With less than half a job per working adult on the Gosport peninsula, Caroline has made economic regeneration an absolute priority. In addition to her work to bring an Enterprise Zone to the disused military airfield at Daedalus, she's been part of a number of successful Regional Growth Fund bids across the area including the 'Bridging the Gap' fund for small and medium businesses which has secured over £4 million for businesses in the Gosport area. She regularly meets with local employers – from major companies such as BAE to micro-businesses and has been a keen advocate of apprenticeships, supporting schemes at the CEMAST Skills Centre, Blackball Media and Vector Aerospace among others. You can read more about Caroline's #GetInGoFar campaign here.

Caroline has campaigned for the regeneration of Gosport High Street and waterfront, having met with the British Retail Consortium, backed the Council's submission to the Portas Review, and helped secure £100,000 of funding from the Government.

She's keen to build on Gosport's fantastic location as a world-class yacht destination. In 2011, Caroline was instrumental in the formation of the Gosport Marine Scene, bringing local marine businesses & individuals together to promote the interests of Gosport as a major maritime hub on the south coast. You can find out more about them here.

Caroline has worked closely alongside the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) since its establishment in 2011 with the aim of supporting them to create an environment that will bring about sustainable economic growth and private sector investment in the Solent. She continues to work with the Solent LEP to ensure that the Gosport constituency is at the forefront of regeneration plans and consistently seeks updates on their progress and future plans.

Caroline has also been working alongside Berkeley Homes and the Royal Clarence Marina Residents Association to encourage businesses to open in Royal Clarence Yard. New businesses including The Victualler, the Wendy House, The Flour Mill Emporium and Arty's have recently opened at the location. You can find the latest commercial brochure here.


Caroline has worked tirelessly to fulfil her election pledge to secure the best future for the Daedalus site. Having been granted 'Enterprise Zone' status, this site is now well on its way to meeting its full potential and providing the community with jobs and an economic boost. 

The site has made immense progress since October 2010, when Caroline first chaired a mini summit with all the key stakeholders and formed the Daedalus Strategy Group, which she continued to chair until October 2015. The group was instrumental in Daedalus's successful bid to become an Enterprise Zone and successive funding bids which have seen over £50 million invested in the site by various bodies. She continues to work closely with the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership, Homes & Communities Agency and other stakeholders and has welcomed a number of ministers to the site, including the then Secretary of State, Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP, local growth Minister, Kris Hopkins MP and Minister for the Portsmouth area, Matt Hancock MP.

In September 2014, the new CEMAST (Centre of Excellence in Engineering, Manufacturing and Advanced Skills Training) opened on the Daedalus site, training over 900 learners, apprentices and employees in specialised engineering and manufacturing solutions. The Maritime Coastguard Agency's new national training facility was also opened in April 2015.

The Innovation Centre was opened in March 2015 supporting new businesses from the engineering, aerospace, aviation and marine industries, by providing office space, workshop facilities and financial advice onsite. Full to capacity within its first year, in February 2017, a £6.6m extension to the Innovation Centre was announced. The centre will double in size, creating 33 new office units, five new workshops and new parking spaces as well as 300 new jobs. Work is expected to be completed by 2018.

The waterfront site at Daedalus was selected to be part of the Government's Direct Commissioning house-building pilot. This scheme opens up land that already has outline planning permission to a wider range of small and medium builders. In this case it will deliver 200 homes that big developers have been unwilling to take on due to the upfront infrastructure investment required and complications of the listed buildings on the site. Caroline shared constituent concerns about pressures on local infrastructure so she meet with the Minister for Housing to discuss the plans. Gosport Borough Council bosses joined her to seek reassurance that the investment will deliver infrastructure to support wider commercial development and job creation at the Daedalus waterfront site.

The Solent Enterprise Zone created and/or safeguarded over 1200 jobs by the end of 2015 and project this number to be up to 3,500 over the lifetime of the development. You can read about the project in more detail here.

Caroline shares constituents concerns about the IFA2 interconnector being located at Daedalus and you can read more about this in the IFA2 section on this page.


As Caroline is committed to tackling the problem of congestion on the A32 and other access roads, she holds regular meetings with local stakeholders and government Ministers in order to discuss potential solutions. She has welcomed the then Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin MP, as well as then Transport Minister, Norman Baker MP, to the area. Her interventions have helped to secure a combined investment of over £50m since 2010 for highway improvement projects for the Gosport peninsula, including Newgate Lane North & South, St Margaret's roundabout, Peel Common roundabout and the Bus Rapid Transit scheme.

