19 MAY 2015

CAROLINE BACKS DEMENTIA AWARENESS WEEK

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage is backing Dementia Awareness Week this week having become a 'Dementia Friend' earlier this year.

Dementia Awareness Week is about ensuring that life doesn't end when dementia begins and that people living with dementia are able to hold on to their lives and the things they love for longer.

The initiative is led by The Alzheimer's Society alongside the well-known 'Dementia Friends' project which Caroline became involved in at the beginning of the year. She held a training session for her team in Gosport and some local Councillors, during which they learned about how to help people living with dementia feel included in their community. Caroline then went on to host an event at the Gosport Discovery Centre which gave local people an opportunity to put forward their ideas about making the local area 'dementia friendly'.

Speaking in support of Dementia Awareness Week, Caroline said:

"My grandma suffered with Dementia and I saw first-hand the effect it had on her and the rest of our family so I was thrilled to become 'Dementia Friend' and develop a greater understanding of how people living with dementia in our community can be helped.

I really want to see our area become 'dementia friendly' and will continue to work with The Alzheimer's Society and local people to see this become a reality."

More than 1 in 3 people living with dementia live within the community so it is crucial that they are given the support and compassion that they need to live as normal a life as possible.


15 MAY 2015

CAROLINE WELCOMES NEW MINISTER FOR PORTSMOUTH

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage has welcomed the announcement that the Rt Hon Mark Francois MP has been appointed as the new Minister for Portsmouth.

The Minister will be responsible for coordinating work across Whitehall to support jobs and growth in the city and surrounding area. Mark Francois is also Minister of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government with responsibility for coastal communities.

Speaking after the appointment, Caroline commented:

"I'm delighted to hear that Mark Francois has been appointed as the new Minister for Portsmouth. Having been a Minister at the Ministry of Defence for a number of years, Mark understands our area's proud links to the Royal Navy, our defence industry and their importance to the national economy. I am very much looking forward to working with him and hope to welcome him to Gosport in the near future."

Mark Francois is the third Minister for Portsmouth following the appointment of Michael Fallon in January 2014 and Matt Hancock in July 2014.


11 MAY 2015

KEY ACHIEVEMENTS NUMBER 1: THE DAEDALUS ENTERPRISE ZONE

One of the first meetings that I had as this area's new MP back in 2010 was about the Daedalus airfield. At that point, this former military site had stood unused for 14 years and had entered a state of disrepair. I was shocked to be presented with plans to fill the site with new houses - that was the last thing we needed! We needed jobs, training opportunities and investment, and Daedalus was the ideal place to kick start a regeneration project that would boost our local economy. And so I set about bringing together all of the stakeholders involved with the site to form the Daedalus Strategy Group.

Since then, this group has delivered a £54 million Enterprise Zone specialising in advanced manufacturing and engineering in the marine and aviation sector. The site is now home to a number of cutting edge businesses, a brand new Business Innovation and Centre and the CEMAST Skills Centre where 900 engineering MH students are training. The site is set to create even more jobs, allowing more people to work locally and taking cars off the road at peak times.

The Daedalus Enterprise Zone, as a flagship Government initiative, has given us the means to secure much needed investment for our local transport infrastructure. I firmly believe that the success of Daedalus is crucial to the future of our local economy. There is still much more to be done to see the site reach its full potential, and if I am re-elected tomorrow I will go on bringing investment to the Enterprise Zone so that it will continue to flourish.


06 MAY 2015

KEY ACHIEVEMENTS NUMBER 2: PROGRESS ON ROAD IMPROVEMENTS

The last Labour Government told us that our peninsula would never receive any money for road improvements because it was "strategically unimportant". Fast forward to 2015 and Gosport & Fareham have seen more progress made on our roads in the past five years than the preceding five decades. I have worked tirelessly with local councils and the Solent LEP to get the support and funding we need for local road improvements. I even brought the Secretary of State for Transport to the area to see the problems for himself!

We have secured over £100 million for local improvements including upgrades to Newgate Lane, Peel Common Roundabout, the A27 and St. Margaret's Roundabout as well as preliminary work on the Stubbington Bypass. These works will take time, but once they are complete I am confident that they will ease congestion from the Gosport peninsula right up to the M27. The Stubbington Bypass is a vital part of the solutions to our traffic problems which is why, if I'm re-elected on Thursday, I will continue to fight hard for the remaining funding to ensure it is delivered.


