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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.

 

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Wave Maiden nominated for parliamentary pub of year by City MP

Stephen Morgan MP nominates the Wave Maiden in Southsea for the prestigious Parliamentary Pub of the Year

The national awards, which culminate in a final at the House of Commons, offer all Members of Parliament the opportunity to nominate their constituency’s favourite boozer.

This award focuses on celebrating pubs in our community and Stephen Morgan MP has nominated the Wave Maiden on Osborne Road, Southsea as the entrant from the Portsmouth South constituency.

The nomination follows a call out on social media and in The News, with over 280 suggestions from constituents. The Wave Maiden topped the poll, with The Phoenix and Staggeringly Good coming second and third respectively.

The Parliamentary Pub of the year competition will give 650 MPs the opportunity to nominate a pub to be recognised as the Parliamentary pub of the Year.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“The hundreds of people that took part in this nomination process and stiff competition is a testament to the thriving pub scene we are fortunate enough to have in Portsmouth.

From providing a place to meet friends and socialise to offering a platform to up and coming local performer, pubs play a crucial role when it comes to community cohesion. Awards such as this give us the chance the recognise this.

Having been to the Wave Maiden, I can see why it was selected by Portsmouth people. I am delighted that their hard work and dedication has been recognised and am confident that they will go even further in the next round of the national awards ceremony.”

A representative from the Wave Maiden added:

“On behalf of our entire team we’d like to thank everyone who nominated us and to those who support us.

We’re honoured to be recognised as a pub with the community at it’s heart. Enriching our area is something we have always strived toward and we are proud and humbled to have made a positive impact on so many people along the way.

We appreciate this recognition greatly and will continue to do our best for Portsmouth.”

The main criteria for nomination is a pub that is great at what they do, this can include the range of beer or food provided, the dedication to serving the local community or a specialist in music or sports.

Nominated Pubs will be required to submit a video to the judges for the next round.

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Inspiring Fratton Awards branded success following first ever ceremony

As part of the Fratton Family Festival, Stephen Morgan MP has awarded 11 upstanding members of the community with Inspiring Fratton Awards.

The awards, which were pioneered by the local-born MP and Fratton Big Local, have commended members of the community that have a long-running connection with the ward and who have gone above and beyond to enrich the local area.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“As someone who was born and raised in Fratton, I know that there are certain people in the community who go out of their way to improve their local area.

Despite the fact our communities would not be the same without them, their work often goes without recognition. These awards are about making sure they get the credit they deserve for making our communities brighter.

These are the people that make Fratton not just a place to live, but a place to call home.

While this was the first time the awards have ever been issued, I look forward to continuing to commend local members of the community who are ward-wide ambassadors and make their area a place to be proud of”.

The awards featured a variety of categories ranging from Sport and Art to Best Café and Educational Achievement and seek to showcase a cross-section of skill sets on offer in the area.

Mr Morgan said:

It is integral that the awards match the many ways that people contribute. That is why we have such a comprehensive list of classifications.

By having such a diverse array of categories and age specific commendations, I am confident that Inspiring Fratton Awards give all those who make their ward a bit brighter the opportunity to be recognised.

By having awards for both those above and under 18, we hope to ensure that those who have just started the journey for community improvement are recognised and encouraged.”

The Fratton Traders Association and Fratton Big Local worked together tirelessly to bring music, performance, children’s activities and stalls to the south end of Fratton on Sunday 15 September. 

Following the festivities, the city MP said:

“So many people just drive through Fratton, not realising the community spirit held in the ward. At the Festival they get a chance to stop and relax in the area.

From discovering the diversity of food available to seeing the many skilled barbers and hidden gems like the My Dog Sighs Mural in Cornwall road – the event offers a first-rate experience in Fratton.

Fratton is strengthened by its diversity and the importance of bringing the community together cannot be underestimated.

The fact that this event was successful paves the way for a long tradition of hosting both the festivities and the Inspiring Fratton Awards in the area”

Bob White Chair of Fratton Big Local said:

The commendations given out by Inspiring Fratton Awards to 11 outstanding members of our community, from a diverse mix of ages and skill sets, fits perfectly with the ethos of the Fratton Family Festival.

The festivities are about coming together, pride in our community and fostering a sense of unity. I believe that by commending those who are striving to achieve this, the Inspiring Fratton Awards go a long way in showcasing the depth of talent we are fortunate enough to have.

The success of Fratton Family Festival and the Inspiring Fratton Awards this year sets the tone of future celebrations. Fratton Big Local looks forward to our continued partnership with Stephen Morgan MP and others in seeking out and commending our upstanding community members.”

