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Hundreds attend Heritage Open Days

This weekend hundreds of local people and visitors enjoyed accessing some of the city’s historic gems as part of the Open Heritage Days.
Hidden treasures and well known local attractions flung open their doors to offer an insight into the heritage of Portsmouth.
Cllr Stephen Morgan, the city’s newly-appointed heritage champion joined local people with a marathon-like tour around the city to see the sights.
His visits over the weekend included a tour of the Kings Theatre in Southsea, a trip to see the drill room on Whale Island and HMS Excellent, a trip up to Wymering Manor Portsmouth’s oldest building, Hilsea Lido, a tour round the recently-opened new stage area at the New Theatre Royal and a visit over to the Victorian pumping station at Eastney.


A visit to Eastney Pumping Station

Cllr Morgan said:
“This weekend has shown Pompey at its best. We should be rightly proud of our fantastic heritage and historic assets, and their potential, with suitable investment and care, for the future.
It has been great to meet so many volunteers who gave up their time to open the doors of sites across the city and improve access for all local people. I thank all those involved over the Heritage Open days for their hard work”.
Last week the council’s Cabinet appointed Cllr Morgan the city’s first heritage champion, a new role which aims to generate enthusiasm and awareness for the importance of the historic environment within the local authority and wider community.
Cllr Morgan added:
“This year’s events have been a great success, but too few people knew what was going on. We can change that with the help of others. Next year I want to work with local groups to make Heritage Open Days in Portsmouth even bigger and better”.

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City’s new lottery offers innovative way to support good causes

Last week, the Portsmouth Lottery was launched. In the Spring of 2016, the Labour Group on the city council welcomed the proposal for an innovative way to fund local good causes. We are pleased that robust decisions have been taken about the administration of every aspect.
So what is the Portsmouth Lottery?
Think of it as a bespoke local version of the National Lottery’s Lotto. You buy a ticket to be in with a chance of winning a share of the pot. A big chunk of the money collected is given to good causes.
The success of Team GB at the Rio Olympics, many of whom benefitted from Lotto funding, demonstrates what a positive impact this kind of funding model can make.
The Portsmouth Lottery jackpot is capped at £25,000. There are also smaller prizes. At 50 to one, the odds of a win are significantly better than the Lotto!
Most importantly in the Labour group’s view, the money that goes on good causes is all distributed locally, making a real difference on our doorstep in these hard economic times.
How exactly does it work?
Tickets cost £1. For every ticket bought, 20p goes into the prize pot. 60p goes to local good causes. 20p covers the costs involved in managing and administering the Lottery.
The Lottery is not run by the city council. It is managed by an external company, Gatherwell, which specialises in this field. No taxpayers’ money is being diverted from services to set the project up, and none will be required to maintain it. The small start-up cost is covered by an underspend in the Council’s Resources budget. Ongoing costs will be covered by the administration fee.
Charities, voluntary organisations and other good causes that work in Portsmouth can benefit. Already, more than a dozen have signed up to be considered.
The decision about where to allocate funds will be taken by voluntary groups in collaboration with a cross-party group of councillors. These choices will be made on merit, and independent of council strategies and priorities.
Raising the profile of local charities
Stephen Morgan, deputy leader of the Labour group said:
“Research tells us that whilst many people can name a national charity, two thirds of people are unable to name a local charity.
I’m delighted to be involved with the launch of the new Portsmouth Lottery. Not only does it provide a fantastic opportunity to raise the profile of the local voluntary and community sector and the invaluable work local groups do to improve local life, it also helps raise much needed funds for good causes.
I am happy to support the Portsmouth Lottery because it means more good will be done for the most vulnerable in our city.”
If you are a good cause and would like to benefit, sign up at www.portsmouthlottery.co.uk

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Councillor opens new community orchard

