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City MP praises local heroes at this year’s Inspiring Fratton Awards

Stephen Morgan MP praised this year’s winners of the Inspiring Fratton Awards, a scheme set up three years ago by the locally born parliamentary representative in partnership with Fratton Big Local.

The Portsmouth MP handed out the awards to winners during a ceremony at St Mary’s church on Friday evening.

The Inspiring Fratton 2021 Award Winners for are:

  • Contribution to Creativity in Fratton Over 18: Claire Phillips
  • Contribution to Creativity in Fratton under 18: Darcie Kingston
  • Contribution to Education in Fratton Over 18: Lynn Harris
  • Contribution to Education in Fratton under 18: Keira Coles
  • Contribution to Sport in Fratton in Fratton over 18: Ali Fayazi
  • Contribution to Sport in Fratton in Fratton under 18: Christopher Lillie
  • Contribution to Volunteering in Fratton Over 18: Kay Ackerman
  • Contribution to Volunteering in Fratton under 18: Lilyann More
  • Best Café / Take Away in Fratton Rd: Paanchi
  • Best Trader/ Business in Fratton Rd: Electric Arms
  • Contribution to Community Life in Fratton in extraordinary time Over 18: Helen Barter
  • Contribution to Community Life in Fratton in extraordinary time under 18: Alice Stoneham

Fratton Big Local is a ‘Big Lottery’ funded 10-year project which aims to make lasting improvements to Fratton.

Run by a partnership of local residents, the scheme makes decisions about how to spend the funding, based on engagement and conversations with local key groups and those living in the area.

Awards categories are split between over 18s and under 18s, ranging from best community volunteer, to the best café or takeway on Fratton Road.

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

“Born and bred in Fratton I’ve always believed the area is a strong and resilient community, but the last 18 months have tested every resident, in every part of this area.

“When, three years ago, I set up the Inspiring Fratton awards with Fratton Big Local, we never thought our community would be tested in the way it has in recent months.

“After last year’s hybrid award ceremony, I was delighted to be able to hand these awards over to their richly deserving winners, with so many more people there to see it in person this time.

These unsung heroes in Fratton who have gone above and beyond this year are truly making a positive and lasting legacy for our community.”

This is the third year the awards ceremony has taken place, with last year’s Inspiring Fratton Awards ceremony being hybrid event that was broadcast online.

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Don’t miss out: Stephen Morgan’s next ‘Pint with your MP’ session set to take place this weekend

Stephen Morgan MP is set to host his third ‘Pint with your MP’ session of 2021, with the next post-lockdown event taking place this Sunday at 3pm.

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 more than a year 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:

“I’m looking forward to hosting the next ‘Pint with your MP’ event, after really useful and well-attended sessions so far this year.

“This is a great way for local people to share views and issues with me to take back to Westminster whilst supporting a local business.

“As Portsmouth’s voice in Parliament, it’s really important to be out and about and speaking with people to ensure that everyone’s views are heard, not just the loudest ones or those who have better access to technology.

“I hope these sessions have been a chance for others to come and speak to me in a way that is more accessible to them.”

The full address for the ‘Pint with your MP’ session is: Groundlings Theatre, 42 Kent St, Portsea, Portsmouth, PO1 3BS.

Whilst national restrictions have eased, attendees are encouraged to take reasonable precautions to feel safe to attend.

The event is open to all constituents and booking is essential. To confirm your attendance, visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/pint-with-your-mp-tickets-191631694557

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City MP: Marking Remembrance this year

After last year’s remembrance services were scaled back due to Covid restrictions, Stephen Morgan MP was able to join communities across Portsmouth, on the centenary of the Royal British Legion, to honour and remember those who have sacrificed so much to keep others safe.

As he marked Remembrance Sunday at events across the city, Portsmouth South MP and Shadow Armed Forces Minister Stephen Morgan said:

“I am delighted that our city can come together once again to mark the service and sacrifice of our Armed Forces during this important time of Remembrance.

“Over the last year our Armed Forces have shown that they are indispensable to our nation’s security at home and abroad. From airlifting British Nationals out of Afghanistan to driving NHS ambulances in Wales, and deploying as part of the Carrier Strike Group’s maiden voyage from here in Portsmouth. 

“As we honour our service personnel in the heart and home of the Royal Navy, we renew our commitment to remember the fallen and do everything we can to support serving personnel, veterans and their families.”  

