GOVERNMENT FAILS TEST ON FUNDING FOR CITY SCHOOLS

Stephen Morgan, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, has criticised the lack of announcements on funding for schools and further education sector in yesterday’s budget. 

Writing to the Chancellor earlier this month, Stephen called on the Tories to protect public services and invest in the city’s schools and set out four ‘tests’ for this year’s budget.

Sadly the Government chose to continue with its damaging policy of real terms cuts for the nation’s schools and colleges.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“The budget offered no significant new money for education. There is clear evidence that real terms cuts are causing daily problems in our schools and colleges, and sadly I hear of them too often in our great city. 

This shows that the Government has chosen to ignore the advice of headteachers and teaching staff across our country. Parents, teachers and those who believe in the power of education to improve lives – as I do – are deeply disappointed”.      

Despite the worsening teacher recruitment and retention crisis and real terms cuts in teacher pay over the past 7 years, the Chancellor also had nothing to offer the profession.

Stephen added:

“Instead of school staff losing jobs or seeing the value of their pay cut, the Government needs to invest in those working in education”.

Experts have said the announcement on funding for T-Levels is nothing more than a ‘drop in the ocean’ compared to the huge real terms cuts to 16-19 funding since 2010. 

There are no plans to restore Education Maintenance Allowance, backed by Labour, in order to provide funding to support young people.

Stephen added:

With 53 of 58 Portsmouth schools facing cuts in the next few years, totalling £5m, I’m hugely concerned the impact this will have on resources. It will lead to over £200 less per pupil, which equates to over 100 teachers lost from our community’s schools. 

Across our country we know schools need £2 billion a year extra funding to restore real terms per pupil funding to 2015-16 levels. Along with headteachers, I’ve been pressing the Chancellor to do this.

Yet this budget is telling parents in our great city that their children deserve less than was spent on children in previous years. That just isn’t good enough for the people of Portsmouth. And that’s why I’ll continue to fight for a better deal for our city’s schools”.

Stephen plans to pursue his campaign alongside parents and teachers for the investment our city’s children and young people need to succeed in life.

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STEPHEN SLAMS REAL TERMS BUDGET CUTS FOR LOCAL POLICING

Responding to the Budget unveiled by the Chancellor yesterday Stephen Morgan, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, has slammed the Government and warned continuing real-terms funding cuts “will break the police”.

The Government have repeatedly insisted they have protected police budgets since 2015 but new research shows that Hampshire Constabulary has seen a 32% deduction in police numbers since 2010, a loss of 895 bobbies on our beats.

The Chancellor found no new Government funding for the police, despite warnings from senior officer that the current budget settlement risks forces losing a further 6,000 officers as crime rockets.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“This budget will break the police and risks cutting the frontline even further.

People in our community will be shocked that with crime rocketing the Government have prescribed further cuts for our local police force and refused to give them the resources and the officers they need to fight crime and anti-social behaviour.

This is another example of the Tories failing the people of Portsmouth”.

Since 2010 over 20,000 police officers, over 30,000 police staff and 6,000 community support officers have been axed despite a promise to protect the frontline. 

Police forces in England and Wales are now at their lowest strength per 100,000 of the population since records began in 1979.

Louise Haigh, Labour’s Shadow Policing Minister said:

“Yesterday’s budget proves the Government cannot be trusted to keep our communities safe.

Thanks to years of Conservative cuts, police numbers are at historic lows, at a time when crime is rocketing. You can’t protect the public on the cheap.

This is the grim legacy of seven years of Tory austerity; dedicated police officers fighting hard to keep the public safe with the fewest officers per head on record. Labour will recruit another 10,000 new police officers to help keep us safe.”

Chancellor’s budget fails Portsmouth

Stephen Morgan, MP for Portsmouth South, has reacted to the Chancellor’s 2017 Budget today. This budget, one of the most important in a generation, was an opportunity to improve people’s lives, yet the Tories have let our great city and country down.

This was a ‘nothing has changed’ budget from an out-of-touch Government with no idea of the reality of people’s lives and no plan to improve them.

