12 DEC 2014

CAROLINE POPS BY TO THANK POSTIES

Caroline Dinenage MP visited the Gosport Sorting Office today to say thank you to all the Royal Mail staff who are working so hard over the festive period. With online sales hitting record highs this is the busiest year yet for staff in the sorting office, who are unable to take any leave over the whole of this hectic season.

The local MP was given a guided tour of the office and met with post men and women who are sorting and delivering cards and parcels across the Gosport area in the run up to Christmas.

Commenting Caroline said, "It was fantastic to meet to the men and women in our local sorting office who make Christmas happen. Without their dedication most of us would have very little under the tree come Christmas Day!

They work extremely hard all year round getting our post delivered to us on time, but I know that the pressure is really on at this time of year, so I think it's important to pop in and show them just how grateful we all are."

Last posting dates can be found here: http://www.royalmail.com/greetings


12 DEC 2014

CAROLINE CHAIRS MEETING ON STUBBINGTON FLOODING

Local MP Caroline Dinenage yesterday chaired a meeting to discuss the ongoing problem of flooding at Newton Close, Morgan Drive and Discovery Close in Stubbington.

Caroline called the meeting of all agencies involved in order to seek a solution to the problems which have plagued residents for over a year. Fareham Borough Council, Hampshire County Council, the Environment Agency and Southern Water were all represented at the meeting.

Caroline commented:

"Flooding is hugely distressing for all those affected which is why I was so keen to bring the relevant agencies together in one room to discuss what can be done to halt the existing problem. I hope that yesterday's meeting will put us on the path to finding a swift and realistic solution."


11 DEC 2014

CAROLINE HOLDS STOKESMEAD MEETING

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage today hosted a meeting in Parliament to discuss the future of the Stokesmead site in Alverstoke.

The Executive Chairman and Managing Director of Abbey Homes (which owns the site) joined Caroline for a meeting in the House of Commons with the Chief Executive of Gosport Borough Council and the Chairman of the Anglesey Conservation Group.

It was an open introductory meeting during which a range of possible outcomes for the site were discussed. Gosport Borough Council and the Anglesey Conservation Group now have time to discuss these options in more detail and pleasingly, Abbey Homes have agreed to visit Alverstoke and the land in question.

Speaking after the meeting, Caroline said:

"For too long this issue has been unresolved and this area fenced off from the local community. Today we took a positive step in the right direction – I'm pleased the Chairman and Managing Director of Abbey Homes took the time to engage with us and that we were able to have an honest and productive conversation about Stokesmead. I am confident that this has opened the door for further positive discussions towards eventually finding a solution that suits local residents."

The Chairman of the Anglesey Conservation Group, Judy Newell said:

"It was nice to meet the faces behind the names at Abbey Homes and I am grateful that they have expressed an interest in both further constructive talks and visiting the site. I look forward to updating our committee on the progress that was made at today's meeting."

The Stokesmead site was bought by Abbey Homes from the National Children's Home in 1984 and since then a number of planning applications have been turned down. Development of the land is vehemently opposed by both Gosport Borough Council and local residents who want it returned to public open space.

Today's meeting follows on from a public meeting which was held in St. Mary's Church in October attended by over 200 local residents. Caroline also raised the matter in the House of Commons, when she asked for a debate on land-banking which prohibits the public use of sites such as Stokesmead.


11 DEC 2014

CAROLINE WELCOMES BETTER CAREERS ADVICE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

Local MP Caroline Dinenage welcomed yesterday's announcement by Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Education, that the government will set up a new careers and enterprise company for schools and colleges. Caroline has consistently pushed for better links between businesses & employers so that young people are fully prepared for the world of work.

Commenting, Caroline said "For years businesses have complained to me that school careers advice doesn't open young peoples' eyes to the massive range of education and employment options that are out there.

The key is that this isn't re-inventing the wheel. In areas where there are organisations which already do this well – like the excellent Education Business Partnership in Portsmouth - they will be supported, and where they aren't, they will be set up. By providing better careers advice and encouraging employers to work in closer partnership with schools this is a big step towards making sure our young people enter the world of work with the skills they need to succeed."

The company will be backed up by £20million of Government funding that was included in the Chancellor's Autumn Statement.


09 DEC 2014

INDEPENDENT PANEL ESTABLISHED TO REVIEW DEATHS AT WAR MEMORIAL HOSPITAL

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage has today welcomed a statement from the Department of Health giving more details about the Independent Panel which has been launched to investigate deaths at Gosport War Memorial Hospital.

