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Shock figures show more children than ever suffering mental disorders

Data released shows a shocking number of children and young people struggling with mental disorders and falling numbers of specialist consultant psychiatrists.
 
The figures, collected by NHS Digital and released by the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ show that one in eight (12.8%) children and young people aged between five and 19 had a mental disorder in England in 2017. This is around 1.25 million children and young people.
 
Only one in four children and young people with a mental disorder are seen by a mental health specialist and over 400,000 children and young people are not getting any professional help at all.
 
In conjunction with these statistics, there has also been a drop in the number of consultant psychiatrists specialising in helping children and young people.
 
Across England, the number of consultant child and adolescent psychiatrists, the most senior doctors specialising in children’s mental health, has declined by 5.1% since August 2014. The latest training programme data shows that 60% of training places for child and adolescent psychiatry were unfilled.  
 
Stephen Morgan MP said:
 
The Government talks a lot about improvements to mental health services but that is all it is, talk.
 
“The Children and Young People’s Mental Health Green Paper sets out plans to improve service provision and strengthen the link between schools and the NHS. 

But by the Government’s own estimates, a quarter of a million children and young people who could be helped will still be missing out in five years, this is simply not good enough. Young people in Portsmouth and across the country need better access to support now.
 
I will continue to lobby Ministers to commit to a significant improvement in access to services, and to recruiting and retaining physiatrists that can provide the specialist care that children and young people with mental disorders so desperately need.”

Need help this Christmas?

The constituency office at 72 Albert Road is now closed until Wednesday 2 January 2019.

Voicemail and email will be checked periodically so Portsmouth South constituents should leave any urgent messages on the answerphone of 023 9229 1088 or by emailing stephen.morgan.mp@parliament.uk and we will be in touch as soon as we can.

If you need any other type of help, the following telephone numbers may be of use:

Rubbish collection and recycling

023 9283 4072

Police 

For emergencies 999 and all other calls 101

Portsmouth City Council Helpdesk

023 9283 4092

NHS Direct 

111

Housing options

023 9283 4989

QA Hospital 

023 9228 6000

Noise and pollution 

023 924167

Samaritans 

084 5790 9090

 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 

Stephen Morgan MP, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South

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Portsmouth MP supports Warm and Safe Homes campaign to help people struggling this winter

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan pledges to help end misery of cold homes in South East.  

The most recent Excess Winter Death figures have just been released and show that 5,224 in South East died needlessly of the cold last winter, an increase of 20.8% on last year.

The WASH campaign aims to highlight the desperate and unsafe coping strategies being adopted across the UK due to the misery of living in fuel poverty. The charity says it rejects the idea this should be normal in a country as wealthy as the UK and much more can be done to end fuel poverty and ‘preventable’ excess winter deaths and ill health. 

Stephen Morgan MP said: 

“I am backing NEA’s Warm and Safe Homes Campaign to fight fuel poverty this winter. It is an important issue that we simply cannot ignore.

Living in a cold home can lead to problems for families and many others including ill health, especially in those who are vulnerable such as older people, young children, and those with long-term sickness and disabilities.”

New evidence provided by frontline workers to fuel poverty charity, National Energy Action (NEA), has revealed the top 10 unsafe fuel poverty coping strategies being used to survive winter. 

The regular use of older, dangerous or un-serviced heating appliances is common-place, despite being potentially fatal or leading to heightened risks for nearby neighbours as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning or in extreme situations, fires and explosions.

People struggling to heat their homes are also spending their days in heated spaces such as libraries, cafes or even A&E to avoid the cold. 

Adam Scorer, Chief Executive of National Energy Action commented:

“The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has just released the number of excess winter deaths in England for last winter.

Sadly, the statistics have jumped for the second year in a row. Behind those figures will be countless other depressing and dangerous ways in which people try to fend off the effects of living in a cold home.

We all know that people regularly cut back on their energy use and rely on food banks to get by during winter. But in a modern country like Britain people are even barbequing in sinks, going to bed early to keep warm and permanently using candles for lighting.

Frontline workers have also told us they regularly see dangerous appliances being used, ventilation blocked off and people spending days in A&E and libraries just to keep warm.

Further evidence from energy suppliers highlights that over 150,000 cases of energy theft were uncovered last year, many of those causing death or major injury, not just to the culprits but innocent neighbours and passers-by.”

