26 JUL 2016

GOSPORT YOUTH COUNCIL VISITS PARLIAMENT

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage arranged a tour of Parliament for Gosport Youth Council last week.

Gosport Youth Council help to represent the views of Gosport's younger residents. It is an organisation run by young people for young people aged between 11 and 19 who live in the borough of Gosport. They tackle issues that affect youngsters and get involved in projects such as Gosport Summer Passport, the Royan Twinning and Youth Award. They recently held a careers conference and are organising the next Tour De Gosport.

Gosport Rotary funded the trip to Westminster so that all members of the Gosport Youth Council could join in the trip to and see for themselves how the political system works.

The Gosport Youth Council spent the morning sightseeing - visiting the Cenotaph, St James' Park, the Queen's Walk and more. In the afternoon the Youth Councillor's visited the Houses of Parliament and Downing Street.

Commenting on the visit, Caroline said:

"I wholeheartedly support Gosport Youth Council and their work. It is so important that the voices of young people in the Gosport area are heard by those who are elected and can implement change.

I was delighted to be able to organise a tour of Parliament for the Youth Council so they can learn more about democracy and how our politic system works. It was especially great to see an overwhelming number of young women interested in politics."

For more information about Gosport Youth Council and how you can get involved, please visit http://www.gosport.gov.uk/sections/community/youth-council/.


21 JUL 2016

CAROLINE WELCOMES BYPASS BID

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage has strongly welcomed the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership's (LEP) bid to central Government for funding to complete the Stubbington Bypass.

Last year, funding was secured to carry out the preliminary work on the project and take it through the planning permission process. The Solent LEP is now submitting its Regional Growth Fund (round 3) bid to Government. It has named the Stubbington Bypass as a top priority project on the grounds that the new peninsular access route is utterly essential for addressing Gosport's congestion problems.

For the project to stand the best possible chance of receiving Government funding, the Local Authority needs to put forward a local contribution of 25-30%. Over the past year, local stakeholders including Cllr Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council, have been working together to make this funding available.

A deal has now been secured whereby Hampshire County Council plan to contribute £8.5m to the project, which will be paid back through business rates from the Daedalus Enterprise Zone.

Commenting on the news, Caroline said:

"The welcome investment in the Stubbington Bypass is a clear demonstration of faith in the strong economic potential of the Gosport Constituency. A new peninsular access route is utterly essential for addressing the area's crippling congestion problems and would vastly improve both the lives of local residents and the prospects for local businesses. I am delighted that it has been named the top priority project by the Solent LEP. This sends a clear message to the Government about how seriously both the Council and other local stakeholders are about investing in the future prosperity of Gosport & Stubbington. I would like to pay tribute to the hard work of Cllr Sean Woodward, whose hard work and commitment to the bypass project has been critical to moving the project forward."

Caroline has long campaigned for the Stubbington Bypass. Last year, she raised our traffic problems with the Chancellor, helping to secure the funding necessary to carry out the preliminary work for the Stubbington Bypass.

Over the past few months, she has held frequent meetings with the Solent LEP to support them in making their bid for infrastructure funding to central Government. Last month she met with Cllr Humby, Hampshire's new transport boss, calling on him to make the necessary local funding available. She also galvanised the support of other Hampshire MPs, who wrote to Cllr Humby in favour of the project.


20 JUL 2016

CAROLINE LEARNS HOW TO STACK THE ODDS AGAINST CANCER

Local MP Caroline Dinenage attended a Cancer Research UK event in Westminster to learn more about how lifestyle changes can reduce people's risk of getting cancer.

Caroline met with campaigners and nurses from the charity's Cancer Awareness Roadshow, to find out more about their work on cancer prevention.

More than four in ten cancer cases in the UK could be prevented each year, with smoking and obesity being the biggest avoidable causes of the disease. But while the dangers of smoking are well known, many are unaware of the link between obesity and cancer. This is particularly concerning when 60% of people in the South East are currently overweight or obese.

Caroline said

"We've come such a long way in the fight against cancer, it's shocking to hear that so many cases in Gosport, and across the country, could be prevented. There are around 570 deaths from cancer per year in the Fareham and Gosport CCG area and the numbers make it clear we need to act now to help people to make positive lifestyle changes, such as becoming more active and maintaining a healthy weight.

While there are no guarantees against the disease, I want to do everything I can to help my constituents, and their families stack the odds in their favour and lead long and healthy lives."

The Westminster event coincided with the launch of Cancer Research UK's new 'Junk Free TV' campaign, which aims to help address children's obesity. It calls for the removal of junk food adverts on TV before the 9pm watershed, to help reduce the impact of this negative influence over children's food choices.

