ALL ABOARD!

 

All aboard! Portsmouth Labour hit the road ahead of local elections

 

Labour candidates and members joined Stephen Morgan MP, Portsmouth’s Labour Group Leader on the battle bus as it toured the city wards

Portsmouth Labour painted the town red this weekend as they hopped aboard their battle bus ahead of this week’s important local elections. The vintage routemaster bus stopped at several locations across the city visiting key locations on a route from Paulsgrove to Old Portsmouth, visiting a group of cyclists, litter pickers, and campaigners hosting street stalls and public consultations.

Candidates Judith Smyth, Tom Coles, George Fielding, Graham Heaney, David Horne, Luke Evans, Raj Ghosh, Rumal Khan, Sue Castillon, Liam Turish and Sumel Chowdhury joined Cllr Stephen Morgan and Cllr Yahiya Chowdhury to spread news of Labour’s positive plan for the city across their wards.

Voters will go to the polls from 7am to 10pm this Thursday 3rd May, and Cllr Morgan has called upon people in Portsmouth to get out and make sure their voices are heard.

Cllr Stephen Morgan MP, said:

‘It was fantastic to get out across the city with our brilliant candidates and speak with local people about what a Labour council could do for them.

Tory cuts have savaged vital local services here in Portsmouth. Living standards have dropped, our schools have been cut, and our NHS is starved of the resources it needs.

The Conservatives are making us pay more, but we are getting less.

Labour have a positive plan for our city. We’ll take Portsmouth forward, investing in truly affordable housing, social care, and make a fairer city works for everyone.

Thursday is your chance to get out and send a message to the Tories that Portsmouth can do far better with Labour.’

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Balancing the Books

Labour’s manifesto is fully costed, with all current spending paid for out of taxation or redirected revenue streams.

Our public services must rest on the foundation of sound finances. Labour will, therefore, set the target of eliminating the government’s deficit on day-to-day spending within five years and is committed to ensuring that the national debt is lower at the end of the next Parliament than it is today.

Labour believes that government should not be borrowing for day-to-day spending but that future growth depends on investment.

Labour will make sure the country has:

  • a fairer tax system
  • an end to tax loopholes
  • no rise in income tax for those earning less than £80,000pa
  • no increase in VAT or NIC
  • a strengthened, truly independent Office for Budget Responsibility

Portsmouth Labour wants to build on this to develop a successful and diverse local economy, supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and increasing full-time skilled employment opportunities. Some examples of how we can do this include:

  • addressing problems of high rents and business rates for SMEs
  • actively working to expand skilled apprenticeship opportunities in SMEs
  • ending zero hour contracts within Portsmouth City Council

If Labour councils around the country can do this, then why not Portsmouth.

‘Enterprising Barnsley’ is the economic development arm of Barnsley’s Labour City Council. Since formed, they have helped create 340 new businesses, attracted 40 companies to relocate and expand, created 4,000 jobs and provided support to 1,600 companies.

Our economy now, is suffering from years of neglect. Inequality has ballooned as it’s shifted towards low-paid, insecure jobs. Labour is determined to change this.

                   Delivering a fairer, more prosperous society for the many, not the few.

No More Housing Crisis, But A Home for Everyone

People need homes, but there aren’t enough of them being built for the people of Portsmouth.

  • Far too many new developments in the city are for luxury flats or houses
  • Property developers build these to make money, not to house the homeless
  • Many new-build properties are bought purely as investments by the wealthy
  • Rise in house prices far outstrips wages
  • Rough sleeping is on the increase, up 50% since 2010

There is a desperate need for more housing in the city. But more council homes in the country have been sold off under the Conservatives and only one in five have been replaced. We need homes that are affordable for people on average incomes. The Tory Government thinks £450,000 is a reasonable price for an affordable home. Labour doesn’t.

Labour will build 1 million new genuinely affordable homes over 10 years the majority for social rent.

Labour says:

‘A decent home is not a privilege for the few, but a right owed to all regardless of their income.’

Labour will prioritise brownfield sites and protect the green belt and not only build more, but build better, insulating homes to help people manage energy bills, reduce preventable winter deaths and meet our climate change targets.

Here in the city Portsmouth Labour would also:

  • make sure all local authority and housing association building projects employed local construction workers, both skilled and apprenticed.
  • undertake an audit and impact assessment of student accommodation to inform planning decisions.

Click here to see Portsmouth Labour’s Plan for Affordable Housing

Labour’s priority is….

