Concern raised over introduction of a ‘tip tax’ in Portsmouth

New charges will soon be imposed on Portsmouth residents as a result of Hampshire County Council led changes to waste recycling services. Concerns have been raised by the city’s Labour Environment and Community Safety spokesperson.
From October 1, residents in Portsmouth will have to pay to leave soil and rubble, plasterboard and asbestos at the city’s Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) in Port Solent. This is a result of county council led plans.
Proposals were discussed at the Cabinet Member for Environment and Community Safety decision-making meeting on Thursday 22 September.
Portsmouth Labour have criticised the decision to make any changes to the well-used facilities in the north of the city.
Stephen Morgan is city councillor for Charles Dickens ward and Labour’s spokesperson for the environment and community safety. He joined others with concerns by calling the proposals a ‘tip tax’ on local people.
Further service changes include reducing opening hours at the Port Solent site by 2 hours per day. From January 2017, revised hours will be 11am-6pm in the summer and 11am-4pm in the Winter.
What’s more, the site will be closed altogether every Thursday.
Over the past two years, government statistics show that the problem of flytipping is getting worse with 90,000 cases of flytipping in England alone last year.
Flytipping blights the environment in cities as well as the countryside. It also presents a potential danger to public health, and has a significant financial impact to local authorities who have to clear up the mess.
Cllr Stephen Morgan said:
“The county’s own decision making report recognises that these changes may lead directly to increased fly tipping. A better strategy is needed.
A number of residents have already contacted me with concerns over changes to bulk refuse collection and fly tipping levels across our city.
These new proposals will reduce essential services, cut opening times at our only waste recycling centre and introduce charging. None of these changes represent good news for those of us who want to see Portsmouth become a cleaner and tidier city.
The ‘tip tax’ will hit hard working families and the vulnerable. This is an attempt at a quick fix to save money, but it may result in costly, long term damage to our city”.
 
 

Fratton Family Festival a huge success

Fratton Family Festival a huge success

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The September sun and locals came out for another successful Fratton Family Festival this Sunday, 18 September. 
Building on a popular community fun day last year, the Fratton Family Festival was organised by local people and volunteers as part of the Fratton Big Local initiative.
Over 40 stalls pitched up along Fratton Road including community information stands, live music, world food stalls and children’s activities.
Volunteers helped steward the event with the resident-led partnership ensuring a smooth running to the day.

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Stephen Morgan


Cllr Stephen Morgan, ward councillor for Charles Dickens ward which includes the western side of Fratton Road attended the event to enjoy the fun day with other local people.
Cllr Morgan said:
“I’ve helped set up Big Local initiatives in other parts of the country, so it was fantastic to go along to such a brilliant event organised by our own here in the heart of Portsmouth.
It is great to see people coming together, side by side and having fun. A big thanks to all those that have organised today. Long may the Fratton Family Festival continue!”
Fratton Big Local is a Big Lottery funded 10 year project which aims to make a lasting improvement to Fratton.
Run by a partnership of local residents who make decisions about how to spend the funding, the partnership spent nearly two years talking to Fratton residents to find out what improvements people would like to see, then wrote a plan based on what had been said. It started practical work in Autumn 2014.
Aims agreed in the action plan include:

  • making Fratton an attractive destination
  • improving and making the best of the green space available
  • developing and improving community life
  • working with people to help them think about what they want, hope and need
  • breaking down barriers and involving the whole community.

 For more information about the Fratton Big Local visit: www.frattonbiglocal.org.uk
 
 

Not too late to have your say on Solent Deal

 
On Wednesday 14 September at 7.30pm in the Council Chamber at the Portsmouth Guildhall residents will get a chance quiz the Leader of the Council and have their say on the proposed Solent Deal which aims to create a new Mayoral authority for the Solent area.
The new deal plans to create a combined authority where the councils of Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight work together to promote prosperity over the whole Solent area.
By cooperating on issues like transport and housing, which affect the whole of the Solent, it’s hoped that they can be tackled more effectively.
The creation of a combined authority would also free up access to crucial government funds and powers. £30 million each year for 30 years would be supplied by central government to be invested into the area. The £900 million total that would be made available over the 30 years could be key to fixing some of the area’s major long term issues such as lack of housing and poor transport links.
However there have been concerns raised over the proposed deal.
Some may argue that the creation of new posts, including an elected mayor and two other statutory positions, would create extra bureaucracy costs. Others believe the economic benefits of a combined authority would far outweigh these.
A new directly elected Mayor is also seen by others as unnecessary, and there are fears that it could over-politicise local politics. Unfortunately the Government has made it clear during discussions that the only way to access the new powers and funds is by the creation of a Mayoral Combined Authority. Therefore some local political leaders see the elected mayor as a necessity to improving the future of Portsmouth.
Cllr Stephen Morgan, Labour’s deputy group leader said:
“The formal public consultation on this important proposal for the future of our great city ends on 18 September.
As well as a survey, the meeting this Wednesday allows the opportunity to put your questions directly to the Leader of the Council who has been working with other political leaders in the respective authorities on the deal being struck with central government.
Be sure to have your voice heard”.
More information on the proposals and how you can have your say can be found at http://www.solentdeal.co.uk
 
 
 
 
 

Hundreds attend Heritage Open Days

Hundreds attend Heritage Open Days

This weekend hundreds of local people and visitors enjoyed accessing some of the city’s historic gems as part of the Open Heritage Days.
Hidden treasures and well known local attractions flung open their doors to offer an insight into the heritage of Portsmouth.
Cllr Stephen Morgan, the city’s newly-appointed heritage champion joined local people with a marathon-like tour around the city to see the sights.
His visits over the weekend included a tour of the Kings Theatre in Southsea, a trip to see the drill room on Whale Island and HMS Excellent, a trip up to Wymering Manor Portsmouth’s oldest building, Hilsea Lido, a tour round the recently-opened new stage area at the New Theatre Royal and a visit over to the Victorian pumping station at Eastney.

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A visit to Eastney Pumping Station


Cllr Morgan said:
“This weekend has shown Pompey at its best. We should be rightly proud of our fantastic heritage and historic assets, and their potential, with suitable investment and care, for the future.
It has been great to meet so many volunteers who gave up their time to open the doors of sites across the city and improve access for all local people. I thank all those involved over the Heritage Open days for their hard work”.
Last week the council’s Cabinet appointed Cllr Morgan the city’s first heritage champion, a new role which aims to generate enthusiasm and awareness for the importance of the historic environment within the local authority and wider community.
Cllr Morgan added:
“This year’s events have been a great success, but too few people knew what was going on. We can change that with the help of others. Next year I want to work with local groups to make Heritage Open Days in Portsmouth even bigger and better”.
 
 
 

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