Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, has welcomed new research revealing that Gosport benefits from some of the fastest broadband speeds in the UK.
Research published by the House of Commons Library sets out the current situation for broadband access and coverage in all four nations of the UK, as well as how the roll-out of superfast broadband is being managed. It found that the average download speed in Gosport is 50Mb/s, compared with an average speed of 37.8Mb/s nationally. It also found that Gosport is ranked 47th out of 650 constituencies for connections receiving superfast broadband, and 76th for superfast broadband availability. In Rowner and Holbrook 73.2% of connections receive superfast broadband speeds, meaning it is in the top 20 wards nationally.
Fast, reliable broadband internet access is essential for businesses to compete globally and ensure customers can benefit from online services. Broadband Delivery UK, part of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, is committed to bringing superfast broadband access to 95 per cent of UK premises by the end of the year. By 2020, this should reach 97 per cent, through a combination of public and commercial investment.
Commenting, Caroline said: 'A fast internet connection is vital to small businesses, driving efficiency and productivity. The internet plays such a huge role in business growth, and so I'm thrilled to learn that Gosport benefits from some of the best broadband infrastructure in the UK.'
Local MP, Caroline Dinenage has welcomed the Chancellor's 2017 Budget, which prioritised stabilising and strengthening the UK's economy as we leave the EU, while meeting the Government's commitment to build a country that works for everyone.
Provisions in the Budget included:
Supporting the NHS and Social Care: An additional £2 billion funding will be made available to support social care in England over the next three years. Alongside that, £100 million will be made available immediately for up to 100 new triage projects at A&E in English hospitals, in time for next winter. This stands alongside the Government's commitment to delivering a £10 billion real terms increase in annual NHS funding by 2020.
Backing business: A £435 million package will support businesses coming out of Small Business Relief and cap their increases at £50 per month in 2017-18; all pubs with a Rateable Value of under £100,000 will see a £1,000 discount on their 2017 Business Rates bill; and local authorities will receive a further £300 million to deliver discretionary relief to target hard revaluation cases in their local areas.
Helping working families: The National Living Wage will rise to £7.50 in April, representing an income boost of £500 for a full time worker this year, and the personal allowance will rise for the seventh year in a row to £11,500 this April. Free childcare for working parents will be doubled, rising to 30 hours per week, supporting around 390,000 working parents with the cost of childcare, saving parents using the full entitlement around £5,000 per year.
Promoting skills: The introduction of T-levels will provide a clearer system of technical qualifications recognised by employers with clear routes into work. Funding will also be made available for a further 110 new free schools, on top of the current commitment of 500, alongside an additional £216 million over the next three years to look after existing schools, taking total investment in school condition to well over £10 billion in this Parliament. £40 million will be invested in helping adults re-train and up-skill throughout their lives.
Commenting, Caroline said:
"I'm really pleased that the Chancellor has delivered a budget that balances the need to invest in key services, such as the NHS and Social Care, whilst recognising the value of fiscal restraint. Forecasts released by the Office for Budget Responsibility are encouraging - the UK economy is forecast to grow by 2 per cent in 2017, and the deficit is forecast to fall to 0.7 per cent in 2020-21. This would be the lowest it's been in over two decades. But we mustn't be complacent, and I'm glad that the Budget takes a sensible approach as the UK prepares to withdraw from the EU."
Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, has shown her support for International Women's Day, an international initiative that celebrates women and promotes gender equality. The theme of this year's event addresses the need to 'Be Bold For Change'.
In her role as Minister for Women & Equalities, Caroline opened the London Stock Exchange this morning, alongside Veuve Cliquot Business Woman Awards finalists.
Commenting, Caroline said: 'International Women's Day is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate how far we've come, and take stock of what more we need to do. I'm thrilled that in Gosport 40% of our local councillors are women, and with the election of Trudy Harrison to the House of Commons last month 30% of MPs are now women. But there is of course much more to do and we must be bold in order to affect real change for women and girls not just in the UK, but around the world'.
Caroline welcomed the announcement in today's budget that £30 million would be allocated to initiatives that promote women's equality. £20 million will be awarded to organisations working to tackle domestic violence and abuse. This increases total funding for the Government's Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy to over £100 million in this Parliament.
£5 million will be used to support 'returnship' schemes, which help women returning to work after a career break. With women far more likely than men to experience an interrupted career pathway, this funding will help to ensure that women's skills and talents are not wasted.
A further £5 million will be used to support educational initiatives surrounding the centenary of the Representation of the People Act, which in 1918 granted women the vote for the first time.
Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, took part in the Great British Spring Clean along with many anti-litter heroes working to keep Gosport clean at an event at Stokes Bay on Saturday.
Caroline joined The Friends of Stokes Bay, the team from Gomer Juniors, a group of our local Conservative Councillors and others to tidy up Stokes Bay.
The Great British Spring Clean is a new national initiative launched by the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy. Taking place from the Friday 3 March until Sunday 5 March, it was 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 built on the success of the 2016 national clean-up, which saw 250,000 people take part. This aim of the Great British Spring Clean 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.
