May 20

Commons Speaker visits three schools across Liverpool Wavertree

Speaker visitI was delighted to welcome House of Commons Speaker the Rt Hon John Bercow, MP to Liverpool Wavertree today on a visit to three schools across the constituency.

The Speaker is the chief officer and highest authority of the House of Commons and during debates keeps order and calls MPs to speak. The Speaker also represents the Commons to the Monarch and the Lords.

The Speaker gets involved in lots of outreach work to meet electors – present and future – across the country to talk about his work.

The visit took in King David High School, Northway Primary School and Archbishop Blanch. The students he met had clearly done their homework and asked lots of incisive questions about Parliament, the Speaker’s role in keeping order and our democracy.

May 17

Stand up for the Co-op

For a century, the labour movement has worked with the co-operative movement – via our sister party, the Co-operative Party – to build a society where power and wealth are shared.co-op

Many of us also shop at the Co-op because we know it shares our ethics and values. It’s never been just an ‘ordinary’ supermarket.

Millions of ordinary members of the Co-operative Group will get a chance to vote on whether to continue their partnership with the Co-op Party.

If you are a member, please act now to protect the link with the Co-operative Party.

The co-operative movement created the Co-operative Party to champion co-operative ideas. Last year, thousands of Co-op members rallied around, voting resoundingly to keep the link between the Co-operative Party and the Co-operative Group.

With another vote happening now, the stakes are just as high. If you have a Co-operative Membership card, you may be eligible to vote. You will have received an AGM pack via email or post. Please use you vote in favour of the motion on political expenditure. The deadline for online voting and the return of postal votes is noon on Wednesday May 18.

You can find out more by visiting: www.keepit.coop

The co-operative movement is about changing society for the better. In a democratic society that happens by organising for change through political action and the Co-operative Party is a vital part of the equation. Together, we can create a stronger, more sustainable future.

May 17

Being part of the European Union is best for Britain

Union Jack backgroundThe European Union referendum on June 23 is of huge importance. The consequences of voting to turn our backs on Europe would be serious.

The stakes are high and the questions I hear repeatedly on the doorstep are:

What is best for me and my family?

What is in our national interest?

What sort of country do I want Britain to be in the 21st century?

Britain built our economy through sustained engagement with the rest of the world. We are a trading nation that helped build the international institutions that contribute to peace and prosperity – the United Nations, NATO and the European Union.

Being part of the European Union makes our economy stronger.

Today, half of everything we sell to the rest of the world we sell to Europe. In 2014 our exports were worth £226 billion and we receive an average of £26.5 billion of investment into Britain every year from EU countries. Up to 3 million jobs in the UK are linked to the European Union and a further 790,000 could be created by 2030 through opening up markets in tourism, digital services and energy. The average family saves around £450 a year due to lower prices because we belong to the biggest consumer market in the world.

These are direct economic benefits to the individual citizen in Britain.

Being part of the European Union gives us a stronger voice in the world.

On all the issues that trouble governments today – climate change, cross border organized crime, economic growth, and many more – the European Union plays a global role and the UK through its membership, helps shape that role.

Membership of the European Union is good for our national security.

It provides an integrated approach to policing and justice that better tackles the crimes that recognise no borders. For instance, 400 people who have committed serious crimes in Britain and then fled to Europe have been arrested under the European Arrest Warrant.

Membership of the European Union guarantees important rights at work.

The Social Contract ensures that workers are treated fairly and that the single market can never become a race to the bottom. Minimum paid leave, rights for agency workers, paid maternity and paternity leave, equal pay, anti-discrimination laws, and protection for the workforce when companies change ownership: these are all in place thanks to our membership of the EU.

Of course the EU needs to be reformed. Our membership means that we can have a voice and work to strengthen these protections in the future. The most effective way to reform an institution is through explanation, persuasion, building alliances, making friends – not by walking away.

That’s not being run by Europe. That’s making Europe work for us.

I am campaigning and voting to Remain on June 23. I hope you will join me.

May 16

Better off in the European Union

Vote posterLabour is united in campaigning for Britain to remain in Europe. That’s because Labour values are at the heart of this campaign.

