Posts

, , ,

Portsmouth MP responds to the passing of Prince Philip

Responding to the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, Stephen Morgan MP, said:

“I know the people of Portsmouth will join me in paying tribute to the dedication and devotion given to our country by Prince Philip, which is rightly admired at home and abroad.

“In the heart and home of the Royal Navy we are grateful for his distinguished service during the Second World War and we recognise his enduring commitment to Her Majesty The Queen and their royal duties, which embodied the spirit of British public service.

“My thoughts and prayers are with Her Majesty, the Royal Family and communities across our country as we pay our respects to the contribution Prince Philip made to Britain”.

, , , , ,

Stronger rights for victims of anti-social behaviour are needed says City MP as huge increase in number of people affected over past decade revealed

Stephen Morgan MP has welcomed demands for stronger rights for victims of anti-social behaviour as analysis reveals a huge increase in number of people affected over the past decade

New analysis by Labour reveals that two fifths of Crime Survey (CSEW) respondents said they had experienced anti-social behaviour (ASB) in their local area in the past year – the highest since questions on ASB were included in the CSEW.

This is equivalent to 19m people experiencing some form of ASB in 2019-20, up by 1m in a year and 5.5m more than 2011-12.

Every area in England and Wales has seen an increase in the number of people experiencing ASB over the past five years.

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

“We are living through a victims crisis. Over a quarter of all crimes aren’t being prosecuted because victims are dropping out of the process entirely. That means that 1 million victims every year are being failed by the very system designed to protect them. 

I know from my postbag the impact anti-social behaviour is having on our communities. That is why I continue to take action to tackle the issues we face in Portsmouth working alongside the police and other agencies. But it is vital that Government plays their part too and ensures fairer funding for Hampshire Constabulary and delivers investment in preventative services in our city.

 I welcome Labour’s Victims Law that’s ready to go to help those affected by anti-social behaviour.

It makes victims unignorable in a system that increasingly overlooks their needs. Now it’s up to the Government to put politics aside and implement it without delay.” 

Nick Thomas-Symonds MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, said:

“The shocking rise in the number of people experiencing anti-social behaviour is a huge cause of concern for families and communities across the country.

“People deserve to feel safe and secure in their neighbourhoods and town centres, but under the Conservatives police numbers have been slashed, violent crime has risen to record levels, and anti-social behaviour has been left unchecked.

“Labour will work to put more police on our streets and would act where the Conservatives have failed and introduce a new Victims’ Law that would give victims of anti-social behaviour the same rights as victims of crimes.”

 

, , , , , , ,

Labour calls on the government to invest in and secure British jobs ​for the defence sector

The Official Opposition is demanding greater protection of jobs in the defence sector by calling on the government to adopt a ‘British-built by default’ approach, intended to boost manufacturing within the UK supply chain, a move welcomed by Portsmouth South’s Stephen Morgan MP.

Labour says a new threshold is needed for equipment to be sourced outside of the UK, requiring proof that defence projects cannot be built under similar terms in Britain.

In addition, the Party is calling on ministers to report annually on the proportion of defence spending going through British companies, and to improve procurement rules to promote prosperity in supply chain businesses throughout the UK’s towns, regions, and industries such as steel.

The Party accuse the Conservative government of br​eaking promises ​made to the Armed Forces and wasting taxpayer money through its decade-long policy of ‘open competition by default’ that has seen the UK buying off-the–shelf defence equipment from overseas.

New analysis by Labour shows:  

  • Over £6 billion of allocated spending in government’s Integrated Review and Defence Command Paper is going on off-the-shelf purchases of surveillance aircraft from overseas.
  • A naval contract worth £1.5 billion for Fleet Support Ships has been unfulfilled since 2018, due to Ministerial indecision ​about making the contract British-led.
  • 30,000 defence industry jobs lost since 2010 under the Conservatives

Keir Starmer MP, Leader of the Labour Party said:

“Prioritising British businesses through defence spending is not only investment in jobs, but in our communities, and a more secure economy.  

“Under this Prime Minister, we have seen broken promises and dither and delay, at the expense of UK supply chain businesses and taxpayer’s money.  

“We cannot go back to business as usual. Labour will protect jobs in the defence sector, harness the skills and talents of our workers, and will deliver value for money for British people, to ensure a prosperous recovery out of the pandemic.” 

John Healey MP, Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary, added:

“The Prime Minister has already broken promises made to military personnel by cutting 10,000 posts in the Army.

“On the Tories’ watch, we have also lost tens of thousands of jobs across the industry and wasted time on key contracts.  

