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Shadow Communities Secretary and Shadow Treasury Minister visit Portsmouth to back Stephen Morgan

Today, 2017 General Election Winner Stephen Morgan welcomed two front bench big hitters to his home city. Andrew Gwynne (Shadow Communities Secretary) and Lyn Brown (Shadow Treasury Minister), both Labour grandees, visited Portsmouth to declare their support for Stephen ahead of the 2019 General Election.

The visit began with Stephen Morgan, alongside Shadow Communities Secretary Andrew Gwynne, presenting a cheque outside the civic offices denoting the amount that the Conservatives and Lib Dem’s had cut from Portsmouth City Council’s budget.

Stephen Morgan said:

“Under the Tories and Lib Dems our city has been consistently neglected, ignored and forgotten. £73 million pounds has been slashed from our budgets and it Portsmouth people who are paying the price. Rising homelessness with thousands on the council waiting list, less school funding and a social care crisis.

Tory cuts, which have been deliberately targeted at the poorest areas of the country, have plunged our councils into crisis and pushed many services to breaking point. Decades of privatisation and outsourcing have hollowed out council capacity, taken money out of communities and undermined democratic accountability.”

Stephen Morgan has a record of delivery when it comes to standing up for services we all rely on and local authorities across the country.

He has grilled Government Ministers in parliament demanding an end to cuts, spoken out in debates, written to council officers thanking them for their services, specifically taken action over cuts to city schools by bringing teachers up to parliament and visited 10 Downing Street to raise awareness of the damage local government reductions are doing.

Shadow Communities Secretary, Andrew Gwynne said:

“It is evident from speaking to people on the doorstep today with Stephen that he is doing an outstanding job in representing the concerns of his constituents.

I know first-hand how much he cares for his community through our work together in the Shadow Communities team and I sincerely hope that he is able to continue his vital efforts for Portsmouth South following the General election.

Portsmouth needs an MP with a track record of fighting the city’s corner, Stephen has consistently gone above and beyond and is the only person capable of beating the Tories in Portsmouth South.”

Stephen Morgan said:

“I am delighted to back Labour’s manifesto commitment to reverse the Tory decade of austerity for local government and our aim to restore council spending powers to 2010 levels over the lifetime of the Parliament.

While those who make decisions in Whitehall can seem distant and detached, our local councillors live among us, shopping on the same high street, using the same parks and leisure centres and sending their children to the same schools.

It is essential that they are given adequate power, funding and resource from central Government so that they can look out for our communities.”

Stephen Morgan then lobbied the Shadow Communities Secretary along with the Treasury Minister urging proper funding for Portsmouth.
The visit culminated in the Labour representative chatting to local residents on the doorstep with Stephen Morgan.

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Stephen Morgan’s hard work for WASPI women pays off as Labour announce ground breaking pledge

Labour have announced that if they win the election they will compensate 1950s women with a “weekly redress” based on the number of lost weeks of their pension and the amount of time they had to prepare.

This follows a relentless record of delivery by Stephen Morgan that includes hosting pubic rallies, meetings in parliament, speaking in debates, writing to the Shadow Minister responsible urging robust manifesto pledges and grilling government ministers over the inequality.

The 2017 Election winner said:

“1950’s women were the people who rebuilt Britain. Millions have been neglected and betrayed by Lib Dem and Tory Government’s and had their retirement plans taken away from them after decades of giving to this nation.

I have had the privilege of standing shoulder to shoulder with these grassroots activists since 2016. From speaking out on in parliament as Portsmouth South’s MP to hosting large-scale public rallies, we have been working hard to hold government to account.

Labour’s promise to go further than any other party to address this vast injustice committed against WASPI women demonstrates yet again that they are the party of social justice and equality.”

Labour’s WASPI pledge is a full weekly redress payment of £100, the average compensation would be £15,400, paid in instalments over five years. Labour will compensate women born between 6 April 1950 and 5 April 1955 by £100 for each “lost week” of their pension, and a tapered compensation rate for those born after 5 April 1955. Individual total redress payments would vary between nil and £31,400, with an average of £15,379.

