23 NOV 2017

CAROLINE WELCOMES £60K BOOST FOR SULTAN

Local MP Caroline Dinenage today welcomed news of a LIBOR boost for HMS Sultan and the Queen Alexandra Holiday Home.

A £60,000 cash injection for HMS Sultan from the LIBOR funds will enable them to modernise welfare facilities for Junior Ranks at the Gosport site.

The Queen Alexandra Holiday Home will also receive a cash boost of £153,546 to provide an 'Enhanced Speech and Language Therapy' project for disabled veterans.

Commenting on, Caroline said:

"This is absolutely fantastic news for Gosport and HMS Sultan. This investment shows that our fight to stop the closure might be gaining traction!

It's absolutely right that this is paid for by those bankers who attempted the rig the system and helped create the financial crisis. Our brave servicemen sacrifice so much for our country: the worst of Britain is now paying to support the very best."


23 NOV 2017

CAROLINE WELCOMES 2017 BUDGET

Caroline Dinenage MP has welcomed a Budget that invests for the long-term while supporting families and businesses under pressure now.

The Chancellor has prioritised building a New Economy, supporting families in their everyday lives, building homes for young people and those in need, and getting Britain ready for Brexit. By investing in key public services while demonstrating fiscal responsibility the Budget lays the foundations for a Britain fit for the future.

Key announcements include increasing the National Living Wage above inflation, cutting income tax by raising the personal allowance, and freezing fuel duty for the 8th year in a row. From April 2018, the National Living Wage will rise by 4.4 per cent to £7.83, meaning full-time workers are £2,000 better off since it was introduced, while the personal allowance will rise to £11,850.

An additional £2.8 billion will be invested in the NHS to 2019-20, including £350 million for this winter and £1.6 billion next year. Furthermore, the Government will deliver another £10 billion in capital funding to upgrade buildings and facilities. The Government will also provide additional funding for agreed nurses pay rises, ensuring that patient services are protected.

Measures announced demonstrate the Government's commitments to putting the UK at the cutting edge of science and innovation. As part of our modern industrial strategy, it will invest a further £2.3 billion in science and innovation, taking spending to its highest level in 30 years. To ensure people have the necessary skills to thrive in the new economy, the Chancellor announced an historic partnership between Government, the CBI and the TUC to set the strategic direction for a National Retraining Scheme, giving people the skills they need throughout life to get a well-paid job. £177 million will be invested in maths teaching, with schools offered a £600 incentive for each student deciding to study maths, and £42 million will support teacher training.

A package of measures to tackle tax avoidance and evasion are expected to raise £4.8 billion by 2022-23. This will build on the £160 billion already raised by clamping down on avoidance, evasion and aggressive planning, taking the UK's tax gap to a record low

Commenting, Caroline said: 'I'm really pleased that the Chancellor has delivered a Budget that recognises the need to combine immediate investment with a long term view of our country's future, ensuring we are ready for Brexit. Forecasts released by the Office for Budget Responsibility are encouraging. The economy is expected to grow by 1.5 per cent in 2017 – following 19 quarters of consecutive growth – and the deficit will fall to 2.3 per cent of GDP this year, which is down by over three quarters since 2010. We are on the right track, and have every reason to be optimistic going forward.'


22 NOV 2017

ANIMAL WELFARE PROTECTIONS AND EU LAW

It has been widely reported that MPs voted against recognising animals as sentient beings, which is not the case. The sentience of animals is self-evident. Rather, MPs voted against a specific amendment to the EU Withdrawal bill which was considered totally insufficient for animal protection. As such, the Government will deliver a better result using a different route.

The UK has some of the highest standards of animal welfare in the world – higher than any other country in Europe – and the Government has delivered a series of animal welfare reforms in recent months, demonstrating its commitment to sustaining and enhancing animal welfare protections outside of the EU. These include legislating to make CCTV coverage in slaughterhouses mandatory, and increasing the legal penalties for animal cruelty. In Prime Minister's Questions today, Theresa May restated her commitment to building in tighter animal welfare protections as we leave the EU. 

It is important to recognise that in respect of animal welfare, EU law is no panacea. It is possible to keep farm animals in unspeakably cruel conditions without breaking EU law, which has not stopped Spanish bull fighting, Dutch veal farms, or French fois gras. As a number of Conservative MPs have emphasised, EU should not be the Government's benchmark; rather, it must aspire to do better.

Based on the Animal Welfare Act the Animal Protection Index, maintained by World Animal Protection, rates the UK's formal recognition of animal sentience as grade A. Other Lisbon Treaty signatories such as France, Italy and Spain do not enjoy this rating, having each received grade C.

The EU Withdrawal Bill will convert the existing body of direct EU animal welfare laws into UK laws. Most of these EU laws relate to farmed animals and many were passed after Article 13 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) came into effect.

Article 13 of the TFEU created a qualified obligation on the EU and Member States "to have full regard to the welfare of animals [as they are sentient beings]" when formulating and implementing EU law. The Government has said that it will consider how the 'animal sentience' principle of Article 13 might be explicitly reflected in the UK once it leaves the EU.


20 NOV 2017

CAROLINE HOSTS GOSPORT ENTERPRISE FAIR

Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, hosted Gosport's second enterprise fair, a free event for the local community who either own their business or are interested in setting one up.

