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Log your concerns over Solent sewage discharge

Evidence in recent months and years show that we have a system that wilfully ignores the worst pollution events in our country. Water companies continue to legally pollute UK waters, exposing all-water users, as well as our delicate ocean ecosystems to harm.

Consequently, our water quality remains at the same dire level as it was in the 1990s, placing the UK a pitiful 25th out of 30 EU countries for coastal water quality.

Natural spaces such as Langstone Harbour and the Solent are crucial for the health and wellbeing of society and should be highly protected, not used as a dumping ground for big business.

Stephen has been calling on the Government to end sewage pollution to protect UK waters, help restore our rivers and ocean, and working with others to hold Southern Water to account to ensure the health and wellbeing of the public.

He’s met with key bodies, raised concerns with the water company, asked questions of Ministers and called on Government to take urgent action.

Help Stephen continue to make the case in Parliament to ensure Government do more, and do better. Tell us your key concerns or issues here so he can build the case from Portsmouth to Ministers:

Thank you for signing our petition. Stephen Morgan MP will use the personal information you provided for the purpose of the Solent sewage discharge campaign. 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 here

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World Mental Health Day – message from Stephen Morgan MP

Today is World Mental Health Day and Mind, the mental health charity, is encouraging everyone to ‘Do One Thing’ to reduce mental health inequality.

The pandemic has had a profound effect on our nation’s mental health. Covid-19 has been just as much a mental health emergency as a physical one. Right now, there is a backlog of around 1.6 million people officially waiting for treatment from mental health services, with private estimates from the sector suggesting around 8 million more would benefit from treatment.

We also know that existing inequalities have been exacerbated by the pandemic, disproportionately impacting young people, people from ethnic minority communities and those in financial hardship.

People with pre-existing mental health problems have been amongst those most severely affected. Two thirds of people with mental health problems told Mind that their mental health has deteriorated since the start of the pandemic – facing increased complexity of needs, worsening physical health and disruption to support. But we can change this.

This World Mental Health Day, I’m encouraging everyone to ‘do one thing’. As Mind say ‘If we all do one thing, we can change everything’. Whether you use social media or speak with friend, family, or colleagues, do one thing.

I hope that you and your family find the information below useful and I urge all constituents to get involved this World Mental Health Day.

Stephen Morgan MP

 

Access information and support

One in four people will experience a mental health problem in any one year. There is a range of support available both locally and nationally to help.

  • A range of resources on our website specifically focussed on looking after your mental health in the workplace. Click here
  • Mind’s “how to manage stress guide” is for anyone who wants to learn how to manage stress. It explains what stress is, what might cause it and how it can affect you. It also includes information about ways you can help yourself and how to get support, as well as providing tips for those around you. Click here
  • Mind’s introduction to mental health problems explains what mental health problems are and the different kinds of help, treatment and support that are available. Click here
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Portsmouth MP welcomes World Bookshop Day and urges constituents to ‘support local’

Stephen Morgan MP has urged city residents to support their local bookshops, as he underlined their importance in education and development whilst shopping at his local bookstore for World Bookshop Day.

As one of the busiest times for the book trade, the coming weeks are when publishers launch their biggest books ahead of the festive shopping period. Booksellers, publishers, authors, illustrators and poets work collaboratively on the campaign to encourage consumers to shop in their local bookshop and ensure their high street is thriving.

Recent data from the Institute of Place Management demonstrated that UK and Irish booksellers play a crucial role in the recovery and regeneration of our high streets, with over 80% of bookshops surveyed contributing to at least 20 of the 25 factors for a thriving town centre.

Growth of websites such as Bookshop.org and Hive over the past few years has allowed online retailers to support independent bookshops offering an alternative to online multinationals.

Purchasing a book from Pigeon Books, a stone’s throw from the city MP’s constituency office on Albert Road, the Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan MP, commented:

“It’s so important that we recognise and support the role independent bookshops play in our community, both as contributors to our local economy and as route of access to learning.

