Tom Watson visits Portsmouth’s greats

Today the Shadow Secretary of State of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Deputy Leader of the Labour Party popped to Portsmouth and paid a number of local cultural and sporting facilities a visit.
Stephen Morgan, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South took Tom on a tour of Fratton Park, home to Portsmouth Football; a visit to ‘Pompey in the Community’ to learn about their engagement with the city’s communities; and a view of the award-winning Mary Rose Museum at the Historic Dockyard.

Stephen said:
“I want culture to be at the heart of the regeneration of our great city. A city which can be rightly proud of its past, but too often let down by the Tories.
The Mary Rose Museum with its international standing and our football club on the up, are just some examples of Portsmouth going places.
It was a pleasure to welcome the Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Tom Watson MP, to Portsmouth today as part of my plan to showcase our city to Britain and to push for a better deal from Government for Portsmouth and its people”.

Portsmouth renews relationship with twin city Caen

This weekend, Stephen Morgan, Portsmouth South’s Member of Parliament, joined a delegation led by the Lord and Lady Mayoress of Portsmouth, to Caen, to celebrate the two cities thirty years of twinning.
The anniversary included the resigning of a document setting out the relationship between the two cities with a long shared history, co-signed by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Cllr Ken Ellcome, and Mayor of Caen, Joel Bruneau.

A number of visits to local projects and public services were also included in a tour of the historic city, including a visit to a new library, care home and projects which support older people.
Stephen Morgan MP said:
“It was a pleasure to be part of the Portsmouth delegation and to spend the weekend in our twinned city, the great city of Caen.

Having a strong relationship with Caen is hugely important due to the heritage of our two cities, but also vital to trade, jobs, and the future of our local economies and their continued development.

This weekend was an opportunity to renew our special bonds of friendship and cooperation as we look to the next thirty years of working closely together”.

New ship enters service in Portsmouth

Stephen Morgan, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth, attended the service of dedication for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Tidespring in HM Naval Base, Portsmouth today.
Tidespring was ordered as part of the Maritime Afloat, Reach and Sustainability programme to provide a refuel capability for the Queen Elizabeth class of aircraft carriers. She is the first of the class and will be followed by Tiderace, Tidesurge and Tideforce.

The service of dedication was attended by HRH The Earl of Wessex, Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

As part of the event Stephen received a tour from the ship’s crew.
Stephen said:
It was a privilege to represent Portsmouth at the service of dedication with HRH The Earl of Wessex in HM Naval Base today.

RFA Tidespring is the first of a modern class of fleet replenishment tankers will help our new Royal Navy carriers with their global reach and is a fitting addition to the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the men and women-military and civilian – who have contributed to this project and made today’s service of dedication possible”.



City MP’s fears over defence cuts

Stephen Morgan MP has outlined his concern for the future of the armed forces.
The Labour MP for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, has joined senior defence specialists in voicing concerns regarding future defence funding.
An increase in defence spending was not even mentioned in the Chancellor’s budget on Wednesday and there are fears that impending cuts will further diminish Britain’s position in the international defence community and put national security at risk.
The former First Sea Lord, Lord West, said:
“The hollowing out of our Armed Forces since 2010 has led to the rationale for that to be called into doubt by a number of our allies.
 
Defence does not get the attention it deserves, despite successive Prime Ministers and the current Chancellor mouthing the mantra that the defence and security of our nation and our people is the first duty of any Government. Do they really believe it?
 
Yesterday was the Budget, and we saw no plans to increase defence spending – it was not even mentioned. The Government do not seem to care about the damage being done.”
Stephen Morgan MP added:
“It’s no wonder the Chancellor didn’t once mention defence spending in his budget this week – and that’s because the Government is overseeing an unprecedented weakening of our armed forces.
 
Senior military figures have warned the Government about this hollowing out of our armed forces but they refuse to take defence seriously. Under the Tories, the army is the smallest it has been since the Napoleonic wars and as a nation we are only just meeting NATO’s minimum spending requirements.
 
