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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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City MP: Portsmouth must harness the success of the Olympics to deliver the next generation of talent

Stephen Morgan MP wants to ensure Portsmouth and the country harnesses the success of Tokyo 2020 to deliver the next generation of Olympic talent from the local grassroots level.

It comes following a visit to Portsmouth Northsea Swimming Club, on training at the Mountbatten Centre, which since 1927 has been delivering swimming courses and training for all abilities, from beginners to national level competitive swimmers.

The club is one of the leading swimming clubs in the UK and has produced a number of Olympic swimmers, including Katy Sexton, Gemma Spofforth and Paralympic athlete Lauren Steadman.

Its objective is to deliver swimming provision for the community and to return the club to the topflight of national swimming clubs.

Earlier this year, the club raised over £25k through crowd funding, grants and support from local businesses and individuals, which will be used to plug the gap in its finances caused by the lockdowns.

Meanwhile, with the action underway at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, and following the gold medal win for Team GB’s Adam Peaty in in the Men’s 100m Breaststroke, and Tom Daley and Matty Lee in the Men’s Synchronised 10m Platform, the Portsmouth South MP is hoping the Olympics will leave local people #InspiredToTry swimming.

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

“I am really proud of the journey Portsmouth Northsea Swimming Club has been on from humble beginnings in a local pub, to a club that caters for swimmers at all levels.

“It’s really encouraging to learn how our community has come together to keep this fantastic asset going during lockdown despite the challenges of the pandemic, and to see first-hand the difference this support makes.

“Team GB have had an amazing games in the pool inspiring a new generation of swimmers. This Olympics legacy must include creating a country that puts health, physical and mental, first.

“I hope the excitement of Tokyo 2020 will provide the motivation for many Portsmouth people to be ‘Inspired To Try’ swimming which brings so many health benefits”.

Swim England has forecasted a 40% reduction in the number of available swimming facilities by the end of the decade. This would see over three million people unable to access their sports.

The city MP has vowed to challenge Government and other decision-makers over this.

 

 

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City MP pays a visit to world-class attractions to encourage Pride in Portsmouth

To mark English Tourism Week (22 to 31 May), today Stephen Morgan MP visited several of Portsmouth’s world-class attractions, including the D-Day Story, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and the Spinnaker Tower, to highlight the importance of the city’s tourism sector and encourage people to join the Portsmouth Champions scheme.

The scheme is designed to ensure everyone working or volunteering in customer-facing roles across the city has the knowledge, skills and enthusiasm they need to promote everything Portsmouth has to offer.

With many people planning to holiday in the UK this year, the programme will enable those in the city’s tourism sector to welcome visitors full of information and passion for Portsmouth.

In preparation for reopening, many destinations have made sure they have the right coronavirus safety measures in place to meet Visit Britain’s national ‘We’re good to go’ standard for Covid-safe tourism.

Visit Portsmouth is also working hard to make sure the city’s tourism industry bounces back after the pandemic encouraging people outside the city to plan a summer trip to Portsmouth to enjoy the attractions, seafront, shopping and events.

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

“Our city has an incredible amount to offer, with the tourism industry being a vital contributor to our local economy.

It’s why I am really keen to support the Portsmouth Champions scheme and have launched my own ‘Pride in Portsmouth’ campaign as a call to action for our community to celebrate and visit our local businesses, key cultural and sporting assets and shine a light on the access to those hidden gems.

I hope this will help to keep the pound in Portsmouth and secure our local economic recovery.”

The Portsmouth Champions training is completely free and can be undertaken by anyone – simply visit portsmouthchampions.co.uk to sign up.

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Pride in Portsmouth: Portsmouth MP launches local recovery campaign at Historic Dockyard

Stephen Morgan MP launches his ‘Pride in Portsmouth’ campaign following a visit to the city’s Historic Dockyard, aiming to shine a spotlight on our city’s fantastic cultural assets, ahead of restrictions set to ease on Monday.

The Portsmouth MP met the team behind the Mary Rose and the National Museum for the Royal Navy, two key cultural assets for the city, as they make their final preparations for their reopening next week.

Parts of the visit included a preview of the new £1million exhibition at the National Museum for the Royal Navy and improved visitor centre, where Mr Morgan was able to thank and pay tribute to the staff behind the scenes that have helped to put it together, after a particularly tough year for the cultural and arts sectors.

Tourism is crucial to the city, providing around £600 million in income each year and supporting around 13,000 jobs.

It comes as much of the city also prepares to reopen its doors to visitors and residents, marking the beginning of the recovery of Portsmouth’s economy, following an unprecedented year of challenges.

A survey of tourism businesses in South East England recently showed:

  • 36% estimated losing more than £100,000 revenue this year
  • 57% had furloughed staff and 5% made staff redundant
  • 15% under threat of closure and 44% unsure if they could continue.