Mr Morgan added: 

“I hope to help NEA shine a light on the desperate and unsafe coping strategies being used by the most vulnerable across the UK this winter.

In the UK today, there should be no need for these practices. Cold homes, and the misery and ill health they create need to be eradicated, especially for the most vulnerable in our society. We know the causes, the consequences and the cures but we risk neglecting millions of people that could be helped with immediate and practical solutions.”

To learn more about the plan and the Warm and Safe Homes Campaign visit www.nea.org.uk

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New teachers survey reveals distressing new levels of child poverty this winter

Portsmouth MP Stephen Morgan vows to continue in the fight against child poverty in Portsmouth and across the UK amid distressing new findings.

A National Education Union (NEU) snapshot poll of 1,026 teachers in England has revealed a harrowing picture of the increase in poverty seen in our schools and the daily impact it is having on children and young people.

  • 46% of teachers confirm that holiday hunger has got worse compared to three years ago.
  • 63% of respondents say that more families are unable to afford adequate winter clothes or shoes compared to three years ago.
  • 46% of teachers believe that there are more housing issues (poor quality, insecure, overcrowded or temporary accommodation) compared to three years ago.
  • 53% of respondents believe that children and young people will go hungry over Christmas.
  • 40% of respondents say schools are having to provide extra items for children and young people and their families because of increased poverty.

Teachers readily gave distressing examples from their school about the effect living in poverty was having on the children and young people they teach. Teachers’ observed that up to a third of pupils say they are sleeping in their uniforms as they don’t have pyjamas. They reported children attending school without winter coats even in the coldest weather, or with shoes held together by tape.

Teachers reported buying pupils coats on a scale never seen before, holes in shoes, trousers far too short, holes in clothes and pupils still wearing sandals on very cold days. One student was reported to have worn his trousers backwards as he didn’t want anyone to know he had holes in the knees.

Further, the poll revealed that the impact of living in poverty on children and young people’s education is stark. Teachers observed a wide range of consequences including absence from school (83%), behavioural issues (85%), concentration (81%), health (59%) and lateness to school (79%).

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“These are shameful findings that have no place in a modern society.

A third of children in Portsmouth South are living in poverty. Housing problems such as overcrowding, the cost of living and high rents are all real issues that are contributing to this problem, we are seeing families with working parents using foodbanks as they can’t afford to buy food.

I have raised serious concerns over school cuts and the number of children using food banks in the city with Ministers.

I will continue to work with others to bring an end to child poverty and ensure every young person in our city has the best possible chance to succeed”.

Commenting on the poll, Dr Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:

“This is a Dickensian picture of the poverty that far too many children and their families are having to endure. The Government is out of touch with the distressing new reality of children’s daily lives: with what it means to live without enough money for basics, such as food, shoes and adequate clothing.

The Government has failed to recognise the human cost of its cuts to schools and other children’s services and to the social security system, and its failure to address the in-work poverty faced by 1 in 5 workers.

The UN Envoy Philip Alston concluded in his recent report that the Government is in a state of denial about the levels of poverty in the UK. 

The Government must stop hiding from the facts. Children can’t escape the poverty trap without an urgent change to national policies.”

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Thousands of local pensioners set to lose their free TV Licence says City MP

