Alison McGovern MP

Member of Parliament for Wirral South

Latest News

On Monday I had the pleasure of visiting Ganneys Meadow Early Years Centre which is based in the Woodchurch area of Wirral.

The visit was part of my 25 hours tour: 25 stops across the country to understand the importance of Labour’s commitment to increase free childcare for three and four year olds with working parents from 15 to 25 hours per week. Ganneys Meadow is stop number 16. I have been speaking to early year’s professionals in various parts of the country to understand the challenges parents and families face, and those who work with them to give every child the very best start in life.

I was accompanied on my visit by Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary candidate for Wirral West Margaret Greenwood and we were given a tour by the Head Teacher and the Family Services Manager of the excellent facilities provided by the centre on site. It’s good to know we have such expertise, right here on the Wirral.

Teachers who work with children during their earliest years are incredibly knowledgeable about how children learn and develop during those crucial first years, be it in the development of speech, physical skills or gaining confidence to do things for themselves. And we know that early education can make a significant difference once children get to school.

We will fund our 25 hours pledge by increasing the bank levy. This increase in tax that large banks pay will help families up and down the country. It will benefit nearly half a million three and four year olds and their families and help parents overcome the barriers to getting back to work or working more hours.

Child care costs are soaring under the current government. We will only succeed as a country if Britain’s families also succeed. This is why I am passionate about helping parents with child care costs through our 25 hours pledge, and will keep fighting to make Wirral a better place to grow up.

 By Alison McGovern MP for Wirral News 

Pleasure to visit Ganneys Meadow Early Years Centre on my 25 hours tour

On Monday I had the pleasure of visiting Ganneys Meadow Early Years Centre which is based in the Woodchurch area of Wirral. The visit was part of my 25 hours...

A report published by the Family and Childcare Trust shows that the cost of childcare has soared by 33 per cent nationally under David Cameron, with families spending £1,533 more this year than they did in 2010, while wages have remained largely static.

Labour Party analysis shows that in some parts of the country the cost of childcare has rocketed by as much as 53 per cent over the Parliament.

Also Labour's own research has found that in Wirral's neighbouring city Liverpool the cost of part-time childcare with a childminder for a child aged 2 and over is now £122.25 a week – a rise of more than two thirds since 2010.

Commenting on the findings Alison McGovern MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Childcare and Children, said: These figures lay bare the extent of David Cameron’s failure – he is badly letting down working families. Since 2010 the failing Tory plan has seen the costs of childcare soar. On top of this, there are over 40,000 fewer childcare places and wages are down £1,600 a year on average.

Adding:"Labour gets that Britain only succeeds when working families succeed. Our plan offers a better future for families struggling against the soaring cost and lack of availability of childcare, extending free childcare for working parents of three and four year olds from 15 to 25 hours, guaranteeing access to childcare for parents with primary age children through their local school, and delivering at least 50,000 more childcare places by doubling the number available at Sure Start centres.”

 

Alison McGovern MP responds to research findings that show how childcare costs have soared under David Cameron

A report published by the Family and Childcare Trust shows that the cost of childcare has soared by 33 per cent nationally under David Cameron, with families spending £1,533 more...

I am very pleased that Wirral Council have measures in the current budget that would reduce the cost of car parking in Heswall. Our shopping high streets are a vital part of our communities and local small businesses need to be supported.

I have been speaking to Heswall business owners as they shared their views on car parking charges with me and I have met with them to discuss their concerns on how the charges were impacting on their businesses.

The cuts imposed on Wirral Council from central government have been unfair and have meant that the local authority has had to make difficult decisions. An example of just how unfair the cuts have been is the fact that Wirral has lost £152 per head in funding whilst the Conservative controlled North Dorset Council lost just £2 per head.

Wirral’s Labour-controlled council is facing deep cuts and serious pressures on its financial budget from central government but has demonstrated that it has listened to the concerns expressed by local business owners and have acted on them.

The reduced charges which are part of a 12-month trial period are fairer for both shoppers and business owners. The reductions are great news for areas across the borough.

Wirral Council did reintroduce a temporary “free after three” scheme during the Christmas period to support local businesses over the festive period, but it’s positive news that there is now a more permanent measure in the budget.

The local authority has demonstrated that even when its budget has been slashed so significantly that it is supporting communities and listening to people to make the right decisions for Wirral.

 

By Alison McGovern MP for Wirral News 

I welcome decision on car parking charges for Wirral

I am very pleased that Wirral Council have measures in the current budget that would reduce the cost of car parking in Heswall. Our shopping high streets are a vital...

Alison McGovern MP was in Liverpool today to meet with the city’s Cabinet Member for Children Jane Corbett, Cabinet Member for Fairness and Inclusion Frank Hont and Children’s Centre Manager Liz Parsons to listen to parents about what Surestart children’s centres have done for them and what they have meant to their lives.

The meeting also marked the launch of a petition that will be delivered to the Government about funding for children’s centres in the city. The petition will be delivered by parents on Friday 27th February in a response to the threats the centres in the city are currently facing.

