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Neighbourhood policing cut by more than 10,000 under the Conservatives

Labour analysis of latest police workforce statistics reveals shocking cuts to neighbourhood policing under the Conservatives, undermining the leadership candidates’ pledges on law and order.

Compared to 2015, the number of officers and PCSOs assigned to neighbourhood roles has fallen by 6,625 and 3,898 respectively. That equates to a cut of over 10,000 police dedicated to patrolling and supporting local neighbourhoods, with a cut to officers specifically of almost 30%.

There are also 6,252 fewer frontline officers than there were in 2010, and the proportion of officers on frontline is at its the lowest since 2010.

Overall, the number of PCSOs has fallen from 16,377 in 2010 to just 8,750 – a decrease of almost 50%. In the last year alone, 534 PCSOs have been cut from police forces across the country.  

​Between 2015 and 2020, the proportion of the public who report never seeing a police officer on patrol has almost doubled (up from 25% to 48%).

Meanwhile the charge rate has fallen to a record low – down from 15.5% in 2015 to just 5.6% in the latest round of statistics.

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan said:

“Neighbourhood policing has been hollowed out by this government and the consequences are being felt across our city’s communities, with rising crime and more people frustrated by anti-social behaviour in their area.

“People are desperate to see police out on the streets of Portsmouth, but bickering Conservative leadership candidates are asking hard working officers to do more with less.

“Labour would put neighbourhood police officers back on the street, with local prevention teams and neighbourhood police hubs to tackle community crime at its source.

Our communities need a fresh start with a new government, not yet another failing Conservative Prime Minister.”

The city MP has long campaigned for fairer funding for Hampshire Constabulary and for more bobbies on the beat in Portsmouth. He has raised concerns in Parliament, lobbied Ministers directly, and regularly meets with police officers on the frontline. Mr Morgan meets with the District Commander monthly to discuss community priorities and police resources.

To back the Bobbies on the Beat campaign pledge your support at: www.stephenmorgan.org.uk/give-us-our-bobbies-back/

 

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Stephen Morgan MP set to host next ‘Pint with your MP’ session on Sunday

Stephen Morgan MP is set to host his next ‘Pint with your MP’ session, taking place this Sunday 31 July, 4-5pm at The Druid’s Arms in Fratton.

The event is open to all constituents and booking is essential. To confirm attendance, constituents should visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/pint-with-your-mp-tickets-376256391997

The pop-up ‘Pint with your MP’ sessions are designed as informal opportunities for constituents to say hello to their local Member of Parliament and share issues and concerns about topics of interest both locally and nationally.

The Portsmouth representative is determined to take up every opportunity to have more face-to-face conversations with constituents safely after two years of restrictions, whilst also helping to support local businesses, as the city recovers from the pandemic.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, said:

“There are a range of issues impacting people right now, from access to local healthcare to the cost-of-living crisis, so I’m pleased to be hosting my next ‘Pint with your MP’ this week to listen to concerns and take them back up to Westminster.

“It’s really important that people from all walks of life are able to speak to me about the issues that matter to them. I hope these sessions have been a useful and more accessible way for some people to contact me, who might otherwise be unable.

“I look to forward to chatting with constituents on Sunday over a pint of whatever their choosing and warmly encourage others to tell a friend, who may have trouble reaching my office through the usual routes.”

The full address for the ‘Pint with your MP’ session is: 13 Binsteed Rd, Fratton, Portsmouth PO2 7PH.

While restrictions have now been relaxed, attendees are encouraged to take reasonable precautions to feel safe to attend.

If constituents are not able to attend but wish to keep up-to-date on Mr Morgan’s work locally and in Parliament, sign up to the newsletter at www.stephenmorgan.org.uk/sign-up or follow @StephenMorganMP on social media.

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Tory leadership election: Portsmouth MP responds

Responding to the latest round of voting in the Conservative Party leadership election, with the two remaining candidates Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, Stephen Morgan MP, said:

“The choice to be next Tory leader is now down to two continuity candidates; two key members of Mr Johnson’s administration and two people whose fingerprints are all over the state the country finds itself in today.

Despite their attempts to trash their party’s record in government over the last 12 years, both Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak have backed every decision along the way. Both of them voted for every one of Mr Johnson’s 15 tax rises and both reliably parroted his lies when the whole country could see the truth.

Rather than plans to tackle the Tory cost of living crisis or grow Britain’s economy they are simply offering the fantasy economics of unfunded giveaways. They have nothing to offer working people in Portsmouth or across the country except more of the same.