This year, Stephen visited the following groups and services:

November 10

Armistice Day – November 11

  • Guildhall Square Service – Guildhall Square
  • Visit to NMRN on Remembrance – Historic Dockyard

Remembrance Sunday – November 14

  • Royal Naval Association – Remembrance Service – Portsmouth Naval Memorial
  • Remembrance Sunday Service and Parade – Guildhall Square
  • Royal British Legion Remembrance Service – St Marys Church, Fratton

 

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UK Parliament Week 2021 to be celebrated across Portsmouth

Stephen Morgan MP is inviting everyone across Portsmouth to get involved in UK Parliament Week and join a UK-wide conversation about our democracy, people power and making change happen.

UK Parliament Week is an annual event taking place from 1-7 November, that engages people from across the UK with their UK Parliament, explores what it means to them and empowers them to get involved.

This year the focus is how small actions can lead to big changes, encouraging participants to get informed, take action and make an impact on issues they care about.

It is a great opportunity to examine what issues are important to you and how you can work with UK Parliament to bring about change. Community groups, local organisations and schools in hundreds of constituencies across the United Kingdom have already signed up to be part of the conversation.

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

“As the MP for Portsmouth South I encourage people in my constituency to get involved with UK Parliament Week 2021. Active public participation is vital in a thriving democracy and we all have our part to play.

I look forward to seeing how organisations and local groups in our city’s communities join in, especially the next generation of voters in our schools.”

Last year, almost one million people took part in UK Parliament Week, despite the challenging circumstances caused by Covid-19.

Activities were held in every nation and region of the UK, as well as countries all over the world.

Amy Baxter, Head of Education and Engagement at UK Parliament, said:

“Every year we are delighted to see so many people take part in UK Parliament Week. It’s a great opportunity to get informed, take action and make an impact in Portsmouth South and beyond.

Change starts with you and UK Parliament Week is a great way to learn how you can make a difference.”

Those who sign up for UK Parliament Week will be sent a free kit packed with resources, including a booklet, a ballot box, stickers, and a packet of “sow the seeds of democracy” chilli seeds.

There are tailored kits available for youth groups, primary and secondary schools, and each nation of the UK. 

 

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Stephen Morgan launches ‘Pint with your MP’ as restrictions ease  

Stephen Morgan MP is set to host his popular ‘Pint with your MP’ sessions again, with the first post-lockdown event taking place this Sunday.

The pop-in ‘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 more than a year of restrictions, whilst also helping to support local businesses, as the city recovers from the pandemic.

It comes as the national ‘Long Live Local’ campaign was recently launched, which is asking the Government for greater support to relieve some of the ‘burdens’ that pubs and breweries face.

The campaign claims the brewing and pub sector contributes over £20bn to the UK economy and supports 900,000 jobs.

However, the sector operates under a wide range of different taxes, with one in three pounds spent in the pub going to the treasury, amounting to an average of £140,000 per pub every year.

For every pint of beer sold in a pub (based on an average price and strength) £1.30 goes to the Treasury – 64p in VAT, 46p in beer duty, 12p in business rates and 8p in other taxes.

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

“I’m pleased to finally be able to set up the popular ‘Pint with your MP’ events after an incredibly difficult year.

“This is a great way for local people to share views and issues with me to take back to Westminster whilst supporting a local business.

“As Portsmouth’s voice in Parliament, it’s really important to be out and about and speaking with people to ensure that everyone’s views are heard, not just the loudest ones or those who have better access to technology.

“I hope these sessions will be a chance for others to come and speak to me in way that is more accessible to them”.

The full address of the pub the first ‘Pint with your MP’ will be held is: The Mermaid, George Street, Fratton PO2 7QY. The event will start at 4pm on Sunday 1 August.

Subject to the weather, this event will take place outdoors in the pub’s garden.

Whilst national restrictions have eased, attendees are encouraged to take reasonable precautions to feel safe to attend.

The event is open to all constituents. To confirm attendance, visit www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/pint-with-your-mp-tickets-164726688961

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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.”

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City MP steps up efforts to bring back Southsea parkrun

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan has this week taken action to ensure that Southsea parkrun can restart safely.

Responding to concerns raised by the volunteer-led organisation, as well as local residents, Mr Morgan wrote to Public Health Minister Jo Churchill earlier this week.