Speaking of the launch of the petition Alison said: “Liverpool and the Wirral have seen unfair cuts made to their Local Authority under this government. In my role as Shadow Minister for Children and Families, I wanted to hear directly from parents on what these centres have meant to them. I fully support this petition and the campaign. What really struck me today, listening to parents, was how children’s centres are so much more than just centres for children. They have really provided essential support to families who really need it.”

She added: “The amount of good that they do for families was very clear to see from this meeting. I hope the government gives this petition the attention it deserves. The cuts the government have imposed on the budgets of local authorities such as Wirral and Liverpool are of great concern to the people I met today. I hope the Government listen seriously to their concerns.” 

Wirral MP and Shadow Minister for Children and Families Alison McGovern shows her support for Children’s Centres Petition

Alison McGovern MP was in Liverpool today to meet with the city’s Cabinet Member for Children Jane Corbett, Cabinet Member for Fairness and Inclusion Frank Hont and Children’s Centre Manager...

You might know that I grew up living in Bromborough in south Wirral, and was born in Clatterbridge hospital, in the days when it had a maternity unit. Since then, lots has changed, not least that Wirral babies are now born at Arrowe Park! But the role of Dads has also changed greatly. Whereas once, men might not have been routinely included in the birth of a child, it is now a regular thing that Dads are there if they want to be.

Since I was appointed to be Labour’s Shadow Minister for Children and Families one of the issues I have been drawing attention to is the role a father plays in their young child’s life and the existing stereotype of childcare being viewed as more of a women’s issue.

Politics should keep up with the pace of the changing society that we live in.

I was very pleased therefore that this week Ed Miliband announced that we will double paid paternity leave for fathers from two to four weeks under the next Labour government.

This is a policy that reflects the campaigning I have been doing because of the aspirations Dads have to play their part in the early stages of their child’s life. Labour understands modern families, and we know that fathers need time following the birth of their child just like mothers do.

This pledge by Ed Miliband builds on Labour’s record when it comes to paternity leave. An independent right to paternity leave was introduced under the last Labour Government and we want to do more. Labour’s paternity pledge also includes increasing payments to at least £260 a week so that the money that father’s receive is equivalent to the minimum wage and this will help them to afford to take the time off work.

The measure will be funded by savings from tax credits because our plan to extend free childcare to parents of three and four year-olds will mean they no longer have to rely on benefits to pay for their children to be looked after.

I have received lots of feedback on our childcare policies, and am always keen to know what people think. Let me know by emailing me alison@alisonmcgovern.org.uk or calling my office on 0151 645 6590

 

By Alison McGovern MP for Wirral News

Labour's paid paternity leave pledge will help 400,000 families a year

You might know that I grew up living in Bromborough in south Wirral, and was born in Clatterbridge hospital, in the days when it had a maternity unit. Since then,...

I returned to my old primary school Brookhurst Primary School last Friday to discuss the issue of how current pupils can walk to school safely and identify any issues that might be preventing them from doing so.

The morning consisted of me walking around the local area with a group of pupils, the Headteacher and representatives from Living Streets so the pupils could record any potential hazards that might mean that they couldn’t walk to school in a safe manner.

The problems that the pupils recorded on their sheets included parking, speeding, litter and pavement conditions.

Although it was obviously a serious issue that was being discussed, I had a lot of fun with the pupils as they used the speed guns on the local roads as we observed speeding.

It is important that we do what we can to encourage walking to school and identify any hazards that would prevent pupils from being able to do so or make it difficult for them during their journey.

There are many benefits to be gained from pupils being able to walk to school both for the pupils themselves and also the environment.

I was impressed with the children’s alertness to the potential problems on the roads around their school. They were very engaged and interested in talking about them with me.

It was also good to be back at my old primary school and to think back to the days when I walked to the school from my house. I congratulate Living Streets on the work that they do on highlighting these issues and engaging the children in such an active way.

By Alison McGovern MP for Wirral News 

Good to accompany Brookhurst Primary School pupils on Walk to School activity

I returned to my old primary school Brookhurst Primary School last Friday to discuss the issue of how current pupils can walk to school safely and identify any issues that...

There are currently 5.4 million unpaid family carers in England. There are 9,344 just in Wirral South and 5,983 of those carers living in the constituency are over the age of 50.

Looking after an elderly or disabled family member and providing essential support to them can mean that perhaps the person doing the caring is not getting the right support that they might need.

Since becoming an MP I have spoken to carers who are looking after a loved one and attending to their needs. I have seen that this can have an impact on the health of the carers themselves.

With an ageing population and our family lives changing it is important that those in government acknowledge this issue and act.

That’s why I am pleased that Labour’s Shadow Minister for Care and Older People has pledged measures to help support our unpaid carers who may not always recognise themselves as being a carer.

These measures include for example placing a duty on the NHS to identify family carers, and giving carers new rights to ask for an annual health check – allowing problems to be identified earlier and prevent costs escalating.

