02 FEB 2016

CRACKDOWN ON ROADWORK DISRUPTION WILL EASE CONGESTION FOR MOTORISTS

Local MP Caroline Dinenage, has welcomed new proposals to crackdown on disruption caused by roadworks on local roads, with new rules being considered that would reduce disruption for families and businesses in Gosport who rely on our local roads to get around.

The new rules would encourage the start of 7-day working on local roadworks. Under the plans being considered, councils and utility companies would face paying up to £5,000 a day if motorists are needlessly inconvenienced by roadworks left in place on local A-roads over a weekend with no one actually working on them. There could also be charges when temporary traffic lights are left in place.

Roadworks on these council-managed A-roads would either have to continue over the weekend, minimising the length of the project, or be lifted until work was resumed.

By minimising disruption this would mean faster and more reliable journeys on our roads, benefitting local people who have had to deal with disruption at places like the already busy A32.

This action comes alongside big investment in our roads, with £15 billion being invested in England's road network through the Road Investment Strategy for major projects to improve and renew the network.

Caroline commented:

"This is fantastic news for all the families and businesses in Gosport who rely on our local roads to get around. We all know the frustration of the disruption that roadworks can cause.

By encouraging 7-day working, or the lifting of works at weekends, these changes could help minimise the inconvenience we all face. By taking action on roadworks, and delivering £15 billion of investment in our roads, the Conservatives are ensuring that our roads are looked after and improved for the future, with fast, reliable journeys for the working people and businesses that depend on them.'


01 FEB 2016

TOP BUSINESS AND CAREER WOMEN INSPIRE GOSPORT SCHOOL GIRLS TO BECOME ENTERPRISING WOMEN

Caroline Dinenage MP today welcomed Jacqueline Gold CBE and a cohort of successful local businesswomen to Bridgemary School in Gosport to help host an Enterprising Women event.

The event was designed to encourage Year 9 school girls from Bridgemary and Brune Park schools to explore all career opportunities available to them and overcome any barriers of self-doubt they may have to become the next generation of Enterprising Women.

After an introduction from the Head Teacher of Bridgemary School, Vicki White, and Caroline Dinenage MP, who herself was a business woman before entering politics, the girls heard from seven inspirational mentors about their journeys to become successful business and career women. The guest of honour, Jacqueline Gold CBE, chief executive of Ann Summers, gave a motivational speech in which she encouraged the girls to 'think about your passion and what you're really interested in' and 'help drive that change' to see more women in business.

During the event, the girls worked on an entrepreneurial challenge to design a business plan for a vacant commercial property in Gosport. The mentors circulated, providing the girls with tips and advice.

The girls then pitched their ideas in a 'Dragons Den meets The Apprentice' format. Despite only having an hour-and-a-half to come up with their plans, the teams' ideas were extremely well thought-out, creative and varied. One team planned to launch a careers advisory business called 'Opening Doors' to help local people build the confidence to enter work, building on mentors comments that when they were younger there had been an lack of high quality careers advice for young women. Another team came up with the idea of a Performing Arts Academy putting on shows, providing drama lessons, and hosting lucrative children's parties to provide a year-round income.

The winning team, however, was SeaFix, a boat repair and engineering company that set itself apart from competitors by its willingness to travel any distance to repair your boat. The company planned to employ semi-retired marine engineers from Gosport, as well as new apprentices, so the experienced boat repair-men and women could train up the youngsters on the job. The judging panel prided the girls on intertwining the skills of the older and younger generations to ensure the continuation of Gosport as a national hub for maritime excellence and training.

Commenting on the event, Caroline said:

"The girls' projects were really inventive and they all clearly identified businesses that Gosport needs. I hope today was an opportunity for them to gain some experience in the business world and be inspired by our fabulous team of businesswomen. I hope that they leave today believing in themselves with the goal of moving forwards to be the very best that they can be, in whatever career path they choose."

Commenting on the pitches, Jacqueline said:

"I could see so much talent in the room today. It's about time that girls started realising how fantastic they really are and what they have to offer."

When Jacqueline Gold joined Ann Summers, the annual turnover was £83,000 but it now stands at £140 million: a clear testament to her brilliant business acumen.

13 year old Mia from Brune Park School said:

"The women here today have been very inspiring, especially to me as I was quite sure of what I wanted to do for a career and I am not sure now, the women here have inspired me that much. I've got some ideas now, I think I can go further in life, considering some of them were quite shy and have gone really far."

The mentors were: Freya Derrick, owner of Hopscotch Nurseries, which employs over 160 local staff; Melanie Lawson, founder of the Brighton-based Omega3 specialist company, Bare Biology; Lulu Whitmore, founder of Southsea's premier events management company, Love Southsea; Dee Farwell from the forward-looking accountancy firm, Business Bar; Commander Sophie Shaughnessy, Executive Officer at HMS Sultan and the most senior female engineer in the Royal Navy to date; Christine Biddle, who is Gosport born and bred and now Operations Manager at Maritime Services International; and Abby Thomson, director and co-founder of Gosport Marine Scene.