“I was really pleased to be able to support local by purchasing a book from Pigeon Books that have gone above and beyond during the pandemic to serve our city. I thank them and all local stores for the crucial part they play in getting Portsmouth reading.

“If you’re out and about this weekend, stop by at a bookstore and support our city’s local businesses.”

You can find your local bookshops at www.booksaremybag.com/HomeSearch.

The city MP hosted an event to promote the work of independent bookstores before Pigeon Books found their home on Albert Road, and regularly showcases the work of local authors.

He settled on Stuart Maconie’s ‘The Nanny State Made Me’ as his Bookshop Day purchase!

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‘New data shows Portsmouth South needs levelling up’ says City MP

A new survey has revealed that the Portsmouth South constituency is officially in need of levelling up.

The research, conducted by consultants WPI Strategy, ranked 573 parliamentary constituencies in England and Wales based on key indicators of wealth, health and deprivation, with Portsmouth coming in at 160.

Spending power, gauging employment and wage data, and financial dependency, including those on jobseekers and Universal Credit, were roughly in line with national averages, but Portsmouth South was 30% higher than the England and Wales average on crime and deprivation.

Perhaps most concerningly, Portsmouth South ranked in the bottom 20 constituencies in all of England and Wales on health, based on the number of GPs and the average life expectancy for the area.

Portsmouth South MP, Stephen Morgan, said:

“That our community needs levelling up is a surprise only to government ministers. These figures are exactly why I have made crime, deprivation, and health my priorities as the city’s MP.

“I’ve consistently raised concerns about access to GPs and dentists, called for fairer funding for our police service and continue to point out that Tory tax rises are clobbering working people in Portsmouth.

“It’s clear that the government’s approach to levelling up is based only on their political ambitions, not a genuine desire to support our city.

“In the coming weeks Ministers will have the chance to put their money where their mouths are. Government should back Portsmouth’s Levelling Up bid and invest in our city if they want to start making a real difference in people’s day-to-day lives.”

The city MP has been lobbying Government not to forget Portsmouth and invest in the city’s infrastructure as communities recover from the pandemic.

This has included writing to the Chancellor of the Exchequer about a range of regeneration projects in the constituency needing government support, and has recently put pressure on Ministers to finally announce future funding for local communities.

 

 

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Statement from City MP at ‘Stop Aquind’ Guildhall Square protest

Today (Saturday 2 October 2021) local people gathered at the Guildhall Square for the latest ‘Stop AQUIND’ public event.

For the event, Stephen Morgan MP said:

“My thanks to all of you for your hard work and determination to keep pressure on this Conservative government to make sure they put an end to this disastrous project for our city.

“AQUIND is a project that’s mired in Tory cronyism, offering nothing for our city, but bringing with it untold disruption to our daily lives and damage to our precious natural environment.

“From my 6,200 signature public petition that was signed by local people and submitted to Parliament last month, to the open letter from our local paper delivered to the Business Secretary just yesterday, one thing is clear.

“The people of Portsmouth are united. The AQUIND Interconnector Project must be stopped.

“If the decision does not go our city’s way, the council must take the fight immediately to a judicial review. It is in their power to start that work, and to start it now. Let’s use today’s event to tell the council they must now do so now.

“From its outset, I have been and will continue to be by your side. I have written a string of letters to Ministers, tabled a range of parliamentary questions and submitted evidence to the planning inspectorate detailing our shared concerns.

“It cannot be right that a decision that will acutely affect the people of Portsmouth will be made hundreds of miles away behind a desk in Whitehall.

“Despite this being a government of dither and delay, Kwasi Kwarteng cannot keep running forever from the main task he was put in the job to do: make decisions.

“But it’s high time now this crony government finally listened to our concerns.

“The Business Secretary must provide certainty to the thousands of city residents whose daily lives will be affected by this disastrous project.

“Government has the power to stop AQUIND. Its high time Tory Ministers do so.”

 

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Emergency action must be taken by the Prime Minister to tackle ongoing food and fuel shortages say Labour

The Government must take “emergency action” to get a grip on the HGV driver shortage that is causing chaos for families across the UK, Labour has warned.

