Local MP Caroline Dinenage today encouraged local businesses and voluntary organisations to submit applications for funding from the Coastal Communities Fund. The Fund aims to support the economic development of UK coastal communities like Gosport, Lee on the Solent & Hill Head, by awarding funding to deliver sustainable economic growth and good jobs.
Commenting, Caroline said,
"The south coast is undergoing huge economic changes, so I welcome the fact that the Government is investing in communities like Gosport to provide local people with job opportunities. I'm also glad that for this round the Government has added coastal flood recovery and risk management to priority areas for the Fund. We've all seen the incredibly destructive power of flooding recently, and I welcome this move to focus on coastal protections. I would urge businesses and any voluntary groups and organisations to make applications to the fund."
The 2014 funding round is hosted by the Big Lottery and is accepting applications until 30thApril. Applicants should contact the Big Lottery Advice line on 0845 410 20 30 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the 2014 round of the Coastal Communities Fund, including qualification criteria please go to http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/global-content/programmes/uk-wide/coastal-communities.
Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage will formally launch her brand new All Party Parliamentary Group for Maths and Numeracy in Westminster on World Maths Day this Wednesday, 12th March.
The group has been set up in light of last year's OECD figures which showed that 8.5 million adults in England and Wales have numeracy skills weaker than the average ten year old. The aim of the APPG is to raise awareness about the importance of basic maths skills and to inform policy on improving adult numeracy and the future teaching of maths in schools. The group will be launched by Education Minister, Liz Truss MP.
Speaking ahead of the launch, Caroline said:
"Not only are basic maths skills essential to our daily lives, they are also essential to Britain's economic prosperity. If the UK is to be successful in the global race, it is essential that we take action to tackle this problem and raise the mathematical ability of people of all ages.
I am confident that the APPG for Maths and Numeracy will make a valuable contribution to policymaking in the future and I welcome the enthusiasm that Parliamentarians have shown for the Group so far."
Education Minister, Liz Truss MP, added:
"Maths is a vital subject for our children to master and for our country's prosperity – maths qualifications command the highest earnings premium and are the best protection against unemployment. We have instigated a top-to-bottom overhaul of the subject so that all the way from the start of primary school through to 18 our young people have the best chance to succeed in maths.
I am pleased to see the launch of the new APPG on maths and look forward to seeing its work."
Caroline has long campaigned about the importance of basic skills; most recently, she helped to secure a Business Innovation & Skills Select Committee inquiry into adult literacy and numeracy issues in the UK. She will act as Co-Chair of the APPG, alongside Barry Sheerman MP, whilst the group's secretariat will be formed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales (ICAEW) and the National Numeracy charity. see the launch of the new APPG on maths and look forward to seeing its work."
MPs and Peers from a wide range of parties will be attending Wednesday's event, as well as key stakeholders from the education and skills sector. The event will also mark the launch of the National Numeracy Challenge which aims to lift at least a million adults in the UK out of poor numeracy over the next five years.
Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage yesterday marked International Women's Day with business women from across the local region.
Having addressed delegates at a 'Women in Leadership' conference, Caroline asked the attendees to join her in a group 'selfie' to celebrate the women that inspire them.
"International Women's Day gives us a fantastic opportunity to stand back and recognise just how much progress women have made in a male dominated world.
We have a lot to be thankful for, which is why I was delighted to mark this special day with local business women and to celebrate the inspirational women who have helped us to get to where we are today."
International Women's Day takes place on 8th March each year and has been celebrated since the beginning of the 1900s.
Local MP Caroline Dinenage has celebrated the discovery of what appears to be a practice battlefield dating back to the First World War in Gosport.
Two opposing systems of trenches facing each other across a 'no man's land' have been unearthed at Browndown Common, and experts believe that they may have been used as a practice battlefield during World War One.
The discovery was made when Rob Harper, Head of Conservation and Design at Gosport Borough Council, uncovered a 1951 aerial photograph of the Alver Valley and noticed an unmistakeable plan of what appears to be a complex system of First World War trenches. Although documentary research is needed to confirm that this site does indeed date back to World War One, the existing physical evidence supports this notion.