Stephen Morgan said:

“I met with WASPI women just last week and justice for their movement will always remain a high priority.

Labour’s pledge combined with my record of delivery on this matter means that anyone who feels the need to see the WASPI matter redressed must vote for Labour on the 12 December.”

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British Broadband: Candidate backs Labour’s mission to connect communities across Britain by delivering free full fibre broadband for all

In a major announcement Labour have set out plans to deliver free full fibre broadband for all by bringing parts of BT into public ownership and creating a new British Broadband public service.

According to research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, a full-fibre broadband network could boost productivity by £59 billion by 2025; bring half a million people back into the workforce; and boost rural economies, with an estimated 270,000 people more able to move to rural areas.

The Labour party announced the policy, describing the new free public service as central to the parties plans to transform our country and economy.

Stephen Morgan said:

“Bringing Portsmouth together and making a more inclusive society, that is our objective.
Portsmouth has a thriving community of independent bussiensses’, it is the responsibility of Government to support them in their success, key to this is strong digital infrastructure for businesses and industry.

If we are to be at forefront of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and a global economic player, we must speed up the adoption of technologies across our economy.”

The next Labour government will undertake a massive upgrade in the UK’s internet infrastructure, delivering fast, secure, reliable internet connections for everyone and putting an end to patchy and slow coverage. This will boost 5G connectivity across the country.

The plan will be paid for through Labour’s Green Transformation fund and taxing multinational corporations such as Amazon, Facebook and Google, and save the average person £30.30 a month.

Only between 8-10 per cent of premises in the UK are connected to full-fibre broadband, compared to 97 per cent in Japan and 98 per cent in South Korea. Almost 80% of adults surveyed said that they have experienced internet reliability problems in the last year.

Stephen said:

“I welcome proposals to deliver free full-fibre broadband – saving money for people in Portsmouth and local businesses. This will be a massive boost to our economy and a massive upgrade to our city’s infrastructure”

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Stephen Morgan – “People in Portsmouth South have been denied adult education – but Labour’s going to throw open the door to lifelong learning.”

With nearly 60% per cent of people in our region not educated beyond an A-level-type qualification, Labour will today announced plans to ensure everyone has access to education and training throughout their life to end skills shortages and “allow our economy to rise to the opportunities of the future”

Stephen Morgan said:

“People in the South East have been denied adult education –so often it’s costly or difficult to access. That’s why the next Labour government’s going to throw open the door to lifelong learning.

Our economy is transforming so rapidly, and governments have got to step up and support workers in these turbulent times.

That’s why we need a government that makes it as easy as possible for us to build the skills we’ll need in the future. It’s why we need a government that’s for the many not the few.”

Britain has a severe skills shortage, particularly in higher technical skills. According to the CBI, two thirds of businesses worry they won’t be able to fill skilled posts. The Conservatives have slashed funding for further education and skills training by 47 per cent and overseen a 25 per cent decline in adults enrolling in education.

Angela Rayner, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, said:

“Labour will throw open the door for adults to study, whether they want to change career, are made redundant or didn’t get the qualifications they needed when they were younger.

For many, adult education is too expensive, too time-consuming or too difficult to get into.

People have been held back for too long. We will make free education a right to ensure we have the skills we need to allow our economy to rise to the opportunities of the future.

In a speech this week, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, Angela Rayner pledged to put vocational education on a par with university degrees and deliver a radical expansion of lifelong learning to make sure “no one is shut out of education.”

The party says its plans are vital to meet the changing nature of industry – ensuring automation doesn’t leave people without work and we have the skills we need to tackle the climate emergency.

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You can’t trust the Tories with our NHS

Today, Freedom of Information (FoI) data obtained by Labour has revealed that there has been a huge increase in the number of cancelled operations because of staffing issues and equipment failures.