Whichever one of the continuity candidates wins in September, one thing is clear: the more time we give the Tories, the more damage they will do.

Only Labour can provide the fresh start our great city and the country needs and deserves”.

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Revealed: Over 6,000 children in Portsmouth South now living in poverty as local MP criticises government record

Stephen Morgan MP has called out Conservative political choices after new analysis has shown 6,091 children are living in poverty in Portsmouth South.

The figures in a new report from the End Child Poverty Coalition show child poverty levels in the City MP’s constituency of Portsmouth South have remained above what they were since 2014/15, with over a third (33.2%) of children still currently living in poverty.

Penny Mordaunt’s Portsmouth North has seen the sharpest increase in child poverty levels over the last 5 years, up 6.5% from 2014/15, and with 31.7% of children living in poverty in the constituency.

The report also says nearly 1 in 4 (24%) of children in the South East are living in poverty.

It comes as the cost of living crisis continues grow, with the price of the weekly shop and bills skyrocketing, and government overseeing the highest level of taxes for 70 years.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, said:

“These figures expose the disgraceful record of Tory Ministers and the Conservative’s political choices leaving Portsmouth’s next generation behind.

“Every child in our city and the country should be able to have the best start in life, no matter where they are born and no matter their background, but Tory mismanagement of our economy has pushed Portsmouth families to the brink.

Labour would take immediate action to reduce pressure on families by cutting VAT on home energy bills and secure the fairer, stronger economy we need.”

The MP has vowed to continue to take action to address poverty and disadvantage facing Portsmouth families.

 

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City MP says government’s new changes to NHS dentistry fail to ‘grasp the nettle’

Stephen Morgan MP has said Ministers have failed to ‘grasp the nettle’ in responding to their announcement today on changes to NHS dental contracts.

Prior to today’s announcement, government had long promised changes to alleviate pressures on dental practices and improve local patient access to NHS dentists, ignoring calls to intervene earlier.

The BDA, which failed to back the changes announced government today, estimates it would take an extra £880m simply to restore funding to levels seen in 2010.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, said:

“Ministers have once again failed to grasp the nettle and tackle the systemic problems local NHS dentistry faces, with nothing to boost patient access in Portsmouth and nothing to keep dentists in the NHS.

“As the British Dental Association has said, these changes only paper over the cracks, make tweaks around the edges and fail to offer a single penny of new investment to fix the dental desert our city has become.

“Constituents having to resort to DIY dentistry or travel across the country just to get a regular check-up is unsustainable, and an unacceptable record of this Tory government.

“Labour will recruit, train and retain the staff our NHS needs and will revitalise our public services to ensure patients get the healthcare they deserve. I will continue to hold Ministers to account on this.”

The British Dental Association (BDA) has said the NHS dental contract’s current target-based system funds care for little over half the population and sets perverse incentives to dentists, rewarding them the same for doing one filling as ten.

The unsuitability of this model during the pandemic has accelerated the drift of dentists away from the NHS into a full-on exodus. Thousands of dentists have left the NHS in England since lockdown, with almost half reporting having significantly reduced their NHS commitment.

Over 44 million NHS dental appointments have been lost since lockdown in England alone – more than a year’s worth of care in pre-COVID times.

In a statement on the BDA’s website, Shawn Charlwood, Chair of the British Dental Association’s General Dental Practice Committee said:

“These are modest, marginal changes that will not fix the rotten foundations this service is built on.

“Our patients need Ministers to do more than paper over the cracks. These tweaks will do precious little to keep dentists in the NHS or ensure millions get the care they urgently need.

“The simple fact is not a penny of new investment has been pledged, and government targets will still come before patient care.

“Today is little more than a small step on the road to real reform. If government considers this a final destination then it will mean the death of NHS dentistry in England.”

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Portsmouth MP responds to result of vote of confidence in government

Responding to the result of the vote of confidence in the government tonight, the Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, said:

“This Tory government is running scared after blocking Labour’s no confidence motion in the Prime Minister.

“Instead, it moved the goalposts to keep him presiding over his zombie government, as Tory Ministers distract themselves in their bids to replace him. Meanwhile, the country faces a national emergency, a spiralling cost-of-living crisis and worsening backlogs caused by his government’s economic and political failures.

“Portsmouth and the country do not need a fourth Conservative Prime Minister in six years. We need a fresh start and a Labour government that will always act in the national interest.”

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Labour’s New Deal for Working People

Labour’s New Deal for Working People, launched by Angela Rayner at Conference 2021 and drawn up in partnership with Labour’s affiliated unions, is a comprehensive plan to improve the lives of working people by strengthening individual and collective rights.  

