12 DEC 2018

MP WELCOMES MORE GOOD NEWS ON JOBS

"Unemployment has halved in the Gosport peninsula since Labour's Great Recession – showing just how far we have come." Caroline Dinenage MP

Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, has today welcomed new jobs figures showing that unemployment is nearing its lowest level in eight years.

Figures released show that the claimant count stood at 735 claimants or 1.5% of the working population on out of work benefits.

In May 2010 the claimant count stood at 3.2% more than double the rate today.

In other news nationally the latest figures show:

· Wage growth has outstripped inflation for the ninth month in a row.

· The employment rate is 75.7%, a joint record high up 5.5 % points since 2010.

· The unemployment rate is 4.1%, down 3.9% points since 2010.

· Today's figures also reveal the youth unemployment level at a near record low and women in employment stands at 15.24m, up 1.6m since 2010.

Commenting Caroline said:

"These figures stand in sharp contrast to where we found ourselves in 2010. The whole peninsula was written off by the then Labour Government as "strategically unimportant" and so we were starved off investment to help grow our local economy and weather the storm the recession. However since then we have seen investment with new businesses opening, the Daedalus Enterprise Zone creating new jobs and much needed infrastructure – all of which I have fought for. Only a Conservative MP with access to the Government can deliver what we need locally."


12 DEC 2018

Vote of Confidence

I will be supporting the Prime Minister in the Vote of Confidence which takes place later today.

In this desperately uncertain time in our history as we battle to find the right solution for our country's future upon leaving the European Union, I believe that the last thing we need is a Conservative Leadership contest. This will take up valuable time and will merely result in a new leader who will face the same challenges as Theresa May.

It's quite probable a new Leader would not be in place by the 21st January legal deadline, so a leadership election risks handing control of the Brexit negotiations to opposition MPs in Parliament. A new Leader would not have time to renegotiate a Withdrawal Agreement and get the legislation through Parliament by 29th March – so one of their first acts would have to be extending or rescinding Article 50, delaying – or even stopping – Brexit when people want us to get on with it.

We need to put party political squabbling to one side, put our country first and deliver for the people that put their trust in us.


11 DEC 2018

CAROLINE COMMENDS CAT CHARITY

Caroline Dinenage met with Cats Protection in Westminster to hear about their work helping improve the life the lives of cats and the people who love them.

The MP heard more about the charity's award-winning Purrfect Landlords campaign, aimed at encouraging more landlords to allow tenants to own cats. She also learned about the charity's work in calling for compulsory microchipping of cats and the licensing of air guns in England and Wales to prevent cats being the victims of shootings.

Cats Protection is the UK's leading cat charity, helping around 200,000 cats every year through a network of over 250 voluntary-run branches and 36 centres.

Caroline commented:

"The day was a great opportunity for us to highlight the problems faced by many renters who are unable to own cats due to 'no pet' policies. The Purrfect Landlord campaign is helping change the way cat ownership is viewed by landlords and letting agents. Cats make for happy tenants with 94% of private tenants with a cat saying that cat ownership has a positive impact on their lives."


07 DEC 2018

MP CROWNS CHRISTMAS CARD COMPETITION WINNER

Local MP Caroline Dinenage announced the winner of her sixth annual Christmas Card Design competition at Gosport Discovery Centre today.

Earlier this year, Caroline invited primary schools in Gosport, Lee on the Solent, Stubbington & Hill Head to submit designs for her 2018 Christmas card competition and received over 150 entries!

Madison McLaren, Year 3 from Gomer Junior School was crowned overall winner with her stunning Christmas Snow Globe design.

This year's runners up, whose designs features on the back of the card were; Grace Annells from Brockhurst Primary School, Jacob Davis from Alverstoke Infant School and Chloe Wright from Rowner Junior School.

After the announcement Caroline commented:

"Every year the competition gets more difficult to judge due to the amount of fantastic designs I receive and the talent displayed within them. With the talent that the entrants are already showing at such young ages I am sure that there are great things in store for these budding artists!

It was fantastic to meet my so many of the artists that took part in this year's Christmas card competition at my presentation night – they are all extremely talented with artistic skills, imagination and creativity."

All of the entries will be on display on the Mezzanine Floor of the Discovery Centre until 21 December 2018. You can also see the 7 shortlisted designs here.

This year's judging panel included Caroline, the Mayor of Gosport Diane Furlong, Peter Maguire from The Gosport Globe and local artist Neil Marshall.


07 DEC 2018

MP'S DELIGHT AT NEW QA EMERGENCY FLOOR!

