23 FEB 2017

SULTAN & BLOCKHOUSE FUTURE RAISED IN PARLIAMENT

The proposed closure of HMS Sultan and Fort Blockhouse in Gosport was discussed in Parliament on Tuesday during a Westminster Hall debate on the "A Better Defence Estate" strategy.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, member of the Public Accounts Committee, explained that she was dissatisfied that detailed and holistic economic cases have not yet been done for each of the sites identified. She used HMS Sultan and Fort Blockhouse as examples, reporting that the business cases for disposing of both sites remain unclear. She highlighted the Ofsted-rated excellent training at HMS Sultan as an important reason not to dispose of the site.

Ms Trevelyan's comments come following a detailed submission to the Public Accounts Committee by Gosport MP, Caroline Dinenage. On 9 January 2017, Mrs Dinenage wrote to the Committee explaining her concerns about the decision regarding HMS Sultan and Fort Blockhouse. Mrs Dinenage highlighted that while she did agree there was potential for commercial investment in Fort Blockhouse to generate employment for the local community, this would only be realised if the waterside part of the site was part of the sale. She also explained the detriment to Gosport, the MoD and the Royal Navy that would result from the proposed disposal of the HMS Sultan.

Commenting, Caroline said:

"I'm so pleased my noisy campaigning is being heard across parliament and warmly welcome Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP's comments, which shone a light on the risks associated with disposing of HMS Sultan and Fort Blockhouse. I appreciate the MOD's need to streamline its massive defence estate. But in my view, a pragmatic, business-minded approach must drive disposal decisions to exact the best possible outcomes for the taxpayer, the MOD and the local community here in Gosport."

The "Better Defence Estate" strategy was announced by the Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, on 7 November 2016. It outlines plans to dispose of 91 military bases across the UK by 2032, representing a 30% reduction in the size of the defence estate. During the debate, MPs voiced a range of concerns about how the strategy was formulated and the implications for local areas.

The full transcript of the debate can be found here and on Parliament TV here.


17 FEB 2017

MP CALLS UPON RESIDENTS’ SUPPORT FOR BASICS BANK

Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, recently met with Philip Rutt from Fareham and Gosport Basics Bank at one of her constituent surgeries.

Fareham and Gosport Basics Bank is a Christian organisation who provide practical help such as food and essential goods in a welcoming, caring environment where each person is valued and respected as an individual.

In the last 12 months the Basics Bank has dealt with over 2000 referrals in Fareham and Gosport. They provide a week's worth of food, toiletries and in some cases, nappies, for people in crisis.

However, they are on the search for new premises in Gosport. Unfortunately their current base, David Bogue Hall, is part of Bury Road URC which is amalgamating with another congregation and therefore these premises will no longer be available for the Basics Bank to use.

They are looking for a space such as a small industrial unit or warehouse or a building with the use of three separate rooms. Ideally, the new base would be in a central and accessible location so that those in need can still receive the essential services they provide.

Caroline said:

"Gosport Basics Bank do a fantastic job of helping people in our area who find themselves with nowhere else to turn. It would be wonderful if we were able to help them in their quest to find a long-term base to continue their incredibly important work.

That is why I am encouraging anyone who knows of a local premises that might be suitable to get in touch with the Basics Bank to see if it might meet their needs."

Phillip Rutt, Fareham and Gosport Basics Bank, said:

"We are grateful for our involvement with Bury Road URC and we have received generous support from the Church.

Due to the growing need in Gosport, we are committed to finding new premises so that we can carry on doing what we always have done, supporting the vulnerable members of our community."

If you have any ideas or suggestions of any locations which would be suitable for Gosport Basics Bank, then please contact Philip Rutt on 07709 962397 or philip.rutt@icloud.com.

For more information about Gosport and Fareham Basics Bank or to see how you can help please visit http://www.friendsofthehomeless.org.uk/index.html or https://www.facebook.com/FarehamandGosportBasicsBank/.


16 FEB 2017

CAROLINE CALLS FOR LOCAL INNOVATION AUDIT EVIDENCE

Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, is calling for Gosport organisations involved in science, research, innovation and technology, to submit evidence to the South of England Science & Innovation audit.

