Parliament debates current local government funding disarray and the affect it is having on social care

Parliament debates current local government funding disarray and the affect it is having on social care

Opposition day debates, a rarity in the current climate of long-running complex Brexit discussions, allow parties other than that of the government to choose the topics that feature on the order paper

Today’s debate area, chosen by Labour, was local government and social care funding.

Following the debate, Stephen Morgan MP has said:

“Local councils are on the front-line of government, delivering the services that form the beating hearts of our communities.

The fact that local government has severely suffered as a result of nine years of Tory and Lib Dem austerity and cuts is highly worrying. Research by the LGA has found that local government will face an almost £8 billion funding gap by 2025, this is not good for cities like Portsmouth.

This is something that needs to be at the forefront of discussion in Parliament.”

Today drew attention to the government’s recent strategy of shifting the financial burden to council taxpayers and the subsequent postcode lottery that this creates.

The city MP added:

“It is unacceptable that some in this country have to endure variations in quality of public services based solely on their geographical location. We need to see consistent, across the board services that are equal for everyone in this nation.

Not only is this current system based on luck, it disproportionately affects those in our poorest communities again meaning that city’s like one I grew up in, Portsmouth, bear the brunt of government errors.”

Portsmouth City Council has been far from exempt in terms of local authority cuts with local services we all rely on slashed by 48 percent since 2011, equating to £73m.

The debate was not only an opportunity for MPs from across the House to draw attention to the Government’s poor form when it comes to local authority funding, it also provided the Shadow Secretary of State with the opportunity to lay out Labour’s plan to invest in councils and public services.

On this, Stephen Morgan MP said:

“I am committed to standing up for local communities. Hearing the Shadow Secretary of State today pledge to deliver fair and adequate funding for local councils, as well as deliver real and meaningful devolution to our communities is reassuring for cities like Portsmouth”.

 

City MP responds to announcement Trump will be visiting Portsmouth for D-Day 75

City MP responds to announcement Trump will be visiting Portsmouth for D-Day 75

Stephen Morgan MP, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, has been lobbying the Government in an attempt to get specific funding allocated to D-Day 75.

On today’s news Mr Trump is set to visit Portsmouth the MP said: “I have been lobbying the government and writing to the Prime Minister urging her to support Portsmouth in making the best of the commemorations for our veterans. I find it deeply saddening that the Government can’t find money for our brave veterans, but it can find money to give Mr. Trump a state ceremony.”

On the city’s D-Day Commemorations, Mr. Morgan has said:

“Our city should rightly be proud to be the national focal point for the D-Day 75 commemorations this June. The world’s attention will be on Portsmouth.

International and local community events in Portsmouth should be for those who fought for our nation in order to achieve world peace.

This will be an important opportunity for the city to mark its vital role in helping to launch the D-Day landings at such a pivotal point in time where the events of 1944 are passing from living memory into history, which is why I have been lobbying the Government for funding support for Portsmouth.

The commemorations also provide an opportunity to show Portsmouth as a place that helps foster a legacy of remembrance, reflection and reconciliation. 

Our attention should be on ensuring commemorative events that will do justice to veterans – like my own Southsea grandfather – and showing Portsmouth at its best”.

Following the announcement that Trump will visit Portsmouth as part of the commemorations, Mr. Morgan has said:

“The importance of the D-Day 75 commemorations, set to take place this June, transcend the presence of any one individual.

His last visit cost £18 million pounds in additional policing costs and sucked vital resources from our nation’s communities, it caused widespread protests and was a catalyst for division across our country.

Our nation has a long history of close relations with the US, and Americans have long been our natural allies. We must remain united in defeating the politics of division and stand up for values both our nations have historically championed.

I have been lobbying the government and writing to the Prime Minister urging her to support Portsmouth in making the best of the commemorations for our veterans.

I find it deeply saddening that the Government can’t find money for our brave veterans, but it can find money to give Mr. Trump a state ceremony.”

New job opportunity: Parliamentary Projects Officer

New job opportunity: Parliamentary Projects Officer

Office of Stephen Morgan MP: Parliamentary Projects Officer

  • Have a skill for organising successful events and working with challenging deadlines?
  • Enjoy working with the community and interested in working at the heart of British politics?
  • Want to help make a difference to peoples’ lives? 

Then an exciting opportunity has arisen to work with the first-ever Labour Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan and his dedicated team.

Stephen Morgan MP is looking for a Parliamentary Projects Officer to assist him translate his important Westminster work into local projects and campaigns.

This part-time role based in the House of Commons with a requirement to regularly travel to the constituency, will require a degree of flexibility.

Key tasks include coordinating key events and projects for Stephen, maintaining social media and website, and proactively engaging the media in Stephen’s work as an active local campaigner and strong national voice for Portsmouth.

Got what it takes to take on this busy and exciting new role?

A copy of the job description can be found here: Job Description

Application details

Applicants should send a copy of their CV (no more than two pages) and a one page covering letter to Julie Minal, Head of Office at julie.minal@parliament.uk

Hard copies should be sent to Julie Minal c/o Office of Stephen Morgan MP, 72 Albert Road, Southsea PO5 2SL

Closing date: Wednesday 1 May 2019 at 12noon.

