• fighting for the future of rugby league

    I welcome today the Government’s rescue package of £16 million to safeguard the immediate future of Rugby League. It’s great news and a good initial boost for the sport, which is doing so much to help people here in our St Helens communities and across the country.
    In early April, myself and Marie Rimmer MP, as St Helens MPs, wrote to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak MP to stress the cultural and economic force for good of Rugby League in Northern towns like St Helens, all while highlighting the danger to the game’s survival in light of the Covid-19 crisis, which has seen stadium doors close and revenue streams fall.
    Whilst it’s encouraging to see Ministers now addressing our concerns, it’s equally vital they keep this support under review going forward; responding to the evolving needs of local clubs and the Rugby Football League in order to truly guarantee the longevity of the game.

  • Government’s slow responce to Covid-19

    As Keir Starmer said at Prime Minister’s Questions today, there is growing concern about the Government’s slow progress on Covid-19 testing and PPE, the lack of a coherent strategy for the next phase of the fight against coronavirus and coming out of lockdown, and the real disparities we’re now seeing between Ministers’ words and actions.
    Throughout this emergency, Labour as a constructive Opposition has rightly recognised the responsibilities we have to work collaboratively with the Government; backing it where it is right, in order to save both lives and livelihoods, but also holding it accountable and scrutinising its decisions.
    As our brave NHS staff, key workers and the wider public continue to make such huge sacrifices to ensure our communities remain safe, Ministers must now do their jobs and provide the clarity, leadership and action needed for us to move forward in this unprecedented national emergency.

  • supporting Merseyside Police’s vital work

    Earlier this week, I spoke with Chief Constable Andy Cooke about Merseyside Police’s vital work during the current Covid-19 pandemic, and raised shared concerns over a minority of individuals who continue to recklessly ignore social distancing guidance.

    The police have my full backing to deal robustly with this issue, and I fully support the Chief Constable and his recent statement urging people in St Helens borough to adhere to the Government’s instructions.

    These are unparalleled times, and I extend my gratitude to the vast majority of local people who are sacrificing so much by staying at home and doing the right thing. Sadly though, some people are consistently and flagrantly ignoring the rules, jeopardising our collective efforts and putting both themselves and others at risk.

    I know it is really hard, but I would ask all local residents to please continue to stay at home, protect our NHS, and save lives as a result.

  • St Helens is open

    I’m fully supporting ‘St Helens is Open’ which celebrates and supports our local businesses in the borough who’ve diversified, innovated and found new ways to stay open and trade safely during the Covid-19 crisis.

    Whether it’s through no-contact deliveries, online sessions or other alterations, I’ve been astounded by the sheer creativity of local businesses, who as usual have gone the extra mile to ensure local residents are always well served.

    By thinking and shopping local, we all can play our part in ensuring they emerge from these perilous times as strong and vibrant as ever.

  • Sadeq Elhowsh

    I was deeply saddened this week to hear of the tragic news that Sadeq Elhowsh, a much-admired orthopaedic surgeon at Whiston Hospital, has passed away, having tested positive for Covid-19.
    The outpouring of grief and messages of condolence from those who worked with him, his patients, and indeed all who knew him, are a true testament to his unrelenting dedication to his field, his skills as a surgeon, and his popularity within the NHS and our wider community.
    Sadeq was a hard-working and valued member of the team for all who knew him at Whiston, but above all else he was a devoted husband and father. My thoughts are with his family and friends at this exceedingly difficult moment.
    Whilst those that worked alongside Sadeq continue to battle Covid-19, his passing is a stark reminder of the dedication of countless individuals within our NHS, and they all have our gratitude and thanks for their tireless work.

  • a thank you to our schools and those who work in them

    People across our communities are pulling together, in tough circumstances, to play their part in defeating this virus and keeping us all safe. Our incredible local schools are no exception, and I know from contacting our local head teachers and teaching unions in St Helens North that they are working day-in, day-out to support staff and pupils, and keep schools open for the children of frontline key workers.
    I want to thank and offer my full support to all staff in our local schools: from cleaners, caretakers, cooks, office staff, as well as midday supervisors, learning support staff and our wonderful teachers as they each continue to go above and beyond what is asked of them at this difficult time.

  • help needed for rugby league

    Last week, me and Marie Rimmer MP wrote a joint letter to Rishi Sunak MP, the Chancellor, calling for swift and decisive action to help Rugby League clubs financially weather the coronavirus crisis.
    Rugby League clubs are the beating heart of communities in the North of England, including here in St Helens borough, and they all play a vital part in each of them beyond match-day. With fixtures firmly on hold and revenues dwindling, we’re deeply concerned that the game stands at risk.
    The need for urgent support is both real and overdue, and as St Helens MPs we’ll pull out all the stops to ensure the game of Rugby League can come out of this testing moment as strong as ever.

  • Sport England’s new Community Emergency Fund

    Last week, I wrote a letter of support and thanks to many of the incredible sports and physical activity groups in St Helens North, many of whom are urgently seeking security, funding and clarity, in response to the devastating impact of COVID-19 on their existing revenue streams.
    I wanted to draw their attention to Sport England’s new Community Emergency Fund, a £20 million initiative which can provide awards of between £300 to £10,000 and over, specifically helping struggling grassroots groups to meet their fixed cost obligations. It’s a real lifeline in these most perilous of times.
    I would encourage all our fantastic sports and physical activity groups facing hardship to find out more and apply for funds if they meet the criteria, which can be done by visiting their website


    As the local MP, I will keep doing whatever it takes over the coming weeks and months to support grassroots sport; ensuring that it can thrive once again in the future.

  • NHS North west nightinggale hospital

    NHS North West Nightingale Hospital
    Many local residents will be aware of the official opening today of NHS North West Nightingale, the new 750-bed space which has seen Manchester Central conference centre transformed, in an unparalleled mobilisation designed to free up capacity in our NHS in St Helens and across the region and to save lives during the current COVID-19 crisis.
    I want to thank everyone involved for the unprecedented efforts so far, and send our very best wishes for the challenging time ahead.
    The hospital is still accepting expressions of interest for the following staff groups:
    • Dieticians
    • Doctors (Tier 1, 2 and 3)
    • Healthcare Support Workers
    • Housekeepers
    • Occupational Therapists
    • Administration roles
    • Pharmacists
    • Pharmacy Technicians
    • Physiotherapists
    • Registered General Nurses
    • Social Workers
    • Speech and Language Therapists
    • Ward Clerks
    If you live locally, have the required skills, and can commit to working at the hospital for at least 4 weeks, I would strongly encourage you to find out more and register.

  • kind to your mind

    I’m fully supporting “Kind to Your Mind”, a brand-new initiative delivered by a partnership of local authorities, the NHS and voluntary organisations here in Merseyside and Cheshire, which all across the month of April will be promoting the importance of mental health well-being for people living and working in our communities.
    As local residents will appreciate, the way in which we live our lives has profoundly changed over recent weeks, and whether it’s staying at home more, self-isolating, or dealing with heightened feelings of anxiety over vulnerable family and loved ones, it’s never been more vital to ensure our mind and body are fit, well looked after and cared for.
    I would encourage all those locally who’ve encountered difficulties to find out more about this campaign on its dedicated website: www.kindtoyourmind.org. There, you’ll be able to find a wealth of free physical and mental health well-being resources, as well as useful links and contacts, to help you get through these tough times.

    If you need extra support, please ring the 24/7 support helpline: 01925 275309

    If you’re a healthcare worker in need of help, call 0300 131 7000, or text FRONTLINE to 85258

    If you’d like to access wellbeing apps and resources www.almahealth.co.uk

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