03 JUL 2015

CAROLINE JOINS TESCO NEIGHBOURHOOD FOOD COLLECTION

Local MP Caroline Dinenage has visited Tesco Superstore in Gosport to participate in the Tesco Neighbourhood Food Collection.

This year is Tesco's sixth Neighbourhood Food Collection, in conjunction with the Trussell Trust and FareShare. Tesco now has 500 food collection points in stores across the country, allowing people to donate food all year round.

Since Tesco's first Neighbourhood Food Collection in December 2012, shoppers have donated 21.5 million meals to help FareShare and the Trussell Trust support those people in the community who need our support.

Commenting, Caroline said:

"This is a fantastic event to raise awareness of food collections which take place all year round to help those in need.

Food banks do an incredible job of helping people in our area who find themselves in challenging times and I was overwhelmed by the amount of food donated by our local community."

For more information please visit www.tesco.com/foodcollection.


26 JUN 2015

CAROLINE APPLAUDS SUPPORT FOR NEW BUSINESSES

Local MP Caroline Dinenage has welcomed new figures showing that the Conservatives' Start-Up Loans and New Enterprise Allowance schemes are helping people in Gosport to set up their own business.

Start-Up Loans have helped 20 people in Gosport to set up a business in Gosport with £99,581 worth of loans since the scheme launched in 2012. Meanwhile, the New Enterprise Allowance has also helped another 40 people to launch their business.

Across Britain 30,000 people have now benefitted from the Start-Up Loans scheme – with £155 million lent to help new businesses get going. This is progress towards the Conservatives' commitment to increase the number of loans to 75,000.

Commenting, Caroline said:

"As a small business owner myself, I understand just how important it is to have an injection of cash when you are getting started which is why I am so pleased that new businesses in Gosport, Stubbington, Lee-on-the-Solent and Hill Head are able to capitalise on these schemes.

Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, bringing jobs and economic security to communities across the UK. I am proud that the Government is working hard to support them and help them to reach their full potential."

Caroline is passionate about promoting the interests of small businesses. Not only did she set a small manufacturing company up when she was 19, she also sat on the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee and was Small Business Ambassador for the South in the last Parliament.


25 JUN 2015

CAROLINE WELCOMES AFFORDABLE HOUSING FIGURES

Local MP Caroline Dinenage has welcomed figures showing that the Conservative's long-term economic plan is delivering new affordable homes for families in the Gosport area.

Since 2010 a total of 630 new affordable homes have been built in Gosport. Across the country over 260,000 new homes have been delivered, with nearly 60,000 homes built last year alone – a rise of 63 per cent on the previous 12 months, exceeding the targets originally set by the Government.

Caroline commented:

"Everyone who works hard should be able to own a home of their own. Our long-term economic plan has turned this around and got Britain building again, with house building now at its highest level since 2007. I am delighted that this has helped to deliver 630 new affordable homes in Gosport since 2010, giving local people the security and peace of mind that comes from owning their own home.

However, it is always important to remember that given Gosport's peninsula location new homes must always be partnered by investment in our roads. I am delighted that Hampshire County Council intend to apply for planning permission for the Stubbington Bypass and upgrade to Newgate Lane South next month. "

The Government is now going further, with work having already begun on building another 275,000 affordable homes across the country over the next five years. This will be the fastest level of house building for 20 years.


24 JUN 2015

CAROLINE COMMENDS LOCAL CITIZENS ADVICE SERVICE

Local MP Caroline Dinenage has thanked staff and volunteers at Gosport Citizens Advice for providing constituents with advice and support.

At an event in Parliament last week, Caroline met people from across the Citizens Advice service and heard about their experiences of volunteering with this invaluable organisation.

Gosport Citizens Advice provides free confidential and impartial advice to people across the Gosport area both face-to-face and over the telephone. Common issues recorded to Citizens Advice include queries about benefits, debt problems, employment and housing.

Speaking after the event, Caroline commented:

"Here in the Gosport area we have an incredible team of volunteers at Citizens Advice who support local people through difficult times. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for all of their hard work and dedication to our community.

It is absolutely vital that people across our area have access to this type of help and I am committed to working with Citizens Advice to ensure that is possible."

To contact Gosport Citizens Advice, call: 0844 477 2232 or for more information and to access advice online, visit: www.citizensadvice.org.uk.


23 JUN 2015

CAROLINE COMMENDS HELP TO BUY SCHEME

Local MP Caroline Dinenage has welcomed figures showing that the Conservatives' Help to Buy scheme has enabled 166 families to get on to the housing ladder in Gosport.

The Help to Buy scheme gives people access to an affordable mortgage with a small deposit and has already assisted 100,000 families to buy their own home – an average of 131 new homeowners every day since the scheme began. Over 80% of those who have been helped are first time buyers and 94% of sales were outside London.

Caroline said:

"When the Conservative Party came into office in 2010 there were too many hardworking people unable to buy their own home because they couldn't afford the huge deposit required to get on the housing ladder.

To tackle this problem we launched Help to Buy so people could get an affordable mortgage with only a 5 per cent deposit. This is fantastic for people in the Gosport area where 166 families have been able to get a house of their own, bringing them security and peace of mind."

Help to Buy is being extended to allow thousands more families to get on the housing ladder. This is in addition to other measures to help first-time buyers including building 200,000 new Starter Homes reserved exclusively for first-time buyers under 40 and the new Help to Buy ISA that will help people to save a deposit for their first home.

For more information about the scheme, visit: http://www.helptobuy.org.uk/.