Defence spending would be even lower if the Government hadn’t started including expenditure such as pension contributions in the budget. Our nation’s defence requires more than statistical sleight of hand.
 
This is happening now: we have already seen the Conservatives scrap HMS Ark Royal and the Harrier Jump Jets, and reports are that our amphibious capability will be next.
 
As the MP for a proud Naval city, and a dedicated advocate for our armed forces, I will not stand by whilst the Government attempts to cut our military beyond recognition.

Labour will keep Britain safe and give our armed forces the resources they need, creating a new Defence Industrial Strategy that puts our nation’s economy and security first. That’s what Portsmouth deserves”.
 

Stephen helps launch Priory alumni scheme

Students, teachers and the whole school community at Priory School were delighted to welcome Portsmouth South MP and former student, Stephen Morgan, to the launch of their Alumni Programme this week.
As part of Parliament Week, Stephen visited the school to officially launch the scheme and speak with a number of the Academically More Able (AMA) students.
Priory School has a proud and strong school community, and the Priory Alumni Programme aims to foster lasting relationships with past students and by example, motivate and inspire current students to succeed.
Following Mr Morgan’s speech, which encouraged students to be inspired by his guiding mantra, “Dream Big”, students had the opportunity to ask him about his role and responsibilities, as well as sharing some of their ideas for making the city of Portsmouth a better place.
Prior to becoming the school’s local MP in June of this year, Mr Morgan was a former student at Priory School, and spoke to the students about how his role as Deputy Head Boy was a stepping stone into his current career as a politician. He also discussed with students his upbringing in Fratton and his desire from a young age to make a difference.
Mr Morgan left the school in 1997 and went on to be the first in his family to attend university, studying Politics and Sociology at the University of Bristol, before doing a masters at the University of Goldsmith.
‘Old Priorians’ – which is the term the school uses to proudly describe former students – are invited to the annual prize giving ceremony and celebration assemblies, and are welcomed to attend school concerts, sports days, school plays, art events, open evenings and sporting fixtures.
Priory School also produces a newsletter every term called ‘The Priory Post’, to engage with the school community and showcase the success being achieved by both students and teachers each term. Old Priorians are often encouraged to contribute to the newsletter, giving their views on school events they have attended and or sharing articles on their profession, industry and career journeys with students.
Stephen Morgan, Portsmouth South MP, said:
“As a former and proud Priory School student myself, I was delighted to be able to go back to the school and speak with students, as well as officially launching the Alumni programme.
It was an honour to be able to discuss with the students their vision for the city and hear how proud they were to be Priory students.”
Stewart Vaughan, Headteacher at Priory School said:
“We were really delighted to welcome Stephen Morgan to Priory School, for the launch of our Alumni Programme and as part of Parliament week. He spoke to our students so passionately about serving the city, and we were so pleased that he was able to share such fond memories of being a Priory School student himself.
Our students were really inspired by his speech and his journey – which shows what hard work and commitment as a Priory School student can achieve.”

Government fails test on funding for city schools

Stephen Morgan, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, has criticised the lack of announcements on funding for schools and further education sector in yesterday’s budget.
Writing to the Chancellor earlier this month, Stephen called on the Tories to protect public services and invest in the city’s schools and set out four ‘tests’ for this year’s budget.
Sadly the Government chose to continue with its damaging policy of real terms cuts for the nation’s schools and colleges.
Stephen Morgan MP said:
“The budget offered no significant new money for education. There is clear evidence that real terms cuts are causing daily problems in our schools and colleges, and sadly I hear of them too often in our great city.
This shows that the Government has chosen to ignore the advice of headteachers and teaching staff across our country. Parents, teachers and those who believe in the power of education to improve lives – as I do – are deeply disappointed”.      
Despite the worsening teacher recruitment and retention crisis and real terms cuts in teacher pay over the past 7 years, the Chancellor also had nothing to offer the profession.
Stephen added:
“Instead of school staff losing jobs or seeing the value of their pay cut, the Government needs to invest in those working in education”.
Experts have said the announcement on funding for T-Levels is nothing more than a ‘drop in the ocean’ compared to the huge real terms cuts to 16-19 funding since 2010. 
There are no plans to restore Education Maintenance Allowance, backed by Labour, in order to provide funding to support young people.
Stephen added:
With 53 of 58 Portsmouth schools facing cuts in the next few years, totalling £5m, I’m hugely concerned the impact this will have on resources. It will lead to over £200 less per pupil, which equates to over 100 teachers lost from our community’s schools.
Across our country we know schools need £2 billion a year extra funding to restore real terms per pupil funding to 2015-16 levels. Along with headteachers, I’ve been pressing the Chancellor to do this.
Yet this budget is telling parents in our great city that their children deserve less than was spent on children in previous years. That just isn’t good enough for the people of Portsmouth. And that’s why I’ll continue to fight for a better deal for our city’s schools”.
Stephen plans to pursue his campaign alongside parents and teachers for the investment our city’s children and young people need to succeed in life.