The Gosport site is now being used by English Heritage and the Council for British Archaeology (CBA) to launch a national initiative aiming to uncover hidden First World War sites across the UK.
"If confirmed through research, this remarkable discovery will further entrench the hugely important role that Gosport played in supporting Britain's Armed Forces throughout World War One. I have always been proud of Gosport's historic ties to the military and it is hugely exciting to hear that our area has inspired the launch of a nationwide hunt for First World War sites."
English Heritage and the CBA are now looking for volunteer input; to access the online recording toolkit, guidance and resources for use in the field, visit: www.homefrontlegacy.org.uk.
Local MP Caroline Dinenage pushed the Prime Minister at PMQs today to review the maximum sentence for causing death by dangerous driving. The question followed the recent sentencing of Gosport resident Samuel Etherington to nine years in prison after he admitted causing the deaths of two local girls, Jasmine Allsop, 14, and Olivia Lewry, 16, whom he hit with a car.
Speaking in the House of Commons Caroline asked the Prime Minister:
"Last week a judge sentenced a Gosport man to 9 years in prison for causing the death by dangerous driving of two teenage girls. Given that amounts to effectively 4 years per life, does the PM agree that it is high time we looked again at the maximum sentence for causing death by dangerous driving?"
Responding to the question, the Prime Minister replied:
"The point she raises about dangerous driving is indeed an issue that was raised at Prime Ministers questions last week, and as I said then, I think it's important that the Lord Chancellor and his department look carefully at what more we can do to send the clearest possible message about the unacceptability of this crime."
Caroline has recently written to the Justice Minister asking for a review of the maximum sentence for causing death by dangerous driving, which currently stands at 14 years.
Local MP Caroline Dinenage has reopened the revamped Nelson's Bar on Gosport High Street.
A firm favourite of the Gosport community, Nelson's Bar has undergone a considerable internal refurbishment which is sure to be popular with its patrons. The installation of a brand new kitchen will mean that food can be served throughout the day from an updated and appetising menu.
Speaking after the visit, Caroline said:
"Pubs and bars really are at the heart of every local community and Nelson's Bar is no different. It is a great place for people to come together after a hard day at work and I am confident that the recent improvements will draw even more customers into the establishment.
The best news is that twelve brand new jobs have been created, offering invaluable employment opportunities to the people of Gosport."
Caroline's visit to the bar reaffirms her commitment to supporting the British pubs sector. She has previously done shifts at The Three Tuns in Elson and The Village Home in Alverstoke.
Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage has welcomed the publication of a brand new "Can Do" guide for people planning community-led events.
Following a review of the organisation of voluntary and community events, it was concluded that existing event guidance was unclear and inconsistent and often focused on what people can't do rather than what they can.
The "Can Do" guide attempts to combat perceptions that community event planning is bound up in prohibitive red tape. It will help people to plan and run successful events by overcoming needless restrictions and bureaucracy.
Speaking in support of the guidance, Caroline said:
"Voluntary events are a fantastic way to bring local people together and generate good old-fashioned community spirit. I am pleased that the Government is helping local communities to mark one off occasions and celebrate annual events by busting off-putting myths about the organisation difficulties that they may face.
I hope that "Can Do" will provide real encouragement to people across the Gosport constituency who are thinking about organising an event to get out and do it!"
Caroline is a keen advocate of the work of volunteers in her constituency. Every year, she welcomes a group of local volunteers to Westminster for a reception to thank them for their commitment to the community.
You can access the "Can Do" guide here: http://bit.ly/1hNFRW9.
Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage has held a beneficial meeting with the Regional Director of First to discuss the recent changes to local bus services.
During the meeting, which was also attended by Cllrs Alan Scard and Graham Burgess, Marc Reddy of First gave a detailed explanation of the current situation. The former number 9 service through Alverstoke and Anglesey was subsidised by a developer grant which has now come to an end and at present, demand is not high enough for First to fund the route commercially.