“Of course, there will be essential equipment or systems which makes strategic sense for Britain to develop with allies or to buy direct from overseas, but we want to see a much higher bar for this”.

Stephen Morgan, Shadow Armed Forces Minister and Portsmouth South MP, added:

“We know only too well here in Portsmouth that when done well, defence spending has a multiplier effect, strengthening our UK economy. That’s why I have been calling on the Government for some time to build more Naval ships in Britain.

“Covid has exposed the risks of relying on foreign supply chains.

“I welcome Keir Starmer’s contribution to this debate. Labour’s ‘British by default’ policy would help secure vital jobs in Portsmouth as our city recovers from the pandemic as well as strengthen the UK’s sovereignty and security.” 

 

 

, , , , , ,

Vaccine passports: Portsmouth MP responds

In recent days, many constituents have got in touch with Stephen Morgan MP with their views on the Government considering ‘vaccine passports’.

Responding to concerns, the Portsmouth South representative said:

I do not support domestic vaccine passports. It is not clear so far what the benefits are compared to the risks and costs.

“The British public have already seen what has happened with the Government’s handing out of Covid contracts with the cronyism, as well as poor delivery and value. Ministers mustn’t make these mistakes again.

“What’s more, asking people to produce a vaccine certificate or passport to access pubs or shops is discriminatory and it will add a huge burden to businesses and come at huge cost to the taxpayer.

“Labour wants the Government to get the basics right. That means making sure the vaccine rollout includes young people and there is a focus on vaccine take-up where it is slower so we don’t risk pockets of people exposed to the virus, self-isolation, and contact tracing”.

The Official Opposition have stated that if there was a vote in the House of Commons on vaccine and test certification, based on what has been seen so far, the party would oppose domestic vaccine passports.

Labour has not ruled out testing certification (for example, for large events) but have the same questions around focus, efficacy and value.

, , , ,

City MP highlights funding for Portsmouth charities

Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan MP, has urged local charities and good causes to apply for funding raised by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Over 3,500 grassroots organisations in Britain will receive a share of almost £17 million this year.

Local projects can apply for funding from the Postcode Society Trust which is for organisations operating in the south of England. Registered charities can apply for up to £20,000 of funding, which is available for both project-based and core costs.

Applications will be accepted every month until October 2021.

Stephen Morgan MP, said:

“Over the last year many charities across Portsmouth have responded to the pandemic by working to support and protect our city’s communities. Yet the last year has also been a difficult time for charity fundraising.

“The funds raised by People’s Postcode Lottery players and available to local charities are therefore a great chance for local organisations to secure funding.

“Players of People’s Postcode Lottery have already raised over £700 million for good causes and I would love to see some more successful applicants from our area so I urge all local charities and community groups to consider submitting an application.”

People’s Postcode Lottery’s head of public affairs, Malcolm Fleming said:

“People’s Postcode Lottery players are making a massive difference to charities across the country and we are delighted that this year the funding available for local charities should more than double.

“We urge all interested organisations to visit the trust website to find out more about the funding available and how to submit an application.”

As a commitment to supporting smaller good causes, applications will only be accepted from organisations with an annual income of less than £1 million. Preference will be given to those with an income less than £500,000.

More information, including a funding guide and eligibility quiz, can be found on the trust’s website: www.postcodesocietytrust.org.uk

 

 

, , , , , ,

City MP backs Keep Britain Tidy’s million-mile mission to clean up Portsmouth’s lockdown litter

Portsmouth South’s Stephen Morgan MP has pledged support to a litter-picking initiative to allow it to flourish across Portsmouth as the pandemic restrictions continue to ease.

Keep Britain Tidy, Britain’s favourite environmental charity, is asking everyone to pledge to do their bit to clear up the litter that blights our communities as part of the Great British Spring Clean. The Portsmouth MP has signed up to help and is encouraging residents and groups across the city to get involved too.

The Great British Spring Clean, now in its sixth year, brings together individuals, community organisations, businesses and councils to make a difference to the environment on our doorstep.

In 2019, more than half a million #LitterHeroes collected just under a million bags of litter, weighing around 4,308 tons.

Encouraging fellow residents to get involved, Stephen Morgan MP, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, said:

“Locked down, many people across Portsmouth have come to rely on green space close to home which has become a significant somewhere to escape, exercise and play.

“Our city’s parks and open spaces have mattered to us more than ever before. That’s why I am pleased to support this year’s Keep Britain Tidy campaign.

“The Great Spring Clean is a brilliant way to keep active and at the same time make a difference in our area.

I encourage fellow residents, local groups and businesses to join me in showing some love for the special places that helped us through lockdown by helping to clear up our city’s precious open spaces”.

