Alison McGovern MP

Wirral South

Latest News

Eastham Walk in Centre

I was very pleased to see Eastham’s Walk in Centre reopen this month. I attended the celebration event on the 2 December and I want to thank all campaigners for helping to get this vital service reopened. I also want to thank them for organising the celebration event. The tireless work put into campaigning and the subsequent news about the opening is a great victory. The opening hours at present are Monday-Friday 1-5 and Saturday and Sunday 12-4pm with the centre expected to fully re-open in May. I have been joining Labour spokesperson for Eastham Jo Bird on campaign session to speak to Eastham residents about the walk in centre and any other issues that they wanted to raise with us.

Vauxhall Motors in Ellesmere Port

This month it was reported about further job losses at Vauxhall in Ellesmere Port. Since the PSA group took over Vauxhall there have been a number of debates that have taken place in Parliament. Vauxhall is a crucial employer in Wirral which employs many of my constituents and many people will be concerned by the latest reports. This month I have raised my concerns about Vauxhall on two occasions in the House of Commons in relation to the impact of Brexit and leaving the single market. I worry about the consequences on employment including employment within the manufacturing industry. Here is my first intervention on Vauxhall after the job loss news broke and I followed this intervention with a second question a week later. 

New Ferry

The Council hosted another meeting on the 15 January to brief residents and businesses about the latest situation. The council submitted regeneration plans and were awaiting an initial response from the government about whether they would fund these plans. I pressed Sajid Javid in Parliament to see where a reply was up to because the Council had been expecting to hear something back from them. Sajid Javid’s response to my question in Parliament was basically a swipe at Wirral Borough Council. I was angry about this because all people in New Ferry care about is knowing whether their town will be regenerated or not. Also Wirral Council have had a lot to deal with since the explosion. The damage caused meant that people were displaced from their homes and business couldn’t trade. That means a lot of work and time was and is still is required of the council to give attention to these issues and a lot of their resources were focussed on helping people and the town. The government came back asking for some further information from the council and they are working on this. Regarding the police investigation, there is an update and there have been charges brought against an individual and a gas company. This is a significant development which I welcome in terms of progress but it is important now that we leave this to be handled in the correct way by the correct people in the justice system. New Beginnings are working hard to prepare for the opening of their new base in the old Lloyds bank building on Bebington Road. When this opens they will offer a range of community services. I wish them luck with the future and look forward to working with them.

Brexit

The EU Withdrawal Bill went through its report stage this month in the House of Commons and will now go to the House of Lords for scrutiny. The Bill passed the Commons because it gained the support of the majority of MPs. The Bill’s purpose is to repeal the European Communities Act 1972 and to legislate for Britain when the country leaves the EU. It has been the source of much debate since it was introduced to the Commons and MPs have put forward many amendments. It’s a very large piece of proposed legislation and one that will have important consequences. I am continuing my work to campaign for our country to remain a member of the single market. I have written an article with my colleague Heidi Alexander MP about Farage's calls for a second referendum.  And about Donald Trump and why I think he backs a hard Brexit. 

Food poverty Westminster Hall debate

Stephen Twigg MP for West Derby held a debate in Westminster Hall last week on the issue of food poverty in Merseyside. I attended this debate to listen to Stephen address the issue and support him in bringing this to attention. (Hansard copy of debate attached) I also contributed to the debate. My office is a food bank voucher collection point and it’s always upsetting when somebody comes in to ask for a food voucher mainly due to issues with their benefits and the rollout of universal credit. This is the point I raised in my intervention during the debate. Unfortunately, during January our office was used a number of occasions for food vouchers. It’s simply not acceptable for this to be happening and it was important that a debate focussed on this issue with a specific emphasis on Merseyside. The government must act to stop from happening and look at the impact that changes to benefits are having on people. You can read the debate and my contribution here 

Thornton Hough Retirement Village application

I have objected to the plans for a retirement village to be built on greenbelt land in Thornton Hough. The plans have been submitted by English Care Villages. The grounds on which I objected the application include building on greenbelt land and the disruption caused by the initial construction to local traffic. I have also raised concerns about how Thornton Hough would cope with a new influx of residents given that it is a small village and the pressures that this would bring. I sent my objections to the Head of Planning David Ball for his consideration and will continue to be in touch with residents of Thornton Hough and surrounding areas going forward as we monitor developments about this planning application. I know a lot of my constituents are concerned about it and they have contacted me detailing these concerns.