 

 

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“Fratton is a place to be proud of” says City MP as excitement builds before local festival

As part of the Fratton Family Festival this weekend, Stephen Morgan MP will be awarding upstanding members of the community with Inspiring Fratton Awards. 

The awards, which were pioneered by the local-born MP and Fratton Big Local, will commend members of the community that have a long-running connection with the ward and who have gone above and beyond to enrich the local area.

Mr Morgan said:

“As someone who was born and raised in Fratton, I know that there are certain people in the community who go out of their way to improve their local area.

Despite the fact our communities would not be the same without them, their work often goes without recognition. These awards are about making sure they get the credit they deserve for making our communities brighter.

These are the people that make Fratton not just a place to live, but a place to call home

I urge everyone from Fratton, and the surrounding areas, to head down and get involved. Not every community has what Fratton has, we should celebrate what it has to offer.”

The Fratton Traders Association and Fratton Big Local have worked together tirelessly to bring music, performance, children’s activities and stalls to the south end of Fratton on Sunday 15th September 11.00am – 4.30pm

The event, which features no cars, lots of family fun and this year for the first time the presentation of the Inspiring Fratton Awards by Stephen Morgan MP to 11 local people, is set to be a highly successful event.

Ahead of the festivities, the city MP said:

“So many people just drive through Fratton, not realising the community spirit held in the ward. At the Festival they get a chance to stop and relax in the area.

From discovering the diversity of food available to seeing the many skilled barbers and hidden gems like the My Dog Sighs Mural in Cornwall road – the event offers a first-rate experience in Fratton.

Fratton is strengthened by its diversity and the importance of bringing the community together cannot be underestimated.

I look forward to continuing to working with others in and around Fratton to help foster a sense of unity and pride in our area.”

Bob White Chair of Fratton Big Local said:

“The Fratton Family Festival is now a well-established part of the calendar and is a day for celebrating the life and diversity of the Fratton community.

I enjoy seeing the great cross section of ages, backgrounds and cultures mingling and enjoying the music and activities together. This year we are delighted to be presenting our first ever ‘Inspiring Fratton Awards’ to recognise those in our community who have contributed to our life together.”

Big Local is being delivered by Local Trust and a range of partners. The event seeks to bring together local talent, community members, residents and ambitious individuals with the view of making the community an even better place to live.

Big Local puts residents in 150 areas across England in the driving seat. Residents in each of these areas are provided with all the support they need to identify their priorities and plan how to invest £1 million over at least the next 10 years.

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Pick Portsmouth’s best boozer

City MP Stephen Morgan is asking Portsmouth people to nominate their best local pub for the Parliamentary Pub of the Year Awards.

The award focuses on celebrating pubs in the community and will give 650 Members of Parliament the opportunity to nominate a pub to be recognised as the Parliamentary Pub of the Year.

The criteria for selecting your pub of choice is that they must be great at what they do. Whether this is pouring the perfect pint or serving up the best pub-grub and regularly hosting live music, the choice is yours.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“Pubs are often at the hearts of our communities. By providing people with a place to meet and socialise they help to act as the glue keeping communities together.

We are fortunate in Portsmouth to have a thriving pub scene with an abundance of live music, top food and great beer.

I want to encourage as many people in Portsmouth to tell me their favourite local in my constituency so that we can commend the efforts of these vital community outlets.”

Research by CAMRA has found that pubs are continuing to struggle with 18 closing a week in Britain, according to the latest industry figures. We know that there were 476 closures in the first six months of the year, 13 more than in the last six months of 2017.

The Shadow Minister, who has a policy responsibility on community pubs added:

“Our British pubs sector supports 900,000 jobs, generates £23 billion in economic value and provides £13 billion in tax revenues. In addition, 30 million of us visit the pub every month. I even host some of my constituency meetings in them.

I believe that these vital economic and social outlets must be protected.

That is why I am proud to have stood on a manifesto that committed to set up an analysis for how best to support of local pubs to examine the causes for their decline, as well as establishing a joint taskforce that will consider their future sustainability. I also have worked hard to give communities more power to shape their town centres, including by strengthening powers to protect pubs.

If you want to help protect our locals and commend the publicans that make our pubs so successful, please get in touch.”

Before selecting the nomination for Portsmouth South, Mr Morgan is encouraging pub goers to nominate their favourite local in the city online. The deadline for doing so is 22 September.

To nominate your favourite Portsmouth pub please follow the link.

http://www.portsmouthlabourparty.org.uk/parliamentary-pub-of-the-year/

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City MP hosts event in bid to boost bus usage

Stephen Morgan MP, alongside one of Britain’s largest bus operators First Bus, are hosting a roadshow to take place on the 20 August on Commercial Road, Portsmouth.

