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City MP works alongside support charity helping Portsmouth families ‘achieve their potential’

Portsmouth MP Stephen Morgan has spent the day working alongside frontline family support charity Home-Start to see the difference they are making to parents and children.

The independent family support charity offers trained volunteer support to parents experiencing postnatal depression, isolation, illness, bereavement or family breakdown.

Established in 1992, it has supported thousands of families across the city.

The Portsmouth South representative met parents and volunteers working with the service to hear about the support being provided and the positive impact it has had on their family life.

One family from Somerstown had benefited from the group’s ‘Big Hopes Big Future’ programme, which works with children in the year before they start school. A trained volunteer is matched with  the family and visits them for 12 week, offering support to develop the child’s key skills and routines to help children settle in to their new school.

Jo Toms, Operations Manager, Home-Start Portsmouth:

“After a year like no other, we are very grateful to Stephen Morgan who shadowed our work and met with families, volunteers, and staff of Home-Start Portsmouth, highlighting how the pandemic has had an impact on parents and young children.

“It’s good for parents to feel listened to and share their experiences and stories of the last year.

“I am incredibly proud of our service, the support we offer to Portsmouth families, the staff team but most of all our volunteers who have continued to offer face to face visits, doorstep drops, telephone calls, texts and Zoom calls throughout.

“We have been there for families and it was important to showcase what our volunteers do and the difference they make.”

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan said:

“Home-Start have been a vital frontline service for local families during a period of unprecedented challenges for our City.  

“The pandemic has unfortunately meant isolation, bereavement and loss of income and have become increasingly common, but Home-Start helps lift up children and parents so they can achieve their potential.

“It was a privilege to work alongside their dedicated volunteers today and see first-hand the positive impact their invaluable work is making to homes in our city.”

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Support for young people ‘vital’ for city’s recovery as local MP tours new hub to boost youth employment

Stephen Morgan MP has underlined the importance of young people getting the support they need to find their route to employment as the city begins its economic recovery.

It comes following the Portsmouth MP’s visit to a new hub in the city that has been launched to directly support young people aged 16-24 on Universal Credit to find work.

My Future in Portsmouth Youth Hub is funded by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), paying for 3 full time staff through Portsmouth City Council and allocating 2 part-time DWP Work Coaches.

The age groups are particularly vulnerable to the economic impact of the pandemic, with over 1,900 young people included, representing 19% of Universal Credit claimants. This level has been consistent since the middle of last year and compares to pre-Covid averages of around 720 young people.

The hub is a ‘one-stop service’ that helps job seekers aged between 16 and 24 to find work, by:

• Helping people into work (CV updating, job searching, writing applications and cover letters and preparing for interviews)
• Confidence building
• Health and wellbeing
• Housing
• Managing debt
• Accessing benefits
• Mental health support
• Health and wellbeing advice
• Discussing options, including: Kickstart, apprenticeships, traineeships, adult education and paid employment.

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

“Young people have been amongst the worst affected by the pandemic, so I’m really glad to see authorities working together to help provide the support they need to secure their futures and our city’s recovery.

“My Future in Portsmouth Youth Hub will provide a really important service for local young people to find the work they need, many of whom will be looking to get their first job in tough circumstances, so my thanks to those in Portsmouth who have helped to put this into action.”

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Portsmouth MP continues work with police to tackle crime in visit to contact ‘nerve centre’

Stephen Morgan MP has visited the Constabulary’s contact management centre in Southampton as he continues to support the fight against hate crime, violence and anti-social behaviour, amid rising concerns.

The contact management teams, operated by Hampshire Constabulary, works alongside Thames Valley Police, taking emergency 999 calls and handling non-emergency contact via the 101 service.

Those in the Contact Management Centre are responsible for recording detailed crime reports, filing intelligence and managing other general enquiries.

It comes following a decade of cuts to the Police, with workforce figures showing that Hampshire constabulary has just 135 officers per 100,000 people, the lowest of any force in the country.

Hampshire’s Chief Constable has also confirmed that underfunding means police responses have to be rationed.

Meanwhile, Labour has launched its national ‘Safer Communities’ campaign, pledging to crack down on anti-social behaviour and end violence against women and girls.

The visit today took place after the city MP hosted a round table discussion with community groups and campaigners earlier this year with regards to tackling violence against women and girls and efforts to end hate crime.

Mr Morgan was joined on the visit by members of local group Chat Over Chai and Portsmouth’s District Commander.

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

“Residents tell me that hate crime, violence and anti-social behaviour are growing concerns, so I’ve visited Hampshire Constabulary’s contact nerve centre to see how police are working to tackle this.