Interviews will take place in central London in mid May. It is hoped the successful candidate would be able to start as soon as possible

Please note that due to the expected high volume of responses, unsuccessful applicants will not be contacted

www.stephenjmorgan.org

City MP welcomes plans to scrap testing of children

City MP welcomes plans to scrap testing of children

Welcoming news that Labour in government will abolish Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 SATs and develop a new assessment system that will have fairer, broader, more useful measures of attainment, Stephen Morgan, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South said:
Our school children are among the most tested in the world, and are subject to particularly high-stress and high-stakes assessments early in their education. 
The use of these tests puts pressure on schools to narrow the curriculum, focusing on a narrower range of subjects, and an even narrower area within them in order to “teach to the test.” This puts huge pressure on pupils, and is detrimental to their education. Instead of gaining the knowledge and skills they need for both the rest of their education and life beyond it, they are simply learning how to pass a specific test.
Specifically I’m concerned the current system particularly disadvantages children from poorer backgrounds in our city.
That’s why I welcome Labour’s plan to abolish KS1 and KS2 SATs, as well an abandoning the government’s plans to roll-out baseline assessment in reception.
Consulting with the teaching profession, parents, and other stakeholders to develop a new, fairer, broader, and more useful system of primary assessments the right thing to do.
We must ensure a new system encourages teaching a broad and balanced curriculum, trusting teachers as professionals.
I have very confidence approach will reduce pressure on children in our city while supporting Portsmouth schools in teaching a broad curriculum, and give young people the knowledge and skills they will need throughout their lives, while reducing the attainment gap”.
The MP regularly visits Portsmouth schools and colleges to meet with teaching staff and heads.
His ‘Portsmouth Against School Cuts’ campaign has involved surveying all schools in the constituency and bringing local headteacher reps to Parliament to lobby Ministers for proper funding for city schools.
Local campaigner and City MP join forces over road safety in Old Portsmouth

Local campaigner and City MP join forces over road safety in Old Portsmouth

Portsmouth Labour are campaigning with residents in Old Portsmouth to improve road safety in the area and calling on the council to install a new zebra crossing.

Working with local election candidate Sumel Chowdhury, Stephen Morgan MP has been hearing concerns from residents and community groups in Old Portsmouth about the need to improve road safety in the area.

Taking a number of actions, Mr Chowdhury has set up a petition to lobby the council, written to local residents, organised a street stall to hear views and ideas, and called on city MP Stephen Morgan for support.

Issues being raised with campaigners include the speeding of vehicles along the High Street and at the junction with Pembroke and Lombard Street and the need for improved crossing facilities for local shops, St Jude’s School and the Cathedral.

Backing Sumel’s campaign, Stephen Morgan MP said:

“I am grateful to Sumel for setting up a community petition to the council to ensure they take action and to understand the strength of feeling on this issue.

I thank Sumel for his hard work and for standing up for residents in Old Portsmouth.

Sharing his, and other local people’s concerns, I have now written to the city council’s director for transport instructing the local authority to undertake a road safety survey and feasibility study for a zebra crossing in the area.

I urge others to get involved with this campaign by signing Sumel’s petition to call on the council to listen to our demands and improve road safety in Old Portsmouth”.

City MP exhibits ‘Postcards From My Neighbourhood’

City MP exhibits ‘Postcards From My Neighbourhood’

Exhibition of art from people from across the PO district who have visually responded to their neighbourhood on display at the Portsmouth South MP’s constituency office. 

How would you draw, paint or photograph your local neighbourhood? Aspex Gallery and Southsea Lifestyle asked people living within the PO area to visually respond to what they love or loathe about their local area.

Hundreds of residents, of all ages and abilities have submitted postcard-sized artworks, culminating in their exhibition at Aspex Gallery in Gunwharf Quays and now at the offices of Stephen Morgan MP on Albert Road, Southsea.

Joanne Bushnell, Director of Aspex said:

“We are thrilled that this partnership has given Aspex the opportunity to showcase the creative contributions of local residents of all ages.

The artworks are stunning and provided our visitors with an extremely entertaining exhibition”.

Since relocating to the waterfront at Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth in 2006, the Aspex gallery has focused on finding ways to meaningfully engage its visitors by facilitating connections with artists and revealing the creative process.

A participation programme provides activities for toddlers through to pensioners, and its work with children on the autistic spectrum and with Special Educational Needs has been described as exemplary.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“I am a huge fan of Aspex and its contribution to the life of our great city, so it is a real pleasure to display the Postcards From My Neighbourhood in my constituency office to give people another chance to see the talent we have here in Portsmouth.

This outreach and partnership to increase access and participation in arts and culture is exactly what I want to see more of. I thank Jo and her team for making this a fun and engaging project for the people of Portsmouth.

I hope others enjoy the exhibition and can pick out a favourite image from our city!”

Following the exhibition at Stephen Morgan MP’s office, all of the postcards will be donated to the Portsmouth City Archive, creating a visual reflection of our local area for future generations.

 

 

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