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

“It’s great be back at two of our top cultural gems of our city in the Mary Rose and Royal Navy Museums, seeing first-hand their brilliant exhibitions, as they prepare to fully reopen on Monday.

“Our city has an incredible amount to offer, with the tourism industry being a vital contributor to our local economy.

“That’s why today I am launching my ‘Pride in Portsmouth’ campaign, a call to action for our community to show its pride in our city by visiting local businesses and supporting our key cultural and sporting assets and shining a light on the access to those hidden gems.

I hope this will help to keep the pound in Portsmouth and secure our city’s local economic recovery.”

Part of the campaign’s focus will also be to widen participation and access in Portsmouth’s cultural offer, ensuring all residents have a stake in their city’s history and its future.

Mr Morgan is set to meet and visit a range of local groups, businesses, and cultural centres in the weeks ahead, to offer his support for the local economic recovery.

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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 by the locally born parliamentary representative and Fratton Big Local.

The local awards aim to recognise members of the Fratton community that have a long-running connection with the ward that have gone above and beyond to enrich the local area.

The awards feature a variety of categories ranging from Sport and Art to Best Café and Educational Achievement and seek to showcase a cross-section of skill sets on offer in the area.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, commented:

“I want to thank all of this year’s winners for their incredible work during what has been an immensely challenging year.

Despite the difficulties we have faced in 2020, these local heroes have still looked to find ways to support and inspire others within our community.

As someone who is Fratton born and raised, I am particularly pleased to see their contribution to the wider city being recognised.”

With Portsmouth currently under Tier 2 restrictions, the awards ceremony took place safely in much fewer numbers this year at St Mary’s Church last night and was livestreamed online, where Father Bob and the Portsmouth South representative announced the winners.

Stephen Morgan MP, added:

“Even with public health restrictions in place, I’m really pleased local residents were able to join Father Bob and I once again to celebrate the achievements of the people of Fratton.

Even if it was via video link, I’m glad and very grateful to organisers and St Mary’s Church who found ways for us to be together and connect with the Fratton community.

Congratulations to all the winners. Everyone in Fratton is so proud of you.”

This is the second year the awards ceremony has taken place, with last year’s Inspiring Fratton Awards thought to have been a great success.

Congratulations to the 2020 winners who are:

  • Contribution to creativity in Fratton (over 18s) – Anita Godson
  • Contribution to creativity in Fratton (under 18s) – Hannah Clark
  • Contribution to Education in Fratton ( over 18s) – Sarah Mitas
  • Contribution to Education in Fratton (under 18s) – Lacie Thornton
  • Contribution to Sport in Fratton (over 18s) – Jen Stoneham
  • Contribution to Sport in Fratton (under 18s) – Bruno Hoxha
  • Contribution to volunteering in Fratton (over 18s) – Billy Shannon
  • Contribution to Volunteering in Fratton (under 18s) – Kayla Thornton
  • Best Cafe/Take Away – Chit Chat collected by Dave Harding
  • Best Trader/Business – MAKE collected by Emma Lennox
  • Contribution to community life in Fratton in extraordinary times (over 18s) – Rosie Francis
  • Contribution to community life in Fratton in extraordinary times (under 18s) – Alex Moles

Awards were designed and produced by Etch in Fratton and certificates designed by UK Flyers based at Victory Business Centre also in the local area. Nominations came from local people, community groups and schools in the ward.

 

 

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Get in involved with PITC’s ‘Blue Kitchen’

Blue Kitchen is a fantastic local initiative by Pompey in the Community (PITC) that has brought brilliant innovative thinking to help bring our community together this year – despite the restrictions.

Even with the challenges faced by many organisations across our city, PITC stuck at it and continued to find new ways to help engage with our young people stuck at home, whilst supporting the development of an essential life skill.

In partnership with others, they were able to get 60 meals a day to be delivered to those who needed it most during lockdown in the summer.

Young people in Portsmouth are encouraged to get involved and have a go themselves using the recipe below. You can see Stephen having a go at the recipe here.

Chicken Curry   

Ingredients 

2 chicken breasts

1 pepper

1 onion

2 garlic cloves  – crushed or finely chopped

1 tomato

Salt and pepper

Oil

Akash curry powder (or curry powder of your choice)

Rice or flatbreads as required

Instructions 

  1. Cut the onion, peppers and tomato into large chunks, all of a similar size
  2. Cut the chicken into strips
  3. Add 2 tsps of oil to your pan and put it on a high heat. When the oil is nice and hot add your chicken and cook until it is golden brown and cooked all the way through
  4. Take the chicken out of the pan and place to one side
  5. Add 4 tsps of oil to a pan and when hot, add your garlic, onions and peppers and cook until soft.
  6. Add your tomato and 2 tsps of curry powder and turn the heat down to low.
  7. Add your chicken back to the pan and mix so everything is completely coated.
  8. Serve with rice or a naan bread of your choice
  9. Enjoy!
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Portsmouth MP backs Southsea Dinosaur community project

This summer Aspex in Gunwharf Quays is celebrating ten years since Luna Park towered over Southsea Common.