                                        Building homes for the many, not the few…

The Tories are Failing Our Children

 

Education 2

91% of schools across the country are facing government cuts to their budgets. Portsmouth schools will have lost over £3million under this Tory Government by 2019. These funding cuts to education are biting hard:

  • Class sizes are increasing
  • Support staff have been axed
  • Experienced teachers are leaving the profession
  • Schools are asking parents for money for vital materials

Over the next 3 years 50 out of 56 Portsmouth schools will continue to face crippling budget  cuts (Schoolcuts.org.uk)

Schools in our city are being left behind, yet the Prime Minister continues to recycle her line claiming the opposite. She’s said that the amount of money in schools was greater than ever before, a claim refuted by the NEU, NAC, and NUT.

Portsmouth South MP and Councillor for Charles Dickens ward Stephen Morgan said:

Her Education Secretary has already been reprimanded by the statistics watchdog for saying school spending is going up – just because you repeat something doesn’t make it true.

But Portsmouth’s teachers and parents know the reality of the Tories failure to invest in our children’s futures, and they deserve better.’

Amanda Martin, NUT Executive Member for Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth & Southampton said:

‘The Government’s real-terms cuts to education funding have seen £2.8 billion cut from school budgets since 2015.

The Prime Minister is wrong on the facts. She must address the funding crisis urgently and not continue to ignore these very real problems.’

And the latest available data from the Trussell Trust, says that there are also approximately 40,000 children in the South East reliant on food banks.

Mr Morgan asked the PM: ‘If the Prime Minister was a teacher who’d been under a pay cap for 8 years, what would she buy a struggling child in one of my city’s classrooms – a text book or a square meal?’

All this, while nationally the Tories:

  • continue to pour money into free schools
  • want to bring back grammar schools

Labour will focus on what matters most – caring for our children and driving up the quality of teaching in our classrooms.

             JOIN US IN SUPPORT OF THE NEU SCHOOL CUTS WEEKEND OF ACTION

21st/22nd APRIL 

             ‘Create a noise so loud that no one can ignore what’s happening to our schools.’

Stephen backs votes at 16

JM_0039Today Members of Parliament are debating the second reading of Jim McMahon MP’s Private Members Bill, backed by city MP Stephen Morgan.

 The Bill proposes to do a number of things including reducing the voting age to 16 in parliamentary and other elections, making provision about young people’s education in citizenship and the constitution.

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

 “The time to give votes to 16 year olds has arrived. It’s already happening in Scotland and in Wales.

 The Government are quickly finding themselves on the wrong side of the debate, while Labour are yet again showing that they are the party of the many”.

 Votes at 16 is a priority for young people. This year 950,000 young people voted in the UK Youth Parliament UK-wide ballot called ‘Make Your Mark’ ballot, and Votes at 16 was made one of their five priority campaigns.

Research also indicates that the longer young people have to wait to participate in political life, the less engaged they are when they are adults. As the Electoral Reform Society has said: “vote early and vote often”.  

Stephen added:

“Equipping young people with a voice on the issues affected their lives is more important now than ever before. Above all, this is a debate about strengthening our democracy; about inclusion; and about how we involve all of society in shaping a vision for our great city and our country.

This isn’t a new debate, but the time has now come to make this a reality. So I’m fully behind Jim McMahon’s Bill to lower the voting age to 16.”

The Bill can be viewed at:  https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2017-2019/0015/180015.pdf

MP meets probation peer support group

Open Door, St Luke's, Portsmouth.PORTSMOUTH South MP Stephen Morgan joined representatives of the Open Door service user group at their weekly meeting earlier this month.

Open Door is a group for offenders and former offenders that is supported by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Rehabilitation Company (HIOW CRC). The group meet weekly at St Luke’s church in Southsea.

Stephen said: “I was pleased to meet members of the Open Door group and hear about the issues facing those on probation. I was impressed by the supportive nature of the group and how proactive the members are.”

Probation staff Rachael Loveridge and Sue Vigar-Taylor also met with the MP and discussed the role the HIOW CRC plays in supporting rehabilitation.

Rachael, network developer for HIOW CRC, said: “Open Door is a successful peer support group which empowers offenders and former offenders to seek solutions and advice to help them to stop re-offending.

“Group members help each other with practical support and accessing local resources. They also become positive role models. The group helps members to integrate into their local community, which is a key principle of our new model of rehabilitation – Interchange.”

Open Door has been running for more than three years. During that time group members have accessed training courses and gained paid employment, found housing and support to maintain a healthy lifestyle and formed positive social networks.

Neil Bailey, Open Door member, said on behalf of the group: “Stephen listened carefully to what we said and showed that he understood the issues facing people coming out of prison and those supervised in the community.

“We spoke about the challenges of finding a job whilst having a criminal record. We felt valued and we were honoured that Stephen took the time to come and meet with us.”