Dropping litter costs councils hundreds of millions of pounds every year to clear up and spoils our enjoyment of towns and the countryside. Littered areas can reduce property prices and local businesses may suffer as people stay away. This affects the whole community and it can be avoided by everyone taking responsibility.
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. It was fantastic to see that 10 clean ups were arranged locally and over 2500 clean up's took place across the UK, showing that people really got behind this initiative.
Litter is an unsightly addition to our neighbourhoods and picking it up costs taxpayers millions of pounds every year, that's why 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 with regular litter-picks and action groups already doing a fantastic job to help keep Gosport tidy.'
You can find out more about the Great British Spring Clean, here: http://www.greatbritishspringclean.org.uk/home/2684. Information about future clean up events happening in Gosport can be found here: http://www.litteraction.org.uk/sea-solent-environmental-action.
Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, pledged her support for Earth Hour this week at a parliamentary reception hosted by the environmental charity, the WWF.
Earth Hour, which will take place from 8.30-9.30pm on the 25th of March, is a global initiative that encourages individuals, organisations and businesses to turn off their lights for one hour, one day a year. It is the world's largest climate change demonstration, and last year over 6 million people in the UK alone took part. Iconic landmarks across the country switched off their lights, from Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, to Brighton Pier, Edinburgh Castle and Caerphilly Castle.
The recent WWF Living Planet Report, which was published in 2016, shows that from 1970-2012 there has been a 58% decline in vertebrate numbers, and it is now estimated that climate change could lead to the extinction of 1 in 6 species.
The UK Government has consistently demonstrated its commitment to protecting the planet. When the UK passed the Climate Change Act in 2008, it became the first country in the world to set legally binding long term targets for reducing emissions. 25% of the UK's energy came from renewable sources last year, and more power came from solar panels than from coal stations in Britain between April and September 2016. The Prime Minister's ratification of the Paris Agreement last year signalled the Government's continued commitment to taking environmental issues seriously.
Commenting, Caroline said:
"We cannot take our planet for granted, and I know that the environment is a key concern for many of my constituents. I welcome the Government's hard work to develop environmentally sustainable practices for future generations. Environmental and economic progress are not just compatible - they depend on each other. Earth Hour is a great way of making a powerful point and I am sure this year's anniversary event will be a huge success."
Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, has welcomed figures revealing that Sport England has invested £602,855 of National Lottery money in Gosport sport since 2010.
The range of local sports clubs awarded funds include Hill Head, Lee-on-Solent and Hardway Sailing Clubs, Gosport Bowling Club, Gosport District Scout Council and Gosport Jedi Volleyball Club, to name but a few.
At a briefing session in Parliament, Caroline learned about the range of support Sport England continues to offer encourage people to play sport regularly, to help talented athletes become the best they can be and to make sure the right sports facilities are in the right places. Their support includes the Community Asset Fund, which awards between £1,000 and £150,000 for local clubs and community groups dedicated to enhancing spaces in the local community, and the Small Grants fund, which awards between £300 and £10,000 to support not-for-profit organisations who want to get more people playing sport.
Both funds are open all year round, meaning there are no strict deadlines for submitting an application. Furthermore, they have been developed to focus on viability and the value of the bid, rather than just the professionalism of the application, thereby making the fund more accessible to smaller community groups, that may have less experience in writing funding proposals.
Commenting, Caroline said:
"I am a massive supporter of Sport England. At a national level, their campaigns like This Girl Can are so important for helping women overcome fear of judgment and play more sport. But these figures show that their work at a local level is also critical for small clubs at the grass-roots level. We have so many fantastic groups in Gosport, who have already benefited from Sport England's investment. But I will be sure to contact local groups to bring the current support on offer to their attention, so they can continue to grow and expand, helping even more local people reap the rewards of sport and physical activity."
To stay up to date with Sport England's latest funds visit www.sportengland.org/funding.
Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, has welcomed the Government's announcement of £415 million to transform school facilities and encourage healthier lifestyles.
Primary, secondary and sixth-form colleges will be able to use the Healthy Pupils Capital Programme to pay for facilities to support physical education (PE), after-school activities and healthy eating. It will also be available for projects which improve facilities for children with physical conditions and support young people struggling with mental health issues.
The money – from the Soft Drinks Industry Levy – will be available in the 2018/19 financial year. Alongside the funding for the PE and Sport Premium, Breakfast Clubs and Universal Infant Free School Meals, it represents over £1.3 billion government investment to help young people live healthier lifestyles. It also builds upon wider government work such as the recent sports strategy.
Commenting, Caroline said:
"The UK has one of the highest overall obesity rates amongst developed countries, with the NHS spending over £6 billion a year on overweight and obesity-related ill health. Instilling healthy eating and good exercise habits from a young age is so important for boosting our children's wellbeing and ensuring they lead long, health and happy lives. I welcome the Government's record on tackling the issue of childhood obesity and I sincerely hope local schools will take advantage of this funding from the sugar tax when it becomes available."
