Stephen Morgan MP completes programme of visits to meet troops across the UK as part of Parliamentary scheme
The Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme opens a unique window into the world of everyday life in the armed forces and the tasks they are asked to undertake on our behalf.
The objective of the scheme is to help parliamentarians understand the work of the armed forces and foster genuine personally informed contributions to participate in defence debates.
In his first year, Stephen chose to join the Royal Navy Scheme. In addition to his regular visits to HMNB Portsmouth, he met service personnel at bases across the UK including, Faslane, Plymouth, Yeovilton, the Defence Academy, and London, and visited those on deployment in Cyprus and Kenya. He’s observed peace-keeping operations, Operation Shader – the fight against ISIS in Syria, and the UK’s fleet of submarines based in Scotland.
Spending time with our troops enabled Stephen to identify a number of issues that informed his campaigning in Parliament including armed forces pay, recruitment and retention issues, cyber-warfare developments, and the black hole in the defence budget.
This year, Stephen has once again signed up to the scheme, this time joining the RAF to find out more about their work protecting our nation, in partnership with the Royal Navy.
Stephen Morgan MP, said:
“It has been a real honour to join the brave men and women of our armed forces to see their skill and commitment first hand.
As MP for the home of the Royal Navy and a proud champion of our Armed Forces, it’s been incredibly valuable to speak with and observe the operations of service personnel over the last year.
It’s something I’ll continue to do as I fight for a strong defence of our nation and proper recognition and pay for those who serve it.”
I want to thank all the people who make this scheme possible, especially those members of the armed forces who’ve hosted me and made my time so far in the programme so instructive.
AFPS hasn’t just been informative from an operational perspective, it’s been great to spend time off-duty with service personnel and hear about their daily lives and how I can support them more widely.”
Just over 30 MPs from across the House and parties ‘graduated’ from the programme. MPs and peers attended a ceremony at the National RAF Museum with the Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson and Shadow Defence Secretary, Nia Griffith.
MP for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, has visited staff at the new 24/7 primary care service in central Portsmouth.
The Integrated Primary Care Service has been established to enhance patient experience and improve access to GP services in the city. The service opened earlier this year and incorporates the existing Acute Visiting Service and Extended Access Service and adds Out of Hours provision overnight.
The linking of these services leads to the provision of a more streamlined and unified model for people needing urgent out-of-hospital care.
Appointments can be accessed during the evenings and weekends at a city-wide hub at Lake Road Health Centre. Additional routine appointments are available as well as urgent same-day appointment every day until 10pm 365 days a year.
The service sees around 2,500 patients referred each month.
Stephen Morgan MP, said:
“The IPC Service is a brilliant example of our city’s NHS innovating and improving in the face of significant demographic and financial challenges.
The commitment and skill of the staff I spoke to was obvious and this new system will ensure that they can continue to help people in Portsmouth.
This is an incredibly busy service and this new integration should go some way in reducing pressure on our A&E as well as improving access to GPs.”
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.”
Portsmouth’s Poppy Appeal was launched today. City MP Stephen Morgan added with Deputy Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Cllr David Fuller.
Stephen Morgan MP said:
“It was privilege to attend the launch of Portsmouth’s Poppy Appeal for 2018 down at Gunwharf Quay today.
So it is only fitting that this year we specifically say ‘Thank You’ to the First World War generation who served, sacrificed and changed our world.
Thousands of volunteers will help sell and distribute paper poppies in the following days. I will be out and about in our city doing my bit too.
I want to take this opportunity to offer my appreciation to those in Portsmouth doing our city proud by volunteering with the appeal and in respect of all those who sacrificed their lives for a more peaceful world”.
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”.