Brackenwood school visit

I will be paying a visit to Brackenwood Primary School to hear about their Unicef campaign. It’s heartening to see children recognise the plights of other children in the case of the school project it is looking at the rights of refugee children. The children will hand me letters for me addressed for the attention of the Home Secretary so that I can deliver them to Parliament.

Second Reading of the ‘Fitness for Human Habitation’ Bill

Last Friday I was in Parliament for the Second Reading of the ‘Fitness for Human Habitation’ Private Member’s Bill put forward by Labour MP Karen Buck. I am usually in my constituency on a Friday but it was important for me to show my support for this Bill. The Bill aims to strengthen tenants’ rights with regards to properties which are hazardous and unhealthy and it has my full support. Ofcourse people’s homes should be safe to live in. That should be a given. It should be expected that tenants live in habitable conditions and that if they don’t they can make a challenge to their landlord. Karen’s done great work with bringing this to the attention of the House and I congratulate her and I will continue to support the Bill. The Bill was officially backed by the government on the day.

All Parliamentary Party Group for Genocide Prevention

I chaired an event in Parliament for the All Parliamentary Group which focusses on the prevention of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity. It is so important that we all must learn lessons from the horrors of the past for the sake of future generations. Today we see still see persecution of innocent people in countries and work to prevent this from happening should never stop. The event focussed on calls for an Atrocity Prevention Centre to be to be established at the Holocaust Memorial which will be built in the shadow of Parliament. The calls came from Holocaust survivors who were present at the event.

Hillsborough Law

From previous reports you will know that I have been campaigning for a Hillsborough Law. It is a piece of legislation drafted by Lawyers and aims for public authorities and public servants to tell the truth. I have some meetings in Parliament about this and most recently one which included Jeremy Corbyn and he was very supportive. I will continue to work to make progress to get this Bill into legislation. 

 

 

Constituency report for January 2018

Eastham Walk in Centre I was very pleased to see Eastham’s Walk in Centre reopen this month. I attended the celebration event on the 2 December and I want to...

Alison McGovern presses Secretary of State for a response on New Ferry regeneration proposals

The Wirral South MP challenged the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid yesterday about New Ferry during his statement about local government funding.

Her intervention comes after Wirral Council submitted a regeneration plan to the government in November. The Secretary of State responded to Alison by putting the blame back onto Wirral Council without giving any sort of definite answer about when Wirral Council could expect to hear from the government.

Speaking of the response Alison said: “I am dismayed and angry at the Secretary of State’s response today. I was hoping for some positive developments. Ever since the explosion Wirral Borough Council have been working hard to help people who have been affected. People in New Ferry don’t want to have their town to be dragged into a blame game and they deserve more than empty answers from ministers. All they want is the help to regenerate their town following a devastating incident. The regeneration plan has been submitted by the Council and they are waiting on an initial response from the government before anything can move forward.

Adding: “People in New Ferry have already waited since March for help but the government has provided no support whatsoever. Wirral Borough Council, on the other hand, has provided more than £300,000 in funding following since the explosion. This is at a time when their budget has been seriously restrained by government. During the election, Jake Berry who is a Minister in Communities and Local Government gave a glimpse of hope to people when he paid a visit to New Ferry. Hopes were soon dashed though when the government decided to offer nothing in emergency relief. I and the Council are eagerly waiting for their response to the submitted plans.”

 

Alison pushes for government to take action on New Ferry Regeration

Alison McGovern presses Secretary of State for a response on New Ferry regeneration proposals The Wirral South MP challenged the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid...

Alison led a group of Eastham Walk-In Centre supporters to hand in 1874 strong petition to the Wirral Clinical Commisioning Group at their governing body meeting today. Alison addressed the CCG as she handed in the petition. 

Commenting on the continuing campaign to re-open Eastham Walk-In Centre Alison said: "I was pleased to get the opportunity to say a few words and deliver this weighty petition of signatures on behalf of local residents which calls on the Wirral CCG to re-open the Eastham Walk-in Centre. Having listened to people since the closure was announced I know this is a vital community health service and that people are concerned and upset about it being closed.

Adding:"Campaigners have worked very hard to protest against the closure and highlight the issue locally and I thank them for this. I also thank all those who supported us by signing the petition. I invited Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth to meet with people who have been troubled by the closure. We know the closure has been described as temporary but until we get a re-opening date we will continue to demonstrate how much this service is missed and how important it is. I reiterated how valued this service is to the community this afternoon to the governing board. The CCG seemed to listen carefully to both myself and the other campaigners at their meeting."

