In the last few months people have had the opportunity to sign a paper petition in support of the WASPI campaign.
I have been speaking with my constituents and encouraging those affected by the pension inequality that affects women born in the 1950s to sign the petition.
My constituents have been collecting signatures in Wirral South and then delivering these to me. I received a good number of signatures in support of the WASPI campaign and this week I took them to Westminster with me.
Yesterday I formally submitted these petitions in the House of Commons chamber along with fellow MP’s. I was very proud to do this on behalf of the women in my constituency who are suffering due to the way the changes to women’s pensions were implemented.
WASPI campaigners recently travelled to Birmingham for The Conservative Party Conference to protest against the injustices they have faced.
I hope that the petitions and all of the other action that campaigners have taken forces the Prime Minister and Pensions Minister to take notice and make fair transitional arrangements for all of the women affected.
One thing is for sure and that is that the activists will continue in spearheading the campaign until this happens.
In the last few months people have had the opportunity to sign a paper petition in support of the WASPI campaign. I have been speaking with my constituents and encouraging...
In April of this year came the news that the Co-Op store based in New Ferry was set to close. Following the announcement, I joined the residents and shop owners of New Ferry to protest at the shutting down of this store which was central to the town.
This, along with the closure of the Lloyds branch on Bebington Road, came as a massive blow to the community and since the Co-Op closed its doors over the summer for the last time the building has remained empty and unused.
Since the announcement of the closure I have been in ongoing contact with the Wirral Borough Council, developers, and representatives of supermarkets and community groups to try and find someone to take advantage of this space in order to ensure it does not fall into ruin. The future of this building depends on a plan which is led by the Council, and I have urged them to explore what possibilities there are in order for this to happen. And I will continue to work with the local councillors to ensure this situation does not continue any longer than necessary.
I have been working with a strategy group to form plans to make the most of Bebington Youth Centre based in New Ferry so that we can take a holistic approach to New Ferry and make sure that we are making the most of all we have to offer here. I am also pleased about the meetings that have started in New Ferry to bring local people together to help the town. The meetings have formed New Ferry Town Team so that there can be a coordinated approach to looking at how to move New Ferry forward.
New Ferry has a number of empty shops and the closure of such a big space in the town just compounds all the challenges the area is already facing. A resolution to combat the hole left by the closure of the Co-Op needs to be found as soon as possible, and I will continue to lobby the council till one is found.
This is an urgent matter for our town centre and I implore the local authority to do everything in its power to find a solution. Residents and business owners in the area deserve better than seeing empty and unused buildings blighting the area.
In April of this year came the news that the Co-Op store based in New Ferry was set to close. Following the announcement, I joined the residents and shop owners...
Many of my constituents will recall that five years ago, the Tories imposed a huge top down re-organisation on our NHS. It cost £25million to implement- on Wirral alone.
And as Parliament sits this week, we have the turbulence of further strike action by junior doctors. Whilst immediate action has been called off, this dispute between the junior doctors and the Health Secretary shows no sign of being permanently resolved. It is distressing for doctors and patients alike.
But - devastatingly - there is further bad news for our NHS. I am troubled by the latest reports of Sustainability and Transformation plans.
Put simply, these plans are being set up to meet the Government's demands for funding cuts to the NHS.
Though, bizarrely, they imply yet more reorganisation, as the Government seeks to close parts of hospitals, and undermine existing arrangements. The plans by-pass the very commissioning bodies that the last Tory Health Secretary spent so much cash setting up. And crucially, all of this does absolutely nothing to get more cash in the one place we need it: social care.
Our A&Es are straining at the seams because the Tories have cut councils - who are charged with preventing unnecessary hospital admission - to the bone. We have older people in hospital too long because there is insufficient care budget to help them home.
But the Tories in power just don't seem to get this. Or maybe they are determined to run down our health service so people feel (if they can) they have to go private.
We don't yet know what exactly this will mean for us in Wirral.
But nonetheless I am keen to hear from constituents so I will be holding a meeting about these plans on the evening of Friday 23 September at 6pm and anyone with concerns is welcome to come along. Just call my office for more details on 0151 645 6590.
Many of my constituents will recall that five years ago, the Tories imposed a huge top down re-organisation on our NHS. It cost £25million to implement- on Wirral alone. And...
Over the last two weeks Wirral students will have collected their GCSE and A Level results.
This is of course a big occasion for students and their families. It marks the accumulation of years of studying for young people. Congratulations to all the students who can now celebrate their hard work and forget about the stress of exams for the time being.
I am in regular contact with our schools and I always feel proud at results day for all the hard work the staff and students do.
For those collecting their GCSE results it means also saying goodbye to their school years. For A Level students it means starting a new life at work or going off to university.
It’s a time of excitement and anxiety as people start the next chapter of their lives.
Results though never mark the end for anybody. They simply mark the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. I want our young people to feel they have choices and that they can pursue whatever ambitions they have without any barriers.
This means having a range of good choices.