06 MAY 2015

KEY ACHIEVEMENTS NUMBER 3: SECURING ARCTIC STAR MEDAL

I campaigned for almost a decade to get a medal for the heroic veterans of the WW2 Arctic Convoys. These men endured unimaginable danger and freezing conditions in order to keep the supply lines with Russia open but for over 70 years this remained the only major sea campaign of the war to not have received a specific medal.

To rectify this, upon election, I met with the Prime Minister and Defence Ministers, finally leading a debate in Parliament which persuaded the PM to commission Sir John Holmes to conduct a Military Medals Review to which I was able to contribute.

In December 2012, the Prime Minister finally announced that the Government would be creating an Arctic Star medal and finally giving these heroes the recognition that they deserved. I was honoured to attend a ceremony at 10 Downing Street when the first medals were handed out to veterans. Sadly my dear friend, Cdr Eddie Grenfell was too ill to travel but proudly received the Arctic Star, for which he had campaigned so passionately, back in Portsmouth Guildhall. Eddie died only a matter of weeks later, but knowing that his tireless efforts to secure this medal had not been in vain.


06 MAY 2015

KEY ACHIEVEMENTS NUMBER 4: SECURING ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR SCHOOLS

Over the past five years, schools across Gosport, Stubbington, Lee-on-the-Solent and Hill Head have received an additional £13 million of funding which has been spent on boosting school places and improving buildings & facilities.

I have visited all 41 schools in the constituency, many more than once and, although there is still some progress to be made in certain areas, I am pleased to see just how much of an impact this boosted budget has had.


06 MAY 2015

KEY ACHIEVEMENTS NUMBER 5: SAVING HMS SULTAN

Before I was elected back in 2010, the Defence Training Review suggested that the Royal Naval School of Engineering at HMS Sultan was set to move to south Wales - a potential loss of up to 900 local jobs in the process. I immediately embarked on a campaign to stop this relocation; meeting with & writing to Shadow Ministers & Ministers, when elected I spoke in Parliament on the matter and continued to hold meetings with the MoD. Thankfully, our campaign was successful and the SDSR concluded that RN School of Engineering should remain at Sultan where it continues to deliver essential training for service personnel to a level that has been rated 'Outstanding' by OFSTED.


01 MAY 2015

KEY ACHIEVEMENTS NUMBER 6: BRIDGING THE GAP

During tough economic times we rely on the hard work & enterprise of our small businesses to grow this country out of recession. So, on becoming this area's MP, I was clear that we needed to do more to support our fantastic small businesses.

I came up with the idea of starting the 'Bridging the Gap' fund using the Governments Regional Growth Funding. Luckily I talked The News and the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership into supporting the idea. Since then the fund has giving small businesses in the local area an opportunity to bid for £4M funding - supporting them to flourish & grow.


01 MAY 2015

KEY ACHIEVEMENTS NUMBER 7: THE CEMAST CENTRE & APPRENTICESHIPS

Ensuring that young people are equipped with the skills they need to get on in life must be a priority and I am extremely proud that the Gosport constituency has had the highest number of apprenticeship starts in Hampshire - nearly 9,490 since 2010. 49% of these were in the engineering and manufacturing technologies sector, demonstrating the strength of these industries in our area. The new CEMAST skills centre at the Daedalus Enterprise Zone now has 900 students on its roll who are undertaking apprenticeships with companies such as Britten Norman, Vector Aerospace and BAE. The skills centre was a key priority for the Daedalus Strategy Group which is working to ensure that the Enterprise Zone meets its full potential and we fought hard to bring CEMAST to Daedalus and create skills training opportunities for young people & employers in our area.


01 MAY 2015

KEY ACHIEVEMENTS NUMBER 8: STARTING THE GOSPORT MARINE SCENE GROUP

To capitalise on our fantastic coastal location, I came up with the idea of bringing together our local maritime companies to promote Gosport as a world class marine & sailing hub.

After an initial meeting to bounce some ideas around, the Gosport Marine Scene was formed. The group is now run by an experienced & dedicated group of amazing volunteers & local businesses and is developing a great reputation. Gosport Marine Scene has hosted a number of fantastic events in the last few years including a Boat Jumbles, networking lunches & 'on the water' days. Watch this space for more details of the Gosport Marine Festival coming up on 13th June.


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