Residents share concerns about future of United Footwear site


Proposed view of new development on Fratton Road

Residents in Charles Dickens ward have shared concerns about the proposed development of the United Footwear (old Troxy Cinema) site on Fratton Road ahead of plans by developers to be submitted to the city council later this year.
In the submission to the developer’s consultants, residents have stated:
“We wish to make known our very real concerns regarding the proposed new development.  The concern is not with the development itself but with the parking issues. We are all led to believe that there will be no inclusion for parking spaces… It is very naive for the council to assume they will all use buses!”
The submission adds: “When will the council listen to our views? We have to live here, they need to sort the problems out”.

Proposed development in context with surrounding area

Stephen Morgan also added:
“The proposed development could help bring much needed housing to the area. But a development scheme of this size requires careful and considerate planning.
I will continue to liaise with residents and local businesses so that the developers and council hear the views of local people and take on board concerns for the benefit of everyone”.
A planning application is expected to be submitted to Portsmouth City Council in June 2016.

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Keep our central police station open: show your support


The only public police station in Portsmouth is now threatened with closure

First it was the threat of closure of the much-loved Guildhall Walk healthcare centre. Now it is another essential public service at risk in the heart of our city: Portsmouth Central Police Station.
The police are looking at closing the station in Charles Dickens ward to make way for a new investigation centre outside of Portsmouth, possibly in Havant.
If this happens, there will be no public police station left in the whole of Portsmouth after several closures in recent years.
Stephen Morgan, said:
“At a time when crime in the city has increased, we are concerned about the impact this proposal will have on the people of Portsmouth, the lack of police visibility in our communities, the feelings of safety and security in our city and the ability of residents to report crime and disorder face-to-face”.
Your local Labour team are urging decision-makers at the Constabulary to reconsider the proposals to keep the station open and a police presence in the heart of Portsmouth.
Please show your support for this important campaign by signing and promoting the community petition.
Sign the petition

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It’s important to keep our community safe from the risks of ‘legal highs’


The use of legal highs can have a huge impact on individuals and the city’s communities

You may have heard about so-called ‘legal highs’. Perhaps you know someone who has experimented with them. Maybe you have even tried them yourself.
But did you know that in many cases, they are not actually legal? And many have been shown to be unsafe, and their use is being raised on the doorstep across Charles Dickens ward.
‘Legal highs’ is a misleading term. We should really call them ‘New Psychoactive Substances’ or NPS for short.
Produced in factories in China, many of these drugs are imported to Portsmouth by post. They are designed to reproduce the effects of illegal substances – from stimulants like cocaine and ecstasy, to hallucinogens like ketamine and LSD.
The range of NPS is constantly changing. A number have been proven to cause paranoia, psychosis, seizures and even death.
More than 500 have already been banned. But new ones arrive on the market regularly. And they are sold not only by drug dealers, but also over the counter by certain local shops.
The truth about NPS is that most have never been properly tested on people. We don’t always know what the risks are in taking them.
But some risks are clear:

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    Local resident campaigning about the impact of legal highs

    users curious about drug taking, and reassured by the idea of a ‘legal high’, may suffer serious ill health as a result of experimentation
  • NPS represent another, easily available, way to further degrade the lives of vulnerable people
  • seen potentially as a ‘safe option’ by dealers, NPS may encourage drug dealing on our streets, along with associated crimes like theft and violence
  • all of the above may be harmful to quality of life in our community.

My first priority is always the wellbeing of the people who live, work and study in Charles Dickens ward.
Put simply, I want our community to be a safe, healthy and happy place for everyone.


Faith groups praised for work in supporting local needs

In a letter to faith leaders across the city centre of Portsmouth, Stephen Morgan, Labour’s ward campaigner for Charles Dickens recognises the value of faith groups in civil society. 