It makes economic sense to identify the needs of carers as they are at risk of becoming ill or being forced to give up work, but most importantly it is right that people who do such an important job are not pushed to breaking point.

I want to see improved conditions for all carers including those who are unpaid. Over the last five years I have spoken to constituents who work in care and visited places in Wirral South where care is provided to get an insight into the challenges they face. Care needs to be high on the agenda and Labour recognises this as evidenced by the appointment of a Shadow Minister specifically to address these issues and propose solutions.

 

By Alison McGovern MP for Wirral News 

Labour pledge new measures to support unpaid family carers

There are currently 5.4 million unpaid family carers in England. There are 9,344 just in Wirral South and 5,983 of those carers living in the constituency are over the age...

Ed Miliband recently highlighted the shocking news that almost one million people have gone missing from voting rolls in the last year, and many thousands of those are young people.

This is a consequence of the Government’s hasty introduction of individual voter registration without the safeguards proposed in the original legislation.

The change will mainly affect people who are new on the register and those who have moved house in the last 12 months.

Last year I visited schools in my constituency to talk about the importance of registering to vote given the changes in the registration process.

The young people at the schools I visited were very engaged and I was impressed with their enthusiasm and knowledge.

With the General Election only a matter of months away it is important politicians focus on all issues including those affecting young people.

Ed Miliband has already pledged the vote for 16-year- olds. I think this a positive and progressive step towards engaging young people with political issues and in the voting process.

I know many young people in Wirral South who are politically active and volunteer on my campaign. It is great to see this level of involvement but we need to do more to engage more young people, starting with getting them on the Electoral Register.

Ed has written to all university vice-chancellors, local authority leaders and the Electoral Commission urging them to take action to prevent the disenfranchisement of one million voters, and Labour have launched a consultation which will run from January 16 to February 16 for young people to get involved with. For more information you can visit http://shapeyourfuture.today

By Alison McGovern MP for Wirral News

Young people must have their political voice heard

Ed Miliband recently highlighted the shocking news that almost one million people have gone missing from voting rolls in the last year, and many thousands of those are young people....

This week I’d like encourage small shops across South Wirral to participate in a national competition to find the UK’s best small shop.

Small shops are vital to our communities and the economy. Because of this, my Labour colleague Simon Danczuk who is the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Small Shops Group, is calling for small business’s across the country to put themselves forward for this accolade.

I know that there are many successful shops in South Wirral that are worthy of recognition and I was very proud when Wirral Butchers Edge and Son based in New Ferry won a national award for best local retailer.

The success of Edge and Son helps to create a prosperous food hub in New Ferry alongside the New Ferry Farmers Market. This shows how small business can benefit our local areas and how important our small shops are.

Of course this is just one example of many small shops across South Wirral that benefit our areas and play integral roles in our communities.

I would really like to showcase the local businesses in my constituency so I hope that small shops enter the competition. The winners will be honoured at a presentation in the House of Commons on February 25.

The Best Small Shop will be selected based on a number of criteria including innovation within the business, engagement with the community and entrepreneurial activities.

The deadline for entries is the January 30 and if you want more information about the competition and the process for submitting an application you can visit www.bestsmallshops.uk . Applications are to be submitted through this website.

I’d like to send my good luck to all those who apply

 

Written by Alison McGovern MP for Wirral News 

Award opportunity for small shops in Wirral South

This week I’d like encourage small shops across South Wirral to participate in a national competition to find the UK’s best small shop. Small shops are vital to our communities...

2015 will be an important year for us all as we are now in the year of the next General Election and this week Ed Miliband delivered his first speech of the year, here in the North West.

Rather than the old-fashioned ways of politics - expensive billboard adverts for example - I know from my conversations in Wirral that the best way to listen to residents is to get out and speak to people directly.  With help from local volunteers, I've spoken to thousands of my constituents, and I'm sure that's the right way to represent people.

This is the only way politics can work properly to understand the changes our country needs. For example, in Wirral we need to make sure that work really pays, that we see a rising minimum wage and where possible living wages. This affects many of my constituents who work in care, a sector that has seen low wages dominate for too long. 

I've also heard lots of concern recently about our NHS, and the need to protect our walk-in centre in Eastham, as well as making sure people can get timely GP appointments. 

In the up and coming months I will continue to knock on my constituents' doors all around South Wirral. I'm always pleased by how many people have views and thoughts to share, and no subject is ever off the agenda. We won't always agree as a community - that's only right in a democracy. But the way to change politics for the better is to talk to one another, and to use everyone's contribution to find the right way ahead. 

By Alison McGovern MP for Wirral News 

The best way to politically engage with my constituents is by knocking on their doors

2015 will be an important year for us all as we are now in the year of the next General Election and this week Ed Miliband delivered his first speech...

The Labour Party will place cookies on your computer to help us make this website better.

Please read this to review the updates about which cookies we use and what information we collect on our site.

To find out more about these cookies, see our privacy notice. Use of this site confirms your acceptance of these cookies.