This means vocational opportunities and apprenticeships which are genuinely excellent in quality. It means equal chance for both those who want to go to university and those who wish to pursue a different route for their careers. All young people have potential and university isn’t the only way to reach your potential or ambitions.
But a huge congratulations to all those who have received their results this summer. And a massive thanks to parents and teachers who made it all happen.
Over the last two weeks Wirral students will have collected their GCSE and A Level results. This is of course a big occasion for students and their families. It marks...
Over the last few months I have been working closely with council officers, youth services, local football and other organisations focusing on Bebington Youth Centre based in New Ferry.
Together we have developed a group of people who have been working on a strategy for the future of the club. The aim is to build up the youth centre and encourage local people to get involved with it.
I have been having on going meetings with the group and things are looking very positive.
If you would like to be kept up to date or feel you would like to be involved in the future developments of the centre then please do just get in touch with me.
I am also pleased about the meetings that have started in New Ferry to bring local people together to help town. The meetings have formed New Ferry Town Team so that there can be a coordinated approach to looking at how to move New Ferry forward.
The Town Team is made up of local residents and businesses who are working with the Council and one of the priorities at the moment is to work together to try and get people involved with the New Ferry Residents Association. The association has been in existence for some time but the Town Team want to build on it to give New Ferry a bigger voice.
I am pleased to see a coordinated approach to helping New Ferry and I see this as a positive step forward both for the youth centre and for the area in general.
If you want to get involved with the New Ferry Residents Association please get in touch with my office so we can ensure you have all the details.
Over the last few months I have been working closely with council officers, youth services, local football and other organisations focusing on Bebington Youth Centre based in New Ferry. Together...
Wirral South MP Alison McGovern and the Mayor of Wirral Pat Hackett jointly cut the birthday cake at the event on Sunday.
Since the opening of the park two years ago volunteers have worked tirelessly on the community park including holding anniversary celebrations both last year and this year.
In the period since the park opened to the public it has both won and been nominated for a number of awards.
Speaking of the last two years since the opening of the park Alison said: “I feel very proud of this park having been involved with it since before it opened to the public when it was in the earlier stages of development. I remember the site when it was a landfill site and it is so lovely to see it as the beautiful public space it is now. I have no doubt that the awards the park has won and been nominated for is down to the extraordinary work of all the volunteers involved. This was demonstrated on Sunday when volunteers were working so hard to make the day a success and keeping everyone safe.
Adding: “I would also like to thank all the people who brought stalls and displays along including food and drink stalls, wildlife displays and the fire engine which has been along to the event two years in a row. It was a pleasure to see so many people enjoying the Port Sunlight River Park and I am very proud of everyone who has made the park’s development possible and to those who have made it go from strength to strength. It’s a great example of what a community can achieve when people come together.”
Wirral South MP and Mayor of Wirral join celebration marking two years of the Port Sunlight River Park
Wirral South MP Alison McGovern and the Mayor of Wirral Pat Hackett jointly cut the birthday cake at the event on Sunday. Since the opening of the park two years...
Last Thursday I was invited by Network Rail to a tour and briefing at Liverpool Central Station.
Having worked in the rail industry prior to becoming an MP and having a proud family history of working on the railways I have a long standing interest in train operations and I was excited to go along and be shown the underground section of the station.
I put on my hard hat and florescent orange protective gear and I was shown around and embarked on the tour which included exclusive access inside a rail tunnel.
The purpose of the visit was to discuss the temporary closure of the Wirral line service. Essential track renewal work will be taking place between January and June 2017 and Network Rail delivered a briefing on the day about what the work will involve.
The work is part of an investment plan to provide passengers in the Liverpool City Region with faster, more frequent and reliable train services by 2019.
The benefits for passengers will include a bigger and better railway network with longer and faster trains, more reliable railway infrastructure and better facilities for passengers, especially at stations and increased capacity/additional services.
Whilst the work will mean temporary limitations to the Wirral line next year for a period of six months it's got to be done. There is no escaping the fact that we have the oldest of railways & it needs a lot of TLC.
I am already looking forward to seeing the finished result and if constituents need further specific information about the work then I am happy to ask Network Rail and get back to you.
Last Thursday I was invited by Network Rail to a tour and briefing at Liverpool Central Station. Having worked in the rail industry prior to becoming an MP and having...
Readers will remember how hard our community in South Wirral worked to turn the former Bromborough dock landfill site into Port Sunlight River Park, which celebrates its second birthday on Sunday, August 14.
To mark this event, a birthday picnic is being held at the park from noon-4pm; open to everyone. Activities on offer include a raffle, birds of prey, Cheshire wildlife, Wirral bee keepers, live music from The Beathovens, a play zone, and face painting. Additionally, there is a 5k fun run starting at 9:30am which requires pre-booking.
Port Sunlight River Park is a great example of how an area can be regenerated. Previously, the land was used as a landfill site which was in use from 1991 to 2006. Now, it is a 30 hectare park with a 37m high hill, complete with woodland areas, a River Mersey viewing area and a wildlife lake. The park was helped by £2.3m of funding from the last Labour Government to promote the development of brownfield sites and offers brilliant, unrivalled views of the Liverpool skyline as well as a place to enjoy walking and bird-watching.