In the letter, being delivered to faith organisations and places of worship this week Stephen writes:

“I believe faith-based organisations have a huge role to play in the life of this great city by addressing need at local level; delivering important services to marginalised and isolated groups; working together with others in the voluntary and community sector to build cohesion and celebrate diversity; and; speaking out on current issues and campaigning for the common good.”

Engagement with faith groups follows successful contact with local business leaders recognising their work in enhancing economic wellbeing across the city’s communities.
Stephen adds: 
“I look forward to working with you for the benefit of residents across our part of Portsmouth”.

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Hopes are high for saving well-loved Guildhall Walk-In centre

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Stephen Morgan submitting Labour’s petition to the clinical commissioning group yesterday

Community campaigners fighting to save the Guildhall Walk-In centre, in the heart of Portsmouth, are delighted with the support the public have shown for the centre.
The local clinical commissioning group (CCG) has been consulting on the future of the popular health care centre in Guildhall Walk since late last year. The deadline for responses from the public was Friday 19 February. And on the day the consultation closed, the campaigner’s petition reached the important milestone of 1,000 signatures.
As well as providing a crucial out-of-hours service for residents, the Guildhall surgery provides support for students, visitors to the city, homeless people and substance misusers.
Stephen Morgan petition organiser and standing for Labour in Charles Dickens ward this May – the home of the walk-in centre – said:
“Due to unfair cuts to the local NHS the Guildhall Walk Healthcare Centre faces closure. We’ve campaigned relentlessly over the last few months talking to hundreds and hundreds of people on the doorstep, at street stalls and community events. People have shared their concerns and views on the potential impact of any closure…
…Labour want to keep this vital local service open. We care about public services.  The closure of the facility will put further pressures in surgery waiting times in the city. I’ll continue to press the CCG to rethink their position and keep this essential service in the heart of Portsmouth for everyone”.
With over 1,000 local people supporting the ‘We Love the Guildhall Walk-In’ campaign, the team of volunteers were also delighted to receive the backing of their efforts by local pharmacy Lalys on Guildhall Walk, and well-known actor David Ames, better known as Dr Dominic Copeland, of Holby City fame.
In a letter accompanying the petition submission to the Chief Operating Officer of the Clinical Commissioning Group, Stephen Morgan and Cllr Yahiya Chowdhury, Charles Dickens ward councillor, write to the CCG:
We recognise that you are operating within a difficult financial climate due to central government cuts. But with very strong support from residents, and a clear message from communities across this city, we urge you to keep the Guildhall Walk Healthcare Centre open”.
For more information about this campaign and other local issues visit the local Labour Party’s website or www.stephenjmorgan.org


New social homes in north Somerstown 


Construction of new social housing at Blackfriars Close has commenced

Work has started on new social housing in north Somerstown after planning permission was granted last October. 

Portsmouth City Council will build 51 flats and nine houses, ranging from one to four bedrooms, on the Somerstown Health Centre site, in Blackfriars Close.
These new homes should help ease housing problems for people in Portsmouth at a time when there’s huge demand for good quality housing in the city.
The development, designed by architects Re-Format, have been approved after consultation with local residents, stakeholders and community groups.
Contractors PMC hope to complete the flats in Wellington Street before the end of 2016.

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Labour cares in Portsmouth

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Community campaigners outside the Jami Mosque

Local community activists were out in force yesterday across the city encouraging residents to join Labour’s campaign to save the much-loved Guildhall Walk Healthcare centre from closure.
The local clinical commissioning has been consulting on the future of the walk-in centre since late last year with the public asked to submit their views by Friday 19 February.
Teams of volunteers were dispatched across the city, discussing concerns and the impact of any closure of the health service in the heart of Portsmouth with worshippers at city’s mosques.
Stephen Morgan, standing for Charles Dickens ward this May was joined by the party’s representatives for St Thomas ward Sumel Chowdhury at Jami Mosque on Victoria Road North, while Copnor’s Rumal Khan led a team at Central Mosque and sitting councillor Yahiya Chowdhury spoke to residents in Buckland.
Stephen Morgan, the walk-in centre petition organiser said: “We’ve had another fantastic response from the public today. People have been pleased to see us and assured we’re working in communities to fight for services they depend on”.
Labour representatives said: “Today is just one of the many ways the local party is out and about in local communities across Portsmouth, talking to residents, and demonstrating that Labour is on their side working hard to defend public services”.
You can view and comment on the petition at http://tiny.cc/8imy4x
For more information on Labour’s community work, visit the party website at www.portsmouthlabourparty.org.uk