Photo credit - Matthew Hibbard ©


01 FEB 2016

SRN4 HOVERCRAFT @ DAEDALUS

Caroline Dinenage MP welcomes the end of a 5 year legal dispute over two Mountbatten Hovercraft (SRN4s) that were standing in the way of developing the Daedalus Waterfront area.

Caroline is very supportive of the Hovercraft Museum who want to save one of the SRN4s; 'Princess Anne' and scrap the larger SRN4 'Princess Margaret' because it is too big for the Museum's future plans. The Museum is in discussions with the Homes & Communities Agency who are in turn talking to Gosport Borough Council and other authorities before a decision is made.

Caroline commented: "I am hopeful that a deal can be struck which will enable the Museum to gain an important addition to their collection (SRN4 Princess Anne) that adds to the site and does not distract from developing the waterfront area of Daedalus which is very important in the creation of jobs and the economic prosperity of the area".


29 JAN 2016

TOP UK BUSINESSWOMAN SET TO INSPIRE GOSPORT SCHOOLGIRLS

On Monday 1 February Caroline Dinenage MP will be welcoming top female entrepreneur, Jacqueline Gold CBE, as well as a host of successful local business and career women to Bridgemary School in Gosport to inspire and empower local school girls to become Enterprising Women.

Jacqueline, chief executive of Ann Summers and Knickerbox, is one of Britain's most successful business women. Her ingenuity and dedication made Ann Summers the iconic brand it is today, loved by women all over the country. In January 2015 she awarded a CBE for services to Entrepreneurship, Women in Business and Social Enterprise.

Monday's event will take the form of a workshop and 'The Apprentice meets Dragons Den' style challenge, where Year 9 girls from Bridgemary and Brune Park schools will be tasked with formulating business plan ideas. Local business women will take the role of mentors, circulating around the groups to provide the girls with tips, advice and inspiration.

Local mentors include Commander Sophie Shaughnessy, Executive Officer at HMS Sultan and the most senior female engineer in the Royal Navy; Lulu Whitmore, founder of the well-known local events management company, Love Southsea; and Melanie Lawson from Brighton company Bare Biology

Speaking about the event, MP Caroline, who spent almost two decades running her own local business before entering politics, said:

"Monday will be an incredible opportunity for the girls from Brune Park and Bridgemary to learn about the fantastic career opportunities the world of business has to offer and gain experience in designing their own business plan with the help of some expert mentors. I really hope that hearing from Jacqueline Gold and talking directly to the brilliant career women on our doorstep, will inspire and encourage the next generation of Enterprising Women."

Jacqueline Gold added:

"I am delighted to be attending the Enterprising Women event, which I hope will inspire the girls to become the entrepreneurs of the future. Running your own business is hugely rewarding, and I hope that the girls of Bridgemary and Brune Park schools see that with self-belief, courage, hard work and determination a good idea can become a great business. The girls will be incredibly lucky to have access to some wonderful entrepreneurs and business woman from their local area, I hope they are inspired by all these women have achieved and it allows them to realise that anything is possible."


27 JAN 2016

CAROLINE TO HOLD OPEN SURGERY

Local MP Caroline Dinenage will hold an open surgery at the Gosport Discovery Centre next Friday.

Caroline's open advice surgeries give her constituents the opportunity to discuss their concerns about both local and national issues without making an appointment beforehand. By holding these surgeries, Caroline is fulfilling her pledge to reach out to people across the constituency.

She commented:

"My open surgeries at the Discovery Centre have been a huge success, particularly with people who wouldn't think of booking an appointment to meet me at my office. It is so important that my surgeries are as accessible as possible so if you want to have a chat, raise problems or receive advice, please pop along."

Caroline's open surgery will take place between 2pm and 3:30pm on Friday 5th February at the Gosport Discovery Centre.

For more information about these surgeries, please call Caroline's constituency office on 023 9252 2121.


26 JAN 2016

CAROLINE TO ATTEND GOSPORT BUSINESS AND EMPLOYMENT FAIR 2016

On Thursday 28 January Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage will be attending the Gosport Business & Employment Fair (GB&EF) 2016 at Gosport Leisure Centre.

The GB&EF is Gosport's largest annual jobs, careers and training exhibition. It provides local jobseekers with the opportunity to network with local employers and receive employment support from training organisations and local advisory networks. This year, there will be over 50 exhibitors under one roof, including 30 employers promoting both job and apprenticeship vacancies across a wide range of employment sectors. It is expected that around 400 vacancies will be advertised on the day.