“Officers have been working tirelessly to keep us safe during the uncertainty of the pandemic and I want to thank them all for their efforts. But increasingly we see they are being let down by central government.”

“A decade of cuts has left police doing more with less. We still have fewer officers than we did a decade ago, and we know that is having an impact on the safety and security of our neighbourhoods. It’s little wonder the Police Federation now has no confidence in the Home Secretary.

“This government needs to cut the gimmicks and get serious about tackling crime in our communities.”

Earlier this month Stephen Morgan launched a city-wide survey to better understand local views and challenges for crime and safety in Portsmouth.

 

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Stephen Morgan visits Fratton Park to urge Portsmouth people to ‘play their part’ in getting jab

Portsmouth MP Stephen Morgan has today urged anyone in the city aged 18 years and over to ‘play their part’ and take up the vaccine following a visit to pop up vaccination clinic at Fratton Park this weekend.

The clinic which was ran by Solent NHS Trust, in partnership with Portsmouth FC and Portsmouth City Council, is part of a wider effort to ensure everyone who is eligible has access to the vaccination.

Individuals were able to get their first or second dose (if it has been eight weeks since their first dose) of the AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccine. Second doses of the Moderna vaccine are also being offered at St James’ Hospital.

Following the visit to Fratton Park today (Sunday 25 July), to encourage take up, Stephen Morgan, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South said:

“In the UK only 58% of people aged 18-25 have had their first dose according to new Public Health England data, despite all adults having been offered the jab.

I welcome the efforts of Solent NHS Trust, the city council and others working together to make it as easy as possible for local people to take the vaccination. It has been great to see this first hand at Fratton Park today, and I thank the football club for helping our community in this way.

It is clear that the vaccination programme is our best route out of the challenges we face today, so my message to those who are yet to take up the vaccine offer is simple: To protect you, your loved ones and your friends, please play your part and get the jab”.

Stephanie Clark, Portsmouth vaccination lead at Solent NHS Trust, said:

“We are delighted to be offering Covid-19 vaccinations at pop-up clinics around the city.

“It’s important that we offer as many people the opportunity to receive their life-saving jabs and we hope that by hosting these clinics in iconic locations across Portsmouth, including Fratton Park, that even more people will come forward for their vaccine.”

Anna Mitchell, chief commercial officer at Portsmouth FC, said:

“We are delighted to be able to host and support the national vaccination programme in partnership with the Solent NHS Trust.

“It is so important that fans and members of our local community take up the opportunity to be vaccinated to protect each other and welcome fans back to Fratton Park safely.”

As of July 18, 141,985 adults in Portsmouth have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccination and 105,933 have received their second. This equates to 74.8 per cent and 55.8 per cent of the adult population respectively.

More walk-in clinics are being offered throughout Portsmouth to make it easier for people to get their vaccination. This week, walk-in clinics are available at St James’ Hospital, Locksway Road: 8am-7.30pm – daily (first and second dose AstraZeneca and Moderna)

See a full list of walk-in clinics available throughout the region on the Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight CCG website.

If you are unable to attend any of the walk-in clinics but would still like your vaccination, you can use the national booking system to book an appointment. Please visit the NHS website or call 119.

 

 

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Have your say: Crime and safety in Portsmouth

Nothing is more important than keeping you, your family and your neighbourhood safe. That’s why Labour’s priorities are to drive down crime and antisocial behaviour, tackling the root causes of the problems that communities face and ensuring criminals are brought to justice.

Stephen wants to listen to you and your concerns. He wants to hear about safety in in our city, what your priorities are and how you think they should be tackled.

Please let Stephen know how you feel about safety in your neighbourhood by filling in this short survey:

Selected Value: 0

 

Thank you for telling Stephen what you think.

Stephen Morgan and the Labour Party will use the personal information you provided for the purpose of this survey. Where you have opted in, Stephen and the Labour Party may contact you via the communication channels you have chosen and for the purposes specified. We may also contact you by post using the electoral register, which Stephen is entitled to use as an MP and the Labour Party is entitled to use to further its objectives as a political party. You can opt out of communications from us or manage your preferences at any time. For more information about how we use personal data please visit www.stephenmorgan.org.uk/privacy-policy/

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City MP criticises ‘farce of administrivia’ as Council drags its feet on treasured Camber Right of Way

Stephen Morgan MP has urged the City Council to get on with work to establish a public byway at Town Quay, the Camber in Old Portsmouth.