More and more people show support for Guildhall Walk-In 


Stephen Morgan with local people campaigning to save the Guildhall Walk-In from potential closure

Volunteers were out in force this Saturday as part of a final push to help save the much-loved Guildhall Walk-In centre from closure. The local clinical commissioning group is currently consulting on the future of the healthcare centre in the heart of Portsmouth which is threatened with closure to save money.
Labour Party members and friends were out and about in Commercial Road talking to hundreds of local people and encouraging them to sign local Labour’s petition.
Stephen Morgan, Labour’s local election candidate for Charles Dickens ward this May, who organised the street stall, said: 
“Despite the cold and wet conditions we’ve had a fantastic response from residents today with people stopping in the rain to be part of our campaign to save the Guildhall Walk-In centre. We’ve heard so many stories about how the centre has helped people’s lives it’s imperative the clinical commissioning group listens to what people across this city is telling them, and keep the centre open…
…It was also great to have Mr Laly, of Lalys Pharmacy, here in support too. Mr Laly runs a successful pharmacy on Guildhall Walk and he knows only too well how important the walk-in is to fellow residents, students, visitors to the city and the homeless. As the deadline for the consultation looms, we’ll continue to work together to ensure local people’s voices are heard, and fight to keep the centre open”.
The CCG’s consultation closes on Friday 19 February 2016. To sign the petition visit the Portsmouth Labour Party website or directly at http://tiny.cc/8imy4x

Lord Peter Hain endorses Stephen


Peter Hain is a well-respected national figure

Stephen’s campaign for the local election in Charles Dickens ward has been boosted today with the endorsement of a political heavyweight, Lord Peter Hain former Cabinet Minister and Labour MP for Neath.
Peter said:
“Stephen is a long standing community activist who cares about Portsmouth and the issues residents face.

His professional background in the public and voluntary sectors puts him on a strong footing to be an excellent representative for residents across Charles Dickens ward.

I hope you’ll give him your support this May”.

A political activist and campaigner for over 50 years, Peter Hain was until recently one of the most experienced politicians in the House of Commons. 
He served the country across a number of Cabinet roles and as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland negotiated the historic peace settlement establishing devolved government for the area.
Stephen said: 
“I’m absolutely delighted with this news. Residents in Charles Dickens ward need strong representation on the council, someone who will get things done and make Portsmouth better. 
It is fantastic to have Peter’s experience and support behind our campaign”.

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Local business back campaign to save Guildhall Walk-In

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The Guildhall Walk-In centre is a popular local health facility in Charles Dickens ward serving the city 

It is great that local businesses such as Lalys Pharmacy in Guildhall Walk have joined the campaign to help save the much-loved and well-used healthcare centre in the heart of Portsmouth.
“At a time when the UK’s most critical healthcare priority is to provide alternatives to hospital A&E, the only out-of-hours GP surgery in Portsmouth city centre is under threat of closure” according to the Guildhall Walk surgery website (see www.guildhallwalksurgery.co.uk).
Lalys Pharmacy have been arranging a series of ‘come and talk’ events at Pharmacy so that people can read their professional views and concerns.
To send a strong signal to the local clinical commissioning group to not close the Walk-In centre please sign our petition at: http://portsmouthlabourparty.org.uk/2015/10/26/save-the-guildhall-walk-health-centre-from-closure/
You can also download a poster for your window to show your support.