At the event, Caroline will be meeting with exhibitors and jobseekers to see the types of career opportunities on offer and talk to them about local employment.

Gosport Borough Council have a number of useful web resources available in the run up to the event. A "Tips for Visitors" guide provides advice on what to do before, during and after the exhibition, while the "Employer exhibitors" page gives an overview of the employers and job opportunities on offer, so attendees can tailor their CVs in advance.

Speaking before the event, Caroline said:

"I am really looking forward to attending this year's Gosport Business and Employment Fair, which will enable employees and jobseekers alike to network and have face-to-face discussions about the exciting careers opportunities on offer in our local area.

"I would highly encourage local Jobseekers to attend because they will get the chance to talk in person with recruiters and receive high quality careers advice so they can make their CV and job application stand out. It is also a great opportunity for businesses, who will be able to meet with members of Gosport's talented workforce."

The event is sponsored by local employer, Huhtamaki, which is a world-leading food and drink packaging manufacturer that employs 373 local people at its two production facilities on Rowner Road and Grange Road.

Confirmed exhibitors include Aldi, the Royal Air Force and Vector Aerospace among many others.


26 JAN 2016

TOP FEMALE ENTREPRENEUR TO STAR AT GOSPORT SCHOOL 'ENTERPRISING WOMEN' EVENT

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage and Jacqueline Gold CBE will jointly host an event at Bridgemary School in Gosport next week, to inspire and encourage schoolgirls to become Enterprising Women.

Jacqueline Gold is chief executive of Ann Summers and Knickerbox - with over 140 stores nationwide she is one of Britain's leading businesswomen. Jacqueline is renowned for managing a company by women, for women and in January 2015 she was awarded a CBE for services to Entrepreneurship, Women in Business and Social Enterprise.

Girls from Year 9 at Gosport Schools, Bridgemary and Brune Park, will take part in the half day event on 1st February. In an 'Apprentice meets Dragons Den' style challenge the girls will be tasked with formulating business plan ideas for a new Gosport enterprise with the help of some inspiring mentors.

Jacqueline and Caroline will be joined by a host of successful business and career women from across the local area who will provide mentoring support and advice for the girls throughout the event. These include: Lulu Whitmore, who runs local events management company 'Love Southsea'; Commander Sophie Shaugnessy, the most senior female Engineer in the Royal Navy who is based at HMS Sultan; and Melanie Lawson, founder of Brighton based company, Bare Biology.

Speaking about the event, MP Caroline, who spent almost two decades running her own local business before entering politics, said:

"I really want girls in Gosport to explore all career opportunities available to them and have the confidence to get involved in enterprise and entrepreneurship. Successful women come from all sorts of backgrounds and overcome many obstacles. I hope that hearing from Jacqueline Gold, a world-class entrepreneur, as well as some of the brilliant career women on our own doorstep, will inspire and encourage the next generation of Enterprising Women."

Jacqueline Gold added:

"I am delighted to be attending the Enterprising Women event, which I hope will inspire the girls to become the entrepreneurs of the future. Running your own business is hugely rewarding, and I hope that the girls of Bridgemary and Brune Park schools see that with self-belief, courage, hard work and determination a good idea can become a great business. The girls will be incredibly lucky to have access to some wonderful entrepreneurs and business woman from their local area, I hope they are inspired by all these women have achieved and it allows them to realise that anything is possible."


20 JAN 2016

CAROLINE DINENAGE MP SIGNS HOLOCAUST EDUCATIONAL TRUST BOOK OF COMMITMENT

Local MP Caroline Dinenage has this week signed the Holocaust Educational Trust's Book of Commitment in the House of Commons.

Her signature marks her commitment to honouring those who were murdered during the Holocaust as well as paying tribute to the extraordinary Holocaust survivors who work tirelessly to educate young people about this historical tragedy.

Wednesday 27 January is Holocaust Memorial Day, which marks the liberation of the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, the site of the largest mass murder in history. In the weeks leading up to and after Holocaust Memorial Day, thousands of commemorative events will be arranged by schools, faith groups and community organisations across the country, remembering all the victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides.

After signing the Book of Commitment, Caroline commented:

"Seventy-one years on from the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau it is as important as ever to remember the victims and survivors of the Holocaust and ensure that they are never forgotten, to help prevent these terrible tragedies ever occurring again. I encourage all local people to mark Holocaust Memorial Day and join together in the fight against prejudice and intolerance."

Karen Pollock MBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said:

"We are proud that Caroline Dinenage MP is supporting Holocaust Memorial Day. As we mark the 71st anniversary of the end of the Holocaust and the liberation of the concentration camps, it is vitally important that we both continue to remember and learn from the appalling events of the Holocaust – as well as ensuring that we continue to challenge antisemitism and all forms of bigotry."