Friends of Port Sunlight River Park’, of which I am chair, help to keep the park running smoothly by volunteering and organising these events. The park itself has won multiple awards, including ‘Ranger of the Year’ and reached the finals of the Liverpool Echo Environment Awards.
The park is situated on Dock Road North, Wirral, CH62 4TQ and can be accessed by train (Port Sunlight station is a 15 minute walk) or by bus (buses stop at Shore Drive and Shorefields, a seven minute walk). There is also parking available, including a limited number of disabled parking spaces available at Mersey View car park (these must be booked in advance by contacting Anne on 07587 550 060).
This will be a great event in which the whole community can really get involved and I am looking forward to enjoying celebrating the second successful year of Port Sunlight River Park. It just shows what can be achieved when people in our area work together.
Readers will remember how hard our community in South Wirral worked to turn the former Bromborough dock landfill site into Port Sunlight River Park, which celebrates its second birthday on...
We all remember the fanfare when the government brought in their new ‘national living wage’ last year. George Osborne grinning, Iain Duncan Smith punching the air. It wasn’t really a living wage of course, just a small boost to the minimum wage if you are over 25, but it was still a rare positive move from a Tory government that had relentlessly hammered the low paid. Of course we in Labour we suspicious of Tory motives but still we cautiously welcomed this change of direction.
Now Osborne and Duncan Smith have left the scene after the Brexit vote and we have a new set of ministers in charge. But before they start planning new schemes and policies of their own, they should focus on making sure those they have already implemented are working as intended. In the case of the living wage this is clearly not happening. Just this week we have seen cleaners at the HMRC offices here in Merseyside going on strike because they are still not being paid the new minimum, months after it came into law.
This is a major embarrassment for the government, after all HMRC is the government department in charge of looking at wages and taxation. But more than this, it is a worrying sign that some unscrupulous employers are running rings around the authorities. In this case the cleaners were simply expected to do the same work in fewer hours, but there worrying stories from across the country of workers having their free lunches cut or being expected to work extra time unpaid so companies can get around the new minimum wage.
The most famous case is Sports Direct, now a by-word for bad employment practices, where staff were forced wait behind after work to get searched by security, time they were not paid for. But the problem goes so much wider than Sports Direct. Even chains like Marks and Spencer have been found to be cutting premium pay on Sundays, bank holidays and other unsocial hours. Clearly some employers are behaving outrageously, yet from the government there is silence and inaction. They brought in the policy and were happy to claim credit, but they are completely uninterested in making sure it is actually implemented.
This is a test for the new prime minister and her team. On the steps of Downing Street she talked of building a fairer country and cracking down on businesses that exploit their workers. Now that her own government departments have been caught treating loyal staff in this way there is no longer an excuse. The government has got to get tough with unscrupulous employers and make sure every firm abides by the letter and the spirit of the law. If you have seen your hours or other benefits cut as a result of the introduction of the new living wage then please get in contact with your local MP. It’s time to call this out and make sure that workers are treated with the dignity and respect we all deserve.
We all remember the fanfare when the government brought in their new ‘national living wage’ last year. George Osborne grinning, Iain Duncan Smith punching the air. It wasn’t really a...
On Sunday I held a meeting in my constituency to discuss the Brexit vote.
Since the vote I have received a lot of correspondence from my constituents so I wanted the chance to address the issues that have been raised by holding the meeting which took place in Bebington.
Wirral marginally voted to remain in the EU and I know that many people living here have expressed concerns about what the result might mean for their lives. Whether you voted to leave or stay in the EU it is the case that the result will mean changes for our country and this can be a source on anxiety for people.
I want to say to all EU nationals living on the Wirral that I want them to feel welcome here. Theresa May has caused concern by not committing to confirming the status of EU nationals living here and Britons living in Europe.
EU nationals will feel anxious about their future at this time and it is right that those who have lived in the UK prior to the vote should be given confirmation whether they will be able to continue to stay here. Leaving them in limbo is not moral or acceptable. Labour held a vote on this issue last week and there was an overwhelming result of 245 in the Commons from MPs who voted in favour of allowing EU nationals living here the right to remain. Many EU citizens have built their lives in this country and contributed and this treatment of them is unfair. People from EU countries need to be able to plan their futures just like everybody else living here does and this refusing to commit to allowing them to stay is messing with their lives. I will be working to pressure the government to confirm their status.
My priority is to monitor the impact of Brexit on our local area and on our public services such as the NHS. We are in the early stages of leaving the EU and there is still much uncertainty but I will be meeting with people such as the Chief Executive of Arrowe Park to discuss the result and I will continue to listen to all my constituents about their views on the EU no matter which way they decided to vote.
I urge the government to give EU nationals the assurance that they can remain in the UK following Brexit result
On Sunday I held a meeting in my constituency to discuss the Brexit vote. Since the vote I have received a lot of correspondence from my constituents so I wanted...