• out and about in the constituency

    Over the past few weeks, following Parliament being prorogued, I’ve had the chance to be out and about in the constituency meeting the many organisations and individuals doing so much good in our community. I’ve also been able to spend time in my busy St Helens office, where much of the unseen work done by MPs and our dedicated staff takes place.
    Since I was elected in 2015, my office has helped thousands of individuals across St Helens North. Helping constituents navigate the universal credit system, access appropriate NHS treatment, get proper educational support and opportunities, have their housing needs met or get their pension and social care entitlements is part and parcel of what we do every day.

  • Cranio Awareness Month

    September is Cranio Awareness Month, and I’m supporting Headlines Craniofacial Support in their efforts to improve public understanding of craniosynostosis.
    One baby is born with some form of craniosynostosis every day in the UK, including here in St Helens borough but hardly anyone has ever heard of it. We need to support parents, young people and children who are affected by the condition to feel included and encouraged, and we can only do this with the right information and research for diagnosis and post-diagnostic support. You can find out more here: www.headlines.org.uk/index.asp

  • the suspension of Parliament

    Many constituents have been in touch about the suspension of Parliament.
    I share their deep concern that the people’s democratic institutions are being deliberately shut down at a time when the country is facing political and potentially economic and constitutional crises, and solely because the Prime Minister hasn’t got a majority in the House of Commons and wants to force through a no-deal Brexit.
    Regardless of anyone’s views on Brexit and whatever the arguments about what people did or didn’t vote for in 2016, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t to allow this abysmal and potentially dangerous state of affairs.
    A no-deal Brexit flies in the face of what the Leave campaign said throughout the referendum campaign. It would have a hugely detrimental impact here in St Helens and on people, businesses and communities across the country. Already, St Helens Council is making contingency plans to ensure sick and elderly people can access medicines and kids can get school meals.
    I will continue to work closely with MPs from across the House of Commons in the next number of weeks to try and stop prorogation, and also unapologetically and unequivocally continue to oppose a no-deal Brexit.

  • Maria Eagle MP’s Public Advocate Bill

    I was proud to co-sponsor my Merseyside Labour colleague Maria Eagle MP’s Public Advocate Bill. In public disasters it would give bereaved relatives access to independent advocacy to help them get answers and justice.

    Public disasters with tragic consequences, such as the Grenfell fire and Hillsborough inflict such trauma and distress for the bereaved family and friends. This bill will offer voice to the bereaved when dealing with officials – helping them gain truthful and meaningful results.

  • a new deal for leaseholders

    I support Labour’s new deal for leaseholders.

    It is estimated that between 4.3 and 6.6 million properties in England are owned on a leasehold basis – this means that one in four homeowners own the right to live in the property but not on the land it sits on.

    If charges are unfairly increased, it is a finically crippling situation for many leaseholders – including hundreds of people in new build properties across St Helens borough. The structure of this system needs to be much more transparent, and fundamentally change.

  • supporting the renegotiation of the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme

    I support the renegotiation of the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme’s agreement with the Government and am working with Parliamentary colleagues, the NUM and local campaigners in St Helens and the North West on this important issue.

    In 1994 a surplus sharing arrangement saw the Government guarantee the pension scheme – a vital step – but at an extraordinarily high price. Since 1994 the Government has received £4.1 billion from the scheme but has paid nothing.

    This must be renegotiated – a greater proportion of the funds should return to the hard-working former miners. The 50% share is disproportionate and denies former miners the deal they deserve.

    I signed an letter to the Chancellor calling on the Treasury to undertake a formal review into the surplus sharing agreement. Former mineworkers, their families, and our communities must receive their fair share for their decades of hard work.

  • St Helens Council losing a further £8.8 million

    It is unacceptable and unfair that St Helens Council is losing a further £8.8 million of central Government grant support for the next two years, while at the same time having to cope with increased demand on services.

    Councils provide essential services from education and social care to waste disposal and road repair. These Tory cuts mean it is increasingly difficult to provide these services and this will have a negative impact on residents in St Helens borough.

    The Government needs to reverse these cuts that are damaging our schools, communities and essential infrastructure, and instead invest in our communities.

  • visiting the NATO Baltic air-policing mission

    I joined a cross-party Parliamentary delegation to Estonia to visit the NATO Baltic air-policing mission, currently led by the Royal Air Force. It was good to see at first hand the important work being done to uphold international law, security and democratic values.

    We also spent time with the UK Ambassador in Tallinn and at the Estonian Ministry of Defence.

    As always it was good to meet servicemen and women from St Helens and the North West, all of them missing home and their families but doing a vitally important job.

  • GP appointments

    I am absolutely appalled that 2,596 patients in St Helens borough had to wait more than 28 days for GP appointments in the last year.

    Delays in initial appointments increase emergency appointments as untreated conditions worsen over time, and problems become harder and more expensive to treat. It is bad for the NHS, bad for the public purse and bad for the patients.

    Cuts to NHS funding are a false economy – the Tories must properly fund our NHS now.

  • mandatory life sentences for those who cause death by dangerous driving

    I spoke in the House of Commons to support my colleague Marie Rimmer MP and the petition presented to Parliament on behalf of the family of Violet-Grace Youens.
    It calls for mandatory life sentences for those who cause death by dangerous driving. I fully support the Youens family, as do the people of St Helens.

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