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Tackling holiday hunger together

A project to beat childhood hunger has received the support of a local Member of Parliament, following a visit to one of the city’s adventure playgrounds today to find out more.
MP for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, is backing the collaboration between the city council and Warburtons to beat childhood hunger, through an initiative called ‘Summer Food and Fun’.
The initiative aims to combat the problem of holiday hunger and provide a free breakfast to families throughout the summer period, hosted at the 4 local youth clubs and the city’s 6 adventure playgrounds over the summer holiday to ensure that families can access a nutritious breakfast during the school break.
-1The project is expected to help at least 300 children at each site in Portsea, Landport, Buckland, Stamshaw, Somerstown and Paulsgrove.
Stephen Morgan MP said:
“Every child in Portsmouth deserves to succeed in life, yet too many children in the area live in poverty.
This fantastic project helps to provide families with a good nutritional start to their day in a friendly community setting.

I’d like to extend my deepest thanks to Warburtons for all their work with the city. As someone who used to work with the play service I know just how valuable this is to Portsmouth families.”
On the visit Stephen met and discussed the project with the council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, voluntary organisation representatives, council and play staff and local children.

Local MP recognises GCSE success

Portsmouth South’s Member of Parliament has welcomed another good year of GCSE results achieved by pupils across the city today. 
The results give pupils a strong foundation on their next steps into further education.
Stephen Morgan MP, who is a regular visitor to local schools and has been a governor at two schools in the constituency, said:
“On top of the good A-level and BTEC results achieved in Portsmouth last week these results today show that the hard work and determination of pupils has paid off. They, along with the teachers and support staff, should feel proud of their accomplishments. 
The schools in my constituency have the most committed and hardworking teachers. These results are testament to their drive to ensure that every young person has the opportunity to succeed in Portsmouth.
I would like to thank all the teachers and support staff for their continued hard work. Once again we are seeing schools across Portsmouth deliver for our communities. 
Stephen, a former pupil of Priory School in Southsea and student at Portsmouth College, added:
“I send my best wishes to those young people and their families who are now preparing themselves for their next steps be it in education, apprenticeship or training.”

CQC report: action on patient safety is vital

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has issued a ‘Warning Notice’ to Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust requiring it to improve safety, patient consent, dignity, and respect.
Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, today expressed his concern for patient safety after the CQC told Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust that it must make “significant improvements to protect patients using medical care services at Queen Alexandra Hospital”.
The CQC has placed six conditions on the trust requiring specific action until it can demonstrate that patients are safe. Following two separate inspections, the commission found there to be serious problems with the provision of emergency medical care and the treatment of elderly patients or those suffering from dementia.
The hospital’s medical care has been rated as ‘inadequate’; urgent and emergency care has been rated as ‘requires improvement’. Safety is rated ‘inadequate’ in both departments.
Commenting on the report, Stephen Morgan MP said:
The CQC’s findings are a real worry. Patient safety must always be an absolute priority for our health services in Portsmouth and the fact that the commission has found it to be inadequate at QA is of huge concern to me, and, I’m sure, all at the trust. People in our great city expect and deserve access to safe, high quality healthcare and we must ensure that this is delivered.
I have already been in contact with the team at Queen Alexandra Hospital. I understand that the hospital has developed a constructive relationship with the CQC and have listened carefully to the concerns outlined in the report. There is an appropriate focus on getting the basics right so that patient safety is given paramount importance.
It is also clear that staff have been operating under huge pressures, and I thank them for  all they do, day in, day out, to provide health and care services in Portsmouth.
I will be meeting with the new leadership team and keeping a close eye on the trust’s implementation of its action plan. It’s imperative they address all concerns and improve services at QA for all”.


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Local MP praises work of local charity

A local charity has received a visit by the new Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, to recognise their hard work in supporting people with a disability or long-term life limiting conditions.
WetWheels Solent, who have their headquarters in Gunwharf Quays, build disabled people’s confidence by providing the opportunity to access the sea in a fun, safe, stimulating and rewarding way using specially modified, fully accessible powerboats.
With the support of donors and partner organisations they provide water-based activity experiences for disabled people on board their specially designed boats, from centres within local communities.
Stephen Morgan, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, said:
“Wetwheels is an inspiring local organisation where perceived barriers are reassessed, new skills are learned and new-found independence is discovered.
Geoff and his team are doing so much to encourage opportunity for all in our great city. Last year they helped over 1,600 people 80% of which have never been afloat before, worked with 48 different agencies and assisted people from all walks of life to build their confidence and self esteem.
It was great to pay the charity a visit to recognise the hard work they and so many other charities do in Portsmouth to make life better for all”.
Disabled people can face particular challenges developing confidence, self-belief, self-worth and independence.
Beneficiaries of WetWheels services are active participants, rather than simply passengers, with the opportunity to steer the vessel and learn seamanship, alongside their peers, friends, and families.
The visit to WetWheels was led by Geoff Holt MBE and DL, the organisation’s founder. Geoff, a sailor from the city, was paralysed in an accident aged 18. In 2007 he became the first quadriplegic yatchsman to sail solo around Great Britain.


