This week the people of Scotland will face a momentous decision. To stay together with the rest of the UK or to go it alone and vote for separation.
During the past few weeks I have been up to Scotland to speak to voters and to support a vote for the stay together option.
Many people living across the UK have Scottish family and friends. We have a strong shared and proud history. But more than that, what is needed today is the same, both sides of the border.
People in Glasgow want similar things to people living in Liverpool. A strong but fair economy, social justice and security. We want the economy to do better, and for all to feel the benefit.
This friendship between Scotland and the north west is the reason I’ve been coming to Scotland this week to show my love and desire for us to stick together. Not because everything in the UK is great – far from it. We are too Westminster-centric. And Westminster itself is too dominated by people who have not experienced ordinary life in Britain. I got into politics to help change that.
But still, we have more chance of achieving great things with the people of the north west and Scotland working as one rather than apart as we face similar challenges.
Scotland will decide its own future but I want to see them remain as part of a United Kingdom. United in many ways to achieve a fair deal for our communities and our future together. Our objectives remain the same for example to tackle the causes of poverty and build an economy where people aren’t left behind.
By Alison McGovern MP for Wirral News
This week the people of Scotland will face a momentous decision. To stay together with the rest of the UK or to go it alone and vote for separation. During...
Next Friday, parliament will debate a bill that will enshrine in law a requirement for governments to commit 0.7 per cent of national income to overseas development, fulfilling an internationally-agreed UN target. This was a commitment that was in the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat manifestos at the last election, but where the government has dragged its feet, leaving it up to an individual MP to bring in the bill.
I know that development and aid spending makes many people a little uneasy. Why should we be sending sums of this sort overseas when we face massive budget constraints here at home? I would argue that there are two different reasons why we are right to make this modest (in government spending terms) commitment.
Firstly, because as a rich nation, we should not walk by on the other side when we can do a little to help tackle crippling poverty, hunger, and disease.
Secondly, because we all benefit from a world where poverty reduction lessens conflicts and global tensions, or creates new markets for mutually-beneficial trade. Putting my cards on the table – I will support the bill to make 0.7 per cent legally binding, because the task of lifting the billion people who live in extreme poverty, and the more than two billion who live on less than $2 (£1.20) a day is too daunting for us to shirk our responsibility – but I also hope that I will see, in my political lifetime, a time when the world can agree that the 0.7 per cent target can be relaxed, because we are winning the battle.
The key to getting people across the developing world out of poverty is through trade – conducted equitably and fairly, creating jobs and sustainable livelihoods. Our development efforts must be focussed towards breaking down the barriers that prevent that from happening. That means investing in infrastructure that helps kick-start economies and get goods to market, but also supporting unglamorous things that we take for granted, like helping fragile states set up a tax collection regime, so that they can harness revenues from their economy to pay for schools, hospitals and social care. And we must work to support initiatives that ensure workers are paid a decent wage for their work and are employed under safe and fair conditions.
These are the building blocks for finally eradicating global poverty and bringing closer the day when we won’t need a development budget of our own. As a shadow international development minister, I couldn’t be more convinced of the importance of the job I have – nor could I be more convinced that my long-term aim, should I one day be lucky enough to hold that job in government, is to make myself redundant.
By Alison McGovern MP for Wirral News
Next Friday, parliament will debate a bill that will enshrine in law a requirement for governments to commit 0.7 per cent of national income to overseas development, fulfilling an internationally-agreed...
Last week concluded the end of my summer pub tour meeting my constituents.
I visited pubs and also a café in wards all around my constituency and had many interesting conversations and listened to points of concern.
I was interested to hear views on a wide range of issues such as welfare, manufacturing, care, NHS, House of Lords, youth services, pensions and many more.
I set out to hear people’s perspectives on the issues that matter to them and the tour was certainly a success in terms of that.
I welcomed the opportunity to have open conversations and being able to respond directly in a casual setting.
I’d like to thank people for coming to meet with me during the past month.
It was clear from my conversations that the economy is one of the bigger concerns that people understandably have and I had a chance to put forward how Labour would tackle some of the issues that were discussed.
