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Expansion and transformation of universal childcare will transform lives of Portsmouth families

Expansion and transformation of universal childcare will transform lives of Portsmouth families

Portsmouth MP Stephen Morgan backs Labour childcare reform on visit to local nursery

On a visit today to a nursery in the city, MP for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, spoke of how Labour would transform childcare for families in Portsmouth. This comes after Labour announced a radical expansion and transformation of free universal childcare benefiting more than a million children and their families.

Currently, patchy support for childcare is holding back too many parents and families. Universal free high quality childcare will benefit parents, families and children across our country. 

Under Labour’s plans, 30 hours of high quality, genuinely free childcare will be available to all 2, 3 and 4 year olds, with no means testing. In a major new announcement, the party set out plans to provide additional subsided hours of childcare on top of the free 30 hour allowance. These additional hours will be free for those on the lowest incomes and, for those on the highest incomes, they will be offered for no more than £4 per hour. 

Mr Morgan also shared his party’s plans to improve children’s life chances by dramatically raising standards of childcare.

Labour will achieve this by introducing a two-term plan to shift to a graduate-led workforce. This will improve the pay and skill levels of childcare staff, drive up standards to improve our children’s life chances and close the attainment gap, which is locking in inequality while children are still infants.

The city MP paid a visit to Baffins Nature Nursery based at the Stacey Centre, an innovative nursery focusing on child-initiated play and outdoor learning. With its mature fruit orchard, wild areas and raised flowerbeds, the nursery offers a unique environment for children to experience the full benefits of playing and learning outdoors.

Mr Morgan was impressed with the staff’s commitment to reducing plastic waste and learning inspired by the natural world.

Stephen Morgan MP, said:

“This is a vital and long overdue change that would transform the lives of families in Portsmouth. If we don’t invest in our children and support working families then our country can’t expect to thrive. 

Currently, our childcare system is complex and chronically underfunded. The cost of childcare has risen by between 32% and 47% across England since 2010, but wages have only risen by around 16%. We need to do far better by families.

I know what a difference free childcare will make to parents in Portsmouth, visiting the brilliant Baffins Nature nursery reinforced how urgent and important this is for our city.”

 


Labour is ready to rebuild Britain

Labour is ready to rebuild Britain

This week Labour has been hosting its annual conference in Liverpool. The event was packed with events, debates and policy announcements.

From our communities to our economy, from industry to our public services, Labour are committed to rebuilding Britain for the many, not the few.

Responding to the conclusion of the conference and speech by the Leader of the Opposition, Stephen Morgan MP said:

Today Jeremy set out a clear vision for our country. Labour will rebuild Britain around the ideals and institutions that its people value most – education, safe communities, strong public services and a healthy economy.

This means properly funding schools so where you’re born doesn’t dictate where you end up. It means 10,000 more police officers to make our streets safe again. It means providing small and large businesses with the support and highly skilled workers they need to thrive.

But, as Keir made clear yesterday, it also means avoiding a disastrous Tory Brexit. It’s only right that we keep all options on the table when it comes to protecting the economy and peoples’ jobs. Labour takes Brexit seriously, and we’ll listen to the people, not Rees-Mogg and Johnson.

My party is offering change from this broken Tory Government. We’ll invest in renewable energy, skills, security, our NHS and invest in our regions.

Labour is ready to transform our great city’s communities and rebuild Britain“.

Portsmouth police being forced to ask other forces for help reveals city’s rough deal

Stephen Morgan calls for urgent action after Chief Constable warns pressure on force has ‘never been higher’

MP for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, has called on the Government to take urgent action to address the imbalance in police funding for Hampshire.

The Government’s national funding formula for policing has led to Hampshire Constabulary losing almost 1,000 officers amidst a 10% rise in crime in Portsmouth. What’s more, the local policing budget is set to be slashed by a further £25 million over the next four years. This summer, Hampshire Constabulary was forced to ask for mutual aid from other forces.

Olivia Pinkney, Chief Constable, has warned that pressure on officers has ‘never been higher’, adding, ‘we’ve been open about the fact that pressure on operational policing in Hampshire has never been higher.’

‘We have repeatedly made the point that national funding for policing does not deliver a fair deal for the people of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.’