Alison Cox, Director of Cancer Prevention at Cancer Research UK, said:

"It's great to have Caroline's support with raising awareness of how people can reduce their risk of cancer. There are a lot of things working against us when it comes to making healthier choices. We're all bombarded by advertising of junk foods packed with extra calories and this leads kids to pester their parents to buy unhealthy food for them.

That's why we're calling on Government to introduce a number of measures to protect the health of the nation's children, including removing junk food advertising on TV before the 9pm watershed. Obese children are more likely to be obese as adults, so it's vital that young people are encouraged to eat healthily and keep active and that healthy choices are easy to make."

To support the Junk Free TV campaign, visit cruk.org/junkfreetv.


18 JUL 2016

CAROLINE WELCOMES FUNDING FOR FALKLAND VETERANS FOUNDATION

Local MP Caroline Dinenage has welcomed the news that the Gosport based Falkland Veterans Foundation will receive a £550,000 cash injection from the fines levied on banks for manipulating the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) financial benchmark.

The Falklands Veterans Foundation was the first UK based charity for Falklands Veterans and their immediate families and is committed to providing a network of support and direction for those in need. The Foundation, based in Stoke Road, works in partnership with other service charities and organisations which assist Falklands Veterans and their families.

This funding will help the Falkland Veterans Foundation to subsidise flights for veterans and the relatives of those killed in action so that they can travel to the Islands to pay their respects to those 'still on patrol'.

Following the news Caroline said

"I am delighted to hear that the Falkland Veterans Foundation have received LIBOR funds for this fantastic venture.

It's absolutely right that fines paid by bankers who helped create the financial crisis are being used support the armed forces community. Our brave service personnel sacrifice so much for our country and the FVF does amazing work to support those who fought in the Falklands & their families"

For more information about the Falkland Veterans Foundation please visit http://www.falklandsveterans.org.uk/.


13 JUL 2016

CAROLINE SUPPORTS INTERNET MATTERS

Local MP Caroline Dinenage showed her support for keeping children safe online.

On 'Stand Up to Bullying' day and ahead of a House of Comments debate on online abuse, Internet Matters held a Parliamentary drop-in to show how industry is tackling this important issue, hosted by Mims Davies MP.

Caroline met with Carolyn Bunting, the General Manager of Internet Matters, and spoke to her about their work. Keeping children safe online is an increasingly significant issue for families across the country; sexting, online pornography and cyberbullying have all made headlines recently and parents are often confused about what they need to do to help keep their children safe.

Internet Matters is a not-for-profit organisation that offers families simple, practical and up to date advice about online safety. The organisation was set up in 2014 by BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin to give parents straightforward e-safety messages. BBC & Google joined in April 2016 and together their aim is to ensure children can stay as safe as possible in their digital worlds.

Caroline said

"Internet Safety is vital in this day and age for children. I am pleased that so many organisations are working together to help combat online issues that children face.

I recently visited Haselworth Primary School to take part in their Google Internet Legends Assembly teaching them about internet safety and I was encouraged at how engaged they were."

Parents looking for more information on how to keep their kids safe should go to www.internetmatters.org.


12 JUL 2016

CAROLINE WELCOMES THERESA MAY AS NEXT PM

Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, has welcomed Theresa May being chosen as the next leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

It comes after Theresa May's only rival to succeed David Cameron as Conservative leader, Andrea Leadsom, pulled out of the contest earlier in the day.

Commenting on the news, Caroline said:

"I am delighted that Theresa May will be the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Her wealth of experience and competency in office means she is ready to take on this massive responsibility and I am confident she will hit the ground running from day one. I strongly believe that she is the person to unite the party and country through a challenging time and get Britain the best possible deal as she leads us out of the EU."

The current Prime Minister, David Cameron, is to tender his resignation to the queen on Wednesday and Theresa May will take over.

Theresa May said she is "honoured and humbled" to have been chosen as the new leader of the Conservative Party and UK prime minister. Speaking outside Parliament she pledged to build a "better Britain" and make Brexit a "success".


11 JUL 2016

CAROLINE CONDEMNS HATE CRIME

Following on from the outcome of the EU referendum, a number of constituents have contacted me concerned about a rise in xenophobic and race related hate crimes. Whilst I understand and equally respect the strength of feelings on both sides of the EU debate, I unequivocally condemn any such attack. Hate crimes must not be tolerated and I take allegations of this nature extremely seriously.

I therefore welcome the creation of the 'Hate Crime Fund' recently announced by the Prime Minister, along with a set of new guidelines to prosecutors from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in better tackling hate crime in our communities.

