The government’s controversial assault on trade unions through their Trade Union Bill has caused much concern. I have received correspondence from my constituents expressing their worries for the future of trade unions and for the workers that they represent.
Today the Bill will return to the Commons following scrutiny by the House of Lords.
Trade Unions are more important than ever but the Government is trying to undermine the unions with the Trade Union Bill.
Unions have been campaigning to defeat the Trade Union Bill and they have my full support.
Trade unions are fundamental to the UK workforce who do crucial work for our country.
Earlier this month the government conceded to an embarrassing climb down on the issue of people using the check off system to pay for their union membership following a proposed amendment to the Bill by Conservative Peer Lord Balfe.
The Bill wanted to scrap the ability for public sector workers to pay their membership fees as a deduction from their wages and for workers to arrange this payment themselves before the government’s made a U-turn on the issue.
The original proposals resulted in concerns that people would cease to become members of unions and that unions would face damage to their funding. Given the important work unions do for workers this was a big concern and I am pleased that the government backed down after pressure to do so.
However despite U-turns such as the one regarding the check off system the Bill still remains a threat to unions and therefore to workers’ rights. This Wednesday I will be closely monitoring events when the Bill returns to the Commons for MP’s consideration of the Lord’s amendments.
The government’s controversial assault on trade unions through their Trade Union Bill has caused much concern. I have received correspondence from my constituents expressing their worries for the future of...
What is happening to New Ferry breaks my heart.
This week’s announcements that both the Co-op and Lloyds are closing will leave Sayers and Ladbrokes as the only chain shops left in the town centre. It is a hammer blow to other local business who need the footfall, and of course to New Ferry residents who are seeing their town hollowed out in front of their eyes.
Ultimately, this is the fault of central government. The recession in 2008 hit places like New Ferry hard, but there was no reason why they should not have been able to pick themselves up again with a bit of help from the government. Instead, the coalition government abandoned these communities. Soaring business rates and a planning policy which is supposed to put town centres first, but actually does nothing of the sort, have played a part. But the real betrayal has been the withdrawal of regeneration funding and drastic cuts to council budgets that have hamstrung their attempts to help their communities.
Gestures at helping high streets, like the pathetic Portas Pilots scheme, did nothing to tackle the real issues, like absentee landlords restricting developments.
Now we are seeing the results of that inaction.
I’ve been raising this issue relentlessly since I was elected, meeting David Ball 35 time times to talk about New Ferry specifically and lobbying developers about regeneration and investment. I’ve taken the fight to the House of Commons and asked ministers for central government funding to get New Ferry back on its feet. I even applied for Portas Pilot funding to get some investment, but the application failed.
The situation is now critical. The government won’t act, so I think the council have to do something. I will be doing everything I can to work with them to solve the persistent problems that are choking off regeneration in New Ferry.
This is so important to me. Town centres are spaces of civic pride and identity, when they decline the whole community suffers. We can’t sit back and watch New Ferry vanish. I’m going to keep fighting for investment, regeneration and more support for local businesses. The New Ferry community haven’t given up on their town centre, I won’t either.
What is happening to New Ferry breaks my heart. This week’s announcements that both the Co-op and Lloyds are closing will leave Sayers and Ladbrokes as the only chain shops...
Alison McGovern has expressed her concern following the news that she received informing her that the Co-Op store on New Chester Road in the centre of New Ferry is set to close.
Speaking about the news Alison said: “This is bad news for both New Ferry and the staff who work at the store with 17 staff members at risk of redundancy. I am having ongoing discussions with the Co-Op and Wirral Borough council about the decision to close the store and the impact that this will have on the local area. Those who live and work in New Ferry know that the area is in need of regeneration.
But the truth is, the Tory Government have taken away pretty much all means to support regeneration from areas like New Ferry. The Government must reconsider the lack of capital for regeneration urgently.
