30 JUL 2015


Local MP Caroline Dinenage is urging anyone who wishes to raise concerns about the treatment of patients at Gosport War Memorial Hospital between the 1980s to early 2000s to contact the Gosport Independent Panel.

The Panel was set up in July 2014 by then Care Minister, Norman Lamb MP to address historic concerns raised by families over a number of years about the initial care of their relatives in Gosport War Memorial Hospital and the subsequent investigations into their deaths. The Panel is chaired by Bishop James Jones and is currently reviewing documentary evidence held by a range of organisations and individuals.

As part of the review, the Panel is inviting anyone who may have concerns to make contact in confidence. A series of adverts are set to appear in the regional press and posters will be displayed in local libraries and other community hubs.

Caroline commented:

"For everyone who has been involved in this case, from bereaved families to hospital staff, it has been a long and difficult journey. I am pleased that the Panel is now at the point where it can reach out to the individuals affected and give them an opportunity to voice their concerns.

I would encourage anyone who has any information, no matter how small it may seem, to get in touch with the Panel and help them to gather the evidence that they need to bring closure to this case."

Bishop James Jones said:

"As Chair of the Panel, I would like to invite anyone who wishes to raise any historic concerns about the treatment of patients at Gosport War Memorial Hospital to contact the Panel. Many families have concerns about the way their relatives were treated and how their complaints have been handled. I want to make sure families' views are taken into account and fully considered by the Panel."

Since the announcement of the Panel Members and Terms of Reference in December, a significant number of families have already come forward.

If you would like to contact the Panel, you can do so in confidence by completing the contact form at: https://gosportpanel.independent.gov.uk/contact/ or by emailing enquiries@gosportpanel.independent.gov.uk or by calling 0207 972 4212 during normal office hours.

23 JUL 2015


Local MP Caroline Dinenage has welcomed news from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) announcing that the organisation will be providing support to the forthcoming Heritage Open Days in Gosport.

The RIBA's public engagement programme, Love Architecture is partnering nationally with Heritage Open Days for the first time this year, with the theme 'Engaging people with the story of buildings – past, present and future'.

Gosport was one of two towns (along with Hastings) selected by the RIBA to receive support through this initiative and therefore specialist historians will lead tours and provide architectural background during the Heritage Open Days which will run from 10th-13th September.

Caroline commented:

"The Gosport peninsula has an incredibly rich history so I am really pleased to hear that the RIBA has decided to support the 21st year of Heritage Open Days here in our area.

The talks and tours are set to provide a real insight into our heritage and it is a great opportunity for young people to learn more about the area in which they live. I would encourage local people to make the most of the forthcoming events by taking a look at what is on offer and marking the date in their diary!"

For more information about the Heritage Open Days and details of the events, please visit: http://bit.ly/1JxneRy.

22 JUL 2015


Local MP Caroline Dinenage visited Crofton Anne Dale Infant School to present pupils from Year 2 with their citizenship awards last week.

In order to earn a citizenship award, the children have to work in the community for a number of weeks, take part in a hobby regularly and organise an activity or event.

After the presentations, Caroline said:

"It is wonderful to see young people taking part in activities which will help them become citizens who are mindful of our community and actively involved in society.

This initiative encourages young people to take part in extra-curricular activities from an early age and I was delighted to hear from the pupils about the new skills they have developed and hobbies they have found."

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.

20 JUL 2015


Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage is urging communities in her constituency to apply for a portion of the new £4m Heritage Lottery Fund money to explore the impact of World War One.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has announced that new National Lottery money will be available to help communities across the UK mark the centenary of the First World War, following the huge success of its community grants programmes, First World War: Then and Now.

Between 2015 and 2016, communities looking to explore, conserve and share local heritage of the First World War will be able to apply for grants between £3,000 and £10,000.

Commenting on the initiative, Caroline said:

"It is really important that we keep our heritage alive, particularly for younger generations to whom World War One is becoming increasingly distant.

Here on the Gosport peninsula we have a rich military history and plenty of stories to tell so I would encourage communities with an idea for their own project to get in touch with the Heritage Lottery Fund."