Alison hands in petition calling for Eastham Walk in Centre to be reopened

Alison led a group of Eastham Walk-In Centre supporters to hand in 1874 strong petition to the Wirral Clinical Commisioning Group at their governing body meeting today. Alison addressed the CCG...

Jonathan Ashworth will visit Eastham on Monday 11 September to speak to Wirral people about the closure of the local NHS walk in centre service.

Jonathan was invited by Alison McGovern MP who is concerned that staff from this service have now relocated to help with the crisis at Arrowe Park meaning an end to the walk in centre at the clinic. 

Speaking about the closure, Alison said “I am really concerned about this news and I have received many responses from constituents who also do not want to see this happen.

The Eastham Walk in Centre has served as a valuable NHS service in this part of the Wirral. I have championed Eastham Walk in Centre for seven years and I won’t give up on NHS services now. The CCG have had to take urgent steps to deal with the A&E crisis, and a shortage of qualified staff has led to this closure. Tory cuts, pay held down in the NHS, and a failure to train staff is the root cause, and we must hold the Government to account.

Adding: “Local Labour activists have already protested about this and I want to thank those have signed the petition against the closure. I look forward to welcoming Jonathan Ashworth who I know shares my concern about the removal of this important NHS service and the impact on the community. He has visited previously, and was so impressed by the staff and the service offered to patients.”

If you are interested in attending please arrive for 11 am at St David's United Reform Church Eastham. If you need any further information then please contact the office on 0151 645 6590. If you want to attend please RSVP to helen.dodd@parliament.uk.

Shadow Secretary of State for Health to visit Wirral following closure of Eastham Walk in Centre

Jonathan Ashworth will visit Eastham on Monday 11 September to speak to Wirral people about the closure of the local NHS walk in centre service. Jonathan was invited by Alison...

Following the news that the Eastham Walk in Centre is due to close Alison McGovern said: “I have spoken out publicly about my dismay at this decision already. I found out at the same time as the news became public and I was as shocked and concerned as everyone else who uses this service has been. I have received lots of contact on this from constituents who live locally and are really worried and angry about this. The local labour party have held a protest today which runs between 2pm this afternoon until the late evening and this will take place outside of the centre. There will be petitions available there for people to come along and sign. Please do go down and add your support to fight for Eastham walk in centre. I have previously championed this service and fought for it to remain open and I will continue to highlight the need for this service which is due to close today with the staff relocating to Arrowe Park. 

Alison's reaction to the closure of the Eastham Walk In Centre service

Following the news that the Eastham Walk in Centre is due to close Alison McGovern said: “I have spoken out publicly about my dismay at this decision already. I found...

As a supporter for the UK to remain in the single market following the EU referendum Alison has recently launched a new website dedicated to this cause.

Alison has teamed up with fellow Labour MP Heidi Alexander ahead of Labour Party conference to launch the campaign and you can find all the details including how to become involved here

 

Labour campaign to remain in the single market launches

As a supporter for the UK to remain in the single market following the EU referendum Alison has recently launched a new website dedicated to this cause. Alison has teamed...

Alison is doing a tour of cafes around her constituency and wants to meet her constituents to discuss anything of their choosing. 

This could be an issue that is affecting you personally, a local issue that is affecting you and your neighbours or a national issue that you want to share your opinion on. 

The reason for the tour is to hear your views and hear about an issue you may need assistance with. It's not an appointment system and you can just turn up. 

Cafes are great community spaces which can help combat loneliness and offer a space for local people to come together. Alison wants to meet you in a relaxed environment for an informal chat about political or local issues. Your conversation will be discreet and Alison will spend as much time with individuals as possible depending on the number of people attending each session of the tour.

Alison has already held three sessions but below are the up and coming dates

22 August 11 am Gorge'Us Tea Rooms Spital Road Bebington

24  August 11 am Blooming Skull Coffee New Ferry 

29 August 10 am Claremont Farm Cafe

You don't need to book but if you have questions then do ring the office on 0151 645 6590.

You can check if Alison is your MP by giving the office a call to confirm with your postcode. All cafe visits will last two hours. 

Come and meet Alison on her Summer Cafe Tour

Alison is doing a tour of cafes around her constituency and wants to meet her constituents to discuss anything of their choosing.  This could be an issue that is affecting you...

Alison has joined a group of 30 other MPs to urge the government to delay the rollout of universal credit in a letter to the Guardian newspaper.

The letter from the MPs appeared in the Guardian newspaper earlier this month. A copy of the letter appears below.