Students celebrate success

Students across Portsmouth collected their A Level and BTEC results today.
At Portsmouth College, for example, students and staff celebrated news of outstanding results with an overall pass rate of 97% and 47% achieving the very highest grades at A*-B/Distinction.
They also mean that students from across the city and from all feeder schools are now able to move on to university.
Stephen Morgan, Labour MP for Portsmouth South, said:
“I want to congratulate all those who collected results today in Portsmouth’s further education establishments. The results bear testimony to the hard work and dedication of students across our city’s communities.
I would also like to recognise the commitment of all teachers and staff in supporting the students in their studies.
Results at Portsmouth College, in particular, sustains its now long-standing record of excellent results.
But they also confirm the huge benefit of strong partnerships with local schools and other educational colleagues in the city, ensuring every young person has the opportunity to succeed in life”.


Portsmouth does the nation proud

Portsmouth welcomed the arrival of HMS Queen Elizabeth today (Wednesday 16 August 2017) as the Royal Navy’s new super carrier berthed in HM Naval Base for the first time.
Thousands greeted the flagship carrier’s arrival into Portsmouth Harbour, lining the historic coastline of the city as the ship arrived early on Wednesday morning.
Moored in the Naval Base after years of preparation by thousands of personnel across the country, the carrier has brought with her investment into Portsmouth including new infrastructure facilities.
Last week local Labour MP Stephen Morgan opened new facilities for the carrier including a new development to support management personnel and provide a range of amenities including catering, changing facilities and offices.
Stephen Morgan MP for Portsmouth South said:
“HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales to follow next year – are a rebirth in our nation’s naval aviation capabilities.
Not only will these carriers provide crucial war prevention work, but also hugely important humanitarian aid and disaster relief across the globe”.
IMG_1771The new carriers, Britain’s biggest ever additions to its fleet costing £6bn, are likely to serve the nation for 50 years.
Stephen Morgan MP saw the ship’s arrival into the city on board HMS Diamond, a Type-45 destroyer. He added:
“It was an absolute pleasure to welcome HMS Queen Elizabeth to her home berth, our great city of Portsmouth, the home of the Royal Navy. 
Following lots dredging of the Harbour and channel, and significant capital works in the Naval Base, none of this is of any value without the teams who did all the hard work to make this happen.
On this historic day, the people of Portsmouth can be proud of the welcome they provided today and proud of the contribution the city makes to the defence of our nation”.

Business must be engaged in devolution plans 

Over two-thirds (70%) of small businesses support devolution but want more transparency to ensure deals are beneficial for local economies, research has found.
Findings from a survey by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) of its members found that devolution deals were good for individual businesses but many raised concerns about their ability to have a say on local devolution plans. 
Only 17% felt they had been sufficiently consulted on devolution in their area.
Just as worrying, 57% said they felt they could not contribute to ongoing decision-making in local authorities.
Stephen Morgan, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, has supported proposals for a ‘Solent Deal’ for devolution to Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight. 
He said:
“I want to see local devolution across our nation as it’s key to encouraging economic growth and prosperity. 
More must be done to ensure effective collaboration across sectors to make this happen”.
Mike Cherry, FSB’s national chairman has argued that transparency in devolution deals is key. 
He said:
“Combined authorities must clearly demonstrate how they are promoting growth and establish channels through which they can be held accountable”.


Funding gap for children's social care can't go on

The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents councils from every part of the country, has spoken with one voice and are telling us that children’s social services are on the brink of collapse.
Andrew Gwynne MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has responded to analysis by the LGA on children’s social care budgets.
He said:
“This isn’t the view of a few local councils, these are local authorities from every part of the country and they are reporting very serious disparities in the care they can provide due to budget cuts.
Councils have worked hard to make savings, but they are running out of options. We all want every single child, no matter their geography or family situation, to receive the best care and protection when needed, but right now, that is not happening.
This is yet another sign of the government’s misplaced priorities – they can find a £1 billion bung for the DUP to stay in the job but are failing to provide the funding children’s services desperately need.”
Stephen Morgan, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, added:
“Councils are facing a £2 billion funding gap for children’s services in just three years’ time. Across the nation they are doing what they can to respond to the significant underfunding in children’s social care.
I want to see every single child succeed in life. It is high time the government commits to the life chances of children and young people by acting urgently to address the growing funding gap councils face.”


