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Stephen Morgan backs positive plan for small business

Stephen Morgan has backed his party’s small business pledge which seeks to support local organisations through Green investment, upgrading essential infrastructure, reforming the business rates system and stamping out late payments.

This commitment comes as Labour launches 20 pledges to help small businesses and rejuvenate Britain’s high streets. The Federation of Small Businesses has said that “the business support landscape is complex, with a patchwork of public and private sector initiatives at both local and national levels” which Labour has sought to address with the pledges.

Stephen Morgan said:

“We need a Government that both invests in small business and works to foster an environment that encourages their success

Unfortunately, in recent times we have seen periodic hikes in business rates that can make life impossible for SMEs, and there has been made no serious attempt to stop big business making late payments to smaller enterprises – which we know can fatally undermine a struggling company.

Labour is the true party of small business. This is Labour’s plan to end that unfairness, and level the business playing field in Portsmouth South and across the country. That’s real change for small businesses.”

• £19 billion investment for Labour’s Green Transformation Fund
• Upgrade the region’s infrastructure by connecting 3.9 million households and businesses to full-fibre Broadband including and South Coast rail capacity improvements
• 393 Post Banks in the South East providing face-to-face, relationship banking,
• Stamp out late payments
• Scrap quarterly reporting for the smallest businesses
• Fundamentally reform business rates

Stephen Morgan has a record of delivery when it comes to standing up for small business. He has created a support local campaign, worked closely with others over the crisis on our high streets, hosted roundtable action meetings with other SMEs, created local awards for business, backed Labour’s 5 point plan for the highstreets and regularly meets with business leaders.

Additional pledges in the 20-point plan include:

· A £250 billion UK National Investment Bank and network of Regional and National Development Banks to give small businesses and the industries of the future the funding they need.

· Stamping out late payments that hit smaller businesses.

· Providing free full fibre broadband to every business premises.

· Giving SMEs access to funding for training raised through the Apprenticeship Levy.

·Scraping quarterly reporting for businesses with a turnover of under £85,000.

· Using government procurement to support SMEs and economic growth.

· Fundamentally reforming the outdated business rates system, including switching to annual valuations.

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Stephen Morgan backs Labour’s plan to improve education standards for all children

Labour is today announcing a plan to improve education standards for all children following the The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development revealed on Tuesday that children in the UK are worse off than those in other countries.

The total additional investment in schools over three years will amount to £25 billion compared to £14 billion promised by the Conservatives.

The extra funding will be used to raise school standards across the country, with a range of new policies aimed at improving educational outcomes.

Stephen Morgan said:

“The first stage of the battle against inequality is ensuring that every child gets access to a first-rate education. I am a firm believer that if children work hard and aim high they should be able to achieve.

Sadly, in Portsmouth our schools have lost £34.9 million since 2010 and each of the 51 schools in our patch is set to lose £4 million following recent Governments austerity measures.

I am proud to represent the only party with a comprehensive plan for tackling the crisis in our schools. I welcome today’s announcements which is another positive plan for Portsmouth.

I went to schools in Portsmouth. I want future generations to have the same, if not better, opportunities than I did. Education spending has declined a staggering 25% in seven years. I’ll keep fighting for our city’s schools. It is what our children deserve.”

From lobbying Government Ministers with Portsmouth teachers in parliament to going out and visiting every school in his patch, Stephen Morgan has a record of delivery when it comes to standing up for funding our city schools. He needs your support on the 12 December to carry on this vital work.

Stephen Morgan said:

“I went to schools in Portsmouth. I want future generations to have the same, if not better, opportunities than I did. Education spending has declined a staggering 25% in seven years. I’ll keep fighting for our city’s schools. It is what our children deserve.”

Angela Rayner, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, said:

“Labour will transform education standards in this country for every child, capping class sizes and ensuring every child is taught by a qualified teacher in a safe school building.

“We will invest in record per pupil funding, restore the Pupil Premium and close the gap in support for children with special educational needs and disabilities, to give every child the support they need.