Keir Starmer has challenged the Prime Minister to:

  • Get petrol to stations in areas of the country most in need now by using the military they’ve got on standby as an emergency measure
  • Ask stations where there is supply to extend opening hours to help NHS shift workers and other key workers
  • Recall parliament so we can issue the visas we need now for short-term capacity and make sure there is a plan to secure supply chains for the Winter
  • Hold an emergency summit of the road haulage industry, training providers, affected business groups, Government ministers and transport unions to focus on the immediate crisis and on finally addressing the pay, terms, training, licensing and conditions of drivers which has led to such serious labour shortages.

The Government has been criticised by many sectors for failing to plan for, and deal with, supply chain issues.

Ministers announced on 26 September a policy to provide 5,000 new visas for HGV drivers through the Temporary Workers’ Scheme. But nothing has happened.

Advice received from parliamentary clerks on the Government’s suggested legislative solution that would give themselves the legal powers needed – via a “statement of change” to the Immigration Rules – are only able to be issued whilst the House is sitting.

Keir Starmer MP, said:

“We’re going to see this driver shortage problem coming back again in different sectors. And I don’t want people in this country to have another Christmas ruined by this Prime Minister’s lack of planning.

“By the Government’s own admission, their scheme won’t be up and running for weeks with the first HGV drivers not on the roads until November. This simply isn’t good enough.

“Every day wasted is prolonging this crisis. The Government has been talking about issuing visas but still hasn’t done anything. Meanwhile our essential workers are struggling to get to work and families face a cost of living crisis.

“The Prime Minister should be taking emergency action today but yet again he’s failed to grasp the seriousness of the crisis. If it needs legislation, then let’s recall Parliament to get these emergency measures through urgently.

“The Prime Minister promised to save Christmas last year and we all know that went disastrously wrong. Now he’s making the same empty promises again. Boris Johnson was warned about this crisis and he did nothing about it. He had the chance to make a plan but ignored it. The Prime Minister needs to get a grip.”

Stephen Morgan MP, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, added:

“The country is in desperate need of leadership to contain this chaos, yet it is Tory complacency that has led to the fuel crisis, energy costs crisis, and supply chain crisis.

 “Ministers have been ignoring warnings from businesses and failing to plan ahead and government  decision-making is now making the situation worse for our city.

“The Prime Minister must get a grip and address the huge shortfall of HGV drivers that is causing mayhem in our supply chains.”

The Portsmouth MP is calling for government to urgently address the HGV driver shortfall, including referring the issue of adding HGV drivers to the Shortage Occupation List to the Migration Advisory Committee to provide advice to government to help address the crisis in the short-term, and to set up a taskforce to work sector by sector to identify gaps and recruit into key roles.

This should include rapidly expanding testing for HGV drivers, and part or wholly funding HGV training drawing on available funding for targeted sectors and recruiting. The Government should also support 100,000 new apprentices this financial year to help boost employment in key sectors. 

 

 

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Shadow Schools Minister and City MP visit Portsmouth Academy to launch digital education drive

Shadow Schools Minister Peter Kyle and City MP Stephen Morgan have visited The Portsmouth Academy as the secondary school launched an innovative digital education initiative.

The one:one device scheme will give children access to safe, affordable, state of the art laptops for use at home and school. All 250 Year 7 students at the academy now have their own devices to support and enrich their learning across the curriculum.

The MPs saw how the scheme gives teachers more flexibility in the classroom, freeing them from ‘the front’ and increasing the amount of individual support they can provide to students, particularly those who need additional support.

The scheme is part of a city-wide commitment to make Portsmouth a ‘digital city’ over the coming years, improving student attainment by shattering the digital divide and engaging parents in their child’s learning.

The Thinking Schools Academy Trust, of which Portsmouth Academy is part, is working with the City Council to produce a similar digital strategy for all 62 schools and colleges in Portsmouth.

The Portsmouth MP is keen to make sure the scheme is accessible to all local families and will be watching its development with interest.