"A vital step towards the accident and emergency provision that local residents need and deserve." Caroline Dinenage MP

Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, has welcomed the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock's announcement today that Queen Alexandra Hospital has been successful in their Capital Bid to redevelop their emergency floor.

In 2018, QA put forward a proposal for the redevelopment of the ageing accident and emergency area. The project, which would aim to be open by February 2021, will deliver improved urgent care for Portsmouth and South East Hampshire. The projected cost of the scheme, at £58.2million is significant but is vital to securing a long term solution for the overstretched service.

The MP has played a vital part in both the bid and its successful outcome. At a meeting with Mark Cubbon, the Chief Executive of the hospital, in January, Caroline suggested that they bid into the STP Capital scheme which the Department of Health & Social Care had announced. The bid was submitted in early September and Caroline wrote to and met with the then Minister of State for Health, Steve Barclay MP, to highlight the vital importance of this bid for the wider Portsmouth area.

Commenting on the announcement Caroline said:

"I'm delighted that QA have been successful in this redevelopment bid. I was determined to help argue for it because staff and patients alike have struggled with inadequate emergency facilities at the hospital for far too long. This is vital to safeguard patients and ensure effective and efficient treatment."

The successful bid will feature a single point of access for all adult emergencies at QA, and be a modern, fit for purpose facility for high quality care. In doing so it will improve patient safety, as well as ensuring the hospital delivers effective and efficient clinical practices; whilst also reducing admissions rates and confusion.


30 NOV 2018

WAR MEMORIAL FAMILIES DESERVE TO SEE JUSTICE DONE SAYS MP

"The findings of the Gosport Independent Panel are too grave to ignore. Families deserve to see justice delivered." Caroline Dinenage MP

Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, has met with the Home Secretary to ensure the findings of the Gosport Independent Panel are acted on.

The Panel report concluded that the previous three investigations by Hampshire Constabulary were flawed and failed to consider historic aspects of the case. Hampshire Constabulary have now had to recuse themselves from further involvement in the case and Kent Constabulary will undertake the police response. However, there is growing concern by families at the lack of progress, with investigations yet to begin.

This follows the Department of Health and Social Care last week responding announcing several measures including the strengthening the protection for NHS Whistleblowers, new legislation for NHS Trusts to report annually on how concerns raised by staff have been addressed, and the Introduction of Medical Examiners and Reforms to Death Certification in England and Wales from April next year.

Caroline met with the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, to raise her concerns about the speed of progress on the police response, and he offered his support in ensuring the police investigation is urgent and robust.

Commenting Caroline said: "It was very useful meeting with the Home Secretary to fight for my constituents and ensure that this matter is being given the full attention it deserves.

I also plan to meet with the Assistant Chief Constable of Kent Constabulary in the coming weeks to hear further detail of investigations into these tragic events."

Home Secretary Sajid Javid added: "Caroline has been a tireless campaigner for the truth into the events at the Gosport War Memorial Hospital. Like so many I found the scale and depth of the Panel report shocking. We must now ensure that the police investigations are robust; the families of the victims deserve nothing less."


29 NOV 2018

Statement on the Withdrawal Agreement

Many of my constituents have written to me with regard to Brexit – some expressing their concerns on the Withdrawal Agreement, some voicing their support for a 'People Vote' second referendum and some supporting the Prime Minister in her tough negotiations with the EU.

I want to assure my constituents that I have read all their correspondence and thought long and hard about this important issue.

After the Brexit referendum in 2016 I pledged to deliver the wishes of my Constituents, who voted overwhelmingly to Leave the EU and have voted in favour of every piece of Brexit legislation since then.

My stance on the form of this current Withdrawal Agreement has always been, and will continue to be, focused on promoting jobs, prosperity and the local economy for people in the Gosport Constituency - and protecting them from hardship.

There are parts of the Withdrawal Agreement with which I'm deeply uncomfortable. However, on balance, the key reasons why local people told me they voted to Leave, namely; to regain control of our borders, laws and money, to be able to trade around the world and to leave the common fisheries and agricultural policies; will all be delivered on.

I believe we can thrive following our departure from the EU and, as your MP, I will do all I can to ensure Gosport is able to take advantage of these opportunities.

It has been a tough negotiating period and I admire the Prime Minister who is doing her very best in difficult circumstances.

Implementing the result of the referendum is absolutely essential. The Country voted to Leave. The House of Commons voted overwhelmingly both to trigger Article 50 last year and for the EU Withdrawal Bill, which is now an Act of Parliament.

We are leaving the EU on the 29th March and we need to unite to make it a success.


