With many children relying on free school meals Cabinet Member for Education Councillor Suzy Horton provides an update on Portsmouth City Council's action to maintain this vital service.
School meals are provided by whatever contractor a school/ academy chain decides to go with and this will continue during the weeks ahead.
Free school meals are available for those children based on family income (all ages) AND all children in Key Stage 1 (Yr R - Yr 2) regardless of family income.
With schools closing today to all pupils except the children of key workers, and vulnerable children Councillor Suzy Horton - Cabinet Member for Education shared the principles on why schools are only partially closing:
- To keep key workers at work as this will save lives
- To keep vulnerable children safe and cared for
- To give food to those children who need it
Social distancing will be applied in schools to keep teachers/ school as safe as possible (remember they are key workers too)
Please keep this in mind when deciding to send a child to school.
Deputy Leader of Portsmouth City Council, Councillor Steve Pitt issues a plea for anyone willing to help their community in our great city at this difficult time to register with The Hive.
Council Leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson today announced a bold twelve-point plan for Portsmouth to tackle the Coronavirus (Covid19).
"I'd like to make an urgent statement about how the City Council is responding to the Corona Virus outbreak in the UK. The situation has changed a great deal in the last few days, and the City Council's response has to change and adapt.
The City Council is not in the business of trying to undermine the professional and clinical advice offered byPHE, the NHS and the UK's Chief Medical Officers. We will transmit and reinforce this advice and support residents to follow this advice and are working closely with our business partners and colleagues from other agencies."
Councillor Dave Ashmore and Fratton campaigner Stuart Brown are thrilled to celebrate a victory for our local community by securing a planning application for housing on the ground floor of the former Connaught Arms.
Many Fratton residents will be aware, the former pub had planning permission to create a shop on the ground floor. There were lots of rumours that this may be a supermarket chain and that the local shop nearby, which has a lot of community support, would be threatened as a result.
They have continued to fight for what residents said they wanted - homes not a shop. The developer has listened to what local people and your Fratton Lib Dem team have been saying and agreed to look at putting flats on the ground floor instead.
Eight more beds for rough sleepers
More beds will be available for rough sleepers in the city from next month.
At the moment there are 49 beds in two Portsmouth City Council night shelters, compared to 45 at this time last year.
From March there will be eight more beds, taking the total to 57, after extra funding was provided by the council.
The shelters are open year-round. Last year they were used by 372 different people.
They are run by two homelessness charities, the Society of St James and Two Saints, on behalf of the council.
More accommodation is made available during severe weather to ensure all rough sleepers have a safe place to stay.
More households to get popular food waste recycling scheme thanks to Lib Dem proposals
Plans are being developed to double Portsmouth's food waste recycling and pave the way for twice as many homes to take part, with a £22.2m specialist anaerobic digestion facility also being considered.
Currently, 8,000 homes in the city are part of a food waste recycling trial but Liberal Democrat proposals for Portsmouth City Council's capital budget allocate £221,000 to expand the current scheme.
Along with a further £365,000 of revenue funding proposed this will double the number of homes taking part in the scheme which will be extended until September 2021.
People sleeping rough in Portsmouth are to get more support, following a successful bid for funding by the Liberal Democrat run city council.
The city council will use the cash to provide more housing advice and intensive support to homeless people.
- For people already sleeping rough, the goal will be to help them settle into long-term accommodation.
- For people newly homeless, the aim will be to prevent them sleeping rough.
Helping people facing homelessness is a top priority for the Liberal Democrat group who run Portsmouth City Council.
Now a £1.5m push to improve temporary accommodation for people at risk of homelessness is to be considered by all councillors.
Portsmouth City Council provides temporary accommodation for about 150 households. This type of housing is needed while the council assesses people's housing needs, or when it is waiting for the right home to become available.
Portsmouth has been praised by OFSTED with a glowing report for inclusion in the city.
The inspection looked at the way education, health and care work together to meet the needs of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability.
It praised the city’s strong leadership and collaborative approach to meet the aim of being a ‘Needs led city’ and highlighted the success of parents, carers and young people being central to this success.
Portsmouth is forecast to be the second-fastest growing city in terms of GVA (gross value added) by the end of 2020, according to a report published by the UK Powerhouse study.
The city’s Liberal Democrat run council recently worked with other partners in the city to formulate a new Economic Development and Regeneration Strategy, which was adopted in October 2019.
Now the new national report says Portsmouth's economy is on course to grow by 1.6 per cent this year – compared with an average of 0.9 per cent in the 46 towns and cities covered.
Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Leader of the Council, gave a speech today to full council, introducing his administration's proposed budget:
"Lord Mayor, and colleagues, it is my pleasure to move the council's revenue budget for 2020/21 and the forecasts for the financial years 2020/21 to 2023/24 and the capital budget for the financial years 2019/2020 to 2024/2025.
This is an ambitious budget, it is the greenest budget the city has ever produced and it is a prudent budget, building a long-term sustainable financial future for this city council.
Plans are in place to invest £390,000 in improving the sports pavilions at Farlington and Bransbury Park, thanks to Liberal Democrat councillors.
Bransbury Park will gain £150,000 towards replacing the existing building within the site.
Farlington will benefit from £240,000 for pavilion improvement works - which will be timed to minimise disruption to sports users.
An ambitious raft of activity to bring Portsmouth one step closer to carbon neutrality by 2030 has been agreed Portsmouth City Council’s Liberal Democrat Cabinet today.
Portsmouth City Council's new carbon reduction strategy lays the foundations for the council, its suppliers and the wider city to come together to take action against climate change by focusing on projects that will have the most impact on carbon emissions.