Caroline's persistent lobbying over her years as MP helped to secure the £25.7m of Government funding to complete the Stubbington Bypass, which was confirmed on 2 February 2017. This new access route to the peninsula is considered essential for reducing journey times and congestion onto and off the Gosport peninsula and removing transport barriers to growth and investment, including at the Solent Enterprise Zone at Daedalus. You can read more about the project, here.

In 2015 Caroline met with the then Chancellor, George Osborne, to push for funding for the Stubbington Bypass and helped to secure the funding necessary to carry out the preliminary work. Since then, Caroline has worked closely alongside Hampshire County Council and the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership to encourage these stakeholders to maintain the Bypass at the top of their agenda. In 2016 she met with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond MP; the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling MP; the Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government, Sajid Javid MP; and the Local Growth Minister, Andrew Percy MP to call for the remaining funding needed to complete the Stubbington Bypass.

She has also worked hard to improve public transport services in the area, promoting the BRT scheme and working with local Councillors and other stakeholders to find solutions to the challenges posed by changes to local bus services. In October 2014, she submitted a deputation to Hampshire County Council in support of preserving local bus routes. You can find the transport portfolio holder's response here.

Caroline has called for faster train links between London and Portsmouth, holding a debate in Parliament to raise her concerns about transport infrastructure in the south coast. You can find this here.


Having openly stated that over the years Gosport has seen too many valuable local employers and services leave the peninsular – such as the much loved Haslar Hospital, Caroline has pledged to fight to protect those that remain.

In the early days of her time as an MP she successfully campaigned against the Defence Training Review which would have seen the Royal Navy School of Engineering at HMS Sultan moved to South Wales. In a recent Defence Estate Review, it was announced that HMS Sultan and Fort Blockhouse would be disposed of in the next 10 years. Caroline is urging the Government to reconsider its decision and has set up a Taskforce with a view to plot the best possible outcome for the site. You can read Caroline's full statement about this here.

Caroline also worked hard to retain coastguard facilities and jobs at the Daedalus site after the closure of the Lee-on-the-Solent MCA and has campaigned to secure jobs at the new Maritime Operations Centre in Titchfield.

Caroline joined the campaign to save the Iona Club in Bridgemary after members received the upsetting news that it was due to close owing to its poor state of repair. Caroline keenly supported dialogue between the club's committee and the Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth, who owns the building, and was delighted the two parties went on to reach a mutual agreement. Soon afterwards, it was announced that the Diocese would work with the Iona Club on proposals to allow it to reopen and since late 2015 Iona Family Club is once again a fully functioning community hub.

Caroline has frequently met with the owners of the Haslar Hospital estate, Our Enterprise, and has done all she can to secure a positive future and local jobs on this much loved site, which was sold off by the previous Labour Government. She hopes that the widely stated plans for the site will come to fruition.

Back in 2011 Caroline campaigned against the closure of Gosport's Childrens centres which are invaluable to local families and need to be protected. Caroline continues to make the case for preserving these vital local services, she has written to Hampshire County Council with her views and met with Cllr Mans who is responsible for Children's Services. You can see her letter here.


Caroline is passionate about protecting local health resources, and fought successfully to secure the reopening of Blake Maternity Unit at the Gosport War Memorial Hospital in early 2011. She has since supported the Children's Heart Unit at Southampton Hospital, and met the local GPs' Commissioning Group, visited the War Memorial Hospital and campaigned against the transfer of vascular surgery facilities from the QA to Southampton.

Since Gosport was chosen by the Department of Health to be part of their Vanguard project to improve community care in March 2015, Caroline has frequently met with the project leaders, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust and local GPs to be updated on the progress of the project.

One example of the Vanguard pilot is the Same Day Access Service on offer at Gosport War Memorial Hospital where a Multi-speciality Community Provider hub has been established. The Hub integrates different healthcare specialists into one centralised hub with the aim of cutting GP waiting times, reducing hospital admissions and move people out of hospitals more quickly. Caroline visited the hub in February 2016 and was pleased to see the difference it is already making for Gosport constituents. In October 2016, she took local GPs who lead on the MCP hub to Westminster to meet with the Public Health Minister. Find more information about Better Local Care here.

