15 AUG 2017

CAROLINE CELEBRATES COMMUNITY'S EFFORTS TO CURE BLOOD CANCER

Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, has joined with Anthony Nolan to thank the 1192 people in Gosport who have registered with the charity as stem cell donors.

The figure places the constituency in the top half of the UK (165 out of 650) in terms of the number of potential lifesavers registered in the area. 44 per cent of the community's registered donors are male, and the average age is 40. Young men aged 16-30 are the most likely to be asked to donate to give someone with blood cancer or a blood disorder a second chance at life.

The figures come from Anthony Nolan's Communities versus Blood Cancer campaign, which celebrates the people who have already registered as donors and raises awareness of the shortage of donors that still exists. Young men and people from black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds are underrepresented on the register, making it difficult to find a match for everyone in need.

In total, 645,000 people in the UK are on the Anthony Nolan register, any of whom could be a match for someone with blood cancer and asked to donate their stem cells to give a patient a second chance of life.

Now, Caroline is encouraging more people from Gosport particularly men aged 16-30 and people from black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds, to register as stem cell donors and make sure that a match is available for everyone in need of a transplant.

Caroline said:

"I am very proud that Gosport has 1192 people who have selflessly volunteered to give someone a second chance at life. Donating stem cells is straightforward but it could make an enormous difference to someone with no other chance of a cure.

"I strongly hope that more people from the Gosport Constituency will be inspired to sign up and show that together, our communities can provide a cure for blood cancer."

Henny Braund, Chief Executive of Anthony Nolan, said:

"We're grateful to all the registered donors in Gosport for helping us in our goal of saving and improving the lives of people with blood cancer and blood disorders.

"Anthony Nolan's pioneering research, dedicated nurses and patient-focused services mean we have increased the support patients receive at every stage of their transplant journey – but without the contribution of selfless donors, our vital work would be impossible."

For more information about Anthony Nolan, visit www.anthonynolan.org.


15 AUG 2017

CRIME IN GOSPORT

I share many residents concerns that there has recently been a worrying increase in crime and anti social behaviour in the Gosport area.

I have been in touch with the Chief Constable and Chief Inspector to discuss this further and ensure that all possible action is being taken to address this issue. I have also spoken with the Police & Crime Commissioner for Hampshire who is working with the Chief Constable on this matter.

Some residents have conflated the situation with the closure of the Police Station. However most local people will know that the Police Station has simply moved and is now co-located with the Gosport Borough Council offices. Hampshire Constabulary say this will mean there is better front desk provision and improved collaboration with the Council's Community Safety Team and more money to spend on front line policing. They also say that the number of front-line police hasn't been reduced in this move.

Both Fareham and Portsmouth Councils have recently introduced Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO) which have significantly reduced incidents of rough sleeping in those towns. This may have had an impact on the number of rough sleepers in Gosport. I have spoken to Gosport Borough Council who have advised me that they will be consulting on a PSPO in Gosport which they are looking to implement ASAP.

I will continue to keep residents updated via my website.


03 AUG 2017

CAROLINE PROMOTES DISABILITY CONFIDENT SCHEME

Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, has undertaken the Disability Confident Summer Challenge to make the employers in her area more inclusive, encouraging them to sign up to the Disability Confident scheme and open up their workforce to disabled people.

In November 2015, Caroline hosted a Disability Confident Event giving local businesses from across Gosport, Stubbington, Lee-on-the-Solent and Hill Head an understanding of why they should take on disabled jobseekers and the support available to them to do so.

Now, Caroline is encouraging more local businesses to sign up to the scheme to try and become more Disability Confident in Gosport.

The challenge is part of a national campaign run by the Disability Confident scheme, which supports employers to increase the diversity of their workforce and offer opportunities to disabled jobseekers, including work experience, apprenticeships, work trials and employment.

Commenting Caroline said:

"Disabled people make up a fifth of the working age population, and our local employers could be missing out on a large proportion of the talent in our community.

"I hope this will be the start of lots more Gosport employers becoming Disability Confident and improved opportunities for local disabled people to realise their potential in the workplace."

Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work Penny Mordaunt said:

"I want to congratulate Gosport for taking steps to create more Disability Confident employers and helping achieve our aim of getting 1 million more disabled people into work over the next 10 years.

"The scheme supports employers who want know how they can make their organisation more inclusive. The Disability Confident kite mark also sends a powerful signal to disabled candidates that if they apply to that firm they can have confidence their needs and concerns will be understood and supported."

The new Disability Confident sign-up scheme was launched at the end of last year and builds on the success of the previous 'Two Ticks' scheme. More than 4,500 businesses have signed up to become Disability Confident so far.


31 JUL 2017

CAROLINE WELCOMES GOVERNMENT INITIATIVE TO SUPPORT VETERANS

Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, has welcomed the launch of a Government initiative designed to help veterans access the support they need as quickly as possible.

The 'Veteran's Gateway' website, which was launched this summer, brings together a wealth of information and provides a first point of contact, helping users to access support without delay. Many of the team are veterans themselves, so have first-hand experience of the issues that people face after leaving the Armed Forces. Advisers, who can be contacted by phone, email, text of live chat, work with people on a one-to-one basis, and the service operates 24-hours a day.

'Veteran's Gateway' is funded by the Armed Forces Covenant, and represents the first time a group of this kind has come together formally to deliver a service to help the Armed Forces community. You can visit the website here.

Commenting, Caroline said: ''Veteran's Gateway' is an incredibly sensible initiative which both simplifies and speeds-up access to advice and support. Many excellent organisations support the Armed Forces community, but navigating the available services can be tricky. A one-stop-shop bringing together a wealth of experience and expertise will ensure that unnecessary delays are avoided. I'm really glad the Government is taking its commitment to the Armed Forces community, as set out in the Armed Forces Covenant, seriously, and I would encourage anyone in need of support to make use of this important resource.'


28 JUL 2017

MP WELCOMES PLANS TO TACKLE UNFAIR LEASEHOLD TERMS

Caroline Dinenage MP has welcomed Government plans to tackle unfair leasehold terms.

Leasehold has long been a feature of England's housing market, and is generally used in properties such as flats. In this context, the arrangement makes sense. However, in recent years an increasing number of newly built, standalone houses are being sold on leasehold terms for no good reason, beyond creating a convenient revenue stream for developers. They provide little in the way of benefits for consumers, and can render homes unsellable thanks to unfair leasehold terms. There are currently 1.2 million leasehold houses recorded in England.

Measures set out in a newly published Government consultation will limit the sale of new-build leasehold houses to exceptional circumstances, discourage developers from selling properties on leasehold terms and increase the rights of leaseholders to challenge unreasonable service charges. The consultation also looks at limiting ground rents in new leases to a nominal level, and asks how the Government can respond to the challenges faced by existing leaseholders.

Responses to the consultation can be submitted here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/tackling-unfair-practices-in-the-leasehold-market

Commenting, Caroline said: 'I'm really pleased that these unfair, exploitative practices are being addressed, demonstrating the Government's commitment to ensuring that the housing market really works for everyone. As things stand, thousands of leaseholders are trapped by clauses with spiralling ground rents, and are being charged a small fortune to ask freeholders for permission to carry out even minor modifications to their properties. This clearly isn't right, and I welcome the Government's plans, which will help to ensure that all homebuyers are able to buy their home in a fair and transparent manner.'


27 JUL 2017

IFA2 UPDATE

On Monday 23 January, Fareham Borough Council's planning committee met to make a decision on National Grid's IFA2 planning application. After a 4 hour meeting and much discussion, Fareham Borough Council voted 7-2 in favour of National Grid's application to build an electricity interconnector at Daedalus airfield.

The Residents' Associations of Peel Common, Lee on the Solent and Hill Head then applied for the Secretary of State to revoke the planning permission granted to National Grid plc for IFA2 with Caroline as a signatory.

Following a meeting with Department for Communities and Local Government Ministers a couple of weeks ago to lobby for the revocation application, on Wednesday 26 July, Caroline was informed that the permission would not be revoked. You can view a copy of the response here.