Environmental groups, human rights organisations and trade unions are overwhelmingly of the opinion that we can best make a positive difference by voting on Thursday June 23 to remain part of the European Union.

That is the overwhelming opinion of Labour MPs, Labour members and Labour voters.

Labour believes in standing up for working people whose jobs and communities depend on trade with Europe.

We believe in standing up for the rights of everyone to be treated fairly at work – and for the rights at work that are guaranteed by our membership of the EU.

We believe in Britain taking a leading role in tackling the issues too big for any one country to solve alone, whether that’s climate change, global poverty or cross-border crime.

Over three million British jobs are linked to our trade with the EU; including 350,000 here in the North West. The EU is by far the UK’s largest trading partner and the world’s largest single market. Half of our exports go to EU countries, worth over £11.6 billion here in the North West.

The UK receives an average of £24 billion of investment every year from other EU countries – that is the equivalent of £66 million per day.

Our membership of the EU gives people vital protection at work, such as paid holiday, maternity and paternity leave, protection for agency workers and health and safety in the workplace. All rights that could be threatened by this and any future Tory governments.

Our membership protects us as a country too. Our allies all around the world, NATO partners and Commonwealth countries, are urging the UK to stay in the EU because they know the EU is stronger with the UK as a member, and the UK is safer through our membership.

The European Union Referendum vote takes place on Thursday June 23 – just a few short weeks away.

Between now and I will be making the strongest case possible for a vote to remain. That is because we are better off in the European Union.

May 09

Pharmacy protest petition attracts millionth signature in Liverpool Wavertree

Pic: LD PHOTO

Pic: LD PHOTO

I was pleased to witness Lil Benson (left) become the millionth signatory to a national petition by local pharmacies campaigning against government contract changes that threaten staff cuts and pharmacy closures.

Lil Benson became the millionth signatory at Daveys Chemists in Kensington where I met John Davey, who chairs the Liverpool Local Pharmaceutical Committee, and other local pharmacy users and owners.

The petition underlines the importance of our national local pharmacy network to our local communities. Pharmacies are part of the fabric of the community. They listen, advise and offer a professional health service on the High Street without an appointment, to everyone.

However, the government wants to cut pharmacy funding by almost £170 million nationally, which may mean that valued local services that many people rely on have to consider cutting opening hours and/or staff.

The people I met are deeply concerned at these government plans. Hundreds of people who use local pharmacies to collect prescriptions and get professional healthcare advice have also contacted me about this looming crisis.

I know that the people who use and run pharmacies are determined that we must not allow our communities to lose access to such vital services.

TYou can find out more about the petitiont by clicking here.

 

May 06

Thank you for supporting Labour

Thank you to everyone who turned out to vote yesterday in elections for your local councillor, Mayor of Liverpool and for the Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner.Local elections 2016

I’m delighted Joe Anderson was returned as Mayor of Liverpool and Jane Kennedy as Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner.

Across the wards that make up the Liverpool Wavertree parliamentary constituency people turned out for Labour. Huge congratulations to Labour’s new councillor for Childwall, Liz Parsons, and for the Labour councillors who retained the support of voters: Nathalie Nicholas in Picton, Helen Casstles in Wavertree, Liam Robinson in Kensington and Fairfield, and Gary Millar in Old Swan. Labour’s excellent candidate Jan McDermott missed out in Church ward.

I look forward to working with each of them in the coming years to make sure that Liverpool Labour’s manifesto, that prioritised protecting services from continuing Tory government cuts, investing in jobs and housing, and protecting the city’s green spaces, is implemented.

Thank you again to everyone who turned out to vote and I hope you will do so again, in even larger numbers, to vote Remain in the EU referendum on Thursday June 23.

 

 

May 05

Three votes for Labour today

vote labour posterThe polls are open and today there are three chances to vote for Labour – for Mayor, for your local councillor and for the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Every vote counts. Every vote matters. Please use every one.

Government cuts to our council’s grants and the undermining of police budgets mean that the country risks going backwards.

That is why we need strong Labour representation locally – to protect the people of Liverpool and drive our local economy forward.