She regularly meets with staff and management at the QA Hospital to raise constituents concerns and keep updated with developments at the site. Caroline is part of a group of local MPs and healthcare professionals working to find solutions to the existing problems at QA. She has also met with partners at Stubbington Surgery to help find a solution to the cramped conditions at the practice.

Caroline is keen to bring greater fairness to the IVF guidelines implemented by the local Clinical Commissioning Group which means that couples in the Gosport and Fareham area cannot access the levels of IVF treatment they would be entitled to in other parts of the UK.

On 29 April 2016, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) published its inspection report for Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust. The report, which is available here, highlighted specific concerns. On 14 April healthcare regulator NHS Improvement placed a condition on the Trust's lease, asking it to make urgent patient safety improvements to address the issues found by the CQC. The Chairman and the Chief Executive of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust have subsequently stood down. As the situation has unfolded, Caroline has attended and will continue to attend regular meetings as well as receive updates both from Southern Health and the Care Quality. Caroline knows that a number of local residents rely on the services provided by Southern Health and she is keen to hold them to account for their failures and make sure that past mistakes cannot be repeated.


As MP for a constituency with a deep rooted military history, Caroline is committed to protecting the area's defence industry. She has frequently raised questions about local military issues in Parliament and has welcomed a number of Defence Ministers to the area, to discuss issues such as the future of the Oil Fuel Depot and the potential use of redundant military estate across the peninsular. Caroline continues to host meetings between Gosport Borough Council bosses and Defence Ministers to further GBC's efforts to secure land for development at Royal Clarence Yard.

Caroline led a successful campaign for the restoration of the entitlement to Home to Duty Travel Allowance for service personnel travelling to work on the Gosport Ferry, promoting a more sustainable journey to work, and reducing congestion on key roads on and off the peninsula.

In a recent Defence Estate Review, it was announced that HMS Sultan and Fort Blockhouse would be disposed of in the next 10 years. Caroline is urging the Government to reconsider its decision and has set up a Taskforce with a view to put a plan in place for the best possible outcome for the site. You can read Caroline's full statement about this here.


Ensuring everyone in Gosport, Stubbington, Lee-on-the-Solent and Hill Head has access to the best education and training is essential to the future of the area.

Since her election, Caroline has visited each of the 41 schools in her constituency, meeting with hundreds of teachers and pupils to discuss their achievements and the challenges faced by schools in the area. She has also welcomed many local schools to Parliament, taking part in lively Q&A sessions with pupils of all ages. Caroline played an important role in the delivery of £13 million additional funding for local schools as well as new sports facilities at Bay House and Bridgemary Schools.

Gosport houses a variety of training opportunities for young people. Caroline helped to secure funding for the new CEMAST Centre at Daedalus which is giving over 900 learners, apprentices and employees the skills they need to succeed in the advanced marine and aviation industries. She has promoted apprenticeship schemes throughout the area and even completed her own mini-apprenticeship at a coffee shop on Gosport High Street.

In the belief that education and re-training opportunities should be available to people whatever their age, Caroline worked hard to save adult education outreach resources when the Rowner RSR closed and was delighted to help secure the new improved service at the Nimrod Centre. Their 'Out There' project has now been hailed as a European example of excellence and a blueprint for other adult education schemes.


Caroline believes that voluntary organisations are the backbone of Gosport's community. She's visited dozens of charities, community groups & organisations since her election including the Parkinson's group, the homelessness charity Two Saints and the Sea Cadets. She has been interviewed for the Stubbington Talking Newspaper, worked a shift at the Barnardo's charity shop in Lee-on-the-Solent and helped launch both the Gosport's Older Persons Forum and the Gosport Men's Shed. She took part in the launch of the new Gosport Area Information Network and has regular updates with the CAB. In May 2014, Caroline abseiled down the Spinnaker Tower to raise funds for the Gosport & Fareham branch of the MS Society.

Caroline supports the work of many organisations in the constituency such as, Motiv8, Marvels and Meltdowns and Gosport Youth Council and regularly visits, offers advice and promotes events to help them raise the funds they need.

Caroline has hosted receptions in Westminster to thank local volunteers and charity workers for their hard work.