Stephen had four tests for the Chancellor’s statement in the House of Commons this afternoon:

Funding to protect Portsmouth’s public services

Sadly, the Chancellor failed to mention any plans to fund care for our loved ones or tackle the crisis in social care services. There was nothing on the cuts to school funding and the need for a better deal for our city’s schools. No wonder he’s ignored my letters and constituents’ lobbying. The Chancellor gave no mention of policing, the need to invest in our force or increase bobbies on Hampshire’s streets at a time when crime is rising.

Funding public sector pay rises

Those who work day in, day out, to care for us, teach us, keep our communities clean and tidy, protect us, and defend our nation, have had their pay capped for 7 years, meaning real wages are down by thousands of pounds. Paramedics are £3,800 a year worse off, firefighters are down £2,900 and teachers £2,500. Whilst I’ve stood side-by-side with public servants, the Tories’ budget today let them down once again.

Building more homes

I have a post bag full of letters from people writing to me about housing issues. From homelessness in Portsmouth, to overcrowding, to young people desperate to get on the housing ladder, we are in desperate need of urgent action to fix the housing market. House building is at the lowest level in 30 years and homelessness on our streets has doubled. We face a housing crisis in our country yet next to no new money was announced today to address the Tories’ abysmal record on our broken housing market.

Investing in our local economy and much-needed infrastructure such as road and rail

Only this week I met with business representatives to discuss the need for better connectivity between our cities and towns on the south coast to make it easier to get round and help businesses to flourish. Sadly, the Chancellor has let the people of Portsmouth and its small businesses down. Vital infrastructure projects to boost economic growth and productivity are being starved of funding and our part of the country simply isn’t getting its fair share.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“On all these tests the Tories have failed the people of Portsmouth. And worryingly, the Tories haven’t just failed my tests for the economy, they’ve failed their own. GDP forecasts are plummeting by the day, the deficit is up, and inflation is riding above pay. This Government’s economic record is one of failure and ordinary working people are paying the price”.

“Today we’ve seen the cost of a Tory Government out of touch and out of ideas. For the first time in modern history, GDP growth is expected to be under 2% in every forecast year. Wages are lower, our schools and NHS in crisis, and fewer bobbies are on the beat.

Tory austerity has failed. Yet, this Government’s answer is to carry on as usual.

The Chancellor’s vision of Britain bears no resemblance to that experienced by Portsmouth people. I know people are deeply concerned about their schools, hospitals, housing, policing and defence cuts. But there was no new money for the 5,000 head teachers who wrote to him, not one mention of police officers, and only empty gestures to our cash-strapped health service.

All this Government has offered is clever accounting and business as usual, and it’s costing our economy and communities dearly.”

CITY MP JOINS PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTTEE

Labour Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, has been appointed to one of Parliament’s oldest and most powerful bodies, the Committee of Public Accounts (PAC) this week.

The Select Committee is responsible for overseeing Government expenditure and ensuring that it is appropriate and effective. First established in 1857, the PAC is made up of Members from all parties and is chaired by Labour MP, Meg Hillier.

Stephen continues a proud tradition of Pompey involvement in the Committee. The first ever chair of the PAC was Portsmouth MP Sir Francis Baring, who was integral in its establishment.

Other Portsmouth MPs that have served on the committee are Frank Judd (now Lord Judd) was a member of the committee between 1968–71 and Sarah McCarthy-Fry, who was a member of the committee between 2005-07.

Commenting on his appointment, Stephen Morgan MP said:

“I’m very pleased to have been appointed to the Public Accounts Committee. The PAC plays a key role in ensuring that the public are getting value for their money and that the public services and functions that it pays for are being delivered properly. I look forward to working with my fellow members to hold the Government and others to account.

The PAC will offer a valuable opportunity to scrutinise issues of national importance that have a significant impact on our great city, that I have the privilege to represent, for example, the building of our new aircraft carriers or the procurement and retention of teachers.

I’m honoured to be able to serve Portsmouth and the country through my work on the committee”.

