Today Portsmouth City Council officially announced there will be elections on Thursday 5 May 2016. I’m standing for Labour in Charles Dickens ward – covering Portsea, Landport and parts of Somerstown and Buckland – for these important local elections.
You can find out more about the elections on the city council website
The deadline for registering to vote at these elections is Monday 18 April. For further information or to download a voter registration form, please visit how to register to vote.
If you are unable to vote in person you can apply to vote by post, or appoint a proxy to vote on your behalf.
If you wish to apply for a postal vote, please note that the council must receive your application by 5pm Tuesday 19 April.
If you wish to appoint a proxy to vote on your behalf, the deadline for applications is 5pm Tuesday 26 April. Follow the link for further details on how to vote by proxy.
For news and views from Stephen on the campaign trail in Charles Dickens ward visit www.stephenjmorgan.org
Community campaigners aiming to save the much-loved Guildhall Walk-In have now received a formal response to their consultation submission and petition as part of the clinical commissioning group’s controversial plans to change the services available in the heart of Portsmouth.
Portsmouth Labour organised a petition to help protect the health care services on offer at the centre led by Stephen Morgan, Labour’s candidate for Charles Dickens ward, when the CCG started a process of consultation about the future of the service last Autumn. Labour’s high profile campaign attracted over 1,000 signatures and included popular street stalls and the support of local businesses.
In writing to Stephen, the Chief Operating Officer for the CCG, Innes Richens, writes:
“Your feedback has been an important part of our work and our proposals have been amended quite significantly throughout the process, as we have received feedback from yourselves and many others.”
Approved by the CCG earlier this month, the recommendations agreed are to retain a practice in the city centre, and continue the option for registered patients to ‘walk in and wait’. This will mean that between now and 30 June, the GP practice service will remain entirely unchanged.
In addition the response states:
- between 1 July – April 2017, the Guildhall Walk practice will remain, although the walk-in service will only be available to people who register there as patients. The cap on numbers has been lifted.
- a procurement exercise will now be run, to award a new contract for the provision of GP services, from April 2017 onwards. The precise location of the practice after that time will depend upon the outcome of the procurement – no locations have been ruled in, or out, but the CCG is clear that it must be in, or near to, the city centre.
- enhancement to the walk-in services at St Mary’s Treatment Centre – from 1 July GPs will now work with the nursing staff, offering an enhanced walk-in service for both minor injuries and minor illness for city residents.
- commission enhanced pharmacy services in the city centre with an ability for providers to treat a wider range of conditions and for a wider range of people (including students) than is currently the case.
In receiving this news, Stephen said:
“Whilst I’m disappointed this isn’t a complete victory for our community campaign I am assured the CCG has taken on board the concerns of local people.
They’ve made concessions to keep health care services in the accessible location of the city centre and some walk-in services will remain, which is to be welcomed.
But I will be keeping a close eye on these new arrangements to make sure local people are always at the forefront of these important health services. The jury is still out”.
For more information about our campaign on the Guildhall Walk-In and other local community issues visit Stephen’s website at www.stephenjmorgan.org
The card contains local information to help any resident with day-to-day life in the ward. Details include numbers for debt and generalist advice, who to call if there is a power cut, the city helpdesk, and emergency service contacts.
Part of Stephen’s ‘Portsmouth deserves better’ campaign, in launching the free card he said:
“With internet access in the area lower than in other parts of the city, and residents telling me they find the council’s website hard to navigate, I wanted to act. On the doorstep residents, have been telling me they don’t always know who to contact, so I wanted to help. I hope the information card is of use to other local people”.
4,000 information cards have been produced thanks to the generous donations of local community members. It will be delivered by volunteers across Charles Dickens ward over the next week.
The ‘Portsmouth deserves better’ campaign is a series of community initiatives led by Stephen to help make life better for residents across Charles Dickens ward. Stephen has a long history of community work in the city, including as a school governor at Arundel Court school in the ward and as a charity trustee for an older people’s charity on Kingston Road.
Recent initiatives have included:
- leading a campaign to help save the Guildhall Walk-In. With over 1,000 signatures, health decision-makers have agreed to keep some ‘walk in’ services and will be enhancing pharmacy services.
- fighting for your concerns raised on the doorstep such as liaising with housing providers to get repairs done on time and better care taken with redevelopment schemes.
- improving the local area by reporting flytipping, abandoned trollies and eyesores. Thanks to lobbying, a ‘community protection order’ has been forced on landowners to improve the green spaces in the ward.
- campaigning to protect police services in the city. You may have caught the news about Stephen’s work on this, and that the police and crime commissioner has decided against building a new police HQ out in Havant.
For more information about Stephen’s community work visit www.stephenjmorgan.org
Community campaigners are delighted their efforts have been heard loud and clear and that Hampshire’s police and crime commissioner has now ruled out the option of building a new police investigation centre for the city out in Havant.
Speaking on the radio this morning, the current commissioner, politician Simon Hayes officially confirmed he is now definitely planning to build the new centre in Portsmouth.
On hearing the news, the BBC rang Stephen Morgan – standing for Labour in Charles Dickens ward where the city’s only remaining public police station is based – to offer congratulations. The story broke after the Portsmouth News ran a front page piece on the developments on Saturday morning.
“People power wins the day. I’m pleased common sense has prevailed with Havant now officially ruled out for the new investigation centre. There will still be changes to the police service in the city and we will continue to push the Constabulary to communicate and consult widely with the public…
With crime increasing in the city – up 9% on last year and violent crime up 36% – Portsmouth people deserve the full facts. They want to be assured about these changes to policing in the city and that they will only improve services locally.”
Over 400 people have signed Stephen’s petition online and hundreds on the doorstep in recent weeks. Local police and ex-officers had also been in touch with campaigners to offer their support.
To sign the petition and hear about other campaigns on the doorstep in Charles Dickens ward visit www.stephenjmorgan.org