I would urge anyone who has been a victim of or a witness to racial, religious or other forms of hate crime to report this to the police immediately on 999 for emergency cases or 101 for non-emergency. Further information about identifying hate crime and what to do if you experience it can be found on Hampshire Constabulary's website here


11 JUL 2016

MPs SUPPORT SINGING FOR SYRIANS

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage joined the launch of Singing for Syrians 2016 and found out more about what they can do locally to encourage local people to get involved in any way they can.

The flagship Parliamentary concert will take place in St Margaret's Church, Westminster on Tuesday 13 December 2016. All money raised will go to fund medical teams on the ground in Aleppo and to prosthetic limb clinics in the region. It is currently estimated that over 50,000 Syrians are amputees in urgent need of treatment.

This is Singing for Syrians' second year; last year, £90,000 was raised with the support of match-funding from the Department for International Development. Over 300 people came to St Margaret's to sing carols and show their support.

Unfortunately the need is even greater this year so it is hoped that this will become a nationwide initiative. Whether local people organise their own events or even just pass a bucket around at a pre-planned carol concert, every little helps.

Caroline commented

"Singing for Syrians is a fantastic initiative that I am very proud to support. It is a positive way of helping Syria's most vulnerable people, whose lives have been ruined by the civil war. Paying the salaries of the brave medical staff who risk everything to provide life-saving treatment is one way that we can make a real difference to the victims of this terrible crisis.

I would encourage local people to get involved as much as they can. Singing together is a joyful way to express our solidarity and to take a hopeful stance against the horrors of terrorism."

For more information on the Singing for Syrians initiative please visit http://www.singingforsyrians.com.


07 JUL 2016

CAROLINE SPEAKS OUT ON SERVICE FAMILY ACCOMMODATION

Local MP Caroline Dinenage has written to the Public Accounts Committee raising her concerns about the standards of Service Family Accommodation in the Gosport constituency.

The Public Accounts Committee scrutinises public spending and holds the government and its civil servants to account for the delivery of public services. It is currently conducting an inquiry into Service Family Accommodation following reports that the contract with Carillion Amey, agreed in January 2015, was letting down many service families and that this was having an impact on the retention of trained military personnel.

As MP for a constituency with a great number of service families, Caroline has actively campaigned against inadequate Service Family Accommodation. She frequently raises the matter with the Ministry of Defence, the Government and Carillion Amey. On Monday Caroline met with Naval Families Federation at HMS Collingwood in her Gosport Constituency to discuss their concerns along with MOD Personnel & Veterans Minister, Mark Lancaster. She will be meeting Carillion Amey bosses shortly.

On 7 June 2016, Caroline wrote to the Chair of the Public Accounts Committee to submit evidence ahead of their hearing. She raised concerns over substandard SFA, inadequate complaints procedures and poor customer service.

Caroline's evidence was raised twice in the hearing at Q37 and Q57. You can access the full transcript of the hearing, here.

Commenting, Caroline said:

"I receive a number of complaints from service families in my constituency concerning the complete disrepair of some SFA properties, inadequate complaints procedures and poor customer service. Many feel they receive lower quality housing as a direct result of being employed in the Armed Forces. This is completely unacceptable and needs to change. Armed Forces families devote their lives to public service and they should be able to live in good quality housing.

"I am pleased that the Public Accounts Committee are conducting an inquiry and that they included my evidence from Gosport in their recent hearing. I will continue to pursue this matter closely with the Government and Carillion Amey until we see real change."

Following on from the hearing, the committee's report is due to be published next week.


07 JUL 2016

CAROLINE CELEBRATES COMMUNITY RADIO

Local MP Caroline Dinenage is celebrating two community radio stations that have been awarded licenses and are available in Gosport.

BFBS Portsmouth has been awarded their licence and is a radio station for the military community of the Naval Base and Royal Navy ships in Portsmouth.

Angel Radio is a community service for people aged 60+, it currently broadcasts a service to Havant, but as a result of this licence award the station will be able to expand its service.

Both of these community radio stations will be accessible in Gosport.

Community radio licences are awarded for a five-year period. These services are provided on a not-for-profit basis, focusing on the delivery of specific social benefits to a particular geographical community or a community of interest.

This year community radio, which offers thousands of volunteers the chance to get involved in broadcasting across the UK, is ten years old. The last decade has seen the number of community radio stations increase from just a handful to more than 240 stations, each reflecting the local needs and interests of its audience.

Commenting on the news, Caroline said

"It is fantastic that Gosport will now be able to access more community radio stations, specifically two which are aimed at over 60's and the military community."

For more details about BFBS Portsmouth please visit http://www.bfbs.com/ and for more details about Angel Radio please visit http://angelradio.co.uk/.


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