pay cap, introduce a housing programme that properly meets demand and invest properly in the infrastructure in the North West.

    Commenting, Mr McGinn said:

    “Under this Tory Government, we’ve had seven years of austerity and cuts to vital public services that families in St Helens and the wider region depend on.

    “Wages are falling and prices are rising for my constituents and our local services are being hollowed out on this Government’s watch. The Government must get a grip by pausing the botched rollout of Universal Credit and properly invest in our public services.

    “And the Government is breaking its own promises to protect schools and policing, with per pupil funding falling and half a billion pounds set to be axed from the police by the end of the decade.

    “The Government had a chance in this budget to ease the squeeze on our communities, but instead it is pressing on with the same failed austerity policies that make life harder for people in St Helens North.”

  • Dame Lorna Muirhead

    I was delighted to table a parliamentary motion paying tribute to Dame Lorna Muirhead for her outstanding public service, after 12 years as the Lord Lieutenant in Merseyside.

    Dame Lorna came to Liverpool in 1965 and worked as a midwife for 40 years, spending most of the time at the Liverpool Maternity Hospital and the Liverpool Women’s Hospital.

    She was elected to the council of the Royal College of Midwives in 1994, becoming president of the organisation in 1997. She served for seven years as a National and International Ambassador for midwives.

    Dame Lorna’s dedication to helping others and her contribution to civic life makes her a fine role model.

    Along with Merseyside MP colleagues, I wish her a happy retirement and also send my best wishes to the new Lord Lieutenant Mark Blundell.

  • St Helens sees wages fall

    Under this Tory Government, workers in St Helens have seen wages fall and prices rise.

    Figures Conor has obtained from the UK Statistics Authority show that average weekly earnings for workers in St Helens North was £411.50 last year – down from £435.80 in 2010. That’s a drop of £24.30.

    At the same time, inflation has consistently pushed up prices, and new figures out today show the inflation rate is at a five year high of 3%, meaning higher prices on the weekly shop for families in St Helens.

    This Government is failing workers and families who deserve a fair wage and fair prices in the shops.

  • Fighting The Tory Power Grab

    Conor is fighting attempts by the Government to use Brexit to give Tory Ministers more powers to make decisions without proper Parliamentary scrutiny. These are the Ministers that have presided over seven years of cuts that have had a devastating impact on St Helens and our public services.

    Now they are seeking a free pass on crucial decisions for St Helens and Merseyside, in what their own backbenchers have labelled an “unprecedented and unnecessary power grab”.

    It’s a cynical move that fools no one. Just this week in Parliament, they voted against maintaining equalities, health and safety and consumer rights, workers’ rights and environmental protections.

    And instead of an orderly exit from the EU, this Government is risking crashing out with no deal, which would be bad for growth, jobs and businesses in St Helens – with up to 300 exporting businesses across the borough set to be hit by new tariffs and extra red tape.

    The UK’s withdrawal from the EU has a fundamental impact on Britain’s place in the world and the future of our democracy. Ministers must get a grip and put communities like ours in St Helens North first.

  • Next Weeks Budget

    Ahead of next week’s budget, the Chancellor must ensure that spending on mental health services is ring-fenced and this vital area is properly funded.

    The Government has announced £1.4 billion funding over five years to deliver the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health and £1.25 billion for the Future In Mind programme for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

    This money is important but will not go far enough to meet rising demands on mental health services, here In St Helens and across the country.

    According to Public Health England 16.8% of people in St Helens have reported suffering from depression and anxiety. In the UK one in four adults experiences at least one diagnosable mental health problem in any given year.

    Conor has signed colleague Luciana Berger’s petition for the Government to use the budget as an opportunity to ring-fence mental health spending, you can sign here too https://you.38degrees.org.uk/…/ring-fence-mental-health-spe….

  • Music and the UK economy

    Last week, Conor led a debate in the House of Commons on the contribution of music to the UK economy – which totalled £4.4 billion last year alone.