The simple truth is under the Tories, patients wait longer and longer for vital care. This General Election is about the future of the NHS and ensuring quality care for all.

Under the Tories, so many more people in pain and distress are forced to endure cancelled operations, including increasingly on the day they were supposed to have treatment. It is a shameful indictment of a decade of Tory cutbacks running our NHS into the ground.

Labour will fully fund our NHS, recruit the doctors and nurses we need and safeguard our NHS from a Trump deal sell off that could cost the NHS £500 million a week.

Responding to the release of the data, Stephen Morgan MP said:

“Our NHS is the most cherished British institution. Its introduction over 70 years ago has transformed people’s lives, giving access to world-class healthcare for all, regardless of the ability to pay.

Since becoming the MP for Portsmouth South, it has been a top priority of mine to care for it – standing up locally and in Parliament for our hospitals, community care, dentistry and GP services.

I’m proud of the record of delivery since 2017 on this most pressing of issues for Portsmouth people. Helping to secure £58m of investment to enhance urgent care at QA Hospital, new community services at St Mary’s and lobbying for improvements to meet growing demands on local mental health services.

I’ve also been taking action meeting the workforce that makes our local NHS so special. Regularly visiting services, nominating an NHS cleaner for the national NHS awards, hosting events to thank those who work in health and care services locally and hearing from frontline staff the challenges our NHS faces.

It is clear there is so much more to do.

Under this Government, so many more people in pain and distress are forced to endure cancelled operations, including increasingly on the day they were supposed to have treatment. It is a shameful indictment of a decade of Tory and Lib Dem cutbacks running our NHS into the ground.

As Britain goes to the polls next month, we have the chance to secure a better future for our local NHS that ensures quality care for all people in Portsmouth. It is time we give the NHS the care it needs”.

The figures obtained under FOI review some worrying findings:

• Last year, 78,981 operations were cancelled. These operations were either classed as urgent or were elective operations cancelled at the last minute – either on the day the patient was due to arrive in hospital or after they had already arrived.

• The number of operations cancelled because of staffing issues and equipment failures have each increased by a third in two years. Last year, 10,900 were cancelled because of staffing issues and 4800 were cancelled because of equipment failures.

• There are currently over 100,000 staff vacancies in the NHS, with shortages of 10,000 doctors and 43,000 nurses. Cuts to NHS Capital Budgets have left the health service with a £6.5 billion repair bill.

Under this Government, so many more people in pain and distress are forced to endure cancelled operations, including increasingly on the day they were supposed to have treatment. It is a shameful indictment of a decade of Tory and Lib Dem cutbacks running our NHS into the ground.

As Britain goes to the polls next month, we have the chance to secure a better future for our local NHS that ensures quality care for all people in Portsmouth.
It is time we give the NHS the care it needs.

 

 

 

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Portsmouth People given chance to create law as city MP puts it to the people

Today, Members of Parliament have their chance to be selected for a private member’s bill. This is a kind of raffle that allows any MP to enter the ballot, the winner of which can create a new law.

Stephen Morgan has put it to the people by issuing an open poll asking for constituents to get in touch with their own ideas and asking them to vote on some of his, based on some of his long-running campaigns.

Mr Morgan said:

“Portsmouth people should have direct access to democracy, that is why I have asked them for their thoughts.

This is an exciting opportunity for us to put or heads together and come up an idea for making Portsmouth even better.

If I was to be successful in this raffle like process, I want to make sure that Portsmouth people are right alongside me in changing the law, after all it is the community set to be most affected.”

Only a minority of bills become law, but publicity can help an issue. It cannot create a new tax or increase spending but does give MP’ the chance to change legislation.

Stephen Morgan MP offered his constituents via an online poll the following options alongside the chance to draft their own:

  • An end to auto-renewing subscriptions to avoid unfair charges you didn’t bargain for
  • Get coroners to record veteran suicide so we can get bespoke mental health services for our armed forces community
  • Harsher fines for those that commit environmental offences such as littering Put an end to smoking in our urban green spaces and parks

Within an hour the poll gathered over 250 votes and is still open to the public to participate. If successful, the city MP has vowed to bear in mind the views of his constituents when putting the bill forward.