Following the publication of Professor Richard Baker's report in August 2013, which looked into the unexpected deaths of a number of elderly patients in the 1990s, the Department of Health held consultation sessions with the families involved, facilitating discussions on how the case should be taken forward.

In July, Health Minister, Norman Lamb MP announced that a Hillsborough-style panel would be setup to review documentary evidence held by a number of organisations. The Panel will be chaired by Bishop James Jones who led the Hillsborough Panel and today it was revealed that he will be supported by Dr Bill Kirkup, Dr Colin Currie, David Hencke and Duncan Jarrett OBE.

The remit of the Gosport Independent Panel will be to consult with the families of the deceased and analyse documentation from relevant organisations and individuals and then to produce a report of the findings.

Speaking after the announcement, Caroline said:

"For all those involved, from bereaved families to hospital staff, this has been a very long and difficult journey. Today's announcement marks the first step in finally bringing closure to this case.

I welcome the Government's commitment to finding out what really happened at Gosport War Memorial Hospital and am pleased that the expertise of Bishop James Jones and his colleagues will be drawn on throughout this process. I would urge anyone with information to make contact with the Independent Panel."

The review be the Independent Panel is expected to complete by the end of 2017 when the Secretary of State for Health will make arrangements for the publication of the final report to Parliament.

You can contact the Gosport Independent Panel through its official website: http://gosportpanel.independent.gov.uk; via email: enquiries@gosportpanel.independent.gov.uk; or by phone: 0207 9724212.


08 DEC 2014

CAROLINE ANNOUNCES WINNER OF CHRISTMAS CARD COMPETITION

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage today visited local schools to announce the winner and runners up in her 2014 Christmas card competition.

Maia Cooper, aged 6 from Crofton Hammond Infant School was crowned overall winner with her attractive penguin design which has already been printed on cards which Caroline will be sending out this month.

Highly commended were Isabelle Maylia from Rowner Infant School, Amie Westphal from Crofton Anne Dale Junior School, Shyloe Wilson from Rowner Infant School and Tabitha Long from Crofton Anne Dale Infant School.

This morning, Caroline visited pupils from Crofton Hammond and Crofton Anne Dale Schools as well as Rowner Infant School to thank them for participating in her competition.

She commented:

"It was lovely to meet the winner and runners up in my Christmas card competition – they are all extremely talented and given the promise they are showing at such young ages I am sure that there are great things in store for these budding artists!"

This year's judging panel included Caroline, the Mayor of Gosport Keith Gill and Ben Fishwick from The News.


05 DEC 2014

CAROLINE TO ANNOUNCE THIS YEARÂ’S YOUNG CHRISTMAS CARD ARTIST

Local MP Caroline Dinenage will announce the winner of her second annual Christmas card design competition when she visits local schools on Monday.

Earlier this year, Caroline wrote to all primary schools in Gosport, Lee on the Solent, Stubbington & Hill Head, inviting pupils to submit designs for her 2014 Christmas card competition. Caroline was joined by a judging panel which included the Mayor of Gosport, Keith Gill and The News reporter for the Gosport area, Ben Fishwick and after much deliberation a decision has now been made.

Speaking ahead of Monday's announcement, Caroline said:

"Yet again, young people have stunned me with their artistic flair and creativity; it was a really tough decision to make but I am delighted with the final design. I hope that all of the children enjoyed taking part and I would like to pass on my thanks to the teachers who co-ordinated the submissions."

This year's competition follows on from the success of the 2013 competition which was won by Lili Kurzfeld from Haselworth Primary School.


04 DEC 2014

CAROLINE WELCOMES SUPPORT FOR FAMILIES AND BUSINESSES IN AUTUMN STATEMENT

Caroline Dinenage MP welcomed the measures to help families and businesses announced in yesterday's autumn statement.

The Chancellor announced that he would be scrapping Air Passenger Duty for children under 12 on economy flights - something Caroline has campaigned for. As one of the Prime Minister's Small Business Ambassadors she also welcomed the proposed review of the current system of business rates, and the extension of small business rate relief.

Commenting, Caroline said "I'm delighted that the Government has responded to our campaign and will be scrapping Air Passenger Duty for children. This will make a family holiday that bit more affordable."

She added, "As a small business owner I know how much of a burden business rates are so it's great news that the Government is doubling small business rate relief for another year, and has listened to those of us who have been calling for a review of business rates."

However the Gosport MP has written to the Chancellor outlining her concerns that Gosport is missing out on crucial infrastructure investment.

