• Conor: We will keep up the pressure on Government to introduce Helen’s Law

    Marie McCourt 1 Marie McCourt 2

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Conor McGinn, MP for St Helens North, today accompanied Marie McCourt and her family to a meeting with the Victims Minister and then to Downing Street, where he helped deliver a petition to the Prime Minister calling on him to introduce Helen’s Law, which has been signed by over 320,000 people.

    Yesterday, the Parole Board recommended that Helen McCourt’s murderer be transferred to an open prison. In response to that and today’s events, the Prisons Minister has asked the Parole Board to review its guidelines in relation to the sentencing and release of convicted murderers who refuse to reveal the whereabouts of their victims remains.

    Speaking outside No. 10 Downing Street, Conor said:

    “Marie made her case with characteristic decency and dignity. She is an extraordinary woman who despite enduring the most awful suffering is dedicated to helping others. The Victims Minister listened carefully and responded positively.

    “The priority for me now is to ensure that the Secretary of State for Justice is fully informed of all the facts around Helen McCourt’s case before making the final decision about whether her murderer is to be transferred to an open prison.

    “I also welcome the fact that the Prisons Minister has responded to the overwhelming public support for our campaign to introduce Helen’s Law, and has asked the parole board to review the guidelines around convicted murderers who refuse to reveal the location of their victims’ remains.

    “I want to see immediate progress on this and I will be keeping the pressure on the Government so that victims and their families get the justice they deserve.”

  • Conor stands up to Tory Minister to defend jobs and services in the North of England

    Conor McGinn MP has criticised Business Minister, Anna Soubry, for her comments on public service and jobs in the North of England.

    Speaking in Parliament after Labour MPs demanded Tory Ministers came to the House of Commons to answer questions about the closure of the Government’s Northern Powerhouse office in Sheffield, McGinn criticised the Minister for showing little sympathy for the workers losing their jobs and praised the hard work done by local councils in the North.

    He also spoke of the negative impact of the public sector cuts implemented by Government.

    Commenting McGinn said:

    “People are losing jobs and the Minister hasn’t shown a shred of sympathy or regret.

    “It’s incredible that the Government is closing its main office in the North of England where civil servants working on the Northern Powerhouse are based.

    “Local councils like my own in St Helens are working hard to promote investment and develop the private sector in our areas. But this Government’s public sector cuts mean that jobs are being lost now across the North and critical and public services are being put at risk.

    “How can the Tories claim to be building a Northern Powerhouse when they’ve abandoned British steel, have reneged on their promise to invest in the North and now are even sacking their own Northern Powerhouse workforce?”

  • Conor calls for progress on transport smart ticketing system

    Conor McGinn MP asked Transport Minister to provide an update on progress towards the introduction of a smart ticketing system for the North.

    Speaking in Parliament, McGinn raised concerns that many of his constituents who live in the MerseyTravel area but travel to work outside pay more because of travel area boundaries.

    Commenting Conor said:

    “Many of my constituents who travel to work in places like Wigan, Warrington and Manchester effectively pay a levy on their commute.

    “Those who travel outside of the MerseyTravel area for work are unnecessarily out of pocket because of an arbitrary transport boundaries.

    “If this Tory government is serious about the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ then the prompt introduction of a smart ticketing system and the end of arbitrary boundaries would be a priority. Transport for the North are taking steps in the right direction and Ministers in London should support them however they can.”

  • 2300 people have fallen off the electoral register in St Helens North

    Conor McGinn MP responding to the news that changes in the electoral registration system mean around 3% of people in St Helens North have fallen off the register, said:

    “The Tories have rushed through changes to the electoral registration system, and now over 2300 people in St Helens North have fallen off the register and may not even realise it.

    “There are major local elections here in St Helens in May, and soon we have a big choice to make about whether Britain stays in the EU. But if people aren’t on the electoral register, they will not be able to vote and have their say. They could even face an £80 fine and find it harder to get a credit card or a mobile phone contract.