New Ferry has a number of successful business and is surrounded by beautiful areas such as Port Sunlight and Port Sunlight River Park but unfortunately there are too many unused, poor quality buildings.
Having spoken in Parliament about the issues in New Ferry to push the government to act on regeneration and working alongside the Council to formulate a regeneration plan since my election I will be holding meetings in the coming weeks to seek an urgent solution.
Notes to Editors
Alison McGovern MP will be holding a demonstration at the New Chester Road entrance of the Co-Op store in New Ferry. This will begin at 2.15 PM this Friday 22 April and Alison encourages local residents to join her
Alison McGovern has expressed her concern following the news that she received informing her that the Co-Op store on New Chester Road in the centre of New Ferry is set...
Last Friday marked twenty seven years since ninety six precious and unique loved ones lost their lives at Hillsborough on April 15 1989.
The anniversary of the day is always an emotional day for the people of Merseyside. I spent the day at an annual memorial service held at Anfield stadium to remember the lives of the ninety six football supporters who went along to simply enjoy a football match but were heartbreakingly never to return home.
The service at Anfield is always a beautiful and moving tribute and the ground was filled with people paying their respects.
This year is a significant year for the families and friends of the victims as the jury has recently retired to consider the verdicts of inquests that have been taking place for now for over two years in Warrington. The families are currently waiting to find out the conclusions of the new inquests and my thoughts continue to be with them during this time. The original inquests were quashed back in 2012 following the report of the Hillsborough Independent Panel.
The families have fought for twenty seven years for everybody to find out the truth of what happened that day. This year also marked the final service to be held at Anfield so it was a particularly moving occasion.
I would like to pay tribute to the families for the dignified way they have fought for the truth over the years. They have shown remarkable strength and determination whilst always maintaining dignity in the face of an unbelievable tragedy.
I also want to pay tribute to the fans who were there on the day and witnessed the atrocities. They were heroes on that day, helping with the rescue during what must have been shock and horror at what was happening.
The ninety six people we lost will never be forgotten and will always be in the hearts and thoughts of the people of Merseyside; nor will we forget all others affected. We have stood together, and always will.
Last Friday marked twenty seven years since ninety six precious and unique loved ones lost their lives at Hillsborough on April 15 1989. The anniversary of the day is always...
Campaigners who are highlighting the injustice of women’s state pension inequality faced disappointment in last month’s budget.
George Osborne made no mention of their plight and neither did he offer any help to correct the injustice despite the issue being debated in the House of Commons prior to the budget.
If you are a regular reader of my column you will know that I have been supporting local people who belong to the WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) campaign in the hope that the government would listen and offer assistance in the budget.
However the fight now goes on to make the campaigner’s voices heard and I will be continuing to support them in doing this.
That is why I am liaising with my North West Labour colleagues and hosting a further meeting. I have been contacted by local women in recent weeks asking about next steps so I’d like to promote the event as widely as possible and encourage readers of my column to tell their friends about the meeting.
If you are coming along then please let me know by contacting my office. It will be an opportunity for those affected to meet and exchange ideas and it will also help to keep the issue in the spotlight.
Politicians will also be attending to listen to concerns and to discuss the campaign.
The meeting will be held at Jack Jones House in Liverpool on Saturday 28 May between 10am-1PM. Anyone is welcome to come along on the day and you can confirm your attendance by phoning my office on 0151 645 6590 or by clicking here
I know from meeting the women from the WASPI campaign that they will keep fighting and that the campaign will keep going strong. This meeting is a chance to get more women who are affected to join the movement and build on its success. That is why I look forward to seeing many people at the meeting. The issue of course affects the families of these women so all family members and friends are also welcome.
Campaigners who are highlighting the injustice of women’s state pension inequality faced disappointment in last month’s budget. George Osborne made no mention of their plight and neither did he offer...
On 2 April Autism Together marked World Autism Awareness Day 2016.
Autism Together, based in Bromborough, were encouraging people to wear blue to raise awareness of autism.