Local people across Landport and Buckland came together this Sunday (3 July 2016) to officially open a new community orchard in the heart of the city.
An orchard with apple trees surrounded by a wild meadow, picnic benches and raised flower beds has been installed by local volunteers to enhance local life for residents in and around the Cornwallis Crescent area of the city.
The project has come about with the support of Heartlands Community Voice, a local community group and the council’s Residents’ Development Team.
Local ward councillors including Stephen Morgan attended the family fun day that marked the opening of the community garden organised by fellow local residents.
A barbeque was organised with children treated to free activities including face painting, a disco, necklace making and bag decoration.
IMG_6160Cllr Morgan said:
“I am delighted to open the new community orchard in the heart of Portsmouth. Thanks to volunteers the unused and neglected piece of land is helping to address the shortfall of allotments, promote community production of fruit and help us rediscover the pleasure of growing fruit grown close to home. I’m looking forward to trying some of the first produce grown!”
Community orchards such as this also help to green the urban environment and create habitats for wildlife and increasing the city’s biodiversity.
Cllr Morgan added:
“Most importantly of all projects like these bring residents together to do something fun and make life better in our community. I’ll be working with other residents to encourage more things like this in the future”.
Residents are encouraged to get involved in the project. Volunteers are being sought with further information available on Facebook by searching ‘Cornwallis Crescent Community Orchard’ and local businesses encouraged to help sustain the project by helping with the funding for further equipment.

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Portsmouth people celebrate its diversity

Portsmouth Labour was out in force at the city’s pride festivities this weekend.
Party members, supporters and friends joined all councillors from the city’s Labour Group for the event which saw the celebrations kicking off in Guildhall Square on Saturday at 12noon.
There was a party atmosphere as a parade involving dancers, music, representatives from local groups and an estimated 4,000 people took to the streets of Portsmouth in recognition of the LGBT community and city’s diversity with a parade to a music festival on Southsea Common.
A tribute to the late Jo Cox MP who was tragically killed earlier this week was made before the parade started as well as a minute’s silence in respect of those who tragically lost there lives in Orlando just over a week ago.
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Cllr Stephen Morgan said:
“This was a fantastic local event. It was great to see so many people enjoying themselves. My thanks to Sarah and her team for all their hard work in organising what is becoming a massive event in the city’s calendar.
After the terrible events of the past week we’ve seen our city of Portsmouth united in its celebration of equality, tolerance and diversity. If we lift each other up, we make our city stronger”.


Views of Portsmouth

I’m quite enjoying the different views of Portsmouth whilst out delivering leaflets and talking to residents across Charles Dickens ward.
Here’s one from this morning in Buckland, the quiet before the Christmas shopping storm!
More images on the campaign Instagram @stephen4portsmouth

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We love Portsmouth

Had lots of fun today and talked to local people about the things that matter to them and what they love about Portsmouth. You can view some of the photos on Instagram @stephen4portsmouth. Thanks to everyone who came!


The world's happiest jobs

A great article on the ‘happiest jobs’.
Engineers have the happiest job in the world, closely followed by teachers and nurses, according to analysis carried out by the Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/money/2015/apr/07/going-to-work-with-a-smile-on-your-face


Three Peaks Challenge

This Saturday I’m doing a 12 mile ‘three peak’ challenge over Butser Hill and the surrounding countryside. The event is in aid of two excellent charities.
Please consider donating to support the work of these worthwhile organisations and help soothe my blisters.
For further information please visit:

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Launching the South Parade Trust: The People's Pier

Save South Parade Pier
On Thursday 21 November, the South Parade Trust is extending an invitation to any local resident or community group who has an interest in saving Hampshire’s last remaining Victorian pier, to join them on their official launch party at The Royal Beach Hotel. Entry is free and begins at 7.30pm.
This is a great opportunity to meet the trust’s team behind the bid to save the pier and discuss ideas going forward.
More information on Twitter or by liking the trust on Facebook.

This is what an inspirational teacher can do

teaching english

A brilliant clip on YouTube from “Educating Yorkshire’.