The government-endorsed audit is designed to identify the region's innovation strengths and examine their potential influence on business growth in four key sectors:

Connected digital systems, services & productsAdvanced engineeringMarine and maritimeBioscience

In light of the Government's recent proposals for a new national industrial strategy, the Science and Innovation Audit is a timely opportunity to showcase the innovation assets and entrepreneurialism in our local area; and to make a powerful case for investment in the region and its businesses.

"Innovation South", a consortium of businesses, universities and local enterprise partnerships in the South of England, has been chosen to carry out the Government-endorsed audit. They have published a call for evidence, with the deadline of 17:00 on Tuesday 28 February. To inform the Audit, they want to make sure they take account of the existing evidence on the innovation landscape – and want to capture local intelligence and insight into the impact digital enabling technologies are making to industries, markets and networks.

Commenting, Caroline said:

"Here in the Gosport area, we have masses of potential within the science and innovation agenda, owing to the presence of cutting-edge maritime, aeronautical and advanced manufacturing businesses. We have an increasingly excellent support network for new start-ups, like the Fareham Innovation Centre and educators like Gomer Junior School, Bay House Sixth Form and CEMAST are delivering innovative STEM education and high-quality technical apprenticeships.

"That is why I am calling on local organisations involved in science and innovation to consider putting forward evidence to the audit. Not only will this help to promote the excellent work already underway in the Gosport constituency, but also to create an agenda for further investment and growth in years to come."

If you have evidence that you feel would be useful – whether this is data, reports, case studies or insights from your knowledge and experience – Innovation South would very much like to hear from you. For more information, visit: https://www.enterprisem3.org.uk/node/1156


16 FEB 2017

LOCAL ORGANISATIONS SECURE POLICE AND CRIME COMMISSIONER FUNDING

Caroline Dinenage MP has welcomed news that 14 organisations serving the Gosport area have been successful in their applications for Police and Crime Commissioner funding. Collectively, they will be awarded £326 305, with this money being used to fund projects that prevent offending, support victims and help individuals to realise their potential without being drawn into the Criminal Justice System.

The Police and Crime Commissioner received 148 applications in total, of which 70 have been successful. The projects chosen were those believed to best meet the specific needs of their local areas.

A number of Gosport-based organisations have been awarded funding. Gosport Community Safety Partnership will be awarded over £28 000 in total, which includes £7 830 to continue its annual Summer Passport scheme. Commenting, Caroline said:

'I was delighted to see so many enthusiastic young people involved in a session of the scheme I visited last August. Access to fun, free activities during the summer holidays makes such a difference, many see a lack of recreational options as a key factor in youth crime. I'm thrilled that Gosport Community Safety Partnership has been awarded funding to continue their valuable work. I am pleased that so many organisations are working across Gosport to improve the community for everyone, and in such innovative ways. I have no doubt that the funding awarded will make a big difference to local people's lives'.

The Gosport based youth charity Motiv8 will receive £17 655 to deliver a programme aimed at reducing anti-social behaviour among young people, and the Wheatsheaf Trust will receive £30 000 to support an intensive mentoring project for young offenders across Gosport and neighbouring towns. Crimestoppers Hampshire, the Hampshire Stalking Clinic, the Crime Diversion Scheme, Portsmouth Abuse and Rape Counselling, Solent NHS Trust, Southern Domestic Abuse Service, the Footprints Project and the Prince's Trust have also been awarded funding to support work in the Gosport area.

Michael Lane, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire, has emphasised that even where he has been unable to offer funding, he is keen to support community groups in their efforts to make the local area safer. Further information about the Police and Crime Commissioner can be found, here: http://www.hampshire-pcc.gov.uk/commissioner.


15 FEB 2017

MP ENCOURAGES APPLICATIONS FOR SKILLS AND OPPORTUNITIES FUND

Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, has encouraged Gosport residents to apply for Natwest Skills and Opportunities Funding which will see £2.5m given to charities, social enterprises, community groups, state-funded schools and colleges across the country in 2017.

The Fund has already shared £5m in four rounds of funding since being launched in 2015, with successful applications ranging from educational outreach projects to healthy eating initiatives and careers advice workshops.