Have you got a fresh, ground-breaking idea that could brighten up our community?

If so, please vote here

 

https://surveyhero.com/c/7c0ad262?fbclid=IwAR0mmXg1bpsaaBOQSEeKngCxuNuVKnb_-N__GyQ5VYJrnezsN6z434CJmZY

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Stephen Morgan MP reacts to Mr Johnson’s Brexit deal

“Working people. The NHS. Low income families. These will be hit hardest by the negative effects of Mr Johnson’s failure of a Brexit deal with the EU.

It runs riot over centuries of progress made towards workers’ rights, places profit over people and leaves the door open for our cherished NHS services to be pillaged by privatisation. With the Tory track record of eroding workers’ rights and selling of bits of the NHS to the highest bidder, is this any wonder?

I did not think that it would be feasible to see a deal worse for Portsmouth people than the one put forward by the Mrs. May, however, Mr Johnson seems to have surpassed even that.

It is nothing more than a race to the bottom on rights and protections.

There is nothing in the deal that has the ability to heal the current divide. I am not willing to vote for a deal that will make Portsmouth poorer and insult people to such a degree.

There is only one way out of this mess. The PM must be brave and put it to the people and let them have the final say”.

 

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“The closure of Lynx House will be a disaster for Portsmouth” – City MP grills Government over implications of HMRC closures under no-deal

Today, during questions in the House of Commons, Stephen Morgan MP continued to apply pressure to Government over the proposed plans to close the HMRC centre, Lynx House in Portsmouth.

Mr Morgan’s chief concern raised today was that if the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal, the HMRC workload is set to increase from 55 million customs declarations to 270 million according the National Audit Office.

Mr Morgan said:

“The fact that Government is planning to shut Lynx House, which provides vital employment to nearly 1000 members of the community, at a time when the HMRC workload is set to increase by nearly five times demonstrates their poor foresight and lack of planning.

A no-deal Brexit will be disastrous for Portsmouth and this nation anyway, the added implications of Government cuts to HMRC and staffing and resource levels down 17 per cent since 2010, is a recipe for disaster”.

Mr Morgan has been fighting alongside the trade unions to retain Lynx House since becoming MP in 2017 and has already brought the Shadow Treasury Minister responsible to the site to see for herself the issues faced by staff as part of a long-running campaign against closure.

Mr Morgan said:

“Anyone who watches the International Trade Secretary’s response to my serious question about Portsmouth will see that it is both vague and lacking in substance. No robust plans are offered in response to how HMRC will deal with the increased workload and I am deeply concerned that adequate planning is not taking place.

Portsmouth needs urgent action from this Government. That is why I have written to the Chief Secretary in a bid to get the Government to take notice of the people at the coal-face raising alarms about HMRC closures at Lynx House.

I have urged the Chief Secretary to rapidly respond by paying a visit to Portsmouth and to see for himself the issues faced here.”

Stephen Morgan MP has so far met with local HMRC staff, spoken with the unions, raised the issue in parliament, supported council motions and brought frontbench colleagues to visit the site and written to the Minister responsible.

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Rallying cries of ‘’the fight will go on” resonate from standing room only WASPI event hosted by city MP

Stephen Morgan MP has hosted a heavily oversubscribed event in Portsmouth offering a platform for discussion to women affected by state pension inequality.

The greatly successful event came in the wake of news that the High Court would not rule in favour of WASPI women and consisted of the MP’s renewed declaration of support for the cause, an open discussion and a Q&A session.

Mr Morgan said:

The resilience and determination demonstrated by WASPI women is an inspiration to grass roots movements across the nation.

The high attendance, passionate discussion and innovative ideas coming from the event that I was proud to host on Saturday is a testament to the fight left in this movement.