In the letter, Mr Morgan wrote of the huge ‘physical and mental health’ benefits parkrun provides and urged the government to clarify that it was able to take place once again in line with the roadmap and clinical evidence on Covid transmission.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has now confirmed that parkrun’s plans “follow all the guidelines set out by the government to keep people safe and there is no reason they can’t now take place.” He also urged local councils to do “whatever it takes” to get them back up and running.

Today Mr Morgan met the City Council’s Director of Culture to raise these concerns and find a way to ensure the much-loved community event returns. It is hoped that the event will go ahead on 5 June as planned using an alternative route close-by.

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan said:

 “I’ve seen first-hand the enormous physical and mental health benefits Southsea’s parkrun provides. People really need this as we emerge from the pandemic.

“The events follow all government and clinical guidance, so there should be no barriers to our local runners getting back out there.

“I will continue to work with Ministers and the council to get these events running again as soon as it’s safe to do so.”

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Portsmouth MP calls for government-backed insurance scheme for festivals

Stephen Morgan MP has called for the government to introduce an insurance scheme for festivals across the country to ensure they can go ahead this year.

It comes as the Portsmouth MP has written to the Chancellor on behalf of local festival ‘Victorious’, a well-known and popular annual event for the city.

The letter outlines that whilst the festival can in theory go ahead in August according to the recently announced government roadmap, existing providers are unwilling to offer insurance due to current uncertainty, putting the festival at risk.

According to the letter, the music event creates at least 154 full-time equivalent jobs each year and generates more than £12m Gross Value Added to the local economy.

Meanwhile, the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has previously reported that more than 90% of its members face costs that could ruin their businesses as a result of cancelled events and almost none were covered by insurance for cancellation related to Covid-19.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, commented,

“The government has the perfect opportunity to introduce a government-backed insurance scheme for festivals, allowing them to bounce back this summer.

“It would secure jobs, promote local economic growth and provide entertainment after a long and difficult winter.”

James Ralls, Managing Director, Victorious Festivals, also said,

“Insurance is a key part of our preparations for Victorious Festival this year and the last piece in the puzzle to enable an amazing summer of live events to go ahead.

“I urge the government to help enable the UK creative industries to thrive once again by introducing a government backed insurance scheme.”

Mr Morgan has previously called for the government to protect creative workers and the wider related sectors.

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City MP hosts event with Shadow Minister to tackle ‘mental health crisis’ triggered by the pandemic

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan will host a mental health discussion event with Labour’s Shadow Minister for mental health Rosena Allin-Khan MP this week.

The online event, which is open to all, will discuss the impact of the pandemic on mental health and the ongoing need for mental health conditions to be treated on a par with physical health.

The Centre for Mental Health in England has predicted that 10 million people – almost a fifth of the population – will need mental health support as a direct consequence of Covid-19, with 1.5 million of those expected to be under-18s.

Portsmouth City Council estimates that almost 53,000 people experience a mental problem each year, with half of all adult mental health problems present by the time the person is 14 years old.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“With millions of us staying at home, isolated from friends and family, Coronavirus has been a mental health crisis too.

“We know that patients, carers and staff have been heavily affected, with the impact being particularly acute among young people.

“As an A&E Doctor herself, Rosena knows only too well the challenges we face on the frontline. She will be setting out Labour’s vision on mental health and how we can improve care following the pandemic.”

The online event with Shadow Minister for Mental Health Rosena Allin-Khan will take place on Thursday 25 February 2021, 7-8pm. Full details and registration can be found at: https://events.labour.org.uk/event/326967

 

 

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City MP hosts Labour’s Shadow Housing and Planning Minister

Stephen Morgan MP will be hosting the Shadow Housing and Planning Minister Mike Amesbury MP for a public online question and answer session on Monday 23 November at 7pm.

The online public meeting will focus on the Aquind plans, HMOs, proposed planning changes and the housing crisis, with a chance for attendees to share their ideas on topical issues and ask questions.

Members of the public are invited to register for the event online here.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, said:

“I’m really pleased to be able to be able to welcome the Shadow Minister for Housing and Planning to join this public meeting, addressing local concerns relating to planning and housing locally, as well the wider region and country.

“This will serve as a great opportunity for Portsmouth residents to share their concerns about both local and wider housing and planning issues.

“Government proposals will take decisions out of local hands while doing little to solve the housing crisis our city faces.”