Last Saturday they hosted a sponsored walk from Seacombe Ferry to the Queen’s Royal in New Brighton to raise funds for their organisation as well as other awareness events.
Having visited Autism Together, which was previously known as Wirral Autistic Society, and meeting with service users and staff there I have seen first-hand the fantastic work they do and the opportunities they offer for people with autism.
I am very proud to have such a service based here in Wirral South.
I am also very proud of the great work that they do for our local Port Sunlight River Park. Autism Together alongside the park’s ranger Anne Litherland and all the other fantastic volunteers do vital work in managing the site and making it the best it can be for the local community.
Since the park opened in 2014 they have been a crucial part of the park’s development. The teams are made up of people with autism and their support workers. This initiative of joining the teams with the River Park is one that has been a great success and beneficial for both the River Park and the volunteers from Autism Together.
Autism affects how a person relates and communicates with other people. It is a lifelong disability. For more information about autism you can visit the national autistic society’s website here www.autism.org.uk and you can also find out more about Wirral’s own Autism Together by visiting their website www.autismtogether.co.uk
On 2 April Autism Together marked World Autism Awareness Day 2016. Autism Together, based in Bromborough, were encouraging people to wear blue to raise awareness of autism. Last Saturday they...
April 2 marks the start of Autism Awareness week and Port Sunlight River Park are holding a number of events throughout the week. You can find details of these below.
Autism Awareness Week
Port Sunlight River Park:
Tuesday 5/4/16: health walk at 10.30.
A short walk of up to an hour with a stop for a drink afterwards. Free but donations welcome for the drink. Meet at Dock Road North car park.
All our health walk leaders are trained in Autism Awareness.
No need to book but please arrive 10 minutes early for your first walk.
Tuesday 5/4/16: 10-12 noon
Cycling session for families with children on the autism spectrum.
Ditch the stabilisers and confidence building.
Places must be booked through Janet Gregory Mobile: 0750 055 9669
Wednesday 6/4/16: 10-12noon and 1-3pm
volunteers session. New volunteers welcome.
Wednesday 6/4/16: health walk at 5.30.
A short walk of up to an hour. Meet at Dock Road North car park.
All our health walk leaders are trained in Autism Awareness.
No need to book but please arrive 10 minutes early for your first walk.
Thursday 7/4/16: 11-2 Children and Family Service coffee morning
with Spring Trail and Easter egg hunt for families with children on the autism spectrum.
Drinks available but please bring a picnic. Small charge for activities.
Friday 8/4/16: Photo trail information.
Service users are installing new posts in the River Park for a photographic trail.
Watch out for more details.
Friday 8/4/16: 2.00-3.30pm Cycling session
and confidence building when riding your bike, or borrow one of ours.
Places must be booked through Janet Gregory Mobile: 0750 055 9669
Saturday 9/4/46: 10-12noon and 1-3pm volunteers session. New volunteers welcome.
Please contact Anne to register your interest on 07587550060 or email@example.com
April 2 marks the start of Autism Awareness week and Port Sunlight River Park are holding a number of events throughout the week. You can find details of these below. Autism...
I hope everybody had a lovely and peaceful Easter.
Since the announcement was made that the Lady Lever Art Gallery, set in the picturesque conservation village of Port Sunlight, was receiving investment to refurbish its South End Galleries I have been excited for their unveiling.
The galleries were revealed on Good Friday 25 March for viewing by visitors following £2.8 million pounds worth of investment as part of a regeneration project partly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The gallery and the surrounding village of Port Sunlight is rich in historic and cultural heritage.
It is dedicated to the memory of its founder William Hesketh Lever and his wife Elizabeth. As many Wirralians will know the village of Port Sunlight was built in the late 19th century to house Lever’s soap factory employees.
The gallery keeps the historic significance of Lever’s legacy alive. It is very popular with tourists and serves as one of Wirral’s most important tourist attractions.
The galleries which were re-opened during the Bank Holiday weekend were originally closed for refurbishment in November 2014.