    “This week is National Voter Registration Drive – the perfect opportunity for people in St Helens North to register to vote. It’s quick and easy – you can register in just three minutes by going to gov.uk/register-to-vote.”

  • Conor says Chancellor’s cuts put 2675 supported homes in St Helens North at risk

    This week Conor and fellow Labour MPs called a vote to halt Conservative plans to cut housing benefit support for thousands of elderly and vulnerable people across the country, which could put at risk 2675 homes in St Helens North.

    Supported housing provides specialist care for groups including the elderly, the homeless, disabled people, veterans, people with mental health problems, young people leaving care and women fleeing domestic violence.

    Experts say that across the country 156,000 supported homes are at risk of closure due to the Chancellor’s cuts.

    In Parliament Labour called on George Osborne to exempt supported housing from his housing benefit cuts and to consult with charities, councils and housing associations to safeguard this vital accommodation. However, Conservative MPs voted down Labour’s motion to protect these homes.

    Conor McGinn MP said:

    “These cuts will hit the most vulnerable in our community and shows just how out of the touch the Tories are.

    “That 2675 supported homes will be put at risk in my constituency is simply unacceptable.

    “We should be doing all we can to help those most vulnerable in society, not making life more difficult for them.

    “This is more of the same from a Tory government whose woeful housing policy is making large swathes of the country unaffordable for low income households to live.”

    John Healey MP, Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Minister for Housing, said:

    “George Osborne’s crude cuts to housing benefit could force the closure of thousands of specialist homes for vulnerable people across the country.

    “This would be a catastrophe for those who can least afford it. There is no way these people or the organisations who support them could make up the yawning shortfall these cuts are set to open up.

    “Labour is calling on the Chancellor to urgently exempt supported housing from his housing benefit cuts and consult fully with the organisations that provide this vital accommodation.”

  • Conor speaks to Moss Bank residents at St Patrick’s Over 60’s Club

     

    ST Pats

    Conor McGinn MP visited St Patricks, Moss Bank to meet with the over 60s group to listen their concerns.

    Over a cup of tea, Conor and group members discussed a range of issues from transport links to Moss Bank, to the impact of rising fuel costs.

    The group meet every Thursday from 1.00 till 2.30 for a game of bingo, a drink and good company. It is just one of a number of activities organised via the church for young and old across the community.

    Commenting Conor said:

     “I visited St Patricks before the election in May and it was great to be back to catch up with Father Kevin and those attending the group, and listen to the issues and concerns affecting them.

     “This is just one example of how St Patrick’s give older people from the area the chance to meet up and enjoy each other’s company.

     “I am proud that the Labour Party is committed to improving the lives of older people, backs the triple-lock on state pension and is working to prevent discrimination against older people.”

     

  • Conor accuses Tories of public service ‘theft’ & says Merseyside Fire Service can’t suffer more cuts

    Conor McGinn MP, speaking in the House of Commons, has highlighted what he called the ‘theft’ of public services from the people of St Helens North, and criticised cuts to the fire service.

    Speaking in a debate in Parliament, about funding for the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, McGinn criticised the government for further cuts planned to the fire service. He also paid tribute to the fire authority and senior management team for mitigating the worst effects of the cuts, and commended the FBU for their constructive approach in defending their members.

    Following a consultation period it seems likely that both Eccleston station and St Helens fire station will be closed, with a new station built to serve both areas. There are expected to be 22 job losses as a result.

    Speaking after the debate Conor said:

    “Over the past five years, £20 million has been taken from Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority, with a further £6.3 million to be found this financial year.

    “The authority, senior management and those at the Fire Brigades Union are doing great job coping with huge scale of these cuts and mitigating the worst effects.

    “This Tory government seems intent on implementing public sectors cuts to the point where critical and public services are at put at risk.

    “The Tories call it savings. I call it theft. They are taking from the people of St Helens, Merseyside and the north-west of England what is rightfully theirs: their public services. Public services that have been paid for by their taxes, built by their hands and staffed by their hard work.

    “Firefighters and their families represent all that is best about our public services and communities, and I will continue to fight to protect our public services.”