Caroline remains concerned about the potential implications of the interconnector for aircraft operations and businesses on the Enterprise Zone.

For more information about the actions Caroline has taken since IFA2 was first discussed please click here.


24 JUL 2017

CAROLINE WELCOMES PLEDGE ON PLASTIC POLLUTANTS

Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, has welcomed the Environment Secretary's pledge for action to reduce plastic waste choking our oceans as he set out his ambition for the UK to lead the world in environmental protection.

Around eight million tonnes of plastic makes its way into oceans each year, posing a serious threat to our natural and marine environment – experts estimate plastic is ingested by 31 species of marine mammals and over 100 species of sea birds.

Since its introduction, the 5p plastic bag charge has reduced use by over nine billion bags – enough to wrap around the world more than 100 times. Money raised from the charge has generated £95 million for good causes.

Further plans to prevent other sources of plastic finding their way into our oceans and seas were announced during a speech entitled 'Delivering a Green Brexit'. Mr Gove confirmed legislation will be introduced this year to ban the sale and manufacture of microbeads – tiny pieces of plastic that are easily swallowed by marine life – in cosmetics and personal care products such as toothpastes and shower gels.

Commenting Caroline said:

"I am glad that a renewed strategy on waste and resources that looks ahead to opportunities outside the EU is being devised.

Many constituents have contacted me about plastic pollutants in the ocean so I am pleased that the Government will be taking robust action to reduce plastic waste."

For more information please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/news/environment-secretary-pledges-action-on-ocean-plastics.


20 JUL 2017

AMBULANCE RESPONSE PROGRAMME

The Secretary of State for Health is authorising NHS England to implement the Ambulance Response Programme recommendations in all ambulance services in the England so that patients across the country will benefit from the improvements seen in the pilot ambulance services.

The University of Sheffield report evaluates a series of Ambulance Response Programme pilots. Based on the extensive evidence base detailed in the report, NHS England is proposing a new framework of ambulance performance standards to help the service to operate more efficiently.

In particular: enabling ambulances to dispatch resources much more clearly based on the clinical needs of patients, introducing specific standards for stroke and heart attack, improving performance management of 'tail' waits and achieving greater consistency and transparency for less urgent calls by bringing all response standards into a consistent national framework.

For more information click here.


20 JUL 2017

CAROLINE WELCOMES BAN ON UNFAIR CARD CHARGES

Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, has welcomed the announcement that the Government are banning unfair credit and debit card fees.

In 2010 alone the total value of surcharges for debit and credit cards was an estimated £473 million. The new rules, which come into effect in January 2018 will ban companies from all bank card charges.

'Surcharging' is common practice across the country - with businesses ranging from takeaway apps to global airlines charging people to make card payments or for other services such as Paypal. The government has previously capped the costs that businesses face for processing card payments, and will engage with retailers to assess if there is any more that can be done to help.

While many industries have acted to absorb the cost and not pass these on to consumers, these rules will bring an end to the practice entirely. The rules will also tackle surcharging by local councils and government agencies.

Caroline commented:

"These small charges can really add up and this change will mean shoppers across the country have that bit of extra cash to spend on the things that matter to them.

I am pleased that the Government are committed to ending these unfair fees."


19 JUL 2017

CAROLINE WELCOMES £1.3 BILLION BOOST TO THE CORE SCHOOLS BUDGET

Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, has welcomed this week's announcement that there will be an additional £1.3 billion for schools funding over two years – helping to create more good school places.

Education Secretary Justine Greening announced the boost to the core schools budget, which will deliver the biggest improvement to the school funding system for well over a decade.

This additional funding to the fairer schools funding will mean an increase in the basic amount that every pupil will get, protected funding for those with high needs and will ensure every local authority is in a position to give schools a cash increase through the new formula.

This means that, working with teachers and schools across the country, we can continue to raise standards and give every child the best possible education, and the best opportunities for their future.

Caroline commented:

"The Conservatives are committed to ending the postcode lottery of school funding – so all children receive the education they deserve, wherever they live.

This announcement sends a clear message that we are committed to raising standards and giving every child the best possible education and the best possible opportunities for their future."


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