City MP Stephen Morgan has shared his frustration about the missed opportunity in yesterday’s budget to invest in Portsmouth schools.
The Portsmouth South MP has been working with others to lobby Ministers for proper funding for the city’s schools.
As a former pupil of schools in his constituency and ex-chair of governors, he has been visiting local schools to hear current concerns and challenges faced by heads, teachers and support staff.
Responding with disappointment to the Chancellor’s announcement on schools in the Budget Statement in the House of Commons yesterday, Mr Morgan said:
“This was the Government’s opportunity to change course and properly fund the schools our children deserve. Instead the Tories have failed children once again.
I’m stunned that the Government would disregard hundreds of thousands of teachers, parents, heads and governors calling for a reversal of cuts – including a growing number here in Portsmouth.
More and more people in our city are backing my Portsmouth Against School Cuts campaign.
Yesterday the Chancellor let our city down. But the people of Portsmouth can rest assured, that for me, the fight for fairer funding for our city’s schools goes on”.
The budget provided no money whatsoever to plug the gap in core school finances. Instead 17,942 schools faced cuts yesterday and 17,942 schools continue to face cuts today. In Portsmouth 50 schools are affected by government cuts.
In recent weeks education unions have been lobbying Ministers for extra resources for children with special educational needs and disabilities who need urgent education. More than 2,000 children are still awaiting appropriate provision. But there was no attempt by the Government in the Budget to address the crisis in SEND.
Responding to the Chancellor’s promise of “little extras” for school buildings and equipment, Mr Morgan added:
“The one-off sums offered for so called ‘little extras’ simply don’t cut it when our schools are in disrepair after years of cuts. The school capital budget was down by £2.6 billion compared to 2010. With Hammond’s little extras, it will still be down by £2.1 billion.
I know, like me, parents, teachers and governors will be disappointed by announcements yesterday. Portsmouth’s schools deserve better”.
As a result of the budget the City MP plans to escalate his campaign to reverse school cuts in Portsmouth in the coming weeks.
Years of austerity mean the consequences for Britain are piling up. Our NHS has been pushed to the brink with waiting times soaring; our social care system is in crisis; teachers are reliant on parents to fund school supplies, and crime is rising at a record rate.
Today the Chancellor presented his budget in the House of Commons. For the last eight years, the Tories have made cut after cut to the detriment of our communities.
In advance of the Government statement, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South Stephen Morgan set out his demands of the Chancellor for Portsmouth, building on his efforts locally and in Parliament. His priorities set out publicly are:
1) Stop the £3.7m cuts to Portsmouth’s schools
2) Properly equipped Royal Navy, recruiting the sailors our Carriers need
3) Bobbies back on the beat, policing cuts cancelled
4) Tackling the social care crisis and proper funding for our local NHS
5) Devolution for Solent to unlock growth and develop infrastructure
6) Protect local services and restore millions axed from city council’s budget
Unfortunately, none of them have been fully met by the Government in the Chancellor’s statement today.
Reacting to the Chancellor’s 2018 Budget, Stephen Morgan MP said:
“If the PM thinks austerity is over, she clearly forgot to tell her Chancellor.
Today saw a raft of sticking plasters for the big issues that matter most to people in Portsmouth. Our city’s police and schools are still on course for devastating cuts and Portsmouth has been left behind yet again.
The Chancellor referred to helping schools with an ‘extra bit of kit’. Well, I don’t class our hardworking teachers and school staff as ‘extra kit’ and frankly, £10k per primary won’t pay their wages. It’s never been more obvious just how out of touch this Government is.
Some extra money for defence is welcome, but with a £20bn black hole, £1bn is nothing but a sticking plaster. Our armed forces remain overstretched and unvalued.
As much as the Chancellor tries to dress this up as a win for working people, the fact is he’s cut tax for higher-rate earners and found nothing for the services that families in Portsmouth depend on to keep them safe, educated and healthy.
Ultimately, the Tories’ actions speak louder than their words and this budget saw more new money for a no-deal Brexit and potholes than our NHS, schools, and police combined.