On Tuesday 21st February, Caroline Dinenage MP attended an event in Parliament hosted by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to learn more about the impact of National Lottery investment in Gosport. Caroline learned that Gosport is ranked an impressive 7th in England by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts' Heritage Index, which sets out to measure the strength of heritage at a local level across the UK. Produced in collaboration with the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Heritage Index is an annual index that combines over 120 metrics, from historic buildings to local delicacies, revealing which local authorities are best at using heritage to foster a distinctive identity. Analysis of this year's heritage index suggests that making the most of local heritage is linked with a higher quality of life.
The event was part of National Lottery in Parliament, an exhibition to raise awareness among politicians in Westminster of the National Lottery funding available to its constituencies and demonstrate how National Lottery players' money is changing people's lives and improving the nation's wellbeing.
Gosport has benefited from nearly £10 million in Heritage Lottery Funding since 1995, with money being used to support a wide range of projects. £10 000 was granted to Gosport Heritage Open Days last August to support a project exploring the effects of the First World War on the local area, and nearly £2 million was awarded in March 2015 to support the regeneration of Priddy's Hard. Importantly, many smaller, community-led groups have also benefited from Heritage Lottery Funding. For example, the Lions Club of Crofton received over £4 000 in 2007 to run a three day festival in celebration of local heritage, while organisations such as Gosport Camping Capers, Rowner South Brownies and Friends of Bridgemary Park all benefited from micro grants of up to £100.
Commenting, Caroline said:
'Gosport has such a rich history, and Heritage Lottery Funding has been invaluable in preserving this and ensuring as many people as possible are able to enjoy it. I'm thrilled Gosport is ranked so highly in the RSA's Heritage Index – this really emphasizes the fact that important heritage sites aren't limited to cities like London and Oxford.
The Heritage Lottery Event also highlighted how diverse heritage can be. It's not all about preserving old buildings, but seeks to connect people to the places they live in a wide range of exciting ways.'
Plans have been approved for a 37,000sqft extension to the Innovation Centre at Daedalus. This will double the centre in size, create 33 new office units, five new workshops, new parking spaces and an estimated 300 local jobs.
The hub, which opened in 2015, provides space and resources for small businesses, mainly from the aviation, aerospace and marine sectors, to prosper and grow. Within its first year of opening it reached full occupancy, bringing 120 new jobs and 27 new businesses to the Enterprise Zone.
The Daedalus site has made immense progress since October 2010, when local MP Caroline Dinenage first chaired a mini summit with key stakeholders and formed the Daedalus Strategy Group, which she continued to chair until October 2015. The group was instrumental in Daedalus's successful bid to become an Enterprise Zone in 2011 and successive funding bids which have seen over £50 million invested in the site by various bodies.
In recent years, the site has seen the establishment of CEMAST (Centre of Excellence in Engineering, Manufacturing and Advanced Skills Training), training over 900 learners, apprentices and employees in specialised engineering and manufacturing solutions. Furthermore, investment has enabled building of a new runway, new hangars, refurbishments to the control tower and providing a large area of public open space.
Commenting on the announcement, Caroline said:
"The Solent Enterprise Zone at Daedalus Airfield is going from strength to strength. I am delighted that this bustling business hub is set to double in size, which will provide much needed support and resources for local fledgling businesses. Schemes like this, accompanied by the Stubbington Bypass and other road improvement projects, are so important for attracting investors and encouraging enterprise to our area, helping to boost growth, jobs and skills."
The work on expanding the hub is expected to cost around £6.6m and take just under a year with completion due in early 2018.
Caroline Dinenage MP has shown her support for the innovative 'This Girl Can' campaign, which aims to encourage more women and girls to get involved with sport. Caroline was treated to an exclusive preview of the campaign's new television advert, which airs for the first time today, and met with some of the inspiring women who have used 'This Girl Can' to help support women in their local areas to get active.
Developed by Sport England, 'This Girl Can' is a lottery funded project that celebrates active women who are doing their thing no matter how well they do it, or how they look. Research continues to demonstrate a huge disparity in the number of men and women that participate in sport and exercise. This is not because women and girls dislike exercise, but because fear of judgement discourages them from taking part. Given the considerable benefits associated with an active lifestyle, 'This Girl Can' aims to empower women to enjoy sport regardless of their skill level, fitness level, ethnicity, size or body shape.
Commenting, Caroline said:
'It's so important that societal pressure to look or behave a certain way doesn't stop women from enjoying the huge array of benefits associated with exercise and sport. I'm a keen netball player and an enthusiastic advocate of women's sport generally. Why should we let the men have all the fun?
Since This Girl Can was first launched a few years ago 2.8million women have started exercising or exercising more. I can't wait for everyone to see the new advert, and hope it encourages women to take that first step towards a more active lifestyle.'
The new advert has been available on Facebook and twitter since noon today. It will be aired on television during Coronation Street this evening, between 7.30 and 8pm on ITV
Click here to contact Caroline.