I consider it a privilege to have hosted numerous events and parliamentary activities alongside WASPI women and will continue to work shoulder to shoulder with members until we see a positive solution to this injustice.

Some women have been forced into homelessness and destitution, others have lost up to £47,000. They have all been grossly mistreated by Government and I will continue to act as a strong voice for them in Parliament.”

The event allowed WASPI women direct access to their MP and subsequently resulted in Mr Morgan taking a number of immediate actions.

One action that arose was that many women had written to the Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) to complain about the issue, however, they had been told they must wait for the High Court ruling before getting a response. Many of the women are still awaiting feedback.

In response to this, Mr Morgan has written out to the PHSO urging swift response and requesting a time frame for response.

In his letter, the Mr Morgan wrote:

Now that the High Court has ruled their decision, I am writing to request a date by which women affected by these state pension changes will receive a response to their letters of complaint. Please, could you (PHSO) provide this information as a matter of urgency?”

Other actions taken by the MP following the open consultation include lobbying his frontbench Labour colleagues to include clear manifesto pledges in favour of WASPI women.

Mr Morgan’s support for the WASPI cause predate his premiership as an MP and over the years has seen him speak at events, host members in parliament, meet people affected in Portsmouth and submit written questions to the Minister responsible. Mr Morgan is set to host WASPI women again on Wednesday 16 October. 

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“Let’s work together to ensure today’s generation have the digital skills for the future” says City MP at launch of Google Digital Garage

Today, Google opened a training hub in Portsmouth South. Delivering a speech to local community and business leaders, the city MP helped declare the hub open.

The Google Digital Garage is a multi-million-pound initiative that helps people, small businesses, and charities in Britain learn crucial skills for the digital age and is supported by the council and other local agencies. The city MP has been lobbying for this to come to his city for well over year.

Google Digital Garage offers free workshops and 1:1 mentoring sessions, enabling everyone to harness the power of the internet. Stephen Morgan has spent a great deal of time lobbying for its presence in Portsmouth.

Addressing attendees at the opening, Mr Morgan said:

“While businesses in Portsmouth are thriving and do justice to the ingenuity and resilience the city is famed for, the importance of developing digital prowess cannot be overestimated, we must continue to make our mark.

Digital technology has revolutionised the way we work – but many smaller businesses that lack digital skills are being left behind.

The fact that 55% of small business owners reported growth after just 14 weeks of receiving Google Hub training means that these issues will be tackled head on.”

The city MP stressed the importance of digital training in relation to social inequality. This is in line with the State of the Nation report which found that 49 percent of the poorest adults had received no digital training after leaving school, while 20 percent of the richest adults had. 

Mr Morgan said:

“Not only are digital skills essential to business progression, they are also a vital tool in the fight against inequality and help with self-liberation.

Through closing the digital divide, we will be able to make it easier for those at the bottom of the ladder to climb up.

We know that in Portsmouth, deprivation is higher than average at over 25% and 9,000 children live in poverty. Improving digital literacy is one tool we can use in the fight against deprivation and injustice.”

Since 2015, Google Garage has visited more than 500 locations across the UK and trained more than 400,000 people. Statistics show that 75% of small business owners changed the way they use digital marketing to advertise or sell online and 90% of learners took action after Google Digital Garage training. 43% said they had used more digital tools at work, and 77% said Google Digital Garage had helped improve their professional profile.

Mr Morgan said:

“The reason I have lobbied so hard for the Garage to come to my patch is because of the proven track record it has in up-skilling local communities and fostering an atmosphere of progression.

In my maiden speech, I said this is a city of makers and doers. With the likes of Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Charles Dickens emerging form this city, this is undeniable. I want to see this continue and believe that if we are to continue to leave our mark, ensuring equal access to digital skills for all will play a crucial role.”

Mr Morgan has not stopped at bringing the hub to his constituency, he is now in discussions with Google about a string of events at the hub and the touring of a Google Skills Bus around the constituency to reach marginalised communities.