Millions of older people across the country are set to lose their TV licence in 2020 despite the Conservatives promising in their 2017 general election manifesto to protect free TV licences until 2022.
As part of the last BBC charter the Government devolved responsibility for the free TV licence policy, and the cost, to the BBC. The BBC can decide what to do with the benefit from 2020 and they are currently consulting on a number of options including scrapping the free TV licence concession altogether, raising the eligible age to 80 and means testing it, for example by linking it to pension credit.
New figures produced for the Labour Party by the House of Commons Library show that under each of the changes proposed by the BBC in their consultation, millions of pensioners will lose their free licences.
The House of Commons Library calculated that were the free licence linked to pension credit, i.e. means tested, over 3 million people would lose their free licence. If the eligibility age was raised to 80 over 1.8 million older people would lose their free licences.
The House of Commons Library has also calculated local figures with 5,130 older households in Portsmouth South at risk of losing their free TV licences. If the age threshold is raised to 80 1,880 local pensioners will lose their TV licence. If free TV licences are means tested 3,540 will lose their free licences.
Free TV licences are an important benefit for older people who suffer disproportionately from loneliness and social isolation. The Campaign to End Loneliness found that 40% of older people say their television is their main source of company.
The Christmas period is a particularly bad time for loneliness. Analysis by Age UK found that almost a million (873,000) pensioners wouldn’t have seen or heard from anyone over the festive period.
The prospect of elderly people losing their free TV licences makes a mockery of Theresa May’s claim that austerity is over. The Government should take responsibility and save TV licences for the elderly.
Stephen Morgan MP for Portsmouth South said:
The Tory Government knew what it was doing when it forced the cost of paying for free licences for over 75s out to the BBC.
“Labour was completely opposed to this and we are still firmly of the belief that the Government was totally wrong to outsource a social policy in this way. 
“It will be a terrible blow to so many older people in Portsmouth who already struggle to make ends meet and particularly to those who are housebound or isolated and rely on their TV for company.
“The Government needs come clean and to tell us urgently what they are going to do to ensure free TV licences aren’t cut and they don’t break their manifesto promise. If they do nothing, responsibility for older people losing their TV licences will rest firmly at their feet.”

MP backs Labour’s £100m plan to give every rough sleeper somewhere to stay during winter

Stephen Morgan, the MP for Portsmouth South, is backing Labour’s radical new national offer of emergency shelter for every rough sleeper during cold weather.

The Shadow Housing Secretary, John Healey MP said it “beggars belief” that in twenty-first century Britain there are parts of the country in which there is little or no shelter for those sleeping on the streets during extreme cold weather, and that the Government doesn’t even know which areas have this provision.

Figures collected by the Government reveal that in the South East alone, 1,119 people slept rough on the street on one night last year, up 261% since 2010.

Since October last year, an estimated 484 people have died homeless, including during the ‘beast from the east’ cold spell between February and March last year. Last winter one in four severe weather services had to turn rough sleepers away.

Under Labour’s plans, funding will be provided for emergency accommodation in every area, for every rough sleeper whenever local temperatures are set to fall below freezing.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

It is appalling that in 2018 we have such a large number of people sleeping rough in Portsmouth and across the country.

Under this Government far too many people have been left without a home, or even a safe place to spend the night. Housebuilding recently fell to its lowest rate since the 1920s and these figures show that homelessness continues to rise at alarming rates.

There’s some good work already going on in Portsmouth to tackle this issue head on, and Labour’s plan with much-needed funding will help finally bring an end to rough sleeping in our society.”

Labour’s Shadow Housing Secretary, John Healey MP said:

“To our national shame, thousands of people will sleep rough on park benches and shop doorways this winter. It beggars belief that there is no guarantee of basic emergency accommodation for these people during cold weather.

“Rough sleeping has risen every years since 2010 as a direct result of decisions made by Conservative Ministers, and the problem is getting worse.

“Labour’s plan will save lives and needs to be put in place now.

“Labour will give every rough sleeper a roof over their head, and tackle the root causes of rising homelessness with an end to the freeze on benefits, new rights for renters and a million low-cost homes.”

The new national offer will be funded through a new Rough Sleepers Cold Weather Fund, set at £100m in the first year, and paid for by a previously announced second homes levy.

As well as extra emergency shelter, this will also fund keyworkers to link rough sleepers with health and housing support to keep them off the streets for good, given that cold weather enables contact with rough sleepers that are otherwise hard to reach.

The announcement forms part of the Labour Party’s plan to end rough sleeping within the first term of the next Labour Government.

 

 

City MP responds to the Modernising Defence Programme

City MP Stephen Morgan has responded to the publication of the Government’s defence review ‘Mobilising, Modernising & Transforming Defence: A report on the Modernising Defence Programme’ in the House of Commons today.

The Portsmouth South MP said:

“This is a long overdue statement from the Secretary of State for Defence. The Modernising Defence Programme which was promised last January, then again before summer holidays, and here we are, almost a year on, finally something before the House of Commons.

Today I was hoping to see exactly what the Government is prepared to do in order to fill the £14bn gaping black hole in our country’s defence budget. Sadly we were let down.

Despite the reported rows with Cabinet colleagues and delays that have made the review one of the longest in modern times, the Defence Secretary has failed to deliver for our armed forces.

