20 OCT 2014


Local MP Caroline Dinenage today pushed the Government to commit to the continued presence of HMS Sultan in Gosport in the run up to the next Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR). One of Caroline's first major campaigns on being elected to Parliament was the successful blocking of attempts to move the engineering school to Wales, and she has consistently pressed the Government to commit to keeping the facility in Gosport.

Speaking in the Chamber Caroline said, "The Secretary of State will be aware of HMS Sultan in my Gosport constituency which is the Royal Navy's School of Marine Engineering, and also was the first Ministry of Defence (MoD) establishment to have received an outstanding OFSTED report. Can he confirm that sites like this which are not only incredibly valuable to the MoD but also to local communities will continue to be valued as part of the SDSR?"

Responding, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said, "Well I certainly appreciate the valuable and positive benefits that all defence education and training facilities do provide to the armed forces. I'm not aware of any plans to alter this establishment, and I know that my Hon. Friend met my Ministerial colleague last week to discuss it further."

As part of her ongoing commitment to retaining military jobs in Gosport Caroline recently met with Defence Minister Anna Soubry to discuss the future of MoD sites in Gosport.

Speaking outside the Chamber Caroline said, "We have a long and proud military tradition in our area, so I'm delighted that the Minister has confirmed that there are no plans to move this outstanding school away from Gosport. HMS Sultan provides training that is second to none to over 5,000 sailors every year; I will keep pushing the Government to make sure that as we approach the next SDSR there are no plans to move this thriving training facility."

17 OCT 2014


Local MP Caroline Dinenage is urging older people in Gosport to take advantage of activities scheduled throughout the Borough to mark Older Persons Month.

During the month of October, Gosport Borough Council is leading the Older Persons Month initiative to encourage older people to get involved in community events and activities. It is running a number of events across the area including an Alzheimer café which brings together people affected by the disease and an information session about keeping warm over winter.

Speaking in support of Older Persons Month, Caroline says:

"Loneliness affects many older people in our area and is a huge cause for concern. That is why I am so pleased that Gosport Borough Council is working to tackle this problem and promote social engagement amongst the older generation.

I am confident that these events will help people to feel that they are part of a strong and caring local community."

Events will run until the end of the month. For more information, please click here or contact Gosport Borough Council on 023 9258 4242.

16 OCT 2014


Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage today raised the issue of the Stokesmead site in the House of Commons; calling for a debate on companies hoarding land that they won't sell off but can't get permission to develop. Stokesmead field in Gosport is a beautiful but controversial site that despite a lack of development remains closed to the local community.

Speaking in the Chamber Caroline said, "For 30 years a company called Abbey Homes have been sitting on the Stokesmead site in my Gosport constituency; unable to develop it and yet unwilling to sell to the local borough council, or indeed to local residents who would like to see it used as a village green. Could we have a debate on this type of land-banking, which does nothing to benefit out local communities?"

Responding, Leader of the House William Hague said, "Well such issues do create strong feelings in local communities and my Honourable Friend is always very strong in speaking up for her local community, and has done so again today. As on other issues that we have talked about in this statement it is open to her to promote such a debate and to seek an adjournment debate or a backbench business debate, and I encourage her to do so."

Speaking outside the Chamber Caroline said, "This could be a lovely area for local people; instead it sits undeveloped and surrounded by very high fencing. In the coming weeks I'll be calling an adjournment debate in the House of Commons both about this site and about the wider issue of companies who sit on undeveloped land and shut out local communities."

15 OCT 2014


Local MP Caroline Dinenage today welcomed volunteers from Gosport Citizens Advice Bureau to Westminster for a tour of Parliament and a discussion about the big issues faced by CAB clients in the area.

Following a tour which took in Westminster Hall, Central Lobby and the House of Lords, the CAB joined Caroline in her office to talk through some of their concerns. These included the long waiting time for Personal Independence Payment decisions, which Caroline recently raised in Parliament.

Speaking after the meeting, Caroline said:

"The team at Gosport CAB do a fantastic job of advising people on how they can overcome the problems that they encounter in their everyday lives. For that reason, I was thrilled to invite them to Parliament and to hear directly from volunteers about the difficulties faced by many local residents.