Stephen Morgan pledges support to £1 hospital in Bangladesh

Stephen Morgan, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth, has pledged his support to the £1 Hospital campaign to help save lives and offer frontline health care to the poorest communities in Bangladesh.

The charity set up in Portsmouth is asking people to give just £1 a month to help build the first hospital to offer modern diagnostic services and allergy management in the whole of Bangladesh starting in the northern city of Sylhet.

Stephen attended the launch event of the campaign in January in the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth’s Banqueting Suite but is now backing the initiative as the city’s new Member of Parliament.

He said: “I’m pleased to be supporting this new charity originating from our great city. This campaign aims to deliver what we are fortunate to already receive here in the UK – free health care to the poorest communities in Bangladesh.

Nearly half of all children in Bangladesh have chronic malnutrition, and persistent poverty could continue to limit health progress. 

That’s why its so important to have new and vital health services to help reduce the number of deaths with treatment and health management we often take for granted here in the UK.

I wish Dr Ali and his team every success with this important venture. Their efforts have my full support”.

For more information and to donate to the charity visit www.onepoundhospital.org.uk

Government must listen about investing in our schools

City MP Stephen Morgan is continuing his campaign for a better deal for Portsmouth’s schools following public concern about current and future levels of school funding in England and Wales. This was strongly expressed in the General Election campaign, and continues to be an issue for parents and teachers in the city.

The school cuts website has calculated that 88% of schools are being cut in real terms compared with 2015. There is widespread awareness that present and future levels of financial commitment fall well short of what is needed to maintain real terms 2015/16 funding.

The £1.3 billion that the Secretary of State for Education reallocated to core school funding in July is a sign that the Government is sensitive to some of the issues, but the response is not at all adequate to the size of the problem. £2.8 billion has been cut from school budgets since 2015 and school funding is £2bn a year less than it was.

Ahead of the Autumn Budget next week Stephen Morgan MP has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond MP about the issue.

In his letter Stephen said:

“It is clear from the visits I regularly do to local schools and in discussions with teachers that school funding in my constituency and across our country is in crisis. Our great city deserves better.

In next week’s Budget, my constituents are expecting a response from Government that appreciates the magnitude of the problem, and invests accordingly in the country’s future.

We look forward to commitments in your statement next week that will reinvest at least £2bn a year to end the underfunding of our education.

You have spoken of an economy that works for everyone, including the young. Millions of parents will be expecting you to match words with deeds”.

Stephen’s letter to the Chancellor follows lobbying from head teachers representing over 5,000 schools to the Chancellor about the Government’s inadequate funding for schools.

Angela Rayner MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Education said:

“Justine Greening needs to start listening to the head teachers and concerned parents who are facing the real consequences of her Government’s decision to put tax breaks for the super-rich ahead of investment in the next generation. 

Despite Tory spin, the new funding formula does nothing to reverse the cuts to budgets and every penny they have found just comes from cutting other education provision – it isn’t fair, and it isn’t funded. 

The next Labour Government will give our schools the resources they need, reversing Tory cuts and protecting per pupil funding in real terms, as we build a National Education Service for the many, and not just the few”.

Stephen Morgan kicks off UK Parliament week with a visit to local secondary school

Stephen Morgan, Portsmouth South’s Member of Parliament kicked off the start of UK Parliament Week with a visit to Priory School on Monday.

UK Parliament Week is an annual programme of events to connect people with Parliament and sees schools, museums, charities and businesses around the country joining in a week long programme of activities and events which explore what the UK Parliament means to them and their community.

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“UK Parliament Week is a great opportunity for schools and local organisations here in Portsmouth to engage their audiences or members in our country’s democracy.

I was particularly pleased to kick the week off in my constituency by visiting one of my former schools, Priory School in Southsea, to talk to young people about what being an MP involves and encourage students to aim high and work hard to achieve their dreams”.

Priory School thanked Stephen for attending and said:

“It has been great to have our local MP in this week. We thank him for taking the time to come and work with our students, inspiriting them and raising aspirations”.

For more information, please see the schools page on the Parliament Week website:

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