Keir Starmer has promised that a Labour Government will write this plan into law within 100 days of taking office.

Under Labour, work will be more secure and better-paid, and unions and individuals will have stronger rights to redress the power imbalance in the workplace.

Working people need better rights, stronger unions and a Labour Government to win the new deal at work they deserve.

Ahead of marching alongside UNISON trade union members at this year’s Tolpuddle festival, the Member of Parliament for Portsmouth, Stephen Morgan, said:

“Work should provide not just a proper wage that people can raise a family on, but dignity, flexibility and security. Better pay and more secure work is good for workers, good for businesses and good for the economy.

“The Conservatives have ushered in an employment model that means a race to the bottom on the backs of working people. Outsourcing, zero-hours contracts and agency work drive down pay, standards and conditions across our whole economy.

“Labour will deliver a New Deal for Working People so they get a fair share of the wealth they create, and within the first 100 days of the next Labour government we will sign this New Deal for Working People into law.

“It is high time that Portsmouth’s key workers who got us through the pandemic– and all working people – are given the dignity and security at work that they deserve”.

LABOUR’S NEW DEAL FOR WORKING PEOPLE:

Labour will strengthen rights at work for all workers, from day one on the job. They’ll create a single status of worker, so everyone is entitled to basic rights and protections like sick pay, holiday pay, parental leave and protection against unfair dismissal. They’ll remove the qualifying period for basic rights at work – so everyone is protected from their first day on the job. They will strengthen workplace rights for those who are self-employed.

Labour will end fire and rehire so workers can be safe in the knowledge that terms and conditions negotiated in good faith can’t be ripped up under threat of dismissal.

Labour will make work more family-friendly, and make it easier to balance work with home, community and family life. They’ll extend statutory maternity and paternity leave, and review and improve the shared parental leave system. Labour will make flexible working a day one right for all workers by default. They’ll bring in a new ‘right to switch off’ outside of working hours, and they’re committed to achieving a better work-life balance while raising pay.

Labour will ban zero-hours contracts and ensure everyone has the right to regular hours they can rely on. All workers will have the right to a regular contract and predictable hours, reasonable notice of any changes in shifts and wages for cancelled shifts paid in full.

Labour will strengthen trade union rights, raising pay and conditions. We have seen during the pandemic the role that unions have played in protecting workers health and safety, fighting to secure pay and jobs, and reaching agreements that have kept our country moving. We know that unionised workplaces are more likely to provide decent pay, good training, and benefits, such as holiday and sick pay, above the statutory minimum. That’s why Labour will strengthen trade unions by repealing anti-trade union laws, including the Trade Union Act, and introducing new rights to help unions recruit, organise and win a better deal for their members.

Labour will bring in Fair Pay Agreements to drive up pay and conditions for all workers, using sectoral collective bargaining. Beginning in social care, they will reverse the decades-long decline in collective bargaining coverage by introducing Fair Pay Agreements, negotiated through sectoral collective bargaining, to agree minimum standards across industries on issues including pay and pensions, working time and holidays, training, work organisation, diversity and inclusion, health and safety and the deployment of new technologies. Labour will also safeguard existing collective bargaining arrangements.

 

KEY ISSUES:

Labour will strengthen rights at work for all workers, from day one on the job. They’ll create a single status of worker, so everyone is entitled to basic rights and protections like sick pay, holiday pay, parental leave and protection against unfair dismissal. They’ll remove the qualifying period for basic rights at work – so everyone is protected from their first day on the job. They will strengthen workplace rights for those who are self-employed.

Background

The UK allocates rights to workers by organising them into three different categories, ‘worker’, ‘employee’, and ‘self-employed’, each with a separate legal definition and set of accompanying rights. The boundaries between the different categories are complex and defined in case law, making it very difficult for individual workers to know their true legal status. Workers often do not know their legal rights and any rights are harder to enforce.

Certain employers can actively exploit the complexity by falsely putting workers in a category with fewer rights. Many people work like regular employees – in uniform, full time, with work set entirely by management – but are falsely classified as self-employed workers doing freelance work for that company. As well as denying people their legal rights, this also undercuts all the good employers in the sector that chose to ensure their employees have the rights they are entitled to.

Labour will also act to strengthen protections for the self-employed. Many self-employed workers suffer from the same problems of insecurity, uncertainty, and a lack of basic rights.

The current arbitrary qualification period leaves workers waiting up to two years to access some basic rights, including protection against some types of unfair dismissal. That is why Labour will end the qualification period, so that rights start on the first day on the job.

