24 JUN 2016

BRITAIN VOTES TO LEAVE THE EUROPEAN UNION

The UK has voted to leave the European Union by 51.9% to 48.1%. Leave won the majority of votes in England and Wales, while every council in Scotland saw Remain majorities.

Across the Gosport Constituency Leave won by 63.9% to 36.1% with a turnout of 73.5% in Gosport and Leave won by 55% to 45% with a turnout of 79.6% in Fareham.

In a statement this morning the Prime Minister David Cameron stated:

"The country has just taken part in a giant democratic exercise, perhaps the biggest in our history. Over 33 million people from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar, have all had their say. The British people have voted to leave the European Union and there will must be respected."

David Cameron emphasised the importance of delivering stability following this vote and therefore confirmed that he will continue in his post as Prime Minister for the next three months. He then intends to step down with the aim of having a new Prime Minister in place by the start of the Conservative Party conference in October.

Commenting on the news, Caroline said:

"I am proud that this Government fulfilled their promise to deliver the EU referendum. It is right that this critically important decision was made by the British people.

"The result is clear, the people have spoken and we now need to unite and move forward to make this work. There is no doubt the impact will be enormous - there will be big opportunities and also big risks. My priority will always be to see both the Gosport constituency and the UK continue to thrive and prosper.

"I am pleased that the Prime Minister put the stability and security of the British economy at the heart of his statement. Our Government, with him at the helm, has made great progress in rebuilding our economy over the past six years. I will be extremely sad to see him go but I completely understand his decision."

You can read the Prime Minister's statement in full here. The full results of the EU Referendum are available here.


21 JUN 2016

MPs MEET BAE APPRENTICES

Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond was joined by Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage on a visit to Portsmouth Naval Base where the pair met with apprentices from BAE Systems.

The politicians went to see the new skills training centre which trains 50 apprentices each year and spoke with the young people on four-year courses learning skills such as electrical engineering and fabrication.

Afterwards they visited the ship hall, which is being used to refurbish Royal Navy mine hunter vessels.

Flick and Caroline were also briefed by the Royal Navy about the latest developments in the preparations for the arrival of the two new aircraft carriers to Portsmouth.

"It was great to see so much high quality work being undertaken in the naval base, especially with regards to the minehunters that will undergo work there", said Flick.

"Meeting the apprentices was also a pleasure. These are very able young people who got a place with BAE in competition with 49 others who applied for each position. It goes to show the depth of talent we have and it will help Portsmouth and Gosport prosper in the future."

Caroline said: "Having such a high technology company as BAE in our area which is training the next generation of technicians and engineers is a real boost for the local economy.

"I know that many people in Portsmouth and Gosport are also looking forward to the arrival of the aircraft carriers in the coming years and this will be a source of great pride for both sides of the harbour."


20 JUN 2016

EUROPEAN SOCIAL FUND BRINGS £500k TO THE SOLENT AREA

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage has welcomed a new contract between Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation and the Department for Work and Pensions, which will bring £500,000 of European investment to the Solent region.

The European funds will be matched by Hampshire, Southampton and Portsmouth Councils and HIWCF fund holders to create a £1m programme. They will be used over the next two years to help those most in need along pathways to employment; not only young people but also the disabled, those with learning difficulties and many others who find it challenging to enter the workplace.

This programme will be implemented irrespective of the outcome of the EU Referendum on June 23.

In 2016, in addition to the ESF programme, HIWCF will also be supporting three themes: firstly 'Wellbeing and health' which is targeting the issues around obesity, isolation and mental health; secondly, 'Culture in the Community' which aims to connect local people with their local culture; thirdly, 'Small Grants for Small Items' which provides grants of around £500 to purchase essential items such as new chairs, IT equipment, volunteer training and sports equipment.

Commenting on the news, Caroline said:

"I am delighted that the EU has committed funding to the Solent Region to tackle unemployment among our most disadvantaged communities. People from our local area deserve the financial security that comes from a regular wage and it is important that those individuals struggling to find work are provided with the additional guidance and support they need, so they can reap the benefits of a rewarding job.