The pair also met with local Nature Premium campaigners to hear about improving access to wildlife for young people in Portsmouth.

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan said:

“I want every young person in Portsmouth to succeed at school wherever they are from, and whatever their background. Key to unlocking that potential is making sure all pupils have access to good quality and affordable technology.

“The pandemic shone a spotlight on the inequality and unfairness we see in today’s society, with many young people falling through the gaps and victims of the digital divide.

“It was a pleasure to visit Portsmouth Academy to hear how they are addressing this, see first-hand how young people are benefiting as a result, and showcase this to the Shadow Schools Minister in his first visit since taking up the post.

Portsmouth has the opportunity to lead a digital learning revolution. As online learning is becoming a daily reality for children across our city, I will watch with interest to make sure this scheme delivers both for the pupils who need it and struggling local families.”

Natalie Sheppard, Director of Education at the Portsmouth Hub, Thinking Schools Academy Trust, said:

“In Portsmouth, we are passionate about improving life chances for young people and know that technology is key to helping students gain the skills to thrive in a modern world. Schools across the city are working together to bring our collective vision of making Portsmouth an Edtech city to life. By collaborating and sharing our expertise and learning, we can use technology to enhance teaching and learning for all our young people across the city.

“It was fantastic to showcase to our MP and the Shadow Schools Minister how these concepts are working in practice and highlight some of the great work taking place at schools across Portsmouth. To be one of the key parties involved in leading such a ground-breaking project for the city is an honour and our team are driven to future-proof students for their careers by teaching them essential tech skills. With the programme gaining real momentum, we are greatly appreciative of the support of Mr Morgan and Mr Kyle.”

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Portsmouth MP steps in to progress Fratton Park infrastructure plans in meeting with PFC and Network Rail

Stephen Morgan MP has stepped up his continued efforts to support development proposals at Fratton Park and improve access to the stadium by bringing together representatives of Portsmouth Football Club and Network Rail.

Portsmouth Football Club said in June this year that the club was “in dialogue with local government about much needed infrastructure improvements in the local vicinity to facilitate access to the stadium along the key transportation routes to Fratton Park.”

The city MP has been calling for some time for the city council to play an active part in supporting the club to get its development plans off the ground, at a time when government is making money available for regeneration.

In a summit set up this week, representatives of Network Rail and Portsmouth Football Club met with the Portsmouth MP at Fratton station for a meeting, which included a walk around the site to better understand access challenges from the station on match days and wider congestion issues.

The group agreed a set of ideas and took away a number of actions to improve links to the stadium, as well as wider future rail investment plans for Portsmouth and the region.

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

“For me, our club’s success is our city’s success and as we recover from this crisis it’s vital we see the investment that’s needed to improve connectivity and access to Fratton Park, which will be critical for securing the city’s future prosperity.

“I was glad to facilitate discussions between the club and Network Rail and I was encouraged to see some progress made on this issue which has been stalling for some time now.

“I will continue to do all I can to support the club’s ambitions for this project and will be urging the city council to do so too to help make these plans a reality for fans.”

Andrew Cullen, Chief Executive of Portsmouth Football Club, added,

“We are extremely grateful for both the keen interest and support that Stephen Morgan MP continues to invest in the proposals for the future development of Fratton Park and the associated impact on local transport and infrastructure.

“We look forward to further discussions with all the various stakeholders to shape and deliver an exciting and inspiring future, both for the football club and the city of Portsmouth.”

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New analysis finds homeowners in Hampshire face the brunt of the Government’s new social care plan in the South East

  • New analysis shows homeowners in Hampshire could face care costs of up to one third of their assets, including the value of their home.
  • In comparison, homeowners in Surrey face costs of around just 15% of their assets.
  • This means homeowners in Hampshire, with significant care needs, are more likely to have to sell their homes and will lose more of the value of it.

New analysis of assets held by homeowners in different regions of the UK show that those in Hampshire face losing a higher proportion of their assets if they have high care needs and hit the £86k care cap.