 

Shortly after becoming an MP, Caroline visited Auschwitz-Birkenau with a group of sixth-form students from Bay House School and St. Vincent College.

Local MP Caroline Dinenage has this week signed the Holocaust Educational Trust's Book of Commitment in the House of Commons.

Her signature marks her commitment to honouring those who were murdered during the Holocaust as well as paying tribute to the extraordinary Holocaust survivors who work tirelessly to educate young people about this historical tragedy.

Wednesday 27 January is Holocaust Memorial Day, which marks the liberation of the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, the site of the largest mass murder in history. In the weeks leading up to and after Holocaust Memorial Day, thousands of commemorative events will be arranged by schools, faith groups and community organisations across the country, remembering all the victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides.

After signing the Book of Commitment, Caroline commented:

"Seventy-one years on from the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau it is as important as ever to remember the victims and survivors of the Holocaust and ensure that they are never forgotten, to help prevent these terrible tragedies ever occurring again. I encourage all local people to mark Holocaust Memorial Day and join together in the fight against prejudice and intolerance."

Karen Pollock MBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said:

"We are proud that Caroline Dinenage MP is supporting Holocaust Memorial Day. As we mark the 71st anniversary of the end of the Holocaust and the liberation of the concentration camps, it is vitally important that we both continue to remember and learn from the appalling events of the Holocaust – as well as ensuring that we continue to challenge antisemitism and all forms of bigotry."

 

Shortly after becoming an MP, Caroline visited Auschwitz-Birkenau with a group of sixth-form students from Bay House School and St. Vincent College.


12 JAN 2016

BIG REDUCTION IN GOSPORT COMPLAINTS TO THE FINANCIAL OMBUDSMAN

Latest figures showing that 34% fewer people living in Gosport contacted the Financial Ombudsman last year have been brought to the attention of local MP Caroline Dinenage.

The Financial Ombudsman (FO) is a free service set up by law with the power to sort out problems between consumers and financial businesses. They recently published figures showing that during the last financial year (2014/15) there was a 34% reduction in people from Gosport contacting the FO helpline. This led to the FO taking on 782 complaints which required investigation, 409 fewer than in 2013/14 when 1,315 complaints were investigated.

This represents a clear decline in the overall number of cases from people in Gosport over the last year. Although this is largely down to the number of PPI cases levelling off, in most areas across the UK there has actually been an increase in the number of complaints about other financial products.

Commenting on the figures, Caroline said:

"These figures clearly suggest that fewer people in Gosport are having to cope with financial problems associated with issues like PPI claims, bank accounts and mortgages. These cases can be hugely difficult and stressful, so it is good to hear that fewer problems are arising in our local area.

"However, it might also be the case that people in Gosport don't know who to turn to when facing complex financial problems.

"The Financial Ombudsman Service exists to provide guidance, a channel for complaints and to raise consumer awareness of financial rights. It is really important that people use this valuable resource, which provides advice and assistance for both consumers and businesses."

More information about the Financial Ombudsman service can be found here


06 JAN 2016

CAROLINE WELCOMES POST OFFICE ANNOUNCEMENT

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage has today welcomed the announcement that the Post Office will now accept banking transactions from HSBC business customers.

The move will allow HSBC business customers to pay in cash, withdraw funds as well as check their account balance. The Post Office, with its extensive branch network, will provide HSBC customers access to 11,500 Post Office branches to carry out their banking needs.

Commenting on the announcement, Caroline said:

"Having fought against the closure of HSBC, the last bank branch in Lee on the Solent, I've consistently campaigned in Parliament on this issue. I welcome this announcement and hope that it aids HSBC business customers in the parts of our region without a bank branch."

Following an extensive modernisation programme, more and more Post Office branches are open for longer, with Sunday openings increasingly common across the network – more than 3,000 branches are now open seven days a week. This gives HSBC's personal and commercial customers another channel through which they can do their day-to-day banking.

Post Office first introduced banking services in 2002 allowing partner banks' customers to carry out transactions such as balance enquiries, cash withdrawals and lodgements. Since then it has introduced more services to meet customer demand.

Nick Kennett, Group Director of Financial Services, Post Office said: "HSBC personal customers can already use their local Post Office for their day-to-day banking needs. We are delighted to extend our successful partnership with HSBC to their business customers as well. With its extensive branch network open longer and many on Sundays, the Post Office will make it easier for all HSBC's customers to access banking services across the UK."

Ian Stuart, HSBC Head of Commercial Banking UK, said: "The extension of our partnership with Post Office has broadened the range of channels available to our business customers to access banking services. Customers with business debit cards can now access a number of important services at Post Office counters, including cash deposits, cash withdrawals and balance enquiries."


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