What you need to know about the carrier's arrival

The Royal Navy’s new Queen Elizabeth Carrier is expected to arrive in its home port of Portsmouth from Thursday to Tuesday 22 August, depending on the tide and weather conditions.

It is the biggest most powerful ship built for the Royal Navy and secures the future of Portsmouth Naval base jobs for the next 50 years. Its presence will also provide a significant economic boost to the area with local businesses set to benefit from a variety of opportunities to support and maintain the ongoing running of the ship and its crew.
The eyes of the world will be on Portsmouth and tens of thousands of people are expected to come to the city to see the carrier arriving. This will cause significant disruption and people are advised to carefully plan any journeys taken on the arrival day and allow extra time to travel.
The city council wants to ensure everyone is able to safely enjoy this historic occasion and are working to make this happen while trying to minimise disruption to residents and businesses.
To this end, the council has written a helpful letter to residents and local businesses about various matters affecting the city when the HMS Queen Elizabeth arrives. The key information is as follows:
There will be various road closures in the city including the following in Old Portsmouth and Southsea:

  • Clarence Esplanade (Southsea seafront) road closure: Due to the high number of people expected on the seafront, part of Clarence Esplanade seafront road is being closed as a safety measure. The road will be closed between Clarence Pier and the D-Day Museum car park, details of when this closure will be in place will be announced nearer the time. Unauthorised vehicles left in this area will be removed.
  • Old Portsmouth road closures: Because of the large number of people expected in the area, we will be closing Bath Square or Broad Street north of the junction with East Street. There will be no parking on these roads and any vehicles parked here will be removed. Details on timings for these restrictions will be announced nearer the time.
  • Old Portsmouth access restricted to resident and local businesses:
    On the day of arrival, from the early morning, only Old Portsmouth residents and businesses will be able to drive beyond the junction of High Street and Pembroke Road. This is being done as a safety measure because of the large number of people expected to be visiting the area. Only vehicles with valid permits for KA zone will be able to gain access to the following roads:

    • East Street
    • Seager’s Court
    • Trimmers Court
    • Bath Street
    • West Street
    • Tower Street
    • Tower Alley
    • Bath Square
    • Bathing Lane
    • White Hart Road
    • Captains Row
    • Oyster Mews
    • Merchants Row
    • French Street
    • Oyster Street
    • St Thomas’s Street
    • Camber Place
    • Grand Parade
    • Penny Street (south of Pembroke Road)

The city council appreciate this may cause some inconvenience but hope you can appreciate we are doing this to minimise disruption overall and keep everyone safe.
If you have to travel within the city on the carrier arrival day the council would appreciate it if you can avoid driving if at all possible and use public transport, cycle or walk.
If you are expecting any visitors or deliveries we would be very grateful if you are able to share this advice with them, so they can either avoid the carrier arrival times or allow extra time for their journeys.
Advice on travelling to or in Portsmouth and information on road closures can be found at www.portsmouth.gov.uk/qecarrier
UPDATE: due to weather conditions the carrier’s arrival date moved to Wednesday 16 August 2017 


Naval Base prepared for carrier arrival

The Illustrious complex, part of a series of infrastructure improvements at HM Naval Base was officially opened today by local Member of Parliament, Stephen Morgan.
The complex, alongside the jetty which will be the home to the new HMS Queen Elizabeth and latterly HMS Prince of Wales, is a new facility supporting management personnel and providing a range of amenities including catering, changing facilities and offices.
The visit also included a briefing and tour for the city MP by the Commander of HM Naval Base, Commodore Jeremy Rigby as the Naval Base makes the final preparations for the arrival of HMS Queen Elizabeth next week.
Stephen Morgan MP said:
“Having a walkabout the Naval Base reminded me of the sheer scale of effort and coordination gone in to bringing HMS Queen Elizabeth to her home berth, our great city of Portsmouth. 
It was a privilege to open the final part of the Base’s carrier preparations. Following lots dredging of the Harbour and channel, and significant capital works, none of this is of any value without the teams who do all the hard work.
The Illustrious complex is a significant investment in the Base’s workforce which is critical to keeping our carriers operational.
With the new carriers enabling a rebirth in our nation’s naval aviation capabilities so too have we seen the most significant update in infrastructure in the Royal Navy’s history”.