29 NOV 2018

WARTIME STORIES VITAL FOR REMEMBRANCE, SAYS MP

In the year of the centenary of the end of World War One, Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage is urging constituents to engage with local Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) sites to learn more about the community links to World War One and Two.

The CWGC cares for the 1.7 million Commonwealth men and women graves and memorials, including the 3573 Common Wealth War Graves and 42 Foreign War Graves in local cemeteries. More than 306 000 of those who sacrificed their lives are commemorated on British soil and Caroline Dinenage in encouraging constituents to help keep their stories alive.

The CWGC is committed to commemorating the war dead in perpetuity and its charity arm, the Common Wealth War Graves Foundation (CWGF), offers supporters a chance to give back by helping teach young people about those who died. The CWGF runs educational programmes and a successful intern programme that offers the chance to work at some of the Commission's most well-known sites in France and Belgium.

Caroline stated,

"Gosport's rich military history is a proud and defining feature of our local community. Almost every family in our area and across the country has a connection that personally links them to the First and Second World Wars. As we mark one hundred years since armistice in 1918, it is vital to keep the stories of war and important lessons learned alive for future generations."


28 NOV 2018

STUBBINGTON BYPASS INQUIRY

Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, today expressed relief that the Public Inquiry into the Stubbington Bypass for the Department for Transport has been concluded. The Inquiry was looking at the Compulsory Purchase of Land Order and the Side Roads Order, further to an objection by a member of the public. Construction of the Stubbington Bypass was due to start early next year but work has now been delayed due to the Inquiry.

The hearing, which lasted two full days, was due to include an important site visit by the Inspector, but the length of proceedings had threatened to delay the visit until the new year. The visit will now take place next Tuesday. Caroline said; "I am pleased that the Inspector has found an opportunity for the site visit and I hope that she is able to complete her report to the Secretary of State as soon as possible to enable a decision to be made, which I hope will be positive, to enable work to begin as soon as possible and save yet more taxpayers money being wasted".

The Bypass scheme involves a package of transport infrastructure improvements including:

  • A new 3.5km long single carriageway road that will run south of Fareham and north and east of Stubbington, bypassing the existing B3334 through Stubbington;
  • New junctions at either end of the Bypass and at Peak Lane;
  • Junction and link improvement works at either end of the bypass on B3334 Titchfield Road and B3334 Gosport Road;
  • Supporting highway improvement works in Stubbington village;
  • and New / improved / modified facilities for pedestrians and cyclists.

Since becoming elected, Caroline has tirelessly lobbied for this investment and has prioritised tackling road congestion problems in the Gosport constituency. Over the years she has welcomed numerous Transport Ministers to the area to make the case for road investment. In 2016, she held high-level meetings with the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which helped secure the £19.7m Government funding package for the preliminary bypass work. This secured planning permission and additional road improvements in the Gosport & Fareham area.

In February 2017 the Government confirmed that it would provide the funding necessary to complete the long-awaited Stubbington Bypass. Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid MP, announced the Local Growth Deal allocations to Local Enterprise Partnerships up and down the country. The Solent LEP receiving £31.02 million, providing sufficient funds to build the Stubbington Bypass.

Commenting Caroline said:

"The Inspector heard an over whelming case for the Bypass and the benefits it will provide for the local population in easing our painfully inadequate transport infrastructure and unlocking growth. There were no objections from land owners in respect of the compulsory purchase of the land. Clearly the current B3334 is not fit for purpose and the Bypass will bring about a dramatic improvement in journey times, which will attract more business and employment to the area, particularly to the Daedalus Enterprise Zone. I hope this compelling case, in the public interest is given the 'green light' urgently".

The decision of the Public Inquiry will be announced in due course.


26 NOV 2018

CAROLINE COMMENDS COMMUNITY CARE FUNDING

"It is vital to ensure that people can get the care that they need in the comfort of their own homes. I welcome the announcement made today that will relieve pressure off our precious NHS." Caroline Dinenage MP.

Last week the Health Secretary has announced £3.5 billion will be given to primary and community healthcare to enable people to access the care they need from home. The money will fund 24/7 community-based rapid response teams and urgent care that will support residents in homes, providing a high-quality alternative to hospital visits.

The announcement is part of the Government's Long Term Plan for the NHS to improve the efficiency and sustainability of the national healthcare service.

Caroline commented:

"In recent years our NHS has been faced with increasing pressure, with resources and staff strained by factors such as ageing populations. In Gosport alone it is estimated over 18 000 residents are over 60 years old. As many of a third of people stay in hospital longer than they need to as they cannot get treatment close to where they live. This funding is essential to help relieve our hard working NHS staff from long visits that can be achieved in the comfort of residents own homes."


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