    The number of people employed across the industry grew last year by 19% to more than 140,000, and despite the uncertainty over Brexit, the music business generated export revenues of £2.5 billion in 2016.

    Here in St Helens, 25,500 people attended live music events in 2016, generating a box office spend of £1.2 million.

    St Helens is also recognised by the Arts Council as a UK leader in arts and culture and despite huge cuts to its budget, the Council has committed to providing whole-class first access to instrumental programmes for key stage 2 children.

    St Helens also fortunate to have fantastic venues like the Citadel and the hugely successful Westfield Street and Reminisce festivals, which are adding to those impressive figures.

    But the Government must do more to support young musicians and underfunded music such as brass and silver bands, like the excellent Haydock, Valley and Rainford bands that are truly the lifeblood of communities in St Helens.

  • Irish parliamentarians visit to Westminster

    Conor hosted the largest ever delegation of Irish parliamentarians to Westminster this week for meetings and events with MPs, Peers and political parties to discuss Brexit and challenges and opportunities facing UK-Ireland relations, including in trade and investment.

    The delegation included members of the Dáil Éireann and the Seanad Éireann, Ireland’s lower and upper Houses.

    It was particularly good to have Éamon Ó Cuív TD there, whose grandfather Eamon De Valera was Taoiseach and President of Ireland. ‘Dev’ made a famous and impromptu visit to Earlestown in the 1930’s when he addressed a large crowd who had gathered at the train station to greet him on his journey between Liverpool and Manchester.

    The visit this week followed a visit of MPs and Peers to Dublin in February, which Conor led, and was a great opportunity for dialogue and discussion at a crucial time in our relations

  • Government Needs To Support Defence Workers In The North Of England

    St Helens North MP Conor McGinn has called on the Government to do more to support defence workers in the north of England, including bringing forward an order for new Red Arrows jets to keep the iconic team flying British aircraft.

    The world famous Red Arrows fly the BAE Systems built Hawk but without new orders now, production is at risk of ending. BAE has recently announced a thousand job losses and this week Mr McGinn met the company and defence workers affected, as well as trade union representatives from GMB and Unite.

    He also took part in the Air Combat Power Visit at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, which is a full scale display of the RAFs abilities and strengths, from Force Protection and sustaining operations on the ground, to surveillance, intelligence acquisition and air power. Mr McGinn met with the Chief of the Air Staff Sir Stephen Hillier and the RAF personnel who maintain the UK’s Quick Reaction Alert, made up of high readiness units that can scramble to meet airborne threats.

    Commenting, Mr McGinn said:

    “RAF personnel, including those I met at Coningsby, and workers in the defence industry make a huge contribution to the UK’s national security, yet production is at risk and skilled jobs in the north of England could go, including in the supply chain which would have an impact in towns like St Helens.

    “The Government must commit to ensuring the UK maintains a strong defence industrial base and properly resourced Armed Forces on air, land and sea”.

  • Conor slams Tory cuts to Merseyside fire safety inspectors

    Conor McGinn has slammed Government cuts to the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service as new figures show the number of fire safety inspectors is down by a fifth since 2013.

    Fire safety inspectors are responsible for vital statutory safety inspections and audits, but cuts mean there are now just 34 inspectors across Merseyside – down from 42 in 2013.

    The 19 per cent reduction in fire safety inspectors puts extra pressure on the Fire and Rescue Service, with less firefighters available to carry out safety checks on hospitals, schools and shops.

    Mr McGinn is calling for the Government to immediately halt the decline in fire safety inspectors and is backing a campaign by the Fire Brigades Union to keep buildings safe, protecting the public and firefighters.

    Commenting, Conor said:

    “Our firefighters do an incredible job with dedication and professionalism, often under very difficult circumstances.

    “But Government cuts to fire safety inspectors puts more pressure on already overstretched services by making it harder to spot fire risks in public buildings.

    “The Government needs to urgently get to grips with this and halt the decline in fire safety inspectors, which are down by a fifth in Merseyside since 2013, and put public and firefighter’s safety first.”

     

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