22 JUN 2015

CAROLINE CELEBRATES FEMALE ENGINEERS AT QINETIQ POWERBOAT CHALLENGE

Local MP Caroline Dinenage met outstanding female engineers at the QinetiQ Powerboat Challenge which took place in Gosport on Friday.

The QinetiQ Powerboat Challenge is in its sixth year and had teams from 13 schools from across Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight participating. Each team designed and built its own miniature powerboat, which was put to the test in an obstacle course in QinetiQ's ocean basin facility at Haslar. The aim of the day is to get young people enthused by STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

At the event, Caroline met Becky Thomas, the event organiser in 2014 and winner of QinetiQ's Outstanding Graduate of the Year Award this year. Becky is a project engineer at QinetiQ and Caroline spoke to her about her experience in engineering.

Caroline commented:

"I was delighted to see the QinetiQ Powerboat Challenge get underway again this year and to talk to the young people involved. It was great to see Becky Thomas again and to hear about her latest achievement – she is a real inspiration for girls wanting to enter the field of engineering.

For too long, women have been underrepresented in this exciting industry and the take up of STEM subjects has been too low. I am proud that QinetiQ is leading the way in getting more youngsters engaged through their powerboat competition, it is just the kind of event that could help spark a lifelong passion for science and engineering."

Caroline has always been passionate about getting young people interested in STEM subjects and is a keen supporter of the many manufacturing and engineering apprenticeships that are on offer in the Gosport constituency.


19 JUN 2015

CAROLINE VISTS OUT THERE PROJECT

Local MP Caroline Dinenage today visited the Out There Project at the Nimrod Centre as part of Adult Learners' Week.

The 'Out There' Project is a community project delivered by St Vincent College giving adults in the local area an opportunity to gain new skills, try different hobbies and meet new people. The courses are mostly free and are delivered in various venues across the Gosport area. The aim of the project is to engage adult learners to improve social cohesion, inspire greater self-confidence and help people lead healthier, happier lives.

Adult Learners' Week is a national celebration of lifelong learning which takes place each year.

After the visit, Caroline said:

"I was delighted to meet some of the learners taking part in the courses that were running at the Out There Project today. Adult learning is something I'm passionate about; I've campaigned on the issue in Parliament, leading a debate in the House of Commons and securing an inquiry by the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee in the last Parliament.

This year Out There has reached over one thousand learners; I am extremely proud of everyone involved in the project which is now used as an example of excellence on the EU stage."

For more information, visit http://www.stvincent.ac.uk/adult-education/out-there-project.


18 JUN 2015

CAROLINE WELCOMES FALL IN UNEMPLOYMENT TO LOWEST POINT IN OVER SEVEN YEARS

Local MP Caroline Dinenage has welcomed figures from the Office of National Statistics which reveal that unemployment in Gosport has fallen to its lowest point since January 2008.

The figures for May 2015 show that the unemployment rate in the Gosport area is down to 735 jobseekers (a rate of 1.5%). The youth unemployment numbers have also dropped and now stand at 190 (2.4%), the lowest rate since November 2004.

In more good news, the ONS's official statistics show that real wages are growing at the fastest rate since 2007 with annual real wage growth now at 2.7%.

Commenting on the promising figures, Caroline said:

"Over the past five years the Conservative-led coalition government was committed to breaking down the longstanding barriers to employment and getting people back into work. The figures released today show that the people of Gosport really benefited from supportive policies, as well as targeted assistance from local employment organisations.

There is always more to be done and I am confident that under this Government progress will continue to be made on getting people into work."

The national average unemployment rate currently stands at 5.5%.


17 JUN 2015

CAROLINE CALLS FOR COASTAL COMMUNITY TEAM

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage is calling on local organisations to consider forming a 'Coastal Community Team' as part of a Government-led initiative to boost the economies of coastal towns.

Coastal Community Teams will be made up of groups of local organisations (including the Local Authority) who will work together to produce an economic plan for the area. The purpose of the Teams is to encourage greater collaboration between different organisations and the community as a whole, in order to ensure that projects and initiatives are delivered in a way that maximises local benefits.

Each Coastal Community Team will be given £10,000 of grant funding to help them establish themselves as a group and form their plan for the area.

Speaking in support of the initiative, Caroline says:

"I really hope that local organisations will seize this opportunity to help shape the future of our fantastic area and capitalise upon our coastal location to boost the local economy. This initiative could help solidify the Gosport constituency's standing as a great place for business and leisure."

The application process to set up a Coastal Community Team closes on 30th June. The application form and more information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coastal-community-teams-bidding-prospectus.


16 JUN 2015

CAROLINE CELEBRATES RETURN OF GOSPORT SUMMER PASSPORT SCHEME

Local MP Caroline Dinenage is encouraging young people to sign up to the Gosport Summer Passport Scheme and take advantage of the activities available.

Organised by the Gosport Community Safety Partnership, the event runs for two weeks during the summer holidays and provides a wide range of activities for young people of secondary school age. The activities available include sailing, quad biking and food tasting as well as new additions such as total wipeout, base jump and rock 'n' roller.

Expressing her support for the event, Caroline said:

"I'm delighted to hear that the Gosport Summer Passport Scheme is returning for its eighth year. It provides some really unique experiences for young people during the long school holidays and encourages them to get out of the house, try different hobbies and meet new people.

I hope that as many young people as possible sign up and make the most of the fabulous activities that are on offer."

Activities will run on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays between 28 July and 13 August with activities running from 12pm - 4pm at different locations around Gosport Borough. Pre-registration is free and those who do not pre-register will need to pay £1 on the first day of attendance.

For more information, visit http://www.safergosport.co.uk/?content=pages&id=passport-scheme.


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