Caroline is proud of Gosport's fantastic sports heritage. Now she hopes future champions like BMX champion Ayesha McLelland will follow in the footsteps of Gosport's world-class yachtsman Alex Thomson, yachtswoman Dee Caffari and Olympian Roger Black. As a fellow of Sport England, she promoted sport nationally and lobbied to protect the School Sports Partnership. Caroline worked closely with the local community and staff and parents at Bridgemary College to secure funding for its cutting edge 3G football pitch and helped fight a tough campaign for Bay House School's excellent new sports hall.

Caroline has been along to support local sports teams such as Fareham & Gosport Football and Rugby clubs and the Solent Devils ice hockey team, has been leapt over by the Tigers Motorcycle Display Team, and has seen the Goshawks gymnasts in action. Caroline campaigned hard to change the original route to ensure that the Olympic torch came through Gosport in 2012 and was proud to hold the Olympic Flame as it travelled across Portsmouth Harbour on the Gosport Ferry!


Caroline has hosted many events for senior school pupils surrounding business, one which welcomed Karren Brady for a business and entrepreneurship workshop at Bay House School and more recently another event at Bridgemary School which welcomed Jacqueline Gold CBE and a cohort of successful local businesswomen from the local area to help host an Enterprising Women event.

Caroline is also a keen supporter of Gosport Youth Council, who she has invited to the House of Commons. She regularly meets with a representative from GYC to keep in touch with her younger constituent's views. She also strongly supports Loud and Proud which is a voluntary group for young people who help others within the constituency with a variety of activities.

Caroline runs an annual Christmas Card design competition, which all primary schools in her constituency can take part in. The winning design is featured on the front of Caroline's Christmas Card, with the runners up featured on the back. There is always a huge amount of fantastic designs entered, the imagination and creativity shows the artistic skills of Gosport students.


National Grid plan a major new energy infrastructure project linking the UK's electricity network to France, with proposals for the UK connection point being located on the Stubbington side of the Daedalus site. The project is called IFA2 (Interconnexion France-Angleterre 2).

Caroline shares constituents concerns about the interconnector being located at Daedalus and first met with National Grid in November 2015. Since then, in a quest for answers to local residents' queries, she has exchanged a series of letters with the Project Director and organised a meeting between National Grid and Local Residents' Associations. A Q&A document published in response to the questions raised is here

National Grid has submitted a planning application to Fareham Borough Council, who will make the ultimate decision on whether or not to grant planning permission.  Caroline has written to the Leader of Fareham Borough Council, asking questions regarding the IFA2 proposal that have been posed to her by constituents. You can find his response here. She will continue to work hard to ensure local voices are heard on this but also encourages constituents to submit responses to Fareham Borough Council, the planning authority.

Caroline has raised her concerns with the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change - you can find her response here

On 22 April, Caroline organised a visit to the National Grid facility, BritNed, on the Isle of Grain, Kent. Local councillors and Residents Association Chairmen from across the Constituency were invited and 4 local Councillors attended.  BritNed is not identical to the project planned for Daedalus: it was built 7 years ago and technology has moved on. However, the visit provided the opportunity to see a facility first-hand and experience the size of the buildings and the sound and electro-magnetic waves it produces.

The stage 2 consultation period has now concluded and a full feedback report is available online, here.

The Residents' Associations of Peel Common, Lee on the Solent and Hill Head have applied to ‘Call-in’ the planning application by National Grid plc for IFA2. If approved, the decision will be taken out of the hands of Fareham Borough Council and made by an independent planning inspector or judge.

On 7 June 2016 Caroline wrote to Mark Wyatt, the Fareham Borough Council planning officer responsible for the IFA2 project, formally stating her opposition to the plans. You can view a copy of her letter here.

National Grid have also released a new Stakeholder Briefing which can be found, here.

On Monday 23 January, Fareham Borough Council’s planning committee met to make a decision on this application. On this occasion residents from both Fareham and Gosport were able to make deputations at the meeting: a total of 19 deputations were made, including one by myself. The majority of speakers were against the scheme and fantastic deputations were made by local residents associations and councillors, including Cllr Stephen Philpott of Peel Common.

After a 4 hour meeting and much discussion, Fareham Borough Council voted 7-2 in favour of National Grid’s application to build an electricity interconnector at Daedalus airfield.

I remain concerned about the potential implications of the interconnector for aircraft operations and businesses on the Enterprise Zone and still believe that Daedalus is not the right site.

 

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