For more information about how to apply, visit: www.hlf.org.uk.

17 JUL 2015


Local MP Caroline Dinenage has welcomed news from the Department for Communities and Local Government that Gosport has been successful in its bid from the Coastal Community Fund.

The area has been chosen as one of 28 tasked with reviving the South East's seaside towns which will share the £1 million fund set aside to support the initiative. It will also be able to bid for up to a £50,000 share of a new £3 million Coastal Revival Fund to support or restore local heritage and facilities which benefit the wider community.

Centred on the waterfront and town centre, the Gosport Coastal Community Team will use the grant awarded to develop an Economic Plan and attract further funding into the area. The Team will build on the work of the emerging town centre business partnership and other established business and community partnerships, including the Town Team and Gosport Marine Scene. As well as involving representatives from these groups, the Coastal Community Team will bring together other business and partner organisations that have a stake in the area.

Commenting on the good news, Caroline said:

"This is a terrific opportunity for us to further solidify our area's reputation as a fantastic marine location and great place for business and leisure. It shows that the Government believes in our area, its great economic potential and our strong vision for Gosport's future.

I am looking forward to supporting the team and learning more about its plan for the future – watch this space for more news about this project!"

Since her election in 2010, Caroline has been firmly committed to helping Gosport reach its full potential. She played a key role in establishing the Daedalus Enterprise Zone, came up with the idea for the Gosport Marine Scene and helped to set up the Gosport Town Team.

Other areas selected to form a Coastal Community Team include Dover, Littlehampton, Ramsgate and South Hayling Island. For more information, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coastal-community-teams-to-take-control-of-seaside-regeneration.

16 JUL 2015


Local MP Caroline Dinenage has welcomed new figures showing that since 2010 the number of people in Gosport, Stubbington, Lee-on-the-Solent and Hill Head claiming Jobseeker's Allowance fell by 705 – a 50 per cent drop.

The figures also showed that wages are rising at the fastest rate in real terms since 2007, rising for the eighth month in a row. This means more people are in work, with the security of a good job and a regular pay packet.

Commenting on the good news, Caroline said:

"Thanks to the hard work and determination of local people and the Conservative Party's strong economic plan, we have seen a dramatic reduction in the local unemployment rate over the past five years. This is great news for our area with more financial security for people in work and more families with the stability brought about by a regular income.

I am confident that this Government's policies will help to build on this progress, backing businesses to create more good jobs and supporting those who want to work hard and get on as part of our ambition to achieve full employment."

Across the UK, long-term unemployment has fallen by 184,000 and 92,000 fewer young people are unemployed than a year ago. At the same time, more women are in the labour market with 159,000 more women in work than at the same time last year.

Unemployment in Gosport now stands at 1.5%.

13 JUL 2015


Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage met students at Brune Park School on Friday to receive a petition calling for more support to be given to small-scale banana producers.

Students from Brune Park School have been taking part in the 'Make All Bananas Fair' campaign which aims to increase the number of fair trade bananas sold by both ASDA and Tesco to a point where they only sell fair trade bananas like other supermarket chains.

Last year Caroline welcomed a group of Brune Park students to Westminster and joined them as they delivered their petition for a better deal for banana farmers to Downing Street. This was part of the 'Stick with Foncho' fair trade campaign that aims to transform the banana industry to ensure banana farmers and workers are treated fairly.

Caroline said:

"It is great to see young people from our area getting involved with campaigns such as these that can approve the lives of people living across the globe. I was really pleased to hear the students talk with such passion about this issue and to receive their carefully co-ordinated petition."

In 2011 over £1.3 billion worth of fair trade goods were sold in the UK; compared to just £50 million a decade earlier.

13 JUL 2015


Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage has welcomed the announcement that the Department for Transport will soon be launching a full public consultation on the future of railway provision in the South West.

The announcement comes as it was revealed that the Department had been unable to reach an agreement with Stagecoach South West Trains to make a Direct Award for the next South Western rail franchise which will run from February 2017 – April 2019. Therefore, a franchise competition will be launched to ensure that passenger benefits are delivered in a way that achieves best value for taxpayers.