We have a number of pledges to address people’s standard of living and also address youth and long term unemployment. Some of these pledges were discussed during my tour.
It was a very worthwhile way of spending the parliamentary recess and I would like to do something similar in the future. During parliamentary term when I am able to I also travel round my constituency to meet with constituents and I find it a good way to meet a number of constituents at once.
By Alison McGovern for Wirral News
Last week concluded the end of my summer pub tour meeting my constituents. I visited pubs and also a café in wards all around my constituency and had many interesting...
The train journey from Liverpool to Glasgow is the most beautiful there is. After Lancaster, the peaks of the Lake District rise up around the tracks. And then between Carlisle and Motherwell, the mountains in the south of Scotland diminish all before them.
The train journey from Liverpool to Glasgow is the most beautiful there is. After Lancaster, the peaks of the Lake District rise up around the tracks. And then between Carlisle... Read more
Congratulations to students on the Wirral who received their A-level results and GCSE results recently and for those moving from school to work.
It is always a great pleasure visiting schools in my constituency to offer my support and congratulations to students, teachers and support staff.
It is a stressful time for students and their families as they wait to see if a place at university has been accepted.
Though it is also an exciting time marking a new chapter in many students’ lives as they get even closer to achieving what they want to do as a career and their aspirations.
Whilst this is to be celebrated we need opportunities for all our young people. It is important that no young person is left behind in having a chance to achieve their full potential.
I want to see more apprenticeships especially those that involve progression to higher level qualifications giving the person a better standard of technical expertise.
All young people deserve a chance of being skilled enough to enter the labour market and this includes the need for better technical expertise.
Labour’s shadow education secretary of state, Tristram Hunt, has also voiced concerns about losing the current structure of AS and A-levels.
We need rigorous exam testing but we should not remove helpful structures that help students understand their progress.
Congratulations to students on the Wirral who received their A-level results and GCSE results recently and for those moving from school to work. It is always a great pleasure visiting...
Yesterday I had the pleasure of officially opening the new Port Sunlight River Park to the public.
It was great to see everybody there and it was a very nice afternoon. I would like to thank those who turned out for the event and showed their support for this new beautiful public space.
The attraction will add to South Wirral’s cultural offer but above all it will benefit local residents which I am most pleased about.
Residents close to the site have had to endure living near to a landfill site for too long so to see what the site looks like now is a significant transformation and one that I was determined would happen.
The park has walking paths, lovely plants and flowers and stunning views across to Liverpool to enjoy.
Community is very important and that is why I am keen that the local community continue to play a part in the park going forward whether that be volunteering in an active role or just making use of what the park has to offer.
I would like to say a huge thank you and congratulations to partners who have got us to this point. I have very much enjoyed being involved with the project and I am very proud that it is now open.
The opening was very successful and the park is a fantastic community asset that will be enjoyed for many years to come.
If you were unable to attend the opening then not to worry as you will be able to experience the views and see the park in all its glory anytime from now.
If you would like to be involved or have ideas for the park then do get in touch with me on 0151 645 6590.
By Alison McGovern MP for Wirral News
Yesterday I had the pleasure of officially opening the new Port Sunlight River Park to the public. It was great to see everybody there and it was a very nice...
On the 12 August at 1.30 pm Alison McGovern MP will be opening a brand new park in her constituency.
The Port Sunlight River Park will finally open to the public in an official opening ceremony and everybody will be welcome to come along,
Speaking about the imminent opening Alison said: “I am very excited that we are so close to a day that I have been waiting for quite a long time now.
The public can finally enjoy this new public space which has been transformed from a dock landfill site into a stunning new park. I am looking forward to officially opening the park and hope to see many people there.
The views over to Liverpool make this park quite special and I hope that people will get a lot of pleasure from it in future years. I’d like to thank all involved in getting us to this point. I have received a lot of interest from local residents who have been enquiring about the park so I know that people are looking forward to being able to make use of it.”
She added: “I am hoping this park will show off the area to tourists and contribute to Wirral South’s cultural offer but also I really hope that above all local people will find much enjoyment from it.”