With the deficit set to rise again next year and permanent stagnated growth, it’s clear austerity isn’t working. More of the same from the Tories simply won’t do; sadly, that’s exactly what Portsmouth got today.”
City MP Stephen Morgan joined Karen Buck MP yesterdayin Parliament to support her Private Members Bill that will improve living standards for thousands of tenants in Portsmouth.
The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability for Housing Standards) Bill, which is in its final stages, aims to improve standards in rental properties by placing an obligation on landlords, across the private and social rented sectors, to ensure that their homes are fit for human habitation.
It aims to empower tenants by giving them a right to take action in the courts if this is not fulfilled.
The bill has received high levels of support from MPs, who gave their support on a ‘sitting Friday’, resulting in it now making it to the next stage (further reading).
Stephen Morgan MP said:
“Portsmouth has a high percentage of both private and social tenants.
Currently, landlords have no obligation to their tenants to put or keep the property in a condition fit for habitation and this simply isn’t good enough.
Some renters face poor quality and unsuitable conditions. My postbag is regularly filled with concerns about this across our city.
If this bill is passed it will give tenants in Portsmouth and across the country more protection over the safety and condition of their rented properties”.
MP for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, has pledged his support for the Long Live the Local Campaign to help pubs in Portsmouth remain open in what are difficult times for small business.
Stephen is calling on the Government to cut beer tax at the budget. With £1 in every £3 spent in UK pubs going to the taxman, British drinkers now pay 40% of all beer tax across the EU, but only drink 12% of the beer.
Breweries and pubs support 2124 jobs in Portsmouth and contribute £44.6 million to the local economy.
Commenting on the campaign, Stephen Morgan MP said:
“Pubs are at the heart of communities in Portsmouth, but with three British pubs closing their doors for good every day the Government needs to cut beer tax to keep them open.
With my ‘pint with your MP’ sessions bringing politics to the local, it’s clear to me how central pubs are to tackling loneliness and connecting our communities.
The Government must do more to protect them.”
Stephen Morgan MP has called for Portsmouth’s parents, governors, teachers and school staff to join him in telling the Education Secretary Damian Hinds the impact Government cuts are having on schools in the city.
As part of Stephen’s Portsmouth Against School Cuts campaign, and ahead of the Budget next week, the city MP is providing a template letter to concerned constituents enabling them to lobby the Secretary of State directly.
Portsmouth schools are due to lose £3.7m over the next few years, with per pupil funding cut by 8% since 2010. Stephen Morgan has been campaigning for the Tories to restore proper funding to the city and has issued a call to action to parents and teachers as the Autumn budget approaches.
Stephen Morgan MP, said:
“With the budget just a week away, it’s more important than ever that the Government hears directly from parents and teachers about the impact their cuts are having.
In Portsmouth, we’ve seen class sizes rise and budgets slashed. In some cases, parents are being asked to pay for basic supplies like glue sticks. It’s unacceptable, and I’m keeping up the fight for fairer funding.
I know how passionate parents in our city are about their children’s futures – it’s time for the Tories to hear from them what’s happening on the ground and in our classrooms.”
Constituents are also encouraged to sign up to Stephen’s campaign and show their support by displaying ‘a Portsmouth Against School Cuts’ poster in their window.
To receive a copy of the poster residents can email, pop into Stephen’s office at 72 Albert Road, Southsea PO5 2SL to collect one or download a school cuts file here.
A copy of the letter can be here: Letter template
TO TELL THE EDUCATION SECRETARY THAT ENOUGH IS ENOUGH ON SCHOOL CUTS, COMPLETE AND SEND THE SUGGESTED LETTER BELOW
Secretary of State for Education
Department for Education
20 Great Smith Street
Dear Secretary of State for Education,
Reverse Portsmouth school cuts now
I am writing about next week’s budget and am backing my local MP Stephen Morgan’s efforts to deliver more funding for Portsmouth schools and colleges.
Since 2010, there has been an 8 per cent cut in real terms in per pupil funding. This has had an enormous impact on education, leaving our schools in crisis.
