Charles Dickens councillor is Portsmouth’s new heritage champion

Stephen MorganElected in May 2016, Cllr Stephen Morgan of the Labour group is one of Portsmouth’s newest councillors. As a representative for Charles Dickens ward, Cllr Morgan focuses on getting things done today, while exploring ways to improve future opportunities for local people.

Now, in a brand new role, he will also be responsible for preserving, promoting and getting the best from the city’s past. The city council has appointed him Portsmouth’s first ever ‘heritage champion’. With a citywide remit, the post has been created to be an advocate for our historic environment.

 The council collaborated with Historic England to develop the role, and Cllr Morgan will build close ties with the organisation. He will be responsible for generating enthusiasm and awareness, across the council and the community, around the importance of the city’s heritage. This will include identifying opportunities to promote the historic environment, and ensuring it is properly cared for.

The role is all about inspiring and influencing others, so Cllr Morgan will work closely with the council’s planning and city development team to help shape strategies for historic sites. He will also be a key point of contact for questions and suggestions about protecting local heritage.

Cllr Morgan’s appointment has been welcomed by the leader of the council’s Labour group, Cllr John Ferret, who says:

 “I’m really pleased that Stephen has been appointed to this role. The city has a remarkable and unique cultural history and its naval heritage is internationally renowned. I’m sure Stephen will bring the drive and energy needed to ensure that the city makes the most of its cultural and heritage assets.”

Cllr Morgan will hit the ground running in his new role this weekend. As heritage champion, he will visit sites across Portsmouth as part of the national Heritage Open Days from 8-16 September.

He is looking forward to getting started. Cllr Morgan says:

“I’m honoured to be Portsmouth’s first Heritage Champion. It would be an important role anywhere but for a city with historic links as strong as ours it is vital. In my own ward of Charles Dickens we have a fantastic array of heritage assets. I am excited to have the opportunity to work with others to see these unlocked, to increase accessibility and their benefit for all local people.

“There are so many different elements to look at in the champion role and influences from throughout the years and I’m looking forward to learning more and helping safeguard them for the future. If you have ideas of how I can do this, or want to help, please get in touch.”

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