The event, which will take place on board a static bus, will provide constituents with the opportunity to share their thoughts and concerns on the current state of bus access and reliability in the city.

The Shadow Communities Minister and city MP will be joined by senior members of staff from First Bus to take on board feedback and to share ideas on improvements.

Stephen Morgan MP said:
“Greater use of public transport reduces congestion, air pollution and carbon emissions. Buses are crucial to the economic prosperity and social wellbeing of cities like Portsmouth and are a lifeline for our city’s communities.
I know from my discussions with people on the doorstep and through chatting to my family and friends in the area, there is room for improvement in our great city. This event is an opportunity for Portsmouth people to have their say on what works, what needs to be improved and what changes would make a difference to their everyday life. I want to hear from you.”
The consultation will take place on board a static First Bus on Tuesday 20 August, by the fountain in Commercial Road from 10:00 until 12:00.

The company often talks to the public about its services, but this event brings a new dimension with the Portsmouth South representative hosting.

The event follows the city MP writing out to hundreds of local people who may use buses to get round Portsmouth to hear their views on current services and to help identify areas of improvement.

He added:
“The sheer numbers of people who contact me about bus related issues indicate that this will be a well-attended event. I look forward to seeing many familiar and new faces on 20 August and to hearing ideas on how their can be better, easier and more widespread bus usage”.
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City MP asks are you Portsmouth’s Best Small Shop?

Stephen Morgan MP, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, is calling on Portsmouth’s small shopkeepers to enter the Best Small Shops competition, celebrating the creativity of small shops and the central role they play in their local community.

The Best Small Shops Competition is open to any small shop operating in the UK. The competition is free to enter and all shops who enter will also be promoted to consumers through an online Indie Retail Directory.

Shopkeepers can nominate their businesses until Monday 9 September via www.bestsmallshops.co.uk. A shortlist of 25 of the most impressive applications will be shortlisted by a panel made up of established representatives from the independent retail industry.

The judges will be looking for evidence of a small shops’ entrepreneurial spirit, ways that they have been innovative in their business and what they have done to have a lasting positive impact on their community.

The shortlisted small shops will be invited to a Parliamentary Reception in November to meet their Member of Parliament and find out who will be crowned the Best Small Shop for 2019.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“Small and independent shops are such an important part of our communities, both in Portsmouth and across the country.

That’s why, shortly after being elected as MP, I set up the ‘Support Local’ campaign to raise the profile of the value of small business to Portsmouth’s economy. For every £1 spent in a local shop or business, 63p goes back into the city’s economy.

I’m assured that at a time when our high streets are on the brink and anchor stores are pulling out of our city, that the British Independent Retailers Association reports a growing number of independent shop openings across the country. But we cannot be complacent and must continue to support small business to flourish.

I look forward to seeing numerous familiar Portsmouth businesses on the shortlist for Best Small Shop. Lets put our city’s shops on a national map!”

Submit your entry

The entries for 2019’s Best Small Shop competition are now open. Submit your entry at www.bestsmallshops.co.uk

Entries close on Monday 9 September 2019.

Photo of Stephen Morgan MP and the Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer MP visiting Southsea Deli

 

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“Cycling should be for the many, not the brave” – City MP urges Transport Minister to visit Portsmouth

Local MP, Stephen Morgan, has used a Westminster Hall debate he co-sponsored on Active Travel as an opportunity to invite the Government Minister responsible to Portsmouth to help the city fulfil its ambitions in active travel. 

In a bid to highlight the current obstacles faced by local cycling and walking infrastructure projects in the city he grew up in, Mr Morgan spoke in the Parliamentary debate and urged the Government to do more to encourage sustainable ways of moving around.

The keen cyclist and Brompton owner, Mr Morgan said:

“As it stands, the Government must do more to increase active travel and decrease their current tradition of missed targets. Walking and Cycling infrastructure is the key to a fitter, healthier and greener Britain. Government policy should reflect this.

We know that in 5 days 8 cyclists were tragically killed in London alone and that a major obstacle to people getting out and active is fear and nervousness of the transition to active travel. Cycling should be for the many, not the brave.

I am proud that our city boasts a City to Share plan that has the potential to be the blueprint for active travel across the country. Portsmouth people are pioneering the path on this, now it is time the Government followed suit.”

The speech focused on the potential possessed by Portsmouth in this regard, as a flat city with the perfect geography for active travel, Mr Morgan expressed that the felt it would be a wasted opportunity if the Government did not properly invest in the necessary infrastructure.

One of the obstacles identified by campaigners is the current disjointed nature of active travel funding.