The Government can no longer ignore this funding black hole. They need to sit up and take heed of the National Audit Office’s recommendations, and finally produce a plan that secures the future of our armed forces, protects jobs and allows industry to deliver with confidence”.

Nia Griffith MP, Labour’s Defence Secretary added:

“At a time when our country faces growing security challenges, it is grossly irresponsible for Conservative Ministers to simply stick their heads in the sand. Labour has a plan to support our UK industry and maximise the UK’s defence capability for the future.”

 

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Police cuts have consequences

The Government has finally announced a provisional settlement for police forces across the country for 2019/20.

The Conservatives plan to double the ‘precept’ on council tax meaning that hard pressed local taxpayers will bear the burden for funding police forces.

Sadly this will hit areas with a low council tax base hardest – like Portsmouth – meaning that those areas which have lost the most through recent cuts in central government grants will receive the least.

It comes at a time when figures for this year show that police numbers are now at the lowest in 30 years, whilst police recorded violent crime is now at the highest on record, knife offences are at the highest level since records began, arrests have halved in a decade and unsolved crimes stand at 2 million.

Whilst additional central government funding for local police forces will amount to just £161m in 2019/20, police chiefs have privately warned inflation and cost pressures will reach £484m in 2019/20.

Responding to the announcement by the Home Secretary, Stephen Morgan, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, said:

“The Government’s funding announcement for policing is fundamentally unfair. By using a precept on council tax to fund police is perverse and is based on the ability to pay, not based on need. 

Worryingly, this decision on resources is just a drop in the ocean. Forces have lost a staggering £2.7bn in real terms thanks to Tory austerity meaning 1,000 less officers in Hampshire and crime up 10% in Portsmouth.

The amount offered to Hampshire means Portsmouth Police still losing out in  real-terms once inflation, cost pressures and other funding pressures are taken into account. 

Months after his warm words, the Home Secretary has failed to deliver any substantial increase in central government funding beyond filling black holes.

Portsmouth taxpayers will be paying the price for his failure and Hampshire’s police will be forced to make further tough choices on the ways they keep us safe at a time when crime is on the rise. 

When the Police Federation says ‘cuts have consequences’, it is clear that Portsmouth police and our city’s communities deserve better from this Government”.

 

 

Government needs to listen to councils

Responding to the delayed Government’s announcement on funding for local councils, Stephen Morgan, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South said:
“Local Government desperately needs investment in under-pressure local services and especially in children’s and adult social care. 
 
Only this week the Lib Dem council here in Portsmouth agreed £4m of cuts to local services, with more to follow.
 
Next year will continue to be hugely challenging for Portsmouth and all councils who will still face an overall funding gap of £3.2bn in 2019/20. 
 
It is disappointing that the Government has not used the Secretary of State’s announcement today to provide further desperately-needed resources for Portsmouth, meaning many more tough decisions, services scaled back and communities hit hard.
 
As the nation faces huge uncertainty, we need a Government which will listen and will recognise the valuable role councils make to communities by properly funding the local services we all rely on”.

‘The Government are in office but not in power’ says City MP

In recent weeks, the Government has delayed several key policies on social care, the NHS, local government funding, police grant, roll out of Universal Credit, an immigration white paper, and now the long expected Brexit votes tomorrow on the PM’s “deal”.

Responding to an unprecedented day in the House of Commons, Stephen Morgan, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, said:

“It is now clear that this is a Government in office, but not in power. Whilst Brexit gets botched, our public services are at breaking point and our communities suffer as a result. 

The deal would be bad for business and bad for Portsmouth. Even the PM’s own Chancellor even admits the deal would make us poorer – with official government figures showing growth could slow up to 3.9% meaning we’d be a staggering £100bn worse off. 

There is quite clearly no majority in Parliament for this deal, nor for crashing out without one.

The PM said today she is now seeking assurances, but frankly by delaying the vote, she is only delaying the inevitable”. 

On the way forward the city MP added:

“We need a government that will give Portsmouth schools the resources they need, more bobbies on the beat and better funding for health and social care in our city, which is why we need a general election. 

With no majority in Parliament and no leadership in Number 10, it has to be down to the people to determine our course which is why I support a peoples’ vote.

How the next few weeks unfold will decide the fate of our great city and our country for generations.

We can’t afford to leave it in the hands of this bungling Government. People in Portsmouth must have their say”.