Since 2014 a dedicated group of local residents have been attempting to establish this route, beginning at Trimmers Court junction with East Street, round the quayside edge to the Bridge Tavern and the southern end of Trimmer Court.

The route was long understood to be an informal by-way, enjoyed by local ramblers and walking enthusiasts, but now needs to be formalised following changes to structures along the quayside edge which now impede the route.

Supporters of the Right of Way made two applications to the City Council for an order in 2016 and 2017, but both were rejected. Campaigners then took their fight directly to the government, supported by Mr Morgan, appealing to Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

The Planning Inspectorate upheld this appeal in February 2018 and directed Portsmouth City Council to modify the definitive City map for the area to add a restricted byway on the route.

But since then the process has stalled, and the Portsmouth South MP has joined with campaigners to renew calls on the City Council to get it sorted.

Campaigner Ken Bailey will grill City representatives on the issue today (19 July) when he raises a question on the issue at full Council.

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan said:

“It’s long been clear that the Right of Way around the Camber in Old Portsmouth needs to be protected, but the city council has kept people waiting for seven years and counting.

“I have supported dedicated local campaigners as they have engaged with the Council in good faith, but the process has descended into an unnecessary farce of administrivia.

“The city council is clearly dragging its feet, and I am proud to stand with Right of Way campaigners to urge them to get on with the necessary work and ensure this popular route can be enjoyed for many years to come.”

Ken Bailey and Anna Koor, local campaigners for the Camber Right of Way, said:

“We are completely mystified as to why city council officials have been unable to progress simple administrative processes and meet legal obligations to move this right of way case forward over the past few years – without any rational explanation. What possible reason could there be for such behaviour?

“We trust that the collective intellectual capability and authority of the Full Council might be brought to bear to resolve the suppression and suffocation of justice and the rights of its citizens.”

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Portsmouth MP catches up with YMCA after challenging year for local nurseries

Stephen Morgan MP has visited the local Portsea YMCA nursery, meeting with one of the leading early-years provider’s regional directors and its local manager, to discuss ongoing concerns about the stability of the sector.

YMCA is the largest charity provider of Early Years Education across England, working with 5,398 children each year across 83 childcare settings.

The charity is particularly focused on working in low income communities where families face multiple vulnerabilities and often need the greatest support.

Back in January, the Portsmouth MP wrote out to over 40 early years and childcare providers across his constituency to hear their views and concerns and was visiting the local nursery on Friday to follow-up on this work.

Many early years providers in the UK currently face financial uncertainty due to the impact of national Covid-19 restrictions.

According to a Coram report in December, 58 per cent of local authorities think that local childcare providers may close for good, leading to calls for immediate investment and clarity about future funding arrangements.

Earlier this year, Mr Morgan demanded the Education Ministerial team take action on funding for early years and childcare providers across the country during departmental questions in the House of Commons.

He also wrote to Education Secretary Gavin Williamson MP, outlining his priorities for local education in Portsmouth, including his concerns about the financial pressures nurseries are currently facing.

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

It’s great to be able to catch-up in person now with the YMCA to understand their views and concerns after what’s been an incredibly challenging period.

“It’s clear to see the fantastic work YMCA does for local families here in Portsmouth and across England, but along with many early-years providers across the country, they’ve been left behind by this government.

“The government has got to provide the support that is required for local early-years providers that has been woefully lacking this past year, to ensure young people catch-up on crucial early-life development, as well as make sure young families are able to get back to work and be part of our recovery from this crisis.”

The Portsmouth representative has vowed to continue to work on behalf of early-years education providers to secure the support and funding they need.

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Stephen Morgan MP reacts to Fratton Park redevelopment update

Reacting to today’s update from Portsmouth Football Club on Fratton Park’s redevelopment, Stephen Morgan MP, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, said:

“I’m really pleased plans for Fratton Park’s redevelopment are a step closer. It is what the fans expect.

“Fratton Park is a fantastic stadium that’s seamlessly woven into the heritage and history of our city, so I’m glad it will be getting these improvements to bring it squarely into the 21st century.

“However, there is still further work to be done to ensure plans for improving infrastructure and transports links to the stadium can be implemented.

“I have recently met with the Club to offer my support and will continue to work with the owners and chief executive to ensure the city council and others, play their part to ensure these plans become a reality.”

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Portsmouth MP joins 200 politicians urging Prime Minister to secure future of Covid memorial wall

Stephen Morgan MP has joined 227 MPs, Peers and Mayors to write to the Prime Minister urging him to support the campaign for the Covid Memorial Wall in London to become a permanent site.

The letter is spearheaded by Afzal Khan, MP for Manchester Gorton, who lost his mum and both his parents-in-law to coronavirus and has been working with Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice on securing the future of the wall.