Such discussions are invaluable to me in my work as MP and I intend to raise some of the issues in forthcoming meetings and Parliamentary debates."

Caroline is a keen advocate of volunteering and hosts an annual reception in Westminster to personally thank local volunteers for their hard work and dedication.

15 OCT 2014


Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage yesterday slammed Labour party plans to deny English people the same rights as those enjoyed by Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish voters. While the Conservative party has pledged to deliver English Votes for English Laws; and will force a vote on this by the end of November; in the House of Commons yesterday representing Labour Sadiq Khan attempted to claim there was no popular demand for English-only votes.

The local MP hotly contested this, saying that "I represent a constituency in the South of England, and while he keeps talking about this as...something coming down from Westminster, and there being no requirement for it...I get letters about this every day, every week; English people want English votes."

Speaking outside the House of Commons chamber Caroline said, "English people just want basic fairness in the political system. All they want is a fair deal for England in which their voices carry the same weight as those of people in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. It is unbelievable that the Labour party are trying to block this; yet this is sadly predictably from a party that just doesn't trust people in England. They don't trust voters with equal constituency sizes, they won't allow people a say on Europe, and now they won't even give voters in England the same rights as those of people in every other part of the UK. They're out of touch with English people, and rather than trusting us they want to rig the system and sneak into Government via the back door."

14 OCT 2014


Local MP Caroline Dinenage today escorted a group of Year 5 pupils from Peel Common Junior School to Downing Street.

Fifty more pupils from the school met up with Caroline and were given a tour of Parliament.

At school, the children had been learning about international development through the popular book, 'Running Shoes' by Frederick Lipp. They wrote to the Prime Minister asking for further action to be taken to extend the impact of the Millennium Development Goals. Caroline invited them to come to Downing Street to deliver their letters in person.

Speaking after the school's visit, Caroline said:

"I always enjoy welcoming local school children to Parliament and was thrilled to help Peel Common Junior School deliver their petition to 10 Downing Street. We were particularly lucky to bump into the Chancellor, George Osborne, while we were there. He stopped for a chat and answered some of the children's questions - one asked about her grandparent's pensions and he told her the good news that pensions will be going up next year!

I hope that today's visit will have inspired some budding politicians of the future!"

Caroline actively promotes engagement between local schools and Parliament. In the past year alone, she has welcomed 7 schools to Parliament and since becoming elected, has visited every school in her constituency.

13 OCT 2014


Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage today called on the Government to send out the clearest possible message to victims of sexual violence that they will be given the support they deserve if they go to the police.

Speaking in the chamber, Caroline said, "Horrifyingly 1 in 5 women will experience sexual violence over the course of their lives; yet only fifteen percent of the victims of the most serious sexual offences report those crimes to the police.

Does the Minister agree with me that if more victims are to come forward the police up and down the country need to send out a robust message that these crimes will be taken very seriously?"

Responding, the Minister said, "I completely agree with the comments of my honourable friend; victims must have confidence when they come forward, and the confidence in the force and in the police officers that are dealing with their complaint."

Commenting outside the chamber, Caroline said,

"Almost half a million women are sexual assaulted each year in England and Wales; with sexual violence affecting the lives of millions of women and men across the country. Unfortunately far too few people feel able to go to the police. We need to send out the message loud and clear that the police are there to support you, and if you wish to take legal action they will do everything in their power to help you get justice.

If you feel that you have been a victim of sexual violence the best thing to do first is to go along to your nearest Sexual Assault Referral Centre; there they can store results until you make up your mind whether you wish to report to the police or not."

10 OCT 2014


Local MP Caroline Dinenage today donned her red dress for visits to Crofton Hammond Infant and Junior Schools to join in their celebrations of Red White and Blue Day.

Red, White and Blue Day is a national initiative which encourages schools to show their support for Service families across the country. Given the Gosport constituency's strong links to the Armed Forces, it is a particularly pertinent campaign. At Crofton Hammond Junior School, 25% of pupils have a parent in the Armed Forces, whilst at the Infant School this figure rises to 40% showing that the area's connection to the military stretches beyond bases and barracks.