"This money can make a real difference locally, so I am pleased that the EU has recognised the Solent region in this way."

To find out more about the work of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation, and how to apply for grants: please visit their website, here


14 JUN 2016

MP WELCOMES HASELWORTH PRIMARY SCHOOL PUPILS TO WESTMINSTER

 

Local MP Caroline Dinenage was delighted to welcome pupils from Haselworth primary school to Westminster yesterday.

The pupils took a tour of the Houses of Parliament and then met Caroline in Westminster Hall where they posed questions to her about the work of an MP and the role of Parliament.

The children visiting Parliament were all Young Governors at their school who meet with their teacher, Mr Thomas-Bond fortnightly to discuss how to continue to improve their school. The pupils will be handing over their positions of power to a new cohort of Young Governors in September. They were keen to use their Q&A session with Caroline as an opportunity to ask for her advice on running for office, so they could pass back the tips back to their classmates.

Commenting on the visit, Caroline said:

"I was delighted to welcome Haselworth primary school pupils to Westminster for a tour of the Houses of Parliament. Many of them told me how much they enjoyed their visit and they had lots of questions for me after their tour. I was really impressed by the enthusiasm and engagement of these Young Governors. "


10 JUN 2016

CAROLINE VISITS HASELWORTH PRIMARY SCHOOL

Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, visited Haselworth Primary School today for a tour of the school and to meet the pupils.

Haselworth Primary School were mentioned in the Department for Education's White Paper released recently for Educational Excellence Everywhere. The number of pupils achieving the expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics has grown from 47% in 2012 to 76% in 2015 shows the incredible hard work that leaders, teachers and governors are putting into the school to enable pupils to truly fulfil their potential.

Their most recent OFSTED report in 2015 was rated 'good' compared to 'requires improvement' in 2013, demonstrating how well the school is progressing.

Caroline commented:

"It was great to visit Haselworth and see how well the School is doing. I had a fantastic chat with some of the students about the school and they were all very enthusiastic!

I am very proud of all of the schools in Gosport and it is great to see Haselworth's success in particular being acknowledged in both the White Paper and OFSTED ratings."

Emma Steele, Headteacher said:

"We are very proud of all our achievements and are continuing to strive towards outstanding. Our school and community have worked hard together to ensure every child is successful.

Caroline was able to hear how we are trying to access funding to improve our limited outdoor spaces, so as to provide every child with the opportunity for a healthy lifestyle."

Since her election, Caroline has visited all 41 schools in her constituency – many of those on a number of occasions. She takes a great interest in education issues and has helped to secure an additional £13 million in funding for schools since 2010.

Caroline is looking forward to welcoming Haselworth students to Parliament on Monday.


09 JUN 2016

CAROLINE URGES CONSTITUENTS TO 'RESPECT THE WATER'

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage has welcomed the launch of RNLI's Respect the Water campaign today to help keep people safer around our coasts.

British waters are dangerously unpredictable. Over 200 people accidentally die each year around our coast and RNLI (the Royal National Lifeboat Institution) want to change this. The Respect the Water campaign aims at drowning prevention. It highlights the risks associated with water and provides information to help people avoid them and stay safe.

Half of those who died in coastal waters never even intended to get wet but slipped, fell, or got into trouble in, on or by the water. RNLI highlights the importance of recognising water's dangers and never underestimating its power.

Caroline met with representatives from RNLI in Parliament to hear more about their campaign. Commenting on the launch, she said:

"Being an MP for a coastal constituency, I know full well how important it is that we promote water safety. This is a big issue locally and GAFIRS (Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service) do an amazing job at keeping us safe - they have already responded to 45 incidents since 1 January 2016.

"While we enjoy our fantastic coastal location this summer, it is right that we also respect the power of the water and take care to avoid potentially devastating situations."