In reaction to the news, Caroline said:

"Whilst it is disappointing to hear that the Department for Transport was unable to reach an agreement with Stagecoach South West Trains, I believe that the launch of a franchise competition will pave the way for the development of an exciting and innovative plan for service provision into the 2020s.

This is a great opportunity for improvements to our local rail connectivity and I would recommend that local people who travel regularly on services from our area respond to the consultation and get their voices heard."

Caroline has long campaigned for better rail services to the Gosport peninsula; in the last Parliament she led debates in the House of Commons, asked questions of Government departments and held meetings with South West Trains.

The Department of Transport has yet to confirm the details of the consultation but once it does so, the details will be posted on Caroline's website.

10 JUL 2015


Local MP Caroline Dinenage is urging primary school children across Gosport, Stubbington, Lee-on-the-Solent and Hill Head to get involved in the 2015 Summer Reading Challenge.

The Summer Reading Challenge is facilitated by a unique partnership between The Reading Agency and public libraries across the UK and got 810,000 children reading in the summer holidays in 2014. This year the Summer Reading Challenge has teamed up with Guinness World Records to create Record Breakers. When children sign up at the library they will receive a special poster and as they borrow and read library books over the summer, they will collect stickers to complete their poster and discover fascinating facts about record breakers as they go.

The Reading Agency is calling on people of all ages, across the country to pledge to use their local library over the summer and help libraries set a Guinness World Records title. The Gosport Discovery Centre will be collecting pledges between Friday 10 and Monday 13 July.

Speaking in support of the initiative, Caroline said:

"It is really important to get children into reading from an early age as it boosts confidence and improves life chances which is why this campaign is so valuable. I am delighted that Gosport Discovery Centre will be facilitating the Summer Reading Challenge and would urge young people from across our area to get involved.

Last year 26,768 children in Hampshire took part in the Challenge. I hope we can increase that number this year, show local libraries what a crucial resource they are to us and help set a world record at the same time."

Children can use the special website www.recordbreakers.org.uk to create a profile, chat about books, and get help on what to read next, via the digital Book Sorter which already offers over 450,000 peer to peer children's book recommendations in child-friendly categories.

For more information on the Summer Reading Challenge including how to get involved and resources for schools, visit: www.readingagency.org.uk/summerreadingchallenge.

09 JUL 2015


Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage has commended measures set out in the Chancellor's Budget that will benefit working families across Gosport, Stubbington, Lee-on-the-Solent and Hill Head.

From next April, the personal tax allowance is set to rise from £10,600 to £11,000 whilst the threshold at which the 40p rate is paid will rise from £42,385 to £43,000. In addition, the Government will introduce a new compulsory National Living Wage for all working people aged 25 and over, meaning 2.5 million people will get a direct pay rise.

Businesses will also benefit as the Employment Allowance is set to rise to £3,000, cutting the jobs tax for firms and corporation tax will also be cut to 18% by 2020 thanks to changes to forthcoming dividend taxation system.

In order to boost productivity, the Government will introduce a new system of Vehicle Excise Duty meaning that from 2020 every penny raised through VED will be reinvested into our roads thus improving connectivity across the UK. It will also put an apprenticeship levy on large firms to fund three million more quality apprenticeships.

Ensuring that taxes are fair, the family home will be taken out of inheritance tax thus raising the effective threshold for most couples to £1 million and non-dom rules will be changed to ensure that British people pay British taxes in Britain.

Speaking in support of the Budget, Caroline commented:

"This is a Budget for the hardworking people of Britain and I am proud of the measures that the Chancellor is putting in place to ensure that we move towards a higher wage, lower tax and lower welfare economy.

Britain is now growing faster than any other major advanced economy thanks to the decisions taken by the previous Conservative-led government and I am confident that over the next five years supportive policies will further boost this growth."

For a detailed breakdown of how today's Budget will benefit people in Gosport, Stubbington, Lee-on-the-Solent and Hill Head, visit: http://caroline4gosport.co.uk/help-/budget-2015.

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