Over the Bank Holiday weekend the city MP was out with local Milton campaigner Paula Savage clearing up litter safely in local parks.

The campaign, which runs from 28 May – 13 June 2021, calls on the public to pledge to clean-up and help the charity achieve a million miles of litter-picking. 

This year’s campaign comes as the charity has reported a massive increase in the number of people who have started litter-picking during the various lockdowns. It has seen the number of #LitterHeroes grow by a third in less than 12 months.

Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton added:

“We are delighted to have the support of Stephen Morgan MP for this year’s Great British Spring Clean.

“We have all spent a lot more time in our local area in the past year and have come to realise just how important our local park or green space is for our mental and physical health.

“We need to care for these spaces and the Great British Spring Clean is an opportunity for everyone to take a small action that, collectively, can make a big difference.

“Whether you commit to do five minutes or five hours, every single pledge will help us reach our million-mile target and clear many tonnes of litter pollution from our environment.”

Keep Britain Tidy is asking everyone to pledge to do their bit to clear up the litter in their local green spaces. Anyone can pledge to get involved at www.keepbritaintidy.org/gbspringclean

 

 

, , , , , ,

Portsmouth MP says lobbying for city’s arts and cultural sector ‘is paying off’ but Government must support those excluded

Stephen Morgan MP has today welcomed the latest round of grants to help the city’s arts and cultural sector recover from the pandemic but has called on Ministers to finally end the uncertainty for those in the creative sector who have missed out on financial support

In the Portsmouth South constituency, the Cultural Recovery Fund has today awarded grants totalling £1,066,493 to over six organisations from Concrete Music to The Mary Rose. Moreover, across Portsmouth, a total of £1,143,047 has been awarded to eight organisations.

Arts Council England has awarded over £261 million to more than 2,700 organisations as part of this round of the national programme.

The Portsmouth South MP has been tirelessly lobbying Government to support the city’s arts and cultural organisations and those who work in the sector in what has been an extremely challenging time for the industry.

This has included meeting with local representatives, submitting parliamentary questions, visiting organisations to hear concerns, supporting funding bids and lobbying Ministers directly.

Welcoming today’s latest grants round, Stephen Morgan MP, said:

“I have long argued that when our country recovers from this pandemic culture must be front and centre. Yet so many of our city’s fantastic arts and cultural organisations have been under huge strain in the past year, with venues closed and ticket and secondary sales lost.

I am pleased that the lobbying of Government is finally paying off and these grants will go a long well to help many organisations get back on their feet and recover from a difficult year.

It was a pleasure to work alongside so many in the sector to secure much needed funding for Portsmouth, but we have more to do to get Ministers to listen, and ensure the strong foundations we need for the future”.

The Cultural Recovery Fund has been designed to support venues rather than individuals in the creative sector.  On this the city MP added:

“Our city’s recovery will not just be about making sure organisations have the resources they need to thrive, but also support is given to those amazing creatives who work within the sector.

Last month’s Budget made only a small adjustment to the support for the self-employed but there are still millions without support – many of whom work within the creative and events sector here in Portsmouth.

That’s why I will continue to lobby Government to make sure those excluded from financial support are not forgotten. They need certainty too and they need it now”.

Local beneficiaries of the Cultural Recovery Fund also include:

  • The Cathedral Church of St. Thomas of Canterbury in Portsmouth (£121,000 )
  • Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust (£222,300)
  • PRCDTC Portsmouth St Johns Cathedral (£102,200)
  • The Wedgewood Rooms (£73,686)
  • Groundlings Theatre (£32,582)
  • SSD Music limited (£299,002)
  • Portsmouth City Council – Museums (£160,640)
  • The Kings Theatre Trust (£172,931)

 

, , , , , ,

City MP welcomes launch of ‘Operation Nautical’ to ensure a safe summer

Portsmouth South’s Stephen Morgan MP has welcomed the launch of a dedicated policing response to keep communities safe along Southsea seafront and neighbouring areas in Portsmouth this summer.

‘Operation Nautical’ will see officers working alongside a number of other agencies across the city and increasing patrols in areas where there is the potential for higher rates of anti-social behaviour as the weather gets warmer and government restrictions begin to ease.

Welcoming the initiative ahead of warmer weather, Stephen Morgan MP said:

“I know from my postbag the impact anti-social behaviour has on the lives of constituents and I am pleased the police and partners are listening to concerns I have raised on the need for a proactive, joined-up response.

In liaison with the District Commander, and other agencies, I am pleased this initiative is being launched now to help prevent the problems we have seen year on year at the Hotwalls, Southsea Commons and at other locations in our city’s green and open spaces.