Labour will stand up against the unfair Tory cuts, protect the vital public services we all rely on and protect neighbourhood policing.

Labour Mayor Joe Anderson has a record of delivering – over 5,000 new homes, 12 new schools and putting Liverpool back on the international business stage, attracting thousands of new jobs to the city.

Labour Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy has a record of standing up to unfair government funding formulas and winning a better deal for police across Merseyside – helping to build safer communities.

As MP for Liverpool Wavertree I work closely with Labour councillor colleagues across the constituency and know that they are working hard to deliver for every constituent every day.

Together, Team Labour – Mayor, Police and Crime Commissioner and your local councillor – will deliver for you and our city.

Please vote Labour today.

Apr 29

Government concessions on the Trade Union Bill

The government finally made important concessions on the Trade Union Bill this week after months of hard campaigning from trade unions, their members and Labour MPs.

Luciana Berger MP supporting trade unionists

Luciana Berger MP supporting trade unionists

The government announced it would accept the compromises proposed by the House of Lords, knowing they faced a united opposition if they had refused to compromise.

The government had planned to change the way trade unionists paid into their union political fund. They wanted union members to ‘opt in’ every five years to remain in the political fund and gave unions just three months to sign up their members.

It was an obvious attack on the ability of unions to campaign for their members and a partisan attack on the Labour Party and our ability to hold the government to account.

The government has now agreed to delay changes to political funding and have given trade unions 12 months rather than three to engage with new members. Most importantly, existing members will be exempt from the changes.

This is a welcome move, and an important victory as rushing through the changes to political funds would have had serious knock-on effects for trade unions’ capacity to campaign.

After refusing to introduce e-balloting, the government again conceded and agreed to a trial of e-voting for strike ballots. This will allow trade unions to bring balloting into the 21st century and encourage turnout and participation.

Labour also forced the government to back down over plans to end the right of workers to pay union subscriptions automatically by deducting them from their wages.

These are hard-fought and welcome concessions, but Labour still remains opposed to the Trade Union Bill in its entirety.

It is unnecessary, bad for workers and bad for businesses. We will look to push for further concessions.

Apr 18

Backing business investment in Liverpool

YouTube Preview ImageLiverpool is hosting over 300 overseas businesses at this year’s International Festival of Business, attracting thousands of delegates from around the world to our city for three weeks in June.

The first International Festival for Business in 2014 saw £280 million worth of investment and trade deals and this year’s event is set to be even bigger.IFB2016

Around a third of the over 30,000 delegates are expected to be from overseas. The gathering offers UK businesses, and small, medium and large enterprises from Liverpool in particular, huge opportunities to meet potential partners and customers from markets in Europe, US, China, India, Africa, South East Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

Around 60 per cent of the delegations are from the USA, Europe and China, which are key regions for export and investment and which present a wealth of opportunities to British businesses.

Organisers are making particular efforts to help showcase small and medium enterprises looking to make a mark on the global stage, whether to do deals, find suppliers and develop new partnerships.

As a long-time supporter of the grassroots Small Business Saturday UK that celebrates the diversity of our local High Streets, traders and businesses, I’m delighted at the festival’s focus on bringing together the global and the local.

For last year’s Small Business Saturdayt I visited shops and traders across Liverpool Wavertree with the Federation of Small Businesses to show our support for the fantastic contribution they make to the community. Students from Liverpool John Moores University Screen School made a short film of the day that you can view by clicking here.

In June, the International Festival of Business will see a free Meet Your Future Deal programme with companies taking part in 6,000 face-to-face meetings with potential new customers, suppliers, innovation and technology partners and investors. If you are interested in the free digital matching programme, you can sign up online by clicking here.

Big name speakers already announced for the festival include social media advertising platform Unruly chief executive Sarah Wood, Reggae Reggae Sauce founder Levi Roots, grocery sales entrepreneur Lorna Davidson and designer Wayne Hemingway.

Whether you are a small or large business, it would be well worth taking an interest in this year’s festival which is shaping up to be the best yet.

 

Apr 15

Remembering the 96

Hillsborough 96Our thoughts are with the families of the 96 Liverpool fans today, the 27th anniversary of the #Hillsborough disaster.

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