The new rooms will showcase items such as the Lady Lever’s world famous Wedgewood collection and the improvements works have been focussed on restoring these galleries to their former glory.
The following link incudes all the details about the new galleries and what you can expect when you visit http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/about/mediacentre/2016/start-your-easter-at-lady-levers-new-galleries.aspx
If you haven’t already paid a visit to see the refurbishments then I would like to encourage Wirral residents to do so. I am very much looking forward to visiting myself and admiring all the new additions the gallery has to offer.
I hope everybody had a lovely and peaceful Easter. Since the announcement was made that the Lady Lever Art Gallery, set in the picturesque conservation village of Port Sunlight, was...
Last week the Chancellor delivered his eighth budget which has led to further rifts in the Conservative Party. Following the budget announcement I made a speech in the Commons chamber to talk about the chancellor’s economic record.
I was dismayed at the content of the budget for many reasons including the lack of mention of help for the manufacturing industry, childcare costs and the Women Against State Pension Equality campaign (WASPI) which I have had a lot of involvement with.
I know these women will share my huge disappointment at being ignored when they have led such a high profile campaign to correct this injustice on pension age inequality.
There was also a distinct lack of mention about NHS deficits and child poverty from the Chancellor.
I find the economic situation just as disturbing with debt rising again, growth down, productivity down and George Osborne has already broken two of the three targets he set himself just last year.
Just two days after the budget was delivered came the unexpected resignation of senior Tory and now former Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith.
Whatever motivations people think was behind his resignation there is no denying that it comes a blow to the Chancellor and is an indication that there is growing anger in the Conservatives about the Chancellor’s economic failure.
Iain Duncan Smith cited the government’s welfare policies as the reason for his departure from the cabinet and made an admission that cuts to disabled people were unfair.
Whilst he is correct in what he says there will still be speculation of his motives for his resignation.
However, one thing is for certain and that is that the budget has led to even further damage to the Conservative’s unity and with deep divisions in the party over the EU referendum they look like a government tearing themselves apart at a time when they should be putting the British people first.
Last week the Chancellor delivered his eighth budget which has led to further rifts in the Conservative Party. Following the budget announcement I made a speech in the Commons chamber...
This afternoon the Chancellor delivered his budget at a time when the government is presiding over a major dispute with junior doctors and clashing with each other on their differing views on remaining in the EU so this is a testing time for them to deliver a budget that has public support.
I wanted to hear what his plans are for investment in the North, making the business rates system work better for businesses and reducing Britain’s deficit among other many important issues affecting my constituents.
The result was disappointing. Debt is rising again, growth is down, productivity is down and George Osborne has already broken two of the three targets he set himself just last year.
There were announcements on business rates with the threshold for small business rate relief raised from £6,000 to £15,000 and many SME’s paying no business rates at all. But I am concerned in areas like Merseyside that this will reduce revenue for local councils and put their services under even more pressure. Even more shocking is that there is no relief for manufacturing at all, they will continue to face huge business rates costs every time they invest.
Whilst committing to a HS3 link between Manchester and Leeds he was forced to admit that educational attainment in the north is lagging behind the rest of the country.
Even Tory thinktanks are admitting that a political drive to make all schools academies will do nothing for standards in education.
We have seen painful cuts to local government and our public services under this government and whilst we have won some fights over the government’s plans to reduce tax credits for example there are still many issues I and my colleagues will continue to fight the government on.
These include justice for the women born in the 1950’s affected by the pension age increase. The Women Against State Pension Age (WASPI) campaigners would have been hoping for the government to do the right thing by them and I hoped that the efforts of the WASPI campaign had caused enough of a sting to make the government take notice and correct this injustice. Unfortunately they have chosen to ignore this issue today and there has been another wasted opportunity.
This afternoon the Chancellor delivered his budget at a time when the government is presiding over a major dispute with junior doctors and clashing with each other on their differing...