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Lifelong housing tenancies at threat


Government plans for council housing are deemed “extreme”

You may have caught the news that the government are trying to push through controversial changes to affordable housing which will affect families across Portsmouth.
Dubbed ”extreme” by many, proposals include abolishing lifelong tenancies and introducing ‘pay to stay’ charges applied to some householders.
What’s more, those who need a council house in future will only be offered contracts of between two and five years.
Housing affordability, repairs and maintenance are high on the list of concerns locally.
Stephen said:
“I am very concerned by these proposals. They are extraordinarily and anti- council. I was brought up in social housing and know these plans risk breaking up communities and causing insecurity and instability for council tenants. We need more affordable homes in the city, not policies which will hit families the hardest”.
Labour is fighting these plans for you and getting the government to think again.


Stephen Morgan takes action on Wilmcote House


The refurbishment of Wilmcote House has been hit with a series of problems and delays

Frustrated by Tory and Lib Dem inaction on delays and living conditions at Wilmcote House, Stephen Morgan, standing in Charles Dickens ward for the local elections next Thursday, called a meeting for residents this week.
Wilmcote House in north Somerstown is currently undergoing major refurbishment to communal areas and individual flats to tackle fuel poverty. The scheme started back in December 2013, and has been hit by a series of problems, delays and dissatisfaction by residents.
So concerned by the council’s inaction, Stephen arranged for a question to be asked to the Cabinet for Housing, Cllr Steve Wemyss at Full Council in March.
At the meeting, the Cabinet Member said that the council would not undertake public meetings with residents as they would end up being “raucous and uncontrollable”. Cllr Wemyss also confirmed the scheme was suffering from further delays.
At risk of leaving residents in the dark and uninformed about the delays in the scheme, problems with work already undertaken and compensation available for disruption, Stephen took action with residents to set up a forum for neighbours to meet and to have their say. The meeting took place on Thursday night at the Omega Centre, a short walk from Wilmcote House.
Stephen said:
“I have been working with residents for several months now, regularly visiting people to listen to their concerns, taking photos of the works undertaken to date and supporting people. Residents have been let down by some current councillors and wanted answers. When it was discussed in the Council Chamber in March the current Lib Dem councillor stayed silent on this important issue for residents.
Improving the council’s housing for local people will always be a top priority for me. The meeting gave us the chance to meet to share issues, agree a way forward and seek better engagement with the council”.
The council claim it is robustly managing its contract with construction company Keepmoat and that the scheme will be completed by January 2017.


City rocked by shipbuilding u-turn


The Dockyard is an important part of the local economy

Hopes that shipbuilding would be coming back to Portsmouth have been dashed now that the MoD and government have announced a change of plan for the Dockyard.
Local people have been rocked by the announcement after promises from the Prime Minister last year were broken.
Stephen Morgan said:
“Like many across our ward, I have family who have worked in the dockyard. The industry is part of our history and it should be part of our future. This is another broken promise and Portsmouth has been let down.
This confirms our worst fears that when BAE Systems left, shipbuilding in the city would end and that it would be really tough to get it back”.
If elected, Stephen will work with anyone who is also committed to lobbying government to rethink these proposals with urgency. We need to keep this industry in our city.


Standing up for the NHS


It is time for a properly integrated health and social care service

In the second in a series of articles on national and local issues, I set out what my commitments will be if elected to the city council on 5 May. The second is on the national health service.

Both the Tories – and Lib Dems when they joined them in government – are putting our NHS at risk.
Patients are suffering longer waits with over three million people on the English waiting list alone. It is harder to see a GP now. And hospitals are understaffed and facing financial crisis. Tory cuts to social care are piling even more pressure onto our NHS.
Labour will stand up for the NHS. The party will invest in the NHS and join up services from home to hospital with a properly integrated health and social care service. And we will make sure that mental health is given the same priority as physical health.
My commitments to you:
a84bf8a7-bc54-4dd0-bc6a-a11c5fccb16fIf elected for you in Charles Dickens ward for the city council this May, I will:

  • continue the fight to keep healthcare services in the city centre after a successful campaign to think otherwise about closing the health provision at Guildhall Walk
  • champion closer working between health and social care so that services are improved for all residents
  • seek to protect health funding so that we can finally tackle the inequalities we see in the ward on issues such as life expectancy
  • support initiatives which promote health and wellbeing and active lifestyles
  • encourage the use of social prescribing to better integrate the work of the voluntary sector in local health and social care
  • fight to protect adult social care services from further cuts because older people in Portsmouth deserve better.

If you have other ideas or suggestions to stand up for our NHS, get in touch.

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Standing up for you for a fairer local economy

In a new series of articles on national and local issues, I will set out what my commitments will be if elected to the city council on 5 May. The first article is on a fairer economy.
Standing up for you for a fairer local economy and one that works for all:
Nationally, cuts to support for working people will leave over two million families on average £1,600 a year worse off, while those at the very top have been given tax breaks. Tory and Lib Dem failure to invest for the future threatens our economic recovery.
Labour will stand up for families and businesses by creating an economy that delivers prosperity and security for all, not just the few.
The party will get the deficit down fairly by investing to build a modern economy that delivers long-term growth, and will cut the benefit bill by creating decent jobs, tackling low pay and bringing down housing costs.
My commitments to you
If elected for you in Charles Dickens ward for the city council this May, I will:

  • work with local businesses to promote economic growth, new jobs and protect current industry including the vital shipbuilding sector 
  • champion apprenticeships, volunteering and local employment schemes
  • encourage the university and local employers to increase skills of local people
  • lobby for improvements to the city centre including better use of empty shops
  • work with city-wide and sub-regional bodies to get new funding and investment into the ward for the benefit of all.