Labour will end fire and rehire so workers can be safe in the knowledge that terms and conditions negotiated in good faith can’t be ripped up under threat of dismissal.

Background

Fire and rehire is when an employee is made redundant, then re-engaged on worse terms and conditions. The threat of fire and rehire is often enough for employers to bully employees into “voluntarily” agreeing to lower pay and reduced terms and conditions. The use of fire and rehire is not a new phenomenon. However, it has gained prominence and become more widespread during the pandemic, in both the public and private sector. A TUC poll estimated that 1 in 10 workers – almost 3 million people – have been subjected to fire and rehire tactics since March 2020. Young workers, Black, Asian, and minority ethnic workers, and those on low pay have been disproportionately impacted.

Labour will make work more family-friendly, and make it easier to balance work with home, community and family life. They’ll extend statutory maternity and paternity leave, and review and improve the shared parental leave system. Labour will make flexible working a day one right for all workers by default. They’ll bring in a new ‘right to switch off’ outside of working hours, and they’re committed to achieving a better work-life balance while raising pay.

Background

Work-life balance is a right. The UK has some of the longest working hours in Europe, with a long-hours culture that contributes to poor physical and mental health, an increased risk of accidents at work, and decreased productivity.

The obstacles to a good work-life balance are not the same for everyone. For some, work comes to dominate their lives through long working hours or an expectation to work outside of their paid working hours. For others, it is a lack of certainty and control over when and how much they will work – and what they will earn – which prevents them from being able to plan their life and choose how to spend their time. For a good work-life balance, both must be addressed.

Labour will ban zero-hours contracts and ensure everyone has the right to regular hours they can rely on. All workers will have the right to a regular contract and predictable hours, reasonable notice of any changes in shifts and wages for cancelled shifts paid in full.

Background

For many, work is increasingly insecure, precarious and unpredictable. They have little idea when they will be working and how much they will be earning a few weeks ahead, creating stress and leaving them without the financial security to plan for themselves or their family.

Flexibility is too often ‘one-sided’ with workers expected to be completely flexible to the demands of their employer, working when and where they are asked to, with no certainty on how this will change day by day or week by week.

Labour will strengthen trade union rights, raising pay and conditions. We have seen during the pandemic the role that unions have played in protecting workers health and safety, fighting to secure pay and jobs, and reaching agreements that have kept our country moving. We know that unionised workplaces are more likely to provide decent pay, good training, and benefits, such as holiday and sick pay, above the statutory minimum. That’s why Labour will strengthen trade unions by repealing anti-trade union laws, including the Trade Union Act, and introducing new rights to help unions recruit, organise and win a better deal for their members.

Background

Unionised workplaces are more likely to provide decent pay, good training, and benefits, such as holiday and sick pay, above the statutory minimum. Trade unions have reaffirmed their value throughout the pandemic, from winning the furlough scheme to agreeing on safe working conditions with employers. They have also kept the country going with agreements and campaigns in key sectors.

The imbalance of power between individual workers and employers means that it is essential that workers can band together to improve their bargaining power. The right of unions to operate effectively in the workplace, in each sector of the economy, is vital for achieving fairness, dignity and democracy at work for all.

Unions have been subjected to increasingly restrictive rules, most recently in the Trade Union Act 2016. Even before the Trade Union Act came into force, the UK already had one of the most regulated systems of industrial action in the world, with unions having to comply with complex and often unnecessary legal requirements.

These restrictions mean workers are denied their fair share of the wealth they create, whilst a lack of collective representation has led to a race to the bottom that damages the economy and hampers long-term growth. The principle of solidarity of workers being able to support each other is an important democratic freedom and is vital to a healthy economy and society.

Labour will bring in Fair Pay Agreements to drive up pay and conditions for all workers, using sectoral collective bargaining. Beginning in social care, they will reverse the decades-long decline in collective bargaining coverage by introducing Fair Pay Agreements, negotiated through sectoral collective bargaining, to agree minimum standards across industries on issues including pay and pensions, working time and holidays, training, work organisation, diversity and inclusion, health and safety and the deployment of new technologies. Labour will also safeguard existing collective bargaining arrangements.

Background

When acting alone, workers are often denied their fair share – but when backed by the collective power of their colleagues and trade unions, they can better secure their share of the wealth they helped to create. The labour movement’s historic achievements have come through giving people power and a voice at work by means of collective action and collective representation.

Collective bargaining is still the defining feature of industrial relations in some of the most successful economies in Europe, with many having collective bargaining agreements covering well over three quarters of their workforce. Evidence from other countries shows collective bargaining drives up pay and living standards whilst reducing inequality. It ensures workers share in economic growth and allows workplaces and sectors to adapt better to new technologies and trends.