Stephen slams real terms budget cuts for local policing

Responding to the Budget unveiled by the Chancellor yesterday Stephen Morgan, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, has slammed the Government and warned continuing real-terms funding cuts “will break the police”.
The Government have repeatedly insisted they have protected police budgets since 2015 but new research shows that Hampshire Constabulary has seen a 32% deduction in police numbers since 2010, a loss of 895 bobbies on our beats.
The Chancellor found no new Government funding for the police, despite warnings from senior officer that the current budget settlement risks forces losing a further 6,000 officers as crime rockets.
Stephen Morgan MP said:
This budget will break the police and risks cutting the frontline even further.
People in our community will be shocked that with crime rocketing the Government have prescribed further cuts for our local police force and refused to give them the resources and the officers they need to fight crime and anti-social behaviour.
This is another example of the Tories failing the people of Portsmouth”.
Since 2010 over 20,000 police officers, over 30,000 police staff and 6,000 community support officers have been axed despite a promise to protect the frontline.
Police forces in England and Wales are now at their lowest strength per 100,000 of the population since records began in 1979.
Louise Haigh, Labour’s Shadow Policing Minister said:
“Yesterday’s budget proves the Government cannot be trusted to keep our communities safe.”
Thanks to years of Conservative cuts, police numbers are at historic lows, at a time when crime is rocketing. You can’t protect the public on the cheap.
This is the grim legacy of seven years of Tory austerity; dedicated police officers fighting hard to keep the public safe with the fewest officers per head on record. Labour will recruit another 10,000 new police officers to help keep us safe.”

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Chancellor's budget fails Portsmouth

