• Northern rail

    at the start of the new year I was at Newton-le-Willows station,  talking to local commuters, alongside the Chair of Merseytravel, Liam Robinson, and local Labour councillor Seve Gomez-Aspron.
    Passengers across St Helens North in Newton, Rainford, Earlestown and Garswood are putting up with cancelled and delayed services every day, alongside increasing fares and overcrowding.
    I’m glad that the government has finally bowed to pressure by suggesting it will strip Northern of the franchise. Passengers, campaigners, our Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram and MPs like me have been telling them for a long time just how bad a deal our constituents get from expensive and unreliable rail and bus services.
    But this is only the first step. Public transport needs investment and must be run in the interests of passengers, not private profit.

  • victory for NHS workers

    I was proud to stand with our local NHS workers in St Helens, and their trade union Unison, throughout their dispute with Compass, and I’m prouder still that they have won.
    They took on a multi-national outsourcing giant and won a significant increase in hourly pay, improved unsocial hours payments and better sick pay schemes.
    It is a victory for rights, decency and dignity at work, as well as unity and solidarity in our NHS.

  • Helens Law – lets get this done

    The first letter I’ve sent on being re-elected as an MP is to the Secretary of State for Justice, to ask him to press the Government to include a Bill for Helen’s Law in the Queen’s Speech again this week.
    We came so close in the last Parliament. And Conservative, Labour & the Lib Dems all pledged their support during the election.
    Let’s get this done for Marie McCourt & all the other victims & families.

  • thank you

    Thank you to people across St Helens North for electing me for the third time as your Member of Parliament.
    I’m indebted to my team of volunteers who came out in the cold, dark and rain to speak to thousands of people during the campaign.
    Kate and I are also really grateful to friends and neighbours in Newton who have been so supportive and helped with everything from childcare to leaflet delivery.
    I am so honoured to represent and be rooted in our resilient, proud and welcoming community.
    I will keep working day and night for all my constituents in every part of the constituency.

  • ‘WASPI women’

    It is incredibly disappointing that a recent court ruling means that the ‘WASPI women’ (Women Against State Pension Inequality) will not be receiving compensation.
    Many women in St Helens and some 3.8 million women nationwide have been impacted by the loss of their pensions because they were subject to discriminatory employment and pension laws. This has had a profound negative impact on them, including increased poverty, deteriorating health, and homelessness.
    I have met with local women affected and have also given my support to a Parliamentary motion calling on the Government to enact a temporary special measure, as permitted by international law, to provide restitution to women born in the 1950s who have lost their pensions because of the impact of the rise in retirement age.

  • solidarity with the Kurdish people

    I signed this cross-party letter to the Foreign Secretary, in solidarity with the Kurdish people and in opposition to the appalling and wanton destruction being inflicted upon them.
    Britain and the international community must stand with those who sacrificed so much for our safety and security in the fight against ISIS.

  • Wythburn Crescent shops

    I am incredibly frustrated at the lack of progress following the fire at Wythburn Crescent late last year.

    Following the fire, I immediately met with residents who were understandably concerned at what this would mean for the shop keepers and the local community. I also met with Torus, who own the shops, and other agencies, who held a community meeting.

    But since then progress slowed to the point that only now tenants are being informed that demolition will take place.

    This is obviously not good enough for a community – particularly older people – who need local Post Office facilities shops and services available to them. And now we have the added uncertainty around the shops at Bassethwaite Avenue.

    The agencies involved assure me they want to see restored facilities in the area, but they need to act far more quickly.
    I was out in the community speaking to local residents last week, alongside local Labour councillors and activists. We will keep up the pressure to ensure that the needs of local people are met and the community gets the facilities it needs and deserves.

  • Merseyside Jewish Representative Council

    I met with Howard Winik and Michelle Hayward from the Merseyside Jewish Representative Council, who represent a community of around 2,500 people across the city region, as well as four synagogues.

    We discussed challenges faced by the Jewish community, including the scourge of antisemitism. I was delighted to learn about the excellent work the JRC do – interfaith projects, support for the older people and community care and education through King David’s school.

    The richly diverse Jewish community on Merseyside make a fantastic contribution to our region.

    I will continue to stand with them in confronting racism and supporting the important role played by Jewish people in the civic, cultural, social and economic life of the Liverpool City Region.

  • Blackbrook Royals JRLFC

    St Helens bid to be a host borough and venue for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup had support for our communities and grassroots sport as a top priority.
    I am delighted therefore to hear that the Blackbrook Royals JRLFC have been awarded £11K by the Rugby League World Cup 2021 capital grants programme to refurbish their shower and changing room facilities.
    The club and its volunteers and members do excellent work in Blackbrook and beyond, particularly in introducing young people to sport, and this is well deserved.
    Rugby League has a hugely positive impact on our community and this funding will help it continue to thrive.

  • supporting workers at Whiston Hospital

    I addressed a rally in support of workers from St Helens and Whiston Hospitals to show my solidarity with them and the industrial action they have taken in their dispute with a private contractor, who refuses to match NHS pay and conditions.
    These men and women are being paid less than their colleagues who are employed directly by the NHS. Some of those I met are amongst the lowest paid in the NHS, doing the vital jobs that are needed in our health service, such as porters, security, cleaners and catering staff.
    It was clear that these workers, with strong backing from their union, UNISON, are resolute and determined. They have my full support and I am calling on the company, which made almost £2bn profit last year, to provide the small increase – just 82p an hour in some cases – to ensure that in our NHS workers get equal pay for equal work.

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