Portsmouth is strongest when we're together and we’re united

For centuries, as a port city, Portsmouth has welcomed people coming to our shores for trade. Today our internationalism and outward looking approach to commerce strengthens our local economy, by creating jobs and prosperity for all, positions us as a strong and vibrant city, and as a gateway for our nation.
Last week our country had the opportunity to influence Britain’s future direction and its place in the world. Many felt it was a difficult, tense campaign, with differing views across the country and the highest level of electoral participation in over twenty years.
Yet we have more in common, than what divides us.
In every part of our city, Pompey people with different backgrounds, nationalities and religions live cheek by jowl, and in harmony.
We don’t just tolerate our differences, we welcome them. And whilst that hasn’t changed in the past few days, if people have concerns about relations between communities, they should let the police know.
We don’t stand by for division. Pompey people do what is right – defending our city’s fantastic mix of diversity and tolerance and standing together against racism and xenophobia which risks hurting and dividing people living side-by-side.
By us all continuing to pull together we rally behind our great city, for the best interests of our community’s future.

Happy birthday John Pounds Centre!

This year the fantastic John Pounds Centre (JPC) off Queen Street in Portsea celebrates its 10th birthday. 
The flagship community facility led by the John Pounds Trust provides activities and services for all, serving Portsea and the wider city through a variety of opportunities.
Onsite facilities include a 350 capacity multi-use sports hall, fitness suite, IT training suite, library, community cafe,  youth and art spaces, nursery, dentist and a small business hub.
The centre has received critical acclaim for its design, community spirit, enterprise and unique opportunities.
It was a pleasure to attend a celebration to start the commemoration of the trust and centre’s achievements in the past year.
In the last year the centre has:

  • Supported 10,000 new users and user groups registered
  • Worked with 500 volunteers
  • Ensured 30,000lbs of fresh food is re-cycled through our food programme
  • Provided 9,000 meals enjoyed by the community at our twice weekly cooking programme
  • Enabled 100s of people to be trained as cooks as part of a community programme
  • Supported over 200 apprenticeships

And in the last four years it has:

  • Organised over 1200 referrals from city agencies onto a Healthy Living programme
  • Helped a 100 residents to quit smoking
  • Made many happier through emotional support
  • More recently have helped several patients deal with diabetes
  • Helped many cancer patients with rehabilitation
  • Raised over £800k to support community based programmes

Cllr Stephen Morgan said:
“I’m a huge fan of the work of the trust and the excellent facilities provided at the John Pounds Centre for residents. 
The vision the city and local people had over ten years ago to bring different agencies together to improve life chances fir all in Portsea was forward thinking at the time and just as relevant to the challenges our communities face today. 
The trust should be proud of their fantastic achievements over the past ten years. These are excellent achievements. I very much look forward to working with them and local people over the years ahead”.
For more information about the trust’s work visit www.johnpoundscentre.co.uk

Plans for further development at Isambard Brunel Road

Unite Group Plc has recently submitted a full planning application to the city council for the redevelopment of the former Navigators Resource Centre and Chaucer House sites for new student accommodation in the city centre.
The plans propose a “high quality mixed use scheme providing accommodation for 484 students and 704sqm of commercial floor space”.
A planning application seeks permission for student accommodation with commercial floor space at ground floor level, with the proposals including:

  • a large common room serving Chaucer House and Margaret Rule Hall
  • one part 8 and part 10 storey building to the east of Margaret Rule Hall
  • one part 9, part 10 and part 13 story building to the west of Margaret Rule Hall
  • new cycle facilities with parking for 191 bicycles
  • new landscaping as part of the Isambard Brunel Road public realm improvements.

If you would like any further information about the submitted plans or have any questions you can call 08002987040 or email feedback@consultation-online.co.uk

Local people pay tribute to Jo Cox MP 

A fitting tribute and celebration of Jo Cox MP life was held tonight (Wednesday 22 June 2016) in Guildhall Square, on what would have been Jo’s 42nd birthday. 
Local people gathered in Victoria Park for a short ceremony then headed through to Guildhall Square to share a picnic.
Joining the event I was reminded of Jo’s maiden speech:
“We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.”
As we remember her passion to create a better world, in her honour, we should all recommit ourselves to that task.

Call to open up city centre's war memorial 

A call has been made to improve the visibility and accessibility of the city’s memorial in Guildhall Square. 
The cenotaph – in the heart of Portsmouth -commemorates service personnel and civilians from Portsmouth who have died in past conflicts.
Cllr Stephen Morgan has written to the council requesting action.
In the letter he writes:
“Portsmouth’s strong links with the armed forces community is one of the city’s many strengths.
As residents of this great city, we can be rightly proud of our tradition and history associated with our naval heritage and contribution the city has, and continues to make, to the defence of our nation”. 
With regeneration and developments happening across our city centre, it is hoped the council will take action.
Stephen added:
“As a result of these development opportunities I hope the council can find a way to make this important cenotaph in the heart of our city more accessible and visible in tribute to those fallen”.
Do you have a view on how this can happen? Get in touch with Stephen.