The Portsmouth South representative said:

“While the increases in funding for cycling and walking infrastructure are welcome, the problem faced by my city is that the local authority, who have seen unprecedented cuts under this Government’s reign of austerity, does not have the capacity to go searching for poorly-signposted funding.

I agree with the LGA’s sentiments that too often funding is provided in the form of short-term capital grants linked to bidding processes with strict criteria. This stop start funding doesn’t allow councils to develop long term plans.

We need to see clearly signposted, accessible and adequate funding for active travel in Portsmouth.”

Mr Morgan’s speech further hit upon the key benefits arising from more widespread active travel and paid particular attention to how this could be the key to cracking the climate change conundrum. 

Mr Morgan said:

“Where other sectors have taken positive strides and seen reductions, the amount of harmful emissions churned out by the transport sector has grown.

It is now the single biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and the worst performing sector when it comes to reducing the outpour of harmful gases. 

Active travel is an integral part of our arsenal when it comes to tackling the world’s climate degradation, but at the moment not enough people are involved.“ 

Mr Morgan closed his speech by urging the Minister to visit his home city and see first-hand the incredible work done by local organisations like Portsmouth Cycle Forum. The Minister is yet to respond to this invite.

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MP’s office to transform into street dance hub in bid to get city moving

Portsmouth South MP and patron of local dance charity, Stephen Morgan, will be working in partnership with city-based Funk Format to promote well-being in the city through the medium of street dance.

The constituency office, based in Albert Road in Southsea, is set to be taken over so the MP can host a family-friendly event this Saturday that will offer attendees a taste of street dance.

Ahead of the event, Mr Morgan said:

From promoting healthy living and increasing confidence to fostering a feeling of community spirit – the positive effects of street dance are endless.

I am proud to have organisations like Funk Format in Portsmouth. The opportunity to cooperate with them to increase the outreach of this community project cannot be missed. I am looking forward to opening our doors to the people of Portsmouth and encouraging people to get involved”.

The event organised by Sasha Biloshisky founder of Funk Format and the local MP, will provide those who attend with the opportunity to participate in free taster sessions and will feature a jam where dancers from all styles can showcase their skills.

Mr Morgan said:

“Access to arts is of vital importance. Funk Format not only focuses on the physical element of dance, it also seeks to teach attendees about the origins of the different styles and history of the practices, setting young people in good stead for their education outside of the organisation.”

I am confident that this open day will inspire people of all ages to get active in a fun and non-pressurised environment.

All too often we see some parts of the population miss out on access to the arts and I am hopeful that exposing the young people of Portsmouth to this practice will instil resilience and a feeling of self-belief. This is about increasing opportunity and increasing participation.”

The event follows a recent announcement that the MP has become the first ever patron of Funk Format.

The event will take place on Saturday 6 July from 10:30 until 13:00 at Mr Morgan’s constituency office.

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‘Aim high, work hard and you will achieve’ says Fratton-born MP launching new local awards

Fratton Big Local and Stephen Morgan MP jointly launch a bid to recognise ward-wide talent

Stephen Morgan MP, who was born and raised in Fratton and attended local schools, has co-created with Fratton Big Local, the first-ever ‘Inspiring Fratton’ awards. The awards, which seek to celebrate the achievements of people within the Fratton area, dictate that nominees must either work or live in the ward. 

Since being elected the MP has been visiting local schools in the ward and supporting the Fratton Big Local, an initiative backed by £1m of Big Lottery funding to improve life for all in the area.

The Portsmouth South MP said:

“As someone who was born and raised in Fratton, I know that there are certain people in the community who go out of their way to enrich their local area, day in day out.

These are the people that make Fratton not just a place to live, but a place to call home. From inspiring teachers to budding sportspeople, these are the individuals who make Fratton a place in Portsmouth to be proud of. 

The Inspiring Fratton Awards is a means to celebrate the actions of those who make the area what it is and an opportunity for the local community to recognise talent and commitment in their area.”

The initiative was the brain-child a group of local people who met with Mr Morgan to see how aspirations could be raised in the area.

There are a number of categories in the awards process to reflect the cross-section of the ward and to encourage a range of people to be given the opportunity to be recognised. 

Mr Morgan has said:

“I never thought I boy from Fratton could one day represent the city he loves in Parliament. Not a day goes by when I don’t pinch myself about that opportunity and privilege. So my message to every person, and especially all young people in Fratton, is this: aim high, work hard, and you will achieve.

I hope these awards in partnership with the fantastic team at Fratton Big Local show that where you are born, shouldn’t determine where you end up in life”.

If you think you know someone who makes Fratton shine a bit brighter, please nominate using the following link: 

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/8W2CQKH