Applications for funding should reflect the priorities of each region, which in the South East focus on developing enterprise and improving the financial capability of disadvantaged groups. A diverse range of projects will be considered, and the maximum amount any one organisation can apply for is £35 000. Applications for the current round of funding close at noon on Friday the 24th of February.

Commenting, Caroline said:

"As MP, I've been lucky enough to see first-hand the brilliant work being undertaken by a wide range of community and not-for-profit groups in Gosport, and would strongly encourage any eligible organisation to apply for Skills and Opportunities funding. Ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to develop the necessary skills to undertake rewarding careers is so important, benefiting not only the individual but also the local community and economy. I am delighted, therefore, to see funding being made available to support community groups in this valuable work."

To find out more about eligibility criteria and how to apply, visit: http://skillsandopportunitiesfund.natwest.com/


08 FEB 2017

MP SHOWS SUPPORT FOR THE GREAT BRITISH SPRING CLEAN

Gosport MP, Caroline Dinenage, showed her support for the many anti-litter heroes working to keep Britain clean when she attended The Great British Spring Clean parliamentary launch at Westminster. The Great British Spring Clean is a new national initiative launched by the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy. Set to take place from the 3rd – 5th of March, it will be the nation's biggest ever anti-litter campaign, inspiring 500,000 people across the UK to get involved with community initiatives to tackle litter in their local areas.

The Great British Spring Clean is endeavouring to build on the success of the 2016 national clean-up, which saw 250,000 people take part. This year's aim is to encourage half a million litter pickers to help clean up the country, whilst also raising awareness of the damaging economic and environmental consequences of litter. RSPCA data reveals that there are 5,000 reports of animals being injured by litter each year, and the annual economic cost of cleaning Britain's streets is £700 million.

A Voice For Gosport and Solent Environmental Action are organising a Community Clean Up to take place on the 5th March in Walpole Park, to mark the national initiative. To get involved, meet by the creek shoreline nearest to Haslar Car Park at 11am. Bring equipment with you and wear sturdy shoes! Everyone is welcome, and children joining will receive a goody bag and a certificate to say thank you.

Commenting, Caroline said:

'The Great British Spring Clean is a fantastic event that really encourages residents to make a positive difference to their local communities. Litter is an unsightly and potentially dangerous addition to our streets, parks and beaches, and I am glad to lend my support to such an important initiative. I am thrilled to see Gosport residents taking a pro-active approach to litter, and I am sure people will get behind the campaign and help to improve our public spaces for everyone.'

You can find out more about how to get involved in the Great British Spring Clean, here: http://www.greatbritishspringclean.org.uk/home/2684. Information about events happening in Gosport is available here: http://www.litteraction.org.uk/sea-solent-environmental-action


06 FEB 2017

MP PROMPTS MULTI-AGENCIES ACTION ON UNTAXED CARS

Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, met with DVLA last week to raise the issue of abandoned or untaxed vehicles in the Gosport area, which has been a growing topic in her inbox over recent months.

The MP invited the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency to a meeting in her constituency to discuss the issue and attempt to put a plan in place to start to resolve this escalating problem, in an attempt to tackle this local problem.

The meeting took place last week along with representatives from Hampshire Constabulary, Gosport Borough Council, Gosport Borough Council's Streetscene department and Hampshire Trading Standards.

After the meeting, Caroline said:

"This meeting was hugely valuable in pinpointing the exact powers of each organisation and how we can all work together in an effort to reduce the problems that abandoned and untaxed vehicles are causing in Gosport.

We have agreed a plan of action which will be implemented in the coming months with all organisations working together to tackle the issue."

To report an untaxed car to the DVLA, please visit https://www.gov.uk/report-untaxed-vehicle. To report an abandoned vehicle, please visit, https://www.gosport.gov.uk/sections/environment/streetscene/enforcement/abandoned-vehicles/.


02 FEB 2017

STUBBINGTON BYPASS GETS THE GREEN LIGHT

Today, the Government confirmed that it will 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 will receive £31.02 million, providing sufficient funds to build the Stubbington Bypass.

Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, a strong campaigner for improved access to the Gosport peninsula, has welcomed the news.