“The Tories cannot be trusted to do this. They have slashed school funding for the first time in a generation, leaving pupils taught by unqualified teachers, crammed in to super-sized classes, and not receiving the support they need.”

Labour will:

• Cap all class sizes at 30 by recruiting nearly 20,000 more teachers
• Guarantee that every child is taught by a qualified teacher, ensuring around 25,000 currently unqualified staff are fully trained during Labour’s first term in office
• Ensure teachers will have more time for lesson planning and professional development
• Invest in ensuring that all school buildings are safe, with a new fund of over £7bn to tackle the backlog of vital but overdue repairs and install safety measures such as sprinklers
• Close the gap in funding for pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, with extra funding to reverse deficits in the High Needs Budget
• Fully reverse cuts to the Pupil Premium, and increase spending on it above inflation to support the most disadvantaged pupils.

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Lib Dems caught misleading voters, again!

A Lib Dem member and former candidate has been criticised for misleading voters. A letter has been sent to Portsmouth people claiming a Lib Dem former candidate is an “independent polling expert”. The letter makes false claims about the choice before electors on Thursday 12 December.

Large numbers of outraged Portsmouth residents have been contacting Stephen Morgan and turning to social media to call out the misleading information widely reported in the national media.

Mike Smithson’s letter, which is being delivered across the Tory-Labour marginal, stated that the race was between the Lib Dems and Tories. The Lib Dems have failed to win the seat in 2015 and again in 2017, with no independent evidence suggesting they are on course to win the Portsmouth South seat in next week’s General Election.

The three most recent constituency polls (YouGov MRP, Best for Britain MRP and Delta) all put current incumbent Stephen Morgan ahead of the Tory candidate, with the Lib Dem trailing badly as low as 11% of the vote share.

Stephen Morgan said:

“I am very grateful to all constituents who have brought this to my attention. This letter insults the intelligence of Portsmouth people. Any voter can see from the tactical voting sites and recent polls that I am only candidate able to beat the Tories on Thursday 12 December.

Sadly this is not the first time in this campaign we have seen attempts to mislead voters and this is yet another example desperate tactics. After this election there will be change in our country. With so much at stake, I call on all candidates of all political persuasions, to do better for our city.

At the start of this election I committed to running a clean campaign. No mudslinging. No dodgy polls. No personality politics. I hope all candidates in our great city will now do the same”.

On social media, those who received the letter called out Mr Smithson who is a longstanding supporter of the Lib Dems and a former candidate.

Attempting to respond to the criticism, Mike Smithson admitted he didn’t agree the list of constituencies included in his letter. He also stated that recent polling had “moved the needle”.

On his blog, published today he said:

“I should explain that while I approved the text of the letters I did not have a prior view of the list of constituencies they were going to.

This was unlike [the General Election of 2017] when a similar exercise was carried out with me approving every single seat on the constituency list”.

He went on: “The YouGov MRP poll and other events have moved the needle. The [Lib Dem] party has given me assurances about the future”.

Responding Andrew Gwynne, Labour’s national campaign co-ordinator said:

“The Lib Dems have no credibility and should apologise for trying to mislead voters.

The last time Jo Swinson and her party were as close to the Tories as these charts claim, they were in government voting for the bedroom tax, privatising the NHS, tripling tuition fees and cutting taxes for the super-rich and big business”.

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New charter for arts another positive plan for Portsmouth

Eddie Izzard joined Stephen Morgan on the campaign trail to back Labour’s new charter for the arts as part of its commitment to transform the country.

Labour promises support the arts at the “heart of government” with £1bn of new investment in a renewed cultural strategy.

Welcoming the proposals, 2017 winner Stephen Morgan, standing for re-election as Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, brought Eddie Izzard to the city to promote the positive plan for our city’s communities.

The Arts for All policy charter sets out a comprehensive programme of support for Britain’s arts and culture sector, promising to radically expand access and increase funding for the arts.