Today, pupils at both schools will be involved in a broad range of activities, many of which will be led by Service parents. One father from the Royal Marines will be running fitness training sessions whilst another from the RAF will teach pupils how to build and fire rockets made from old cola bottles. The children will also learn about submarines during a session with staff from HMS Alliance and will be able to get up close to field guns from HMS Collingwood.

Speaking after her visit, Caroline said:

"I am extremely proud of our area's strong links to the Armed Forces which is why I was so pleased to see pupils at Crofton Hammond Infant and Junior Schools learning more about what our servicemen and women do for our country whilst raising money for Forces Charities.

During my visit I was delighted to meet with the head teachers, staff, parents and pupils who are so enthusiastic about marking this special day. The Infant School's very own handmade 'Field of Poppies' was a particular highlight and will certainly rival that at the Tower of London!"

Caroline is a keen supporter of the Armed Forces; she participated in the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme and stood as Co-Chair for the Royal Navy branch of the Parliamentary Group for the Armed Forces for four years.

Red, White and Blue Day is run jointly by ABF The Soldiers' Charity, The RAF Benevolent Fund and The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.

06 OCT 2014


Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage has visited the Centrepeace Hub in her constituency to learn more about how the organisation is helping those in need of emotional support and practical advice.

The Centrepeace Hub is run by volunteers from the local church community who offer a listening ear to those who feel that they cannot talk to family and friends. The volunteers can also signpost people to various help agencies and offer short courses to those wishing to build up their confidence.

During her visit, Caroline met with volunteers and spoke to clients about how Centrepeace's services are helping them through difficult times.

She commented:

"Centrepeace offers invaluable help to those who feel they have nowhere else to turn and having spoken to people who have benefited from the kind, friendly and helpful approach of volunteers, I am extremely proud that such an organisation is operating in our area."

Caroline is a keen advocate of volunteering and hosts an annual reception in Westminster to personally thank local volunteers for their hard work and dedication.

For more information about Centrepeace and to get involved, please call 07756 945660.

01 OCT 2014


In a barnstorming speech today David Cameron set out his plans to finish the work of the current Government: building a Britain to be proud of by cutting taxes, reducing the deficit, and improving public services. Under Conservative plans 30 million people will see their taxes cut; with the tax free Personal Allowance increased to £12,500, and the Higher Rate Threshold at which people start paying 40 per cent tax increased to £50,000. This would take all of those working 30 hours a week or less on minimum wage out of income tax altogether.

I was also delighted by the news that 3 million apprenticeships will be created to help give our young people the skills they need to succeed, and happy that unlike the Leader of the Opposition the Prime Minister managed to remember the deficit; pledging to eliminate it by 2018 - through spending cuts, not tax rises.

There were other excellent measures. The commitment to build 100,000 new Starter Homes is great news for those looking to get their first foot on the property ladder; while the ring-fencing of NHS spending is a reminder that it is the Conservatives who are the true party of the NHS.

The Prime Minister also set out his plans for renegotiation with Europe; including a firm line on the free movement of people. Once this has happened Conservatives in Government – and only Conservatives – will deliver that in/out referendum. In addition the Prime Minister said that a Conservative Government would never let European Courts dictate to our Parliament on issues like prisoners voting – and committed to introducing a British Bill of Rights and scrapping Labour's Human Rights Act.

The contrast with Ed Miliband's performance last week – so forgettable that he forgot it himself – was stark. There is now a clear choice for 2015: David Cameron or Ed Miliband. A Conservative Government that will cut taxes, reward hard work, and protect our public services, or a weak Labour leader whose only answers are more taxes, more borrowing, and more debt. As the Prime Minister said, if you vote UKIP – that's really a vote for Labour. On 7th May you could go to bed with Nigel Farage, and wake up with Ed Miliband.

We are now creating more jobs here in Britain than in the whole of Europe put together: 1.8 million jobs in the last 4 years. We have the fastest growing economy in the Western World. But there is still much more to do. We need to finish the job and deliver a Conservative majority in 2015 to build a Britain we can all be proud of.

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