We are concerned about the Department for Work and Pensions’ proposed rollout of universal credit (UC) in our constituencies during November and December. There is a real worry that the introduction of UC at this time will cause extreme hardship for many people in vulnerable situations, exacerbated by the financial burdens of the festive period. We understand that the proposed changes were designed to make the social security system simpler, more reactive to individuals’ issues and more efficient. However, evidence from other parts of the country where UC has been introduced already, shows that it is far from the efficient system trailed. In many cases, recipients have had to wait seven weeks for payment of the benefits. This puts an incredible strain on individuals and we have seen in other areas an increased use of food parcels during this period. There are also issues around the removal of the severe disability premium, which leaves many disabled people in a precarious position. In addition, although there is a provision for crisis loans, the mandatory paying back of £150 in three lump sums of £50 adds a further strain on individuals who are already in a difficult financial situation. Overall, the rigid nature of this approach can exacerbate the debt of those in receipt of UC.

The current timetable will cause our residents severe hardship over the months which are most financially difficult. We urge David Gauke, secretary of state for work and pensions, to instruct his department not to roll this system out in November and December, but look to a date later in 2018.

Alison joins group of MPs to urge the government to delay the rollout of universal credit

Alison has joined a group of 30 other MPs to urge the government to delay the rollout of universal credit in a letter to the Guardian newspaper. The letter from...

You will be aware that in 2011, your predecessor made changes to the state pension entitlement for a group of women born in the 1950s. The IFS have recently estimated that this means an average household income of women aged 60-62 is £32 per week lower as a result.

Women born in the 1950s began their working life at a time when gender discrimination was legal, married women were routinely turfed out of the work force, and when maternity rights were non-existent. These women have now been punished again, just as they have reached retirement age. This is not just a question of material deprivation. The short notice given in 2011 represents a breach of trust in the government, and an injustice to women who have fought for fairness all their lives.

This breach of trust is problematic for two reasons.

First the public will lose trust in pensions if such changes, done at short notice, are allowed to stand. But secondly, there is the problem of fairness to those who have worked hard to change women's place in British society. Women of my generation have stood a platform built by women in the 1950s. We owe them a debt of gratitude, and it is because of that debt I write to you now.

I am asking you to consider establishing a non-partisan commission investigating how this injustice can be remedied. Millions of women are affected, all with unique circumstances. They have been treated from both a financial and administrative point of view. A substantial consideration of the facts is required, leading to policy proposals on how to remedy the injustice caused by the 2011 changes.

Your Autumn Budget would be the perfect opportunity to announce such a commission. It could then report in the spring, in time for consultation on the proposals ahead of next year’s budget.

I would be grateful for your consideration and reply on these points.

With kindest regards

Alison McGovern MP 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Letter to the Chancellor calling for WASPI justice

You will be aware that in 2011, your predecessor made changes to the state pension entitlement for a group of women born in the 1950s. The IFS have recently estimated...

Port Sunlight River Park set for celebration event marking three years since opening to public

The Friends of Port Sunlight River Park are looking forward to the park’s third anniversary celebrations on 13 August.

This year the group is teaming up with Wirral-based charity Autism Together, which manages the day-to-day running of the park, for the annual event. 

Speaking of the anniversary Alison McGovern MP who officially opened the park in 2014 said: “It’s been almost three years since the park was opened to the public and since then the park has developed into a beautiful community space with activities and events for everyone. It’s great to see Autism Together joining with the Friends of Port Sunlight River Park for this event. Since the park opened it has had strong and beneficial links with Autism Together so this is a chance to also celebrate that relationship. Every year volunteers work hard to put on this event for the good of the community and it’s always a nice and fun day out.”

She added: “It’s an exciting time for the park with plans for a Visitor Centre now in progress which all visitors to the park will benefit from.”

The event runs from 12-4 in the afternoon and there will be a range of stalls and things to do for all the family including autism friendly activities.

Speaking about the activities on offer Park Ranger Anne Litherland said: “After the successful Bioblitz in May, we are delighted that Record, Cheshire Wildlife Recording group, will join us together with RSPB to help visitors learn about and identify birds and other animals in the park. There will also be the opportunity to get up close to Birds of Prey with Rockcliffe Raptors and entertainment will be provided again by the Autism Together band, the Beethovens.”

 

 

Port Sunlight River Park set to hold anniversary party

Port Sunlight River Park set for celebration event marking three years since opening to public The Friends of Port Sunlight River Park are looking forward to the park’s third anniversary...

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