The national audit office has recently reported that the Home Office’s decision to take a light touch approach to overseeing police forces means it does not know if the police system is financially sustainable.

Mr Morgan regularly meets with the police chiefs and the Police Federation and goes out on patrol with local officers in Portsmouth.

He has repeatedly lobbied the Home Secretary and Prime Minister for fairer police funding, raising the issue in numerous letters and at Prime Ministers’ Question Time and holding a summit in Westminster with small businesses affected by the rise in crime.

Stephen Morgan MP, said:

“I’m fed up of Portsmouth being treated as the poor relation of other areas, especially when it comes to keeping our communities safe.

It’s shameful our local constabulary has been forced to ask other forces to help plug the gaps and that the Tories continue to insist that it’s business as usual. Crime is rising and resources shrinking – it’s not good enough.

The Chief Constable is right to raise this issue. I’ll continue to fight for her officers and the local people they protect.”

 

City MP helps host launch of new plans for St Luke’s

Inner-city Portsmouth church St Luke’s has launched its redevelopment plans with an event hosted by Portsmouth MP Stephen Morgan.

St Luke’s Church wants to use its city centre location to serve those who live and work in the local community more effectively. That includes those who work in the city centre and thousands of students living in newly-built tower blocks nearby.

Worshippers want to open up its building to passers-by on Isambard Brunel Road, creating a brand new entrance and a café on the west side of the existing building – as well as revamping the existing community garden.

The £1.5m project would also involve revamping the interior of the Victorian church and its adjoining church hall, providing better facilities for community groups that already use the building and making it available for others too.

The church is also working with Portsmouth City Council on plans to redevelop the area to the west of the building, with an nearby underpass filled in and landscaping to make the area look more attractive.

It also hopes to employ two people who can work alongside young adults who may need help to take advantage of local employment opportunities.

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan – who is also the local ward councillor – is enthusiastically supporting the plans. He offered to host a launch event for local residents, community groups, councillors and interested parties.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

It was great to host this event launching these exciting plans for the Church. I’m really excited about the difference this development could make to this special part of our great city.

There has been a lot of re-development recently, and there are many more people living locally, as well as all those who work in the city centre.

Having a place in the heart of Portsmouth that can give them some spiritual support, as well as the chance to relax and unwind in the café or community garden, will be really helpful.

St Luke’s has already done a lot to bring people together – it hosts an annual barbecue at the start of each autumn term to bring together brand new students and local residents. It also runs community fairs and fun days, and hosts all sorts of local community groups.

I’m hoping this development will make it even easier for them to bring local people together.”

The Diocese of Portsmouth has indicated its support for the plans, which will shortly be considered by Portsmouth City Council.

Portsmouth MP and Shadow Financial Secretary raise concern over HMRC Brexit preparedness amidst cuts and closures

Portsmouth MP and Shadow Financial Secretary raise concern over HMRC Brexit preparedness amidst cuts and closures

Stephen Morgan and Anneliese Dodds attended the Portsmouth HMRC Office Lynx House ahead of planned closure

The so-called ‘modernisation’ of HMRC operations across the country is really just a guise for massive cuts and closures that will end up costing the Treasury more than its saving – this is the warning today from Stephen Morgan MP and Shadow Treasury Secretary, Anneliese Dodds.

The Government plans to close all offices in Portsmouth, with Lynx House to follow Wingfield House which has already been shut down.

The Conservatives’ ‘Building for Our Future’ programme will close and replace the regional operations of 43 offices with just two ‘hubs’ in Stratford and Croydon.

Portsmouth South MP, Stephen Morgan, has expressed his fears about the impact of the new hub system on customs preparedness, in the light of additional pressures from Brexit, a topic he has been investigating in his role on the Public Accounts Committee.

Stephen Morgan MP, said:

“Shutting down Portsmouth’s HMRC offices isn’t just going to cost our city jobs, it’s going to end up costing the Treasury money.

These are extremely skilled people and in cutting their roles the Government is losing valuable expertise in tax collection and evasion and customs handling.

It’s yet another example of disastrous short-termism from the Government. The HMRC workforce is already down 30% since 2007 and, as we head for Brexit, pressure is only go to increase on our customs workers.

The Tories need to have a serious rethink.”