In this budget, I am asking you to support my MP’s Portsmouth Against School Cuts campaign and take the necessary steps to urgently address the funding crisis.
Under your Government, Portsmouth is set to lose £3.7m in the coming years affecting 50 schools in our city.
Your budget next week must ensure that every school is guaranteed at least the same money per pupil, in real terms, as they did in 2015. Funding must also be increased for high needs and early years pupils. This must be genuine new money for schools, not funds taken from other areas of education spending.
Last week was ‘Love our Colleges’ week. In addition to funding for schools, Portsmouth’s fantastic further education colleges, who have suffered even bigger cuts since 2010, need proper investment.
Please invest in Portsmouth’s future by backing our teachers and their pupils with the resources they need.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Name of constituent and address
Portsmouth South MP, Stephen Morgan, has joined a collection of local authority leaders and representatives to hand an anti-austerity petition signed by over 5,000 Labour councillors to Downing Street.
The ‘Breaking Point’ petition is now the most-signed petition of Labour councillors ever – with 5,137 signatures collected in less than two weeks, including all those of the Labour Group in Portsmouth.
It was organised by the Local Government Association (LGA) Labour Group, led by Cllr Nick Forbes, leader of the LGA Labour Group and Newcastle Council. The petition was handed in at 10 Downing Street at 9am on Thursday 18 October.
After almost a decade of Tory cuts to local government many councils are now fair cing a crisis in funding – Northamptonshire has already gone bust, and many others are now facing bankruptcy. Tory cuts to local government of over £16 billion since 2010 mean councils have lost 60p out of every £1 that the last Labour Government was spending on local government in 2010.
The cross-party Local Government Association has warned that local councils face a new round of spending cuts of £1.3bn next year, with grants slashed by 36% in 2019/20 and 168 councils receiving no central funds from government at all. The LGA has also warned that councils now face a further funding gap of £7.8 billion by 2025 just to keep services ‘standing still.
After almost a decade of Tory cuts to local government many councils are now facing a crisis in funding – Northamptonshire has already gone bust, and many others are now facing bankruptcy.
- Tory cuts mean councils have lost 60p out of every £1 that the last Labour Government was spending on local government in 2010
- Councils were forced to spend an extra £800m on vital services to protect children last year due to increased demand, despite overall council funding falling
- With an aging population and growing demand adult social care faces a gap of £3.5 billion – with only 14% of council workers now confident that vulnerable local residents are safe and cared for
- Government cuts have seen over 500 children’s centres and 475 libraries close, potholes are left unfilled, and 80% of councils workers now say have no confidence in the future of local services
- Councils now face a further funding gap of £7.8 billion by 2025 just to keep services ‘standing still’ and meeting additional demand. Even Lord Gary Porter, the Conservative Chair of the Local Government Association, has said ‘Councils can no longer be expected to run our vital local services on a shoestring’.
Stephen Morgan MP, said:
“I’m proud to support this vital campaign. The unprecedented numbers in which councillors have come together shows just how urgent this issue is. In Portsmouth, we’ve seen budgets slashed and valued local services decimated, we can’t go on like this.
Our city simply cannot take any more cuts and ahead of the budget I’ve called for the PM and Chancellor to stop neglecting Portsmouth and properly fund our local services.
The next Labour Government will sustainably fund our councils and put an end to this crisis.”
Cllr Nick Forbes, the leader of the LGA Labour Group, said:
“Council budgets are now at Breaking Point – and Labour councillors are delivering a powerful message to the Prime Minister and Chancellor that councils simply cannot take any more cuts.
If the Budget doesn’t reverse the further cuts planned to local government for next year then there is no doubt that more councils will collapse into bankruptcy, causing devastating effects for children at risk, disabled adults, and vulnerable older people.
A record number of Labour councillors have signed the Breaking Point petition in less than two weeks – an unprecedented coming together of councillors which shows the depth of anger and concern at the state of council finances.
If the Prime Minister‘s claim that austerity is over’ is to have any credibility, she simply must find the money we need to stop vital services from disintegrating.”