Have your say on council tax 

Council tax is 10% lower in Portsmouth than for other similar councils and Portsmouth City Council has started consulting on whether residents would be willing to pay a 2% rise to safeguard essential adult social care services for vulnerable people.
These services support older people with dementia, people with disabilities or serious mental health issues.
The survey can be found here and I encourage you to have your say:

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Concerns over crime and levels of safety in Portsmouth grow

Reductions to the local police force and other crime and disorder agencies may be starting to take their toll in Portsmouth, as recently released community safety statistics show that crime is on the up in the city.
According to recent data collated by the Safer Portsmouth Partnership, the city’s crime and disorder strategic partnership, overall crime levels have gone up across the country, whilst Portsmouth has seen a larger increase in police recorded crime (at 9%) compared to the national average of 3%. Worryingly violent crime has gone up and at the same time, youth crime has increased for the first time since 2007/8.
These trends come at a time when more and more social commentators are saying that cuts to policing and other community safety agencies are no longer sustainable.
Stephen Morgan, Labour’s candidate for Charles Dickens ward in the heart of Portsmouth for the city council’s local elections in May 2016, said:
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“Friends who work in the local police have told me that cuts by central government are starting to have a dramatic impact on their ability to keep crime down and help communities feel safe. On top of this, Portsmouth City Council’s administration are looking at reducing the valuable community warden service. Community Wardens are a well-respected visible presence on the streets of Portsmouth, often seen as the ‘eyes and ears’ of communities, reassuring people and helping to reduce anti-social behaviour.
I am very concerned to learn of the recent crime trends across the city, and in particular the increased challenges of youth crime in Charles Dickens ward. At a time of increasing crime, it is a mistake to strip important community safety services even closer to the bone. We all need to work together to ensure communities feel safer and crime levels come down again”.
For more information about crime statistics in Portsmouth and the work of different community safety partners in the city visit: www.saferportsmouth.org.uk



Lest we forget: Support the D-Day Museum in Southsea

It was an excellent initiative by Portsmouth City Council to mark Remembrance Sunday by providing free access to the D-Day Museum in Southsea today.
The D-Day Museum is very dear to my heart as my late Grandfather was a veteran of world war two and one of the thousands of soldiers born and bred in Southsea who arrived on the Normandy beaches in June 1945. A book in the museum captures the stories of some of the veterans, and it felt fitting to pay the museum a visit this afternoon on Remembrance Sunday to look at the exhibits, and see the book (below) again.
The museum is receiving significant investment from the Heritage Lottery Fund – with a grant of £4.1m – so that future generations can learn about this important historic events and how it led to the liberation of mainland Europe.
If you haven’t visited the museum for a while, or never before, be sure to pay it a visit!

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Show your support for the We love Guildhall Walk-In campaign

Show your support for the essential service that is the Guildhall Walk Healthcare centre by singing the petition at http://tiny.cc/8imy4x
Thank you!

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We Love Guildhall Walk-In campaign gathers pace


Hundreds of local people braved the wet and windy weather this weekend to join the ‘We love the Guildhall Walk-In’ campaign in Commercial Road on Saturday 7 November.

Stephen Morgan, Labour’s candidate for Charles Dickens ward in Portsmouth City Council’s local elections next May, led the campaign supported by a team of fellow volunteers with a street stall in a busy part of Commercial Road on Saturday.
The local clinical commissioning group is currently consulting on the future of the popular health care centre in Guildhall Walk with views being sought until January 2016. The walk-in serves over 6,000 local people, and provides health care services for the vulnerable, students, visitors and those seeking medical attention outside of usual GP opening hours.
Stephen said: “I already knew how valuable this health care service is to people in Portsmouth, because like many residents, I’ve used it in an hour of need when my own practice was shut for the weekend. But I’ve been really surprised by the number of people who stopped and spoke to us today and who have used the service and shared stories of how its helped them. Everyone we spoke to have concerns about its potential closure with lots wanting to fight with us to keep it open. We’ve been induated with hundreds signing our petition and volunteering to help with the campaign. People really do love the Guildhall Walk-In!”
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The healthcare centre is in an accessible location in the heart of Portsmouth in Charles Dickens ward. The ward is one of the most deprived areas of the country and where as many as 65% of children live in poverty.
You can sign the petition online by visiting: www.stephenjmorgan.org


Let's work together to increase electoral registration in the city

Today I wrote to The News about the need to work together to increase electoral registration across Portsmouth’s communities. A copy of my letter is below:
Dear The News,
Time is running out to register to vote!
Changes in the registration system means around one million people will be taken off the electoral register this year.
It is important – across the political spectrum – everyone who believe in the importance of local democracy works together to make sure across Portsmouth’s communities all those eligible to vote are registered to do so.
You can’t vote in elections if you’re not registered to vote. The process is quick and easy at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote and takes just three minutes. All people need is their National Insurance number and you can even register via your smartphone.
If fellow readers are already registered to vote, please ask friends and neighbours if they have registered – if they haven’t, point them to the website.
Next year there will be major local elections here in Portsmouth. And there’ll soon be a vote on whether the UK should stay in or leave the European Union. If people don’t register, they won’t be able to have their say.
I urge everyone to help with this important process.
Yours sincerely,
Stephen Morgan