Labour believes strong collective bargaining rights and institutions at all levels are key to tackling the problems of insecurity, inequality, discrimination, enforcement, low pay, and other issues identified in the Green Paper.

Fair Pay Agreements will be negotiated through sectoral collective bargaining, reversing the decades-long decline in collective bargaining coverage. Worker representatives and employer representatives would be brought together to negotiate Fair Pay Agreements that establish minimum terms and conditions, which would be binding on all employers and workers in the sector.

To download the New Deal in full click here

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Revealed: City MP slams government as nearly 46,000 now waiting for NHS care in Portsmouth

Stephen Morgan MP has slammed the government for the ‘healthcare hell’ Portsmouth has become, after latest figures from the NHS show that 45,993 people are waiting for NHS treatment at Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust.

901 people locally have been waiting for more than a year, under the watch of three separate Conservative Health Secretaries.

At the outbreak of the Covid pandemic, following a decade of Tory mismanagement there were 4.4 million people on the NHS waiting list in England, then a record high.

Nationally, the standard of 92% of people seen within 18 weeks of a referral has not been met since 2016. Now, 1 in every 9 people in England are on the NHS waiting list.

The NHS went into the latest wave of Covid infections with the longest waiting list ever, understaffed and overstretched.

The Conservative Government published its elective care recovery plan for the NHS this week but failed to set out how it would address the workforce shortages the NHS is facing. The plan set the Government’s ambition as beginning to reduce waiting lists in 2024.

Commenting, the Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, said:

“Record numbers of people in Portsmouth are waiting for care and they are waiting longer than ever before, often in pain and distress.

“Our local NHS staff worked heroically throughout the pandemic, but they have been stretched like never before.

“As the Culture Secretary admits, a decade of Conservative mismanagement left the NHS “wanting and inadequate” when Covid struck, and patients are now left to wait too long as a result.

“Our NHS is crying out for a change in government to give us the fresh start we need”.

Wes Streeting MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, said:

“One in every nine people is now waiting for NHS care, and they are waiting longer than ever before. 

“Hundreds of thousands of patients have now been waiting for care through three Conservative Health Secretaries. The only discussion of the NHS in the Conservative leadership election seems to be about how much they plan to cut it by. We may have a new Prime Minister in two months’ time, but only a Labour government will give Britain the fresh start it needs.

“Labour will rebuild our NHS with the staff, equipment and modern technology needed to treat patients on time again.”

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Portsmouth MP responds to Southern Water’s ‘unacceptable’ environmental performance

Responding to the Environment Agency’s latest report on Southern Water’s pollution performance, the Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, said:

“These figures are shocking and completely unacceptable, but will be unsurprising to Portsmouth people.

“Time and again Southern Water has been allowed to pollute our precious local environment and bathing waters, with retrospective fines and current laws not strong enough to ensure the company meets its obligations, which I raised concerns about with Ministers.

“That’s why I fully support the Environment Agency’s call today for larger fines, prison sentences for Chief Executives and Board members whose companies are responsible for the most serious incidents, and company directors struck off so they cannot move on in their careers after illegal environmental damage.

“Southern Water’s track record shows no signs of changing. Government must now intervene urgently.”

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Portsmouth MP: Tory government ‘running scared’ after blocking no confidence vote in PM

Stephen Morgan MP has accused Tory MPs of ‘running scared’ after the government blocked Labour’s no confidence motion in the Prime Minister.

After tabling a no confidence motion, Leader of the Labour Party, Keir Starmer MP, said yesterday that Conservative MPs cannot let Boris Johnson “cling on for weeks, and weeks, and weeks until the 5th of September” for the Tory Party to elect its new leader.

Government has said it will allow a confidence vote only if Labour removes a reference to the Prime Minister from its motion, which Labour called an “abuse of power”.

It comes after senior cabinet members reportedly pushed Mr Johnson to resign last week, as support on Tory backbenches finally drained away following yet another scandal, this time about his former Deputy Chief Whip, Chris Pincher MP.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, said:

“This Tory government knows the game is up, and is now running scared after blocking Labour’s no confidence motion in the Prime Minister, fearing they simply don’t have the numbers.

“Portsmouth and the country cannot afford for government to be left paralysed for the whole summer as Tory MPs distract themselves with electing a new leader.

“That’s why Labour put down a vote of no confidence because if the Tories won’t act in the national interest, Labour will.”

 In response, government has reportedly tabled a vote of confidence in itself, which is set be voted on this Monday.