GAFIRS, an independent Lifeboat & Inshore Rescue Service, provides emergency lifeboat services in the Solent and Portsmouth Harbour. On 17 July 2016, they are hosting an open day to give the local community the chance to see some of their life saving units in action. They will be collecting 2p coins on the day to try and make up a mile of coins and raise money to help continue its vital work. More details are available here.

Please click here to find out more about the Respect the Water campaign and take the virtual challenge to find out whether you would know what to do if you fell into the water.


09 JUN 2016

CAROLINE PRAISES FEMALE REPRESENTATION ON GOSPORT BOROUGH COUNCIL

Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, paid tribute to Gosport's female councillors in a debate on Women and the Vote in the House of Commons last night, praising the fact that nearly forty percent of Gosport councillors are female.

In her capacity as Minister for Women and Equalities, Caroline was responding on behalf of the Government to an Adjournment debate called by Alison McGovern MP for Wirral South. The debate marked 150 years since the philosopher and Member of Parliament, John Stuart Mill, moved the first mass petition to the House of Commons on behalf of women claiming their right to vote.

The debate focused on the political representation of women and Members from across the House joined together in celebrating how far women have come since 1866. Caroline welcomed increasing female participation in local Government and drew attention to the strong record in Gosport, stating:

"I am delighted that, in my local council of Gosport, nearly 40% of our councillors are female, and I pay tribute to every single one of them."

13 out of 34 councillors in Gosport are women, meaning the number of female councillors has nearly doubled since 2012 when only 7 held office. In the recent local elections on the fifth of May, 6 new female councillors were elected in Gosport, three of whom were Conservative.

Nationally, the 2015 General Election saw a thirty per cent increase in the number of female MPs. However, shockingly, the number of women to ever be elected as Members of Parliament is still lower than the number of male MPs holding office today. Caroline agreed that much more needs to be done.

She stated:

"The progress we have made on these issues has not simply been given to us. It has been fought for every single step of the way and there is still such a long way to go to achieve the genuine equality we all want to see."

"The petition back in 1866 called for women to be given the same political rights as men. Shocking though it seems now, that was a very radical thought back then. Every woman in this country owes a massive debt of gratitude to those early suffrage campaigners, who did so much to advance the cause not only of women's political rights, but other rights too. As the 310th woman to have been elected to Parliament, this subject resonates with me, as I am sure it does with all 190 of my female colleagues around the House."

"We need to keep up the fight, we need to talk about the issues that matter to us, we need to encourage the women around us to get politically engaged, and above all we must encourage them to go out and vote. That is the right that those early suffragettes fought for and we must all use it."

Footage of the debate is available here and you can read the full transcript on Hansard here.


01 JUN 2016

CAROLINE URGES ORGANISATIONS TO APPLY TO THE MORRISONS FOUNDATION

Local MP Caroline Dinenage urges local organisations to bid for money from the Morrisons Foundation.

The Morrisons Foundation was established in February 2015, and makes use of the money from the sale of single-use carrier bags by supporting various charities across the country. It has been set up to support charities that directly improve people's lives, and since launching, have supported over 400 charities across England, Scotland and Wales to give back to the communities they serve and make a positive difference.

The fund is designed to make a positive and lasting impact in local communities, and in 2015 awarded grants of over £2.4 million to charities across the country, including Epilepsy Action, Wellchild, Children in Poverty and the Civil Aid Voluntary Rescue Association. It is important to support our local charities and help them continue their vital work and by getting involved with the Morrisons Foundation they could receive donations that are so important to the local community. The Morrisons Foundation have supported charitable activity in a wide range of different fields so every charity is eligible.

Money is also raised through Morrisons colleagues doing work personally to support charities, with the Morrisons Foundation's match funding scheme adding to the large amounts of money raised. Such work has included runs, bike rides, hikes and triathlons all over the country, as well as Morrisons contributing a proportion of their income from charity scratch cards and in-store clothing banks.

Caroline commented:

"I urge local organisations to apply for this funding. It is so important to support the amazing work of our local charities.