If you have other ideas or suggestions to make our local economy fairer, get in touch.

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Pompey's parking problems


Inconsiderate parking doesn’t help the city’s parking problems

Parking is a major issue in Charles Dickens ward and across the city.
Whilst the growth in car ownership and commercial vehicles means work must be done to increase the number of parking spaces, it is also important where parking restrictions are in place that they are enforced.  Unfortunately there is no simple solution to the problems we encounter with parking in the ward.
Stephen said:
“The thing that annoys residents the most is the inconsiderate parking of the minority. A number of people have raised this with me on the doorstep. A lot of these disputes can be resolved if people thought about how their actions might impact upon their neighbours”.
Stephen is regularly in contact with the council’s parking and housing offices asking for measures to be taken to improve parking arrangements across our communities.
He added:
“A whole city parking review needs to take place so a better plan can be produced. Sadly the Lib Dems and Tories have only had a piecemeal approach over the years and this must stop. This has knocked the problem from one area to the next. At the same time, we should improve cycle routes in the city, alongside sensible decisions on bus lanes, helping to cut congestion and pollution in Portsmouth”.
Do you agree? Contact Stephen with your comments, ideas and views.

A Portsea great, Sally, backs Stephen 


Former MP Frank Judd with Eva Allayway and Sally Thomas

Alderwoman Sally Thomas, former longstanding councillor in the old Portsea ward, has come out in support of Stephen Morgan. 
Sally said:
“We need a councillor who will campaign and work hard for residents and protect our services in Charles Dickens ward.
That’s why I’m supporting Stephen Morgan.
He has already proved to me he has the abilities we need to face these challenges. He listens, has the energy and enthusiasm, works well with people, and above all, cares about our community.
This is the candidate to vote for on 5 May”.

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Candidate calls on Walk-In centre for help

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The Guildhall Walk-In is a well used health service in the heart of Portsmouth

The local election candidate who helped save the Guildhall Walk-In from closure has had to use the services of the health care centre out on the campaign trail this weekend.
The local clinical commissioning group announced last Autumn it was consulting on the much-loved healthcare centre’s future including the potential closure of the walk-in service.
Stephen Morgan, Labour’s candidate for Portsmouth City Council’s Charles Dickens ward in the elections on May 5, led a campaign to save the popular health service in his ward, in the heart of Portsmouth.
Over a 1,000 signatories signed a petition online, on the doorstep or at street stalls set up by Stephen. Local businesses backed the campaign, which also received the backing of the actor who plays Dr Dominic Copeland, of Holby City fame
Stephen said:
“As usual, the service at the healthcare centre was excellent. I was seen within ten minutes of hobbling in, and the quality of care second to none.
After walking over 100,000 steps whilst out talking to residents across Charles Dickens over the last few evenings, I’ve got a torn ligament. Thankfully nothing serious. The doctor has prescribed painkillers, some rest (which will have to wait until after the election!) and suggested some more sensible shoes for pounding the pavements”.
 The CCG has agreed to retain a practice in the city centre, and continue the option for registered patients to ‘walk in and wait’. This will mean that between now and 30 June, the GP practice service will remain entirely unchanged. Services will be enhanced at St Mary’s Treatment Centre as well as improved pharmacy services in the city centre commissioned.
Stephen added:
“It was good to see the service today is as useful as ever. I’m pleased that thanks to our campaign, the clinical commissioning group reconsidered their plans and some health services will remain in the heart of the city”.
For more information about the campaign to save the Guildhall Walk-In visit www.stephenjmorgan.org

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Stephen: a stronger voice for you


Stephen Morgan with supporters

Stephen Morgan makes six commitments to be a stronger voice for you on the city council
With lots of challenges for residents across communities in Charles Dickens ward, local people on the doorstep are telling us they want a change.
They want a stronger voice on the council and someone who will get things done for them.

If elected to represent residents on 5 May, Stephen will be an effective local representative for you. He’ll tackle challenges head on and help make more-informed decisions by the council.
Here’s six commitments of things he’ll do:
1) not stay silent on issues affecting you like some other local councillors
2) be visible at community meetings and residents’ groups
3) hold regular surgeries across the ward to help other local people
4) produce an annual report so you can judge him on his actions in the ward
5) put Portsmouth before party politics
6) use his experience of working with community groups, local businesses and other agencies to improve local life for all.
For information on how Stephen is getting things done for you already, visit www.stephenjmorgan.org

Are you registered to vote?


Your vote matters. Don’t lose it.

The system of voter registration has changed, and you now have to register individually rather than as a household. As a result, some people may have been knocked off the register.
You can check whether you’re on the register by ringing the council’s Elections Office on 023 92834074.  You can also ask for a postal vote.
It is easy to register online on your phone or computer. It only takes 5 minutes but you’ll need your national insurance number (which can be found on payslips or letters about benefits or tax credits).
The last day for applying is 18 April.
For more information go to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote