I am St Helens born and bred. I grew up in a working class family in the Gerrards Bridge area of St Helens. I went to local schools but like so many people across our constituency, I went to work as soon as I was old enough because my family simply couldn’t afford for me to stay on.
For most of my adult life I worked at Pilkingtons which is where I joined a trade union, I helped to set up my branch and became a shop steward. Representing working people there is what led me to the Labour Party and to eventually becoming a Councillor, for my local area. Then came the election in 1979.
When Thatcher came to power, I had just become a councillor. I saw how the decisions of people in Westminster impacted on our communities. I saw poverty and experienced it myself. I collected food for families who couldn’t put dinner on the table and did everything I could to help people get by when the government told us to ‘try harder’ and ‘help ourselves’ when there were simply no jobs to go to.
I see the exact same thing happening today. I will not stand on the side lines and watch, I will work hard for the people of St Helens South and Whiston.
I’ve served our local area for over thirty years. I’ve been a councillor, Cabinet member and led our council for almost 20 years. I brought millions of pounds of investment and jobs to our area, fought to get two new Hospitals here and then to stop the Burns unit from closing down. It was under my Leadership that we donated land to ensure that Willowbrook Hospice could come into being and for my beloved Saints, I fought time and again to ensure our team got a brand new stadium.
St Helens and Whiston is my home, in 30 years of service I've shown exactly how I can practically deliver for people here, one thing is for certain, I will always be ready to stand up and fight for our constituency and I will always be your voice in Westminster, not Westminster’s voice to you.