I will be following this initiative closely and will continue to call on the police and council to do all they can to make sure our communities stay safe this summer”.

Police in Portsmouth will work alongside Hampshire’s Marine Unit, Motiv8, Active Communities Network, Portsmouth City Council wardens, Ministry of Defence police, Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service, street pastors in the city, local councillors, businesses and our local residents on a joined up response to a safe return to socialising outdoors.

Operation Nautical will cover the seafront from Old Portsmouth to Eastney, as well as parks within the city and Southsea Common. Neighbourhood policing teams will be upping patrols in these areas, engaging with members of the public to ensure everyone is staying safe over the summer period.

This weekend the Portsmouth South MP will be going out on patrol with Street Pastors as the new Operation comes into force to see how the initiative is working on the ground.

Portsmouth South Inspector, Louise Tester, added:

“With the weather warming up and the government’s current road map out of lockdown allowing for increased outdoor interaction, we know we will see higher footfall in our popular outdoor spaces, including Southsea seafront and the common.

“We want our communities to feel safe as they begin to venture out more often and we are pleased that Operation Nautical will help to give people that reassurance.

“We will have dedicated resources patrolling these summer hot spots each day, offering reassurance to our communities and deterring anti-social behaviour.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve all been able to meet with small groups of friends and family outdoors, and this will no doubt provide a welcome boost to many of us after what has been a very long and difficult winter.

“While we want people to enjoy being able to gather with friends and family again, we ask them to do it safely while abiding by the regulations and remembering the rule of six or the two household rule when meeting outdoors.

“Our officers will continue to engage, explain and encourage in the first instance, however enforcement action will be taken for blatant or repeated regulation breaches.”

“We urge the public to stay safe and continue treating each other with respect and patience as we move through the roadmap as laid out by the government.”

If you have any concerns regarding any crime in these areas over the summer, do speak to one of the patrolling officers or call 101.

 

, ,

Portsmouth MP pays visit to local Mosque as it joins fight against COVID-19

Stephen Morgan MP visited the Jami Mosque in the heart of Portsmouth today as it opened its doors as a new COVID-19 vaccination centre.

It is expected the vaccination hub will be able to vaccinate over 200 people a day.

It is also hoped by those behind the plan of the Mosque’s involvement that this will dispel false information that is reported to be circulating in some communities, as well as to encourage vaccine take up.

The local centre of worship will be running vaccination sessions every Tuesday from 10am – 1pm and 2pm – 5pm.

The Portsmouth South MP was invited to be one of the first visitors on site to welcome residents to the new pop-up facility and thank those involved in setting up the centre.

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

“I want to thank all the volunteers behind this project. It is really pleasing to be on site as the hub opens to the public today.

“It is so important people take up the offer of the vaccine when they get it. We must not allow misinformation to get in the way of keeping people safe.”

Mr Morgan has previously volunteered with Portsmouth HIVE as part of Portsmouth’s wider vaccination programme in response to COVID-19.

The MP has been working alongside the city’s ethnic minority communities encouraging take up of the vaccine, including supporting a short film to dispel some of the myths about the jab.

, , , , ,

City MP backs Community Energy plan

Today campaign group, Power for People, thanked local Portsmouth MP, Stephen Morgan, for supporting a new Bill in Parliament that would help rebuild local economies whilst increasing clean energy generation.

The proposed new law, known as the Local Electricity Bill, is supported by a cross-party group of 259 MPs. If made law, it would create a new ‘Right to Local Supply’ of energy that would empower communities to sell locally generated electricity directly to local households and businesses.

Currently customers can only purchase electricity from nationally licensed utilities. The Bill’s supporters say this means money people use to pay their energy bills is not helping to rebuild local economies and local clean energy infrastructure.

Campaigning group, Power for People, are calling for MPs and the government to make the Bill law and are leading a supportive coalition of organisations including Community Energy England, Community Energy Wales, Community Energy Scotland, Good Energy, WWF, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and the RSPB. 67 local authorities have also pledged their support.

Stephen Morgan, MP for Portsmouth South said,

“I am pleased to support the Local Electricity Bill which will empower and enable new community energy companies to sell energy that they generate directly to local people, helping to strengthen local economies.

“This is urgently needed given the economic shock of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Bill will also help accelerate our transition to clean energy, which is critical in avoiding the potential economic and ecological devastation of climate change. I will do all I can to ensure it becomes law.”

Power for People’s Director, Steve Shaw, said,

“We thank Stephen Morgan for supporting the Local Electricity Bill. If made law, the Bill would unleash the huge potential for new community-owned clean energy infrastructure and for this to boost local economies, jobs, services, and facilities in communities across the country.”