As a response to the national lockdown caused by Covid-19, and to mark the tenth anniversary since the Ultrasaurus sculpture astounded thousands of visitors to Portsmouth, the art gallery has commissioned Heather and Ivan Morison to rebuild their 2010 artwork in Virtual Reality.

Aspex is also launching a crowdfunding campaign to ‘Bring Back The Southsea Dinosaur’, raising public support for a permanent tribute to Luna Park to be installed next year.

If successful the campaign will fund a permanent piece of public art which combines a bronze sculpture and integrated augmented reality archive.

Backing the community project, city MP Stephen Morgan said:

“Known affectionately by fellow Portsmouth residents as ‘The Southsea Dinosaur’ the sculpture was visited, photographed, climbed on and enjoyed by thousands of people until it unexpectedly burnt down in October 2010.

 I welcome Aspex’s latest venture with our city’s communities ten years on, from cake competitions, to the trail, to commissioning new work, this is a great way to connect Portsmouth residents with art during this challenging time for our communities”.

To find out more about fundraising for the permanent tribute to Luna Park to be installed on Southsea Common next year visit the Bring Back The Southsea Dinosaur page here.

As well as the crowdfunding initiative, Aspex have organised for fifty Ultrasaurus dinosaurs on posters and in windows of local businesses and organisations across the city, which can be spotted throughout August and shared on social media at #SouthseaDinosaur.

 

 

 

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‘I want a city where it doesn’t matter who you are or who you love’ says city MP on Portsmouth Pride

In a message to all Portsmouth residents as the city’s Pride event is cancelled due to Covid-19, and instead replaced with an online event, Portsmouth South’s Stephen Morgan has recorded a video message to those celebrating safely at home:

Today on Portsmouth Pride day, we must reflect on past achievements and recognise the challenges ahead.

I’m hugely proud of my party’s record on speaking up and taking action on advancing LGBT rights: abolishing the hateful Section 28; creating civil partnerships; introducing landmark legislation ending injustice and inequality; and If it wasn’t for the coronavirus crisis, I would be with you marking this year’s theme – the armed forces – as the Shadow Armed Forces Minister – proud that twenty years ago the ban was lifting on gay personnel serving.

Whilst today we can celebrate safely at home, this virtual event should also act as a reminder that there is so much more to do both here, at home, and across the globe.

Poland has declared LGBT free zones across the country. Hungary has passed a law ending legal recognition for transgender people.

Here in the UK research is telling us that the LGBT community are more vulnerable to the effects of coronavirus as Covid-19 continues to thrive on inequality.

Ministers promised to ban conversion therapy, yet a few years later, still nothing has happened.

We’re still awaiting the Government response to reforms to the Gender Recognition Act risking rowing back the progress made on trans rights.

I want a city where it doesn’t matter who you are or who you love, and I want a country which is a global leader in fighting for equality for all.

To achieve this, we must all work together. And Portsmouth Pride is helping us do just that.

We all have a part to play.

Stephen Morgan MP

 

 

 

 

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Make a Portsmouth rainbow!

Fun family activity by Stephen Morgan MP

All around Portsmouth’s communities we can see colourful rainbows decorated by families offering a sign of hope during this challenging time for our city and our country.

Following the popular constituency colouring competition, Stephen is now encouraging Portsmouth families to turn their minds to making a rainbow for their home window.

Teaming up with University of Portsmouth alumni and graphic design freelancer Dan Mackey, Dan has used his amazing talents to produce a template for people to make a rainbow.

Please feel free to colour it in, cut it out, fold it into shape, and display it in your window!

To download the template click here

If you want to share your completed rainbow, please email a photo to  stephen@stephenmorgan.org.uk

A selection will be put on Stephen’s social media

For more information about Dan’s work click here

 

 

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Looking for something to do this weekend? Then enter my constituency colouring competition!

Looking for something to do this weekend?

Then enter my constituency colouring competition!

All around Portsmouth we can see colourful rainbows decorated by families offering a sign of hope during this challenging time for our city and our country. Teaming up with local graphic designer and friend Sarah Houghton she has used her amazing talents to produce a Portsmouth poster for people’s windows.

Please feel free to colour it in, then scan it or send me a photo of it in your window and prizes will be awarded to the best!

To download the poster click here: Final colouring competition

Open to all. Entries should be submitted to stephen@stephenmorgan.org.uk by no later than Friday 17 April