The Covid Memorial Wall, with its endless line of hand-drawn red hearts, has engulfed the wall opposite Parliament since March as bereaved families visited the site to add messages for their loved ones. It has since become a place for people to come together, to reflect on the tragedy of what has happened, and to begin to heal.

The letter states: “Given the poignancy of this site, the need to give grieving families a place to mourn their loved ones, and your previous commitment to a national Covid memorial, we, the undersigned, support calls to make this wall of hearts a, if not the, permanent memorial to the victims of the pandemic.”

Among the signatories of this letter are over 160 MPs from across the House of Commons as well as numerous members of the House of Lords. Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, and Florence Eshalomi MP, in whose constituency the wall resides, are also signatories.

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

“This site of remembrance, developed and created by bereaved families, is a powerful reminder of human cost of the pandemic.

“Many people in Portsmouth, like thousands across the country, have suffered immense loss during this part year.

“My thoughts are with all those grieving loved ones and with our healthcare staff who have worked tirelessly to save so many lives.

“Having visited the memorial myself and seen how it has helped those grieving, I am proud to support this campaign to secure the future of the Covid Memorial Wall and will continue to work with bereaved families to ensure their voices and wishes are heard.”

Afzal Khan MP, added,

“The Covid Memorial Wall is an extraordinary site and deeply moving. I had the privilege to visit the site last month where I left messages to remember my mum and both my parents-in-law whose lives were so cruelly cut short by this virus. I hope one day to be able to bring my children and grandchildren to see these messages and the wall for themselves.

“It is fantastic to see such support across Parliament and the country for this campaign, it just goes to show that while we may not always be united in our politics, we are all united in our grief for those lost to the pandemic.”

Matt Fowler, co-founder of Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice, also said,

“The Memorial Wall has brought many thousands of bereaved families across the country together in ways that we could never have imagined, it’s been utterly overwhelming.

We’ll never get back the people we’ve lost, but having a shared space for our collective memory, to share our loss and our love, has meant so much.

It is unthinkable that the Wall would be taken down, when it is so important, to so many. Seeing this support from MPs across parliament for it to be made permanent has been heartening, and we sincerely hope the Prime Minister will join them.”

The campaign for the National Covid Memorial Wall to remain a permanent site is supported by local MP Florence Eshalomi as well as Lambeth Council.

 

 

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Stephen Morgan MP and Portsmouth Labour hosts online art auction for Orchard Park

On Saturday 5 June, from 7.30-9pm, Stephen Morgan MP and Portsmouth Labour will be hosting an online Art Auction in aid of the Orchard Park regeneration.

 

Twenty donations have been received, including from: My Dog Sighs, Jack Munro, Katie Munro, Pompey Banana Club, Annabel Munn, Samo, Colin Merrin, Ashley David John, Karl Bailey, JB Printmaker and Customs, Alice Coffey Design, Pete Codling, Jack House Gallery, and White Dog Art Gallery.  

 

Orchard Park in Central Southsea is having major regeneration works. As one one of the few green spaces in an area with lots of housing, the park is currently under-used and has had issues with anti-social behaviour.

 

Annabel Innes of Form+Function is leading a complete rejuvenation of the park, which includes new basketball courts, street art and greenery.

 

Several thousands of pounds are still required in order for the works to be completed, so all funds raised at the auction will go towards the project.

 

All members of the public are invited to join for this online art auction, featuring original pieces from local artists and creatives, hosted by Stephen Morgan MP, Cllr George Fielding and Cllr Charlotte Gerada (Labour Central Southsea councillors) and Annabel Innes, Director of Form+Function.

 

Stephen Morgan, Labour MP for Portsmouth South, said:

 

“Protecting our city’s green spaces is critical to address the climate emergency, particularly given how built up our city is.

 

“It’s brilliant to see such talented local creatives stepping up so this park can flourish and be the centre of the community again.”

 

George Fielding, Central Southsea Labour Councillor, said: 

 

“Local residents have told us time and again about issues with Orchard Park, in terms of anti-social behaviour and feeling unsafe due to the layout of the space. 

 

“It’s very welcome to see Annabel Innes and other local creatives work together to future-proof this important green space for the benefit of all local residents.”

 

Charlotte Gerada, Central Southsea Labour Councillor, said: 

 

“We can’t thank all of the local artists and creatives enough for their kind donations to our online art auction.

 

“There is so much kindness, generosity and community spirit in Pompey that makes us a strong island indeed. We hope this auction helps Annabel reach her fundraising target.”