  • Conor: Closing St Helens Courthouse would be “illogical and inefficient

    Conor McGinn MP has criticised the Government for being hypocritical and wasteful regarding the proposed closure of St Helens Courthouse.

    Speaking in Parliament, McGinn noted that the Ministry of Justice spent £1.7million refurbishing St Helens Courthouse in 2012 declaring it as ‘efficient and logical’, but are now considering its closure only 4 years later.

    In July 2015 the Government launched a consultation on their court closure programme, the Estates Reform Project, which proposes the closure of 91 courts and the integration of 31 courts and tribunals in England and Wales.

    Commenting McGinn said:

    “The closure of St Helens Courthouse would be illogical and inefficient and would have a detrimental effect on my constituents and people across the Mid-Mersey region. 

    “How can it be consistent that just 4 years ago the Government spent £1.7 million refurbishing the courthouse, but are now proposing its closure?

    “This exposes the wastefulness and hypocrisy of this Tory government. They are putting access to public services at risk, and are doing little to the help people in my constituency and across the North West. The Minister couldn’t even commit to a date when he will announce his decision, despite the consultation closing over three months ago.

     

     

  • Conor McGinn MP signs Holocaust Educational Trust Book of Commitment

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    This week Conor McGinn signed the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Book of Commitment.

    By signing the book Conor has pledge his commitment to Holocaust Memorial Day and honouring those who were murdered during the Holocaust, as well as paying tribute to the extraordinary Holocaust survivors who work tirelessly to educate young people.

    Wednesday 27th January will mark the liberation of the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, the site of the largest mass murder in history.

    In the weeks leading up to and after Holocaust Memorial Day, thousands of commemorative events will be arranged by schools, faith groups and community organisations across the country, remembering all the victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides.

    After signing the Book of Commitment, McGinn said:

    “Holocaust Memorial Day marks the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau – and is an important opportunity to remember the victims and survivors of the Holocaust and make sure they are not forgotten.

    “I encourage all constituents to mark the day and to join members of my community in the fight against prejudice and intolerance.”

    Karen Pollock MBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said:

    “We are proud that Conor is supporting Holocaust Memorial Day.

    “As we mark the 71st anniversary of the end of the Holocaust and the liberation of the concentration camps, it is vitally important that we both continue to remember and learn from the appalling events of the Holocaust – as well as ensuring that we continue to challenge antisemitism and all forms of bigotry.”

     

     

  • Conor backs local firm and slams Government for betrayal of renewable energy

     

    Conor McGinn MP has backed a local firm and slammed the Government for betraying them and Britain’s renewable energy sector.

    Speaking in Parliament, McGinn raised concerns about the effect cuts to feed-in-tariff and a proposed increase in VAT for residential solar could have upon solar energy firms, including St Helens firm and Saints sponsor Solar King, which employs 200 people locally.

    In December, the Government announced that feed-in-tariffs would be cut by 64% and proposed increasing VAT for residential solar by up to 15%.

    The Solar Trade Association has estimated that over 1000 jobs have been lost in the solar industry since the government proposed cuts to feed-in-tariff.

    Commenting McGinn said:

    “The Government’s promise of a ‘solar revolution’ lies in tatters.

    “The double whammy of cuts to feed-in-tariff and planned increase in VAT are seriously concerning for companies like Solar King.

    “Current government plans will harm the solar industry in UK and cost jobs here in St Helens, and the whole Tory approach seems at odds with climate change commitments made in Paris.

    “The Energy Secretary should listen to the concerns of renewable energy companies in my constituency and across the UK. However, given her continuing refusal to meet me and companies based in St Helens to discuss these issues, I don’t hold out much hope that she will.”

    Graham King, the CEO of Solar King, said:

    “Conor is right to raise the issue in Parliament; we have just had to cut the workforce by over 50% because of the reduced tariff.

    “20% VAT for residential solar would cause further issues as it would lead to a price increase, which obviously means its less attractive to customers.”

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