"While it's great that the Government has pledged £15bn for new roads including much needed improvements to the M27; in Gosport we were disappointed not to receive the additional money to complete the new access road. I have written to the Chancellor asking him to look carefully at the Solent LEP bid for this money that was submitted last week."

Alongside these measures the Autumn Statement included the confirmation of an extra £2bn for health services across the UK, an unprecedented six-year £2.3 billion flood defence programme that includes funding for schemes in Hampshire, and an immediate overhaul of stamp duty.


27 NOV 2014

CAROLINE CELEBRATES NEWS OF AMERICAÂ’S CUP EVENTS IN PORTSMOUTH HARBOUR

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage has welcomed the news that America's Cup Racing will return to British waters when it is held in Portsmouth in July 2015 and July 2016.

During an event in London on Tuesday Sir Keith Mills, whose company will manage the America's Cup World Series (ACWS) in Portsmouth revealed plans for two action packed long weekends. Spectators will enjoy three days of racing, including practice racing on the Friday and then two races on Saturday and two races on 'Super Sunday Final'.

There will also be a three year activation programme running right up until the end of the 35th America's Cup in 2017.

Speaking in support of the events, Caroline said:

"This is great news for the Portsmouth area which has so much to offer big marine events such as these. Here in Gosport, the cutting-edge marine facilities and services will be put to excellent use and I'm delighted that our area will play a key role in supporting the upcoming events in 2015 and 2016.

These events are sure to attract a huge number of spectators from across the globe and will give us a fantastic opportunity to reaffirm the status of Portsmouth Harbour as a world class hub for maritime and marine activities."

The organisers of ACWS Portsmouth hope to bring the action to the public with 'free-to-view' areas in the Race Village where spectators can enjoy the atmosphere, and watch the racing.

Since her election, Caroline has worked hard to promote Gosport as a world-class marine and sailing destination. She was instrumental in the formation of the Gosport Marine Scene group in 2012.Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage has welcomed the news that America's Cup Racing will return to British waters when it is held in Portsmouth in July 2015 and July 2016.

During an event in London on Tuesday Sir Keith Mills, whose company will manage the America's Cup World Series (ACWS) in Portsmouth revealed plans for two action packed long weekends. Spectators will enjoy three days of racing, including practice racing on the Friday and then two races on Saturday and two races on 'Super Sunday Final'.

There will also be a three year activation programme running right up until the end of the 35th America's Cup in 2017.

Speaking in support of the events, Caroline said:

"This is great news for the Portsmouth area which has so much to offer big marine events such as these. Here in Gosport, the cutting-edge marine facilities and services will be put to excellent use and I'm delighted that our area will play a key role in supporting the upcoming events in 2015 and 2016.

These events are sure to attract a huge number of spectators from across the globe and will give us a fantastic opportunity to reaffirm the status of Portsmouth Harbour as a world class hub for maritime and marine activities."

The organisers of ACWS Portsmouth hope to bring the action to the public with 'free-to-view' areas in the Race Village where spectators can enjoy the atmosphere, and watch the racing.

Since her election, Caroline has worked hard to promote Gosport as a world-class marine and sailing destination. She was instrumental in the formation of the Gosport Marine Scene group in 2012.


25 NOV 2014

CAROLINE LAUNCHES EARLY YEARS MATHS REPORT

At an event in Parliament today Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage unveiled her Parliamentary Group for Maths and Numeracy's report on early years learning.

In 2013/14, 28% of children in England failed to achieve the expected level in mathematics at the end of the early years foundation stage. The first report from the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) calls for a better trained and qualified workforce that inspires a 'can-do' attitude in early years maths teaching. It is informed by a briefing session which took place in 

At the event, the skills Minister, Nick Boles MP spoke about the hugely significant impact that a child's early experience with maths can have on their numerical ability as an adult. Meanwhile, the TV presenter and maths guru, Johnny Ball highlighted the need to promote maths in play.Westminster in June when a number of education experts spoke to MPs and Peers about issues in their fields of expertise.

Caroline commented:

"Only one in five 16-64 year olds in England have numeracy skills equivalent to GCSE grade C and this situation is estimated to cost the UK economy £20 billion per year.

It is clear that we need to act fast. I'm pleased that the thought piece launched today by the APPG sets out some clear recommendations to the Government and am confident that Nick Boles will feed back to the rest of his department positively about the contents of the document."

Caroline formed the All Party Parliamentary Group at the beginning of the year in order 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.

You can read the report here.


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