Stephen Morgan, MP for Portsmouth South, has reacted to the Chancellor’s 2017 Budget today. This budget, one of the most important in a generation, was an opportunity to improve people’s lives, yet the Tories have let our great city and country down.
This was a ‘nothing has changed’ budget from an out-of-touch Government with no idea of the reality of people’s lives and no plan to improve them.
Stephen had four tests for the Chancellor’s statement in the House of Commons:
Funding to protect Portsmouth’s public services
Sadly, the Chancellor failed to mention any plans to fund care for our loved ones or tackle the crisis in social care services. There was nothing on the cuts to school funding and the need for a better deal for our city’s schools. No wonder he’s ignored my letters and constituents’ lobbying. The Chancellor gave no mention of policing, the need to invest in our force or increase bobbies on Hampshire’s streets at a time when crime is rising.
Funding public sector pay rises
Those who work day in, day out, to care for us, teach us, keep our communities clean and tidy, protect us, and defend our nation, have had their pay capped for 7 years, meaning real wages are down by thousands of pounds. Paramedics are £3,800 a year worse off, firefighters are down £2,900 and teachers £2,500. Whilst I’ve stood side-by-side with public servants, the Tories’ budget today let them down once again.
Building more homes
I have a post bag full of letters from people writing to me about housing issues. From homelessness in Portsmouth, to overcrowding, to young people desperate to get on the housing ladder, we are in desperate need of urgent action to fix the housing market. House building is at the lowest level in 30 years and homelessness on our streets has doubled. We face a housing crisis in our country yet next to no new money was announced today to address the Tories’ abysmal record on our broken housing market.
Investing in our local economy and much-needed infrastructure such as road and rail
Only this week I met with business representatives to discuss the need for better connectivity between our cities and towns on the south coast to make it easier to get round and help businesses to flourish. Sadly, the Chancellor has let the people of Portsmouth and its small businesses down. Vital infrastructure projects to boost economic growth and productivity are being starved of funding and our part of the country simply isn’t getting its fair share.
Stephen Morgan MP said:
“On all these tests the Tories have failed the people of Portsmouth. And worryingly, the Tories haven’t just failed my tests for the economy, they’ve failed their own. GDP forecasts are plummeting by the day, the deficit is up, and inflation is riding above pay. This Government’s economic record is one of failure and ordinary working people are paying the price”.
Today we’ve seen the cost of a Tory Government out of touch and out of ideas. For the first time in modern history, GDP growth is expected to be under 2% in every forecast year. Wages are lower, our schools and NHS in crisis, and fewer bobbies are on the beat. Tory austerity has failed. Yet, this Government’s answer is to carry on as usual.
The Chancellor’s vision of Britain bears no resemblance to that experienced by Portsmouth people. I know people are deeply concerned about their schools, hospitals, housing, policing and defence cuts. But there was no new money for the 5,000 head teachers who wrote to him, not one mention of police officers, and only empty gestures to our cash-strapped health service.
All this Government has offered is clever accounting and business as usual, and it’s costing our economy and communities dearly.”
 
 
 

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Stephen thanks councils on #OurDay

‘Our Day’ on 21 November 2017 is an annual social media event to highlight and celebrate the diverse work carried out by councils up and down the country. 
Portsmouth South Member of Parliament Stephen Morgan, a former local government worker himself, is using the day to thank those who work at the council for all they do for Portsmouth’s communities.
The reputation of local government has never been more important as local authorities are increasingly having to deliver more with less.
Our Day has gone from strength to strength in recent years and is an opportunity for people who work in councils to highlight the invaluable work they do for the public. It showcases a day in the life of local government and shines a light on all the different things that councils do for their communities in a 24-hour period.
Stephen Morgan MP said:
“Councils across the nation work tirelessly to provide a huge variety of services up and down the country, every day, to support people and make their lives better.
Yet much of what they do is out of sight, like helping vulnerable children and preventing homelessness.
Taking place the day before the Autumn Budget on Wednesday, Our Day is an opportunity for the local government sector to remind the Chancellor of the Exchequer of the invaluable work councils do on a daily basis to improve the quality of life of residents.
But it also gives me another opportunity to thank all those who work day in, day out in Portsmouth to improve life chances for all through the delivery of good quality public services”.
 
 

City MP joins Public Accounts Committee

Labour Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, has been appointed to one of Parliament’s oldest and most powerful bodies, the Committee of Public Accounts (PAC) this week.
The Select Committee is responsible for overseeing Government expenditure and ensuring that it is appropriate and effective. First established in 1857, the PAC is made up of Members from all parties and is chaired by Labour MP, Meg Hillier.
Stephen continues a proud tradition of Pompey involvement in the Committee. The first ever chair of the PAC was Portsmouth MP Sir Francis Baring, who was integral in its establishment.
Other Portsmouth MPs that have served on the committee are Frank Judd (now Lord Judd) was a member of the committee between 1968–71 and Sarah McCarthy-Fry, who was a member of the committee between 2005-07.
Commenting on his appointment, Stephen Morgan MP said:
“I’m very pleased to have been appointed to the Public Accounts Committee. The PAC plays a key role in ensuring that the public are getting value for their money and that the public services and functions that it pays for are being delivered properly. I look forward to working with my fellow members to hold the Government and others to account.
The PAC will offer a valuable opportunity to scrutinise issues of national importance that have a significant impact on our great city, that I have the privilege to represent, for example, the building of our new aircraft carriers or retention of teachers.
I’m honoured to be able to serve Portsmouth and the country through my work on the committee”.