This funding is a great opportunity for many local community groups to get the funding boost that they need."

You can find more information about the fund here: www.morrisonsfoundation.com.


26 MAY 2016

CAROLINE WELCOMES ‘LEGAL HIGHS’ ACT

Local MP Caroline Dinenage has welcomed the Psychoactive Substances Act which comes into effect today.

Unscrupulous dealers in psychoactive substances face up to 7 years in prison as the trade becomes illegal and Police will have new powers to shut down 'headshops' and UK-based online dealers, helping to protect potential users from harm and communities from anti-social behaviour. The blanket ban on the sale, supply, importation and exportation of the dangerous drugs will apply across the UK whenever they are intended for human consumption.

Caroline recently backed the "lethal highs" campaign, launched by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Youth Commission, calling for more information surrounding psychoactive substances, both in terms of advice and usage, to be given.

Minister for Preventing Abuse, Exploitation and Crime Karen Bradley said:

"Too many lives have been lost or ruined by the dangerous drugs formerly referred to as 'legal highs'. That is why we have taken action to stamp out this brazen trade.

The Psychoactive Substances Act sends a clear message – these drugs are not legal, they are not safe and we will not allow them to be sold in this country."

Caroline commented:

"Legal highs are lethal and across both Gosport and the UK, too many lives have been ruined or lost.

I am pleased that the government have taken steps to make Psychoactive Substances illegal and make our country a safer place."

For more information about the act please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/news/trade-in-so-called-legal-highs-now-illegal.


25 MAY 2016

CAROLINE WELCOMES PLANS TO MAKE 'SWITCHING' EASIER!

Local MP Caroline Dinenage has welcomed Government proposals in the Digital Economy Bill to make switching providers quicker and easier across a range of sectors.

The Government is taking the first step towards consistently quicker switching across all major services by setting out proposals which could allow consumers to switch provider in a week or less. The Government is asking consumers and industry for evidence of how these proposals could be implemented and new rules could be in place as soon as next year.

The call for evidence looks at how long it takes for people to switch providers across a number of markets, including energy, broadband, mobile phones, current accounts and mortgages, and asks what more could be done to speed the process up. The document also seeks views on a range of other proposals to help consumers, including requiring that customers should be able to cancel contracts online if they signed up for them online. Government will meet with industry bodies in the coming months to discuss how the proposals could be taken forward. Consumers will also be able to unlock their phone at the end of the contract for free after agreement has now been reached with major mobile providers. This means it will be easier to change providers, but keep an existing handset. Overall, handset owners spend an estimated £48 million a year unlocking their phones.

Under proposals to be brought forward in the Digital Economy Bill, the government is also taking steps to improve the experience for broadband and mobile phone customers:

customers will soon be able to check broadband and network coverage information for individual properties, finding out not only what speed they are getting but also what speed their house could get from other providers. Online property search portals will be able to display this data, making it easier to compare available broadband speeds when moving houselegislation in the forthcoming Digital Economy Bill will mean that consumers will only have to deal with their new provider in order to switch, ending the headache of having to contact the old provider to exit contractswhen things go wrong, consumers will also be automatically compensated by their telecommunications provider. This could include, for instance, when a telecoms package isn't brought online on the day it was promised, is offline for a couple of days, or if the repair-person doesn't turn up

Business Secretary Sajid Javid said:

"I want to give consumers more power over switching providers for the services they rely on to make sure they are getting the best deals. The government is committed to creating a system that works for consumers and makes markets more competitive.

At the moment the time it takes to switch depends on which service you are switching. I want to hear what consumers and businesses think of making switching quicker and more consistent across all markets."

Caroline commented:

"This is a positive step towards making it as easy as possible for consumers to spot the best deal for them, and switch providers quickly and easily if they want to, saving people time and money.

The proposals are great news for Gosport and the country as a whole, who are now more reliant on these services than ever before."

You can take part in the call for evidence at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/improving-the-consumer-landscape-and-quicker-switching-call-for-evidence.


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