The analysis shows that homeowners in Esher & Walton (Surrey) face costs averaging at 14% of their assets if they have high care needs and hit the cap.

Meanwhile, other constituencies in the South East, like Portsmouth South, face losing 38% of their assets.

This comes despite a guarantee in the Conservatives’ 2019 manifesto “that no one needing care has to sell their home to pay for it”.

It follows analysis by the Resolution Foundation, who found that “the cap, which does not benefit households with less than £100,000 in capital, will be of relatively more help in the more affluent areas…it will offer most protection to those living in high wealth parts of England. This is not just because of the obvious reason that a cap set in cash terms offers far more protection to those with higher-value assets to lose.”

Stephen Morgan, MP for Portsmouth South, said:

“It’s shocking that people in Portsmouth may end up having to pay for care costs in excess of a third of their total assets, including their own home.

“Those in leafy Surrey, by comparison, would have to just fork out 14 per cent of their estate. That’s half of what my constituents would have to cough up.

“The Tories have broken yet another of their promises to the British people – their manifesto isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.

It’s time to properly fix our social care system.”

Jonathan Ashworth MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, said:

“Social care is in desperate need, but the Prime Minister – along with every Conservative MP – was elected on a manifesto that promised to fix the system on a plan that had been developed and would mean no one would have to sell their home.

“On both, he broke his promise.”

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Portsmouth MP joins The Reading Agency to encourage people to combat loneliness and promote wellbeing through reading  

Stephen Morgan MP has met representatives from The Reading Agency to offer support for their new ‘Read, Talk, Share’ campaign.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South met the group to hear about the new initiative to combat loneliness and promote wellbeing through the proven power of reading.

The Reading Agency’s work to tackle loneliness and support mental health and wellbeing has played an important part in the nation’s Covid recovery. Its ‘Reading Well’ and ‘Reading Friends’ programmes have already demonstrated the power of reading to support and connect isolated individuals.

Enabled by a £3.5 million award by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, ‘Read, Talk, Share’ will expand the already successful ‘Reading Well’ and ‘Reading Friends’ programmes run by the charity.

The Reading Agency are working closely with Portsmouth libraries and organisations to reach communities through reading, talking, and sharing.

Stephen Morgan MP commented,

“I am delighted to support The Reading Agency’s excellent work to combat loneliness and promote wellbeing through reading.

‘The pandemic has taken an undeniable toll on our health and wellbeing. The Reading Well and Reading Friends programmes are important tools to help improve our mental health as we emerge from the immediate crisis.

“With helpful books recommended by health experts now easily accessible to readers for borrowing and e-lending from Portsmouth libraries I encourage anyone needing support to check with their local library for more information.”

Karen Napier, CEO of The Reading Agency, said,

“Tackling loneliness and supporting mental health and wellbeing across the country has always been a priority for The Reading Agency. The ongoing Covid-19 crisis’ impact on the country’s mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing cannot be underestimated, and our Reading Well and Reading Friends programmes are perfectly placed to assist the nation in recovery.

“We are immensely grateful to DCMS for their support – this feels like a real vote of continued confidence in the role of public libraries and their important contribution to society.”

During the meeting Stephen also heard about this years’ Summer Reading Challenge.  Delivered in partnership with public libraries and funded by Arts Council England, the Challenge encourages children to read over the summer holidays, providing lots of fun as well as helping to prevent the summer reading ‘dip’.

Each year the Challenge motivates more than 700,000 children to keep reading to build their skills and confidence. This year’s theme is Wild World Heroes, created in partnership with WWF and illustrated by award-winning children’s author and illustrator Heath McKenzie.

The Portsmouth MP added,

I am pleased to once again supporting The Reading Agency’s Summer Reading Challenge, which encourages reading for pleasure for children aged four to 11 over the summer holidays.

“I look forward to seeing those who take part at the Awards Ceremony at Southsea Castle on Sunday 19 September to collect their medal.”

To take part visit any Portsmouth library to sign up, get a free pack and choose some books to get started. Alternately, you can sign up online at www.summerreadingchallenge.org.uk