"I am delighted that this much-needed road improvement project will be delivered. The Stubbington Bypass is a critical part of the solution to our area's traffic problems, which is why I have campaigned for investment in the project ever since I was first elected. This new strategic route is essential to meet the needs of long-suffering residents and commuters, who put up with terrible congestion on a daily basis. It will transform connectivity of the Solent Enterprise Zone and the wider Gosport peninsula, breaking down a key barrier to our area's economic regeneration."

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.

The total project cost is £34.2m. An £8.5m contribution from the local roads authority, Hampshire County Council, was confirmed in summer 2016, meaning £25.7m was required from central Government to complete the project.

It is estimate that the project will unlock £200m of private sector leverage. In addition, traffic studies show that half of cars leaving Gosport heard west on M27 towards Southampton. A new peninsula access route will help take cars off of the A32, therefore supporting the whole Gosport peninsula.

Since becoming elected, Caroline has tirelessly lobbied for this investment and has prioritised tackling road congestion problems in the Gosport constituency. In 2013, she welcomed the former Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin MP, and the former Transport Minister, Norman Baker MP, to the area. Last year, she held high-level meetings with the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to make the case for funding to complete the bypass.

As a result, Caroline was pivotal in securing the Enterprise Zone status for Daedalus airfield as well as an £8.5 million package for work on Newgate Lane, which began in January 2014. Last year, Caroline 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.

Caroline has also held frequent meetings with the Solent LEP and Hampshire County Council to encourage these local stakeholders to maintain the bypass project at the top of their agenda.


01 FEB 2017

MP ASKS GOSPORT TO GET BEHIND FESTIVAL

Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, is urging members of her local community to support Gosport Marine Festival in February.

Gosport Marine Festival have successfully applied to receive funding through the Tesco Bags of Help scheme and now they need your help.

Bags of Help is Tesco's local community grant scheme where the money raised from the 5p bag levy in Tesco stores is being used to fund thousands of community projects across the UK. The projects must meet the criteria of promoting community participation in the development and use of outdoor spaces.

Three local community projects are voted on in Tesco stores each month across Tesco regions throughout England, Scotland and Wales. In each region, the project that received the most votes from all stores in their region will receive a grant of up to £5,000. The second placed project receives up to £2,000 and third placed up to £1,000. Every year, over 7000 projects will receive funding through this scheme.

You can vote in many local Tesco's including; Gosport Tesco Superstore, Forton Road Tesco Express, Rowner Tesco Express, Lee on the Solent Tesco Express and Fareham Tesco Superstore. To vote, you will need to make a purchase within store of any value. You will receive one token per transaction and it's not necessary to purchase a carrier bag in order to receive a token.

Commenting, Caroline said:

"Gosport Marine Festival is a wonderful free event hosted in Gosport every two years aimed at showing local residents the abundance of opportunities on and in the water.

Every token helps to support this fabulous event run by Gosport Marine Scene so please get behind them and vote."

For more information about Gosport Marine Festival please visit http://www.gosportmarinefestival.org.uk/.


30 JAN 2017

MP TO HOST MULTI-AGENCY MEETING ON UNTAXED CARS

The issue of abandoned or untaxed vehicles in the Gosport area has been a growing feature of MP Caroline Dinenage's mailbag over recent months.

In an attempt to tackle this local problem, the MP has invited the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency to a meeting in her constituency to discuss the issue and attempt to put a plan in place to start to resolve this escalating problem.

The meeting will take place later this week along with representatives from Hampshire Constabulary, Gosport Borough Council, Gosport Borough Council's Streetscene department and Hampshire Trading Standards, who alongside Caroline, will meet with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.

Ahead of the meeting, Caroline said:

"Correspondence from constituents shows they are increasingly concerned about this issue. Many state how it has affected parking availability, caused hazards on the roads and in one case has even affected a business expansion.

This, entirely avoidable, issue should not be blighting people's daily lives in this way. I am looking forward to hosting this meeting and, with the relevant organisations, designing a joined up approach. If all of the authorities are tackling this issue together, we should find a solution."

To report an untaxed car to the DVLA, please visit https://www.gov.uk/report-untaxed-vehicle. To report an abandoned vehicle, please visit, https://www.gosport.gov.uk/sections/environment/streetscene/enforcement/abandoned-vehicles/.


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