On the 12 August at 1.30 pm Alison McGovern MP will be opening a brand new park in her constituency. The Port Sunlight River Park will finally open to the...
My tour of South Wirral’s pubs started last week and I have already had lots of conversations with constituents that have given me food for thought on a number of issues.
I have met with people in Port Sunlight, Bebington and Spital. I’d like to thank those constituents who have turned out so far to tell me their ideas and views on issues that matter to them.
I am very much enjoying the tour and look forward to meeting more people over the coming weeks to chat about politics and anything they may need my assistance with.
So far people have raised with me the issue of care, international issues, youth services and the NHS and I have also had debates with people on such matters as manufacturing. It is good to hear first-hand the subjects that matter to people both nationally and locally.
I will be going to pubs in Eastham, Heswall, Bromborough and New Ferry next.
Details of my summer pub tour can be found on my website.
It is a pleasure to talk with constituents in a relaxed environment and I am very happy that people have taken the opportunity to share their views with me.
Many good points have been made to me so far and I will definitely be keeping them in mind when Parliament returns next month.
By Alison McGovern MP for Wirral News
My tour of South Wirral’s pubs started last week and I have already had lots of conversations with constituents that have given me food for thought on a number of...
The Giants came back to Liverpool this weekend with a cultural event to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.
The three giant marionettes took to the city to tell their story, and the crowds to witness the drama demonstrated why Liverpool is unlikely to give up its culture capital crown.
More than one million people turned out to see the little girl, her grandma and her dog Xolo at the weekend, who visited some of the City’s famous landmarks. The event was fantastic for northern culture, but its success should be applauded, not just regionally, but also nationally.
The event was both popular and tremendously skilful, and should demonstrate to any doubters still existing that great culture exists just as much here as in London and the South East. I would like to see more recognition of this in the future from national cultural commentators.
The culture and history of Wirral, Merseyside, and the north of England is as important as that of anywhere else, and whilst the BBC’s move to Salford Quays represented a step in the right direction, I am very keen to see other big arts and culture institutions recognise their responsibility to serve the whole country.
Also, I’ve been contacted by many constituents concerned over the circus temporarily set up in Wirral. Wild animals deserve protection and respect, but despite many calls from MPs, the public and animal welfare groups, the Government have failed to deliver a ban on wild animals in circuses, and instead introduced a licensing system. A draft bill to ban wild animals from circuses was presented, however this measure was not included in the Queen’s speech this year.
Labour have been calling for a ban on wild animals in circuses since 2010 and plan on introducing legislation to ban wild animals in circuses if elected next year. On 3rd September 2014 Labour MP Jim Fitzpatrick will present an important Ten Minute Rule Bill in the House of Commons calling on the Government to introduce the necessary legislation to end the practice.
By Alison McGovern MP for Wirral News
The Giants came back to Liverpool this weekend with a cultural event to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. The three giant marionettes took to...
Having battled to ensure the transformation from landfill site to public park land took place I am pleased to be able to give readers details of the opening of the Port Sunlight River Park.
On the 12 August I will be opening the park to the public at 1.30pm and look forward to welcoming people to this latest addition to all that Wirral has to offer. Weather permitting it promises be a lovely day with refreshments, entertainment and guided walks. Readers of my column will know that I have often written about the park and how excited I am about it opening.
Having worked on the park’s development in conjunction with The Land Trust, Unilever, Biffa Wirral Autistic Society and New Ferry Residents Association it will mean a lot for me to see the park finally being opened for public use.
Excitement is building, as I know from the number of people who have contacted me wanting to know when the park will be accessible. There has also been a great deal of interest from people who wish to volunteer to work on projects at the park, including helping at events or recording wildlife on the site. More volunteers are always welcome so if you would like to contribute to the development of park in this way please contact my office for further details.
You can find out more information about the park at www.portsunlightriverpark.com
I hope to see you at the opening of the park on 12 August.
Having battled to ensure the transformation from landfill site to public park land took place I am pleased to be able to give readers details of the opening of the...