Over 100 local residents attended to hear speakers including the author, restaurant owner and 2012 MasterChef winner, Shelina Permalloo, Steve Futter, the Local Growth Programme Manager at the Solent LEP, and Jo Murchie, a branding consultant who was formally Director of Sales at Warner Bros.

Shelina Permalloo spoke about how the Solent LEP helped her to open her first restaurant Lakaz Maman in Southampton and Jo Murchie discussed her journey from Showbuiness to Own Business.

Following on from the speeches Caroline chaired a Q&A session with successful local businesswomen to hear how they found their feet in the business world.

Finishing the event, a networking session ensued where guests had the opportunity to circulate with 18 exhibitor organisations including the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Small Businesses, the Job Centre and Basepoint Gosport, to name but a few.

Commenting, Caroline said:

"I was delighted to host Gosport's second enterprise fair today. The fantastic turn-out of over 100 guests proves that Gosport has a big appetite for events like this, which showcased the funding support and advice on offer for entrepreneurs and business owners in the local area.

I would like to thank all of the guests and delegates that made this event a success, including the Solent LEP, Gosport Borough Council and our wonderful speakers."


14 NOV 2017

CAROLINE TAKES PART IN REVERSE ADVENT!

Local MP Caroline Dinenage is calling for people to join the Gosport and Fareham Basics Bank Reverse Advent campaign!

Caroline recently visited the Gosport and Fareham Basics Bank to meet thank local volunteers for their work.

For the second year, Gosport and Fareham Basics Bank are asking people to take part in a Reverse Advent. Where each day of Advent you add a food bank item into a box and then donate the contents.

Commenting, Caroline said:

'The work that Gosport and Fareham Basics Bank is fantastic in supporting people in need across our area.

I can't think of a better way to capture the true spirit of Christmas. It would be fantastic if local people could join me in the Reverse Advent campaign and support it in any way that they can. The Basics Bank are always grateful for donations no matter how big or small."

For more information and to see what particular items the Gosport and Fareham Basics Bank are most in need of please visit https://www.facebook.com/FarehamandGosportBasicsBank.


13 NOV 2017

CAROLINE WELCOMES MANDATORY CCTV IN SLAUGHTERHOUSES

Local MP Caroline Dinenage has today welcomed news that CCTV recording will become mandatory in all slaughterhouses in England.

Following consultation with industry groups, animal welfare campaigners and members of the public, the Government has announced that CCTV to be required in every slaughterhouse where live animals are present, with new rules taking effect from next year. Official Veterinarians will be provided with unrestricted access to footage, helping them monitor and enforce animal welfare standards. The consultation revealed that of almost 4,000 respondents, more than 99 per cent were supportive of the Government's plans.

Legislation will be introduced in the New Year, coming into force in the Spring. All slaughterhouses will be required to comply following an adjustment period of up to six months.

Commenting, Caroline said: 'This is a really positive step that demonstrates the Government's continued commitment to ensuring that as we leave the EU, we retain and enhance our high standards of animal welfare. While a number of major UK supermarkets already insist that all their meat and dairy suppliers have CCTV installed, it is right that we deliver on a Manifesto pledge by making this compulsory. This is an issue many of my constituents understandably feel strongly about, and I'm glad their views are being taken seriously.'


07 NOV 2017

CAROLINE WELCOMES GOVERNMENT GRANT FUNDING FOR LOCAL LIFEBOATS

Local MP Caroline Dinenage has today welcomed news that the Government has awarded £15,000 to Hampshire based Search and Rescue and lifeboat charities. This includes a grant of over £5,000 for the Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (GAFIRS).

The grant forms part of the Inshore and Inland Rescue Boat Grant Fund which has awarded £2.6 million to local groups across the country. Grants are awarded on recommendation by an expert panel of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, RNLI and the Royal Yachting Association.

Commenting on the news, Caroline said: "I welcome the announcement that Hampshire based charities are to benefit from this grant funding and I particularly welcome the news that the GAFIRS is receiving £5000. In Gosport we all know of the tremendous work the group do.

A key part of the funding is to support the purchasing of kit to keep the volunteers safe. Lifeguard groups are entirely voluntary and rely on donations so I hope this grant will be very useful for them to support their valuable work."


06 NOV 2017

CAROLINE PROMOTES PARLIAMENT WEEK

Local MP Caroline Dinenage is encouraging local schools and community groups to get involved in Parliament Week.

Parliament Week is a programme of events and activities that connect people across the UK with Parliament and democracy; the annual initiative kicks off on Monday 13 November and will run until Friday 17 November.

During Parliament Week 2016, Caroline hosted students from Brune Park in Westminster and visited local schools. In previous years she has hosted debates and Q&A sessions at St Vincent, Bay House and CEMAST.

Speaking ahead of Parliament Week, Caroline said:

"Parliament Week is a great way to engage young people with both politics and Parliament. I always enjoy getting involved with the initiative every year.

It is a fantastic way to ask for young people's their opinions on topics which are big issues in Parliament at the moment."

Parliament Week is co-ordinated by the House of Commons with support from the House of Lords.

For more information about Parliament Week, please visit www.parliamentweek.org.


06 NOV 2017

Fareham Borough Council Draft Local Plan

Fareham's Draft