Instead the company has sought a subsidy from Hampshire County Council for the new number 11 route which will serve the area on a less frequent basis. Unfortunately, the company is unable to use the profits generated by a popular bus route to subsidise more frequent provision of a service which already receives external funding.
Speaking after the meeting, Caroline commented:
"For many people, local buses are an invaluable lifeline so I understand the frustrations of the residents not only in Anglesey and Alverstoke but also in Lee-on-the-Solent and Rowner, which have been negatively impacted by recent re-routing.
Last week's meeting was very productive and I am hopeful that with a little bit of creative thinking we may be able to improve the provision of buses across the Gosport peninsula. I will continue to keep pressure on First and will be holding meetings with Hampshire County Council and others in the coming weeks."
Since First's announcement was made last month, Caroline has been in regular contact with company bosses, Gosport Borough Councillors and Hampshire County Councillors trying to find a solution to the situation.
Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage has made a landmark call for evidence, urging people who struggle with reading, writing and maths to come forward and contribute to the Business, Innovation & Skills Select Committee's forthcoming inquiry into adult literacy and numeracy.
Caroline is one of eleven members of the BIS Select Committee which looks into Government policy and makes recommendations about how it could be improved. She has long campaigned for the Committee to investigate the issue of literacy and numeracy problems among the adult population. With 1 in 6 adults in the UK functionally illiterate and 1 in 5 lacking basic maths skills, tackling the issue is becoming of increasing importance.
Hearing that an inquiry will take place has come as very welcome news and Caroline is keen to gather as much evidence as possible. In a first for government Select Committees, contributions can be uploaded and submitted as video or audio files.
"Adult literacy and numeracy problems are a huge cause for concern and we need to act swiftly if we are to tackle them. The launch of the BIS Select Committee Inquiry marks a considerable milestone in my ongoing campaign to combat this longstanding issue.
I am delighted that a number of familiar faces will be participating in the first oral evidence session today, including Libby Ainley, author of Yes We Can Read, alongside Gosport's very own Linda Curtis and Di Lloyd who work relentlessly to help those struggling with reading, writing and basic maths.
It is essential that we have a wide range of evidence which is why I have made a video urging adult education providers and anyone who has problems with literacy or numeracy to come forward and tell us about their experiences."
Last year, Caroline brought together a number of leading experts for a briefing seminar in Westminster on adult literacy and numeracy and also held a debate in the chamber of the House of Commons. More recently, she has established an All Party Parliamentary Group for Numeracy which will make recommendations on improving adult numeracy and the teaching of maths in schools.
Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage today joined staff and pupils at Bridgemary School to kick start work on a brand new third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch on the school site.
Last year, Caroline supported the school's funding bids to the Football Foundation and Sport England which secured grants totalling over £500,000. The new full size, floodlit pitch will replace the School's existing pitch which has been hampered with drainage problems in recent years, rendering the surface unplayable during periods of wet weather.
The installation of the 3G pitch will ensure that the school can deliver curriculum PE and competitive fixtures twelve months of the year. Not only will the facility benefit students from Bridgemary, it will also be used by local football clubs and members of the wider community of Gosport.
Caroline joined Kim Thackery, head teacher at Bridgemary School for the official first breaking of the ground which was followed by a taster futsal session for students from Bridgemary and surrounding primary schools.
Speaking after the event, Caroline said:
"Access to high-quality sporting facilities is an essential part of getting young people enthusiastic about physical activity. I am delighted that Bridgemary will be opening up the pitch for use by local sports clubs and teams, enabling the community to reap the benefits of an all-weather facility.
With over 20% of Year 6 children in Gosport thought to be obese, it is of the utmost importance that we promote the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. I am confident that the improvement of facilities in our area will encourage more people to stay fit and healthy through participation in sport."
Caroline is a keen advocate of living a healthy and active lifestyle. She was recently appointed a Parliamentary Sport Champion and has worked closely with community sport providers to help them deliver the best sporting opportunities for people in Gosport.
Click here to contact Caroline.