, , ,

Portsmouth people celebrate its diversity

Portsmouth Labour was out in force at the city’s pride festivities this weekend.
Party members, supporters and friends joined all councillors from the city’s Labour Group for the event which saw the celebrations kicking off in Guildhall Square on Saturday at 12noon.
There was a party atmosphere as a parade involving dancers, music, representatives from local groups and an estimated 4,000 people took to the streets of Portsmouth in recognition of the LGBT community and city’s diversity with a parade to a music festival on Southsea Common.
A tribute to the late Jo Cox MP who was tragically killed earlier this week was made before the parade started as well as a minute’s silence in respect of those who tragically lost there lives in Orlando just over a week ago.
Untitled 2
Cllr Stephen Morgan said:
“This was a fantastic local event. It was great to see so many people enjoying themselves. My thanks to Sarah and her team for all their hard work in organising what is becoming a massive event in the city’s calendar.
After the terrible events of the past week we’ve seen our city of Portsmouth united in its celebration of equality, tolerance and diversity. If we lift each other up, we make our city stronger”.

Councillor welcomes use of technology to clean up communities

Cllr Stephen Morgan regularly reports flytipping incidents across the ward ensuring local action

Labour’s new environment and community safety spokesperson, Cllr Stephen Morgan, is backing the use of a smart phone app to help clean up communities across Portsmouth.
The ‘My Portsmouth’ app developed by the city council is downloadable for free for both apple and android devices, allows residents to report problems they see around the city.
Residents can report a wide range of problems such as a broken streetlight, potholes, a dumped fridge or fly tipping, dog fouling, hazardous paving, graffiti, blocked curb-side drains, and illegally parked vehicles.
And with a built-in camera function problems can be pin-pointed on a map and are reported straight back to the relevant council department to respond to.
Cllr Stephen Morgan said:
“Flytipping and the dumping of unwanted household items is a real issue in my ward of Charles Dickens and across our city. It’s a problem that comes up time and time again when I talk with residents on the doorstep.
Finding things left on the street or in open spaces is something I am always on to the Council to sort, to ensure officers take action and the items are removed. The app helps me do just that, so I’m a bit of a fan!
But the perception amongst some in our communities is that flytipping is on the increase in the city, so I am going to be keeping a close eye on the use of the app and encouraging the Tory-run administration to do more to make sure we see services improve for local people and our communities cleaned up”.
Anyone in Portsmouth is encouraged to download the app. You can do so by simply visiting the apple or android stores and searching for ‘My Portsmouth’. 

Have your say on local police priorities 

Residents in Charles Dickens ward are encouraged to complete the police’s latest survey on local crime priorities.
The survey only takes a couple of minutes and can be found here:

Dedication of veterans honoured 

Part of a series of commemorative events to mark the 72nd anniversary of the DDay landings in Normandy included attendance by a Portsmouth civic delegation at the French national memorial service at Port-en-Bessin, or Gold beach as it was know for Operation Overlord.

Early in the morning on June 6, 1944, about 156,000 Allied soldiers stormed the beaches along the coast of Normandy, France. 
Although choppy seas and heavy German resistance prevented them from fully meeting their objectives that day, they were able to gain a crucial foothold in mainland Europe.
Cllr Stephen Morgan said: 
“It is difficult to imagine and understand what my grandfather – aged just 17 years at the time – and the allied troops must have been feeling when they arrived here to start the liberation of mainland Europe. 
It has been an honour to talk with veterans over the last few days and meet those involved in the operation. We must do everything we can to ensure their stories live on. They ensured a Europe which is in peace because of what Britain and its allies did to bring that peace”.


Councillor’s journey to mark D-Day a personal journey


D-Day veteran James Kaminski

Labour’s newly elected Deputy Group Leader and ward councillor for Charles Dickens, Cllr Stephen Morgan will be following in his grandfather’s footsteps as he takes the journey with the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth and official delegation to Caen, in France, this weekend.
The civic visit is part of a series of activities to mark 72nd anniversary of the landings.
Cllr Morgan’s grandfather, the late James Kaminski, a Portsmouth resident all his life, was one of the hundreds of men who left the shores of the Solent for the coast of northern France on 6 June 1944 as part of the Normandy Landings codenamed ‘Operation Neptune’.
James Kaminski landed on Juno Beach on D-Day with the Royal Army Service Corps. He had only joined the army four months previously and drove a variety of vehicles. On 7 June 1944 turned 17 years of age during the conflict in northern France. Later in life he was a founding and active member of the Normandy Veterans Association and local British Legion.
D-Day was the start of the largest seaborne invasion in history, the operation began the liberation of German-occupied north western Europe from Nazi control, and contributed to the Allied victory on the Western Front.

Stephen Morgan with his grandfather’s medals

Cllr Stephen Morgan said:
“I feel hugely honoured to have the opportunity to join the delegation going to Caen to mark our respects on behalf of the City. I will be paying tribute with colleagues to all those who gave their lives in this operation which started the liberation of mainland Europe.
But this will be an emotional journey for me also paying my respects for my late grandfather’s efforts. He like many others gave so much to our great city and our country, and it is important their stories continue to be passed on through these anniversaries and other important civic events”.
The city’s delegation will be hosted by Mr Joel Bruneau, Mayor of Caen.
Cllr Morgan intends to take his grandfather’s medals with him on the trip to show the French hosts as part of the anniversary’s commemorations.