Labour’s new charter for the arts sets out ambitious plans to:

• Invest £1billion to transform the UK’s cultural landscape by upgrading and building new libraries, museums, galleries and arts venues across the country
• Invest £175 million a year in an arts pupil premium to give every primary school student in the country access to creative and cultural experiences
• Launch a new ‘Town of Culture’ competition
• Invest £1 billion in Youth Services
• Maintain free access to national museums and galleries
• Introduce greater transparency in lottery funding and ensure grants are shared out fairly between all our communities

Eddie Izzard said:

“The cohesive affect that the arts have on our communities could not be more needed at this time of uncertainty and division.

Only Labour have a manifesto pledge to recognise this and I sincerely hope that Portsmouth South residents back Stephen Morgan as the only candidate to carry on the vital work that he has been doing for the city.”

Stephen Morgan said:

“Portsmouth deserves a government with a wide-ranging programme and unwavering commitment to support and fund the arts.

I want to ensure that every child in every part of our city and our country has the opportunity to learn an instrument, engage with the arts and develop their creativity.

I am really pleased proper funding for the arts will be central to Labour’s commitment in Government to enable Portsmouth people to lead more enjoyable and fulfilling lives.”

This follows local authority funding cuts meaning that national portfolio organisation funding has fallen by £14 million in the past year, according to new data from Arts Council England.

The 649 applicable organisations in ACE’s portfolio received £113.3 million in funding from local councils in 2016/17, down 11% from £127.5 million the previous year.

In Government, the party would establish a co-ordinating committee for arts and culture working across government departments to drive a national cultural renewal.

Eddie Izzard then joined Stephen Morgan and hundreds of local Labour activists at a major public event hosted at a local business.

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Positive plan for Portsmouth Pensioners Announced

Stephen Morgan backs Labour’s seven policies which have been released as part of the ‘Pensioners Pledge’. These seek to “restore dignity and support” for older people living in Britain.

Labour has set out a positive plan for Portsmouth pensioners in more detail with a new ‘Pensioners Pledge Card’, after the Tories chose to ignore the biggest issue affecting older people in their manifesto; the social care crisis.

Labour’s ‘Pensioners Pledge Card’ includes plans to:

  •  Introduce free personal care and invest £10.8 billion in social care provision
  • Keep the free bus pass for older people
  • Restore 3,000 bus routes that have been cut under the Tories and give Portsmouth City Council the powers to regulate services again
  • Stop the Tories taking free TV licences from the up to 3540 households with someone over-75 in Portsmouth South (69% of all households in the constituency)
  • Pay-outs of up to £31,000 for the 4300 women in Portsmouth South who lost out unfairly when the Tories changed the state pension age without fair notice
  • Invest in Warm Homes for All with insulation for every home – and in the process create 1475 unionised construction jobs and supply chain jobs for the next generation in Portsmouth
  • End the injustice of the state skimming 50% off the mineworkers’ pensions schemes

Stephen Morgan, Labour’s candidate in Portsmouth South, said,

“People who have dedicated so many years to their families and communities deserve to be treated with respect. But years of Tory and Lib Dem cuts have robbed so many pensioners of their dignity. Look at what’s happened to our country in the last few years: more pensioners in poverty, and more children suffering the same.

This a rich country – we can do better than this. Labour will deliver real change for pensioners, supporting them to live the comfortable lives they deserve. Labour’s on your side.”

The Conservatives have cut £8 billion from social care since 2010 – and have not allocated one penny extra to social care in their manifesto. According to Age UK, 1.5 million older people are not getting the care they need.

Stephen Morgan added:

“One of the things that inspired me to get into politics was seeing my D-Day veteran Southsea grandfather not get the standard of care he deserved. Since then, I have done everything in my power to stand up for our city’s older residents.

I have a record of delivery when it comes to standing up for older people. Relentlessly lobbying the Government over the Tories snatching away the free TV licence, fighting for investment in social care, consulting the community to improve bus services, meeting regularly with groups to discuss better dementia care and support for older people, and liaising with the Portsmouth Pensioners on their concerns and ideas.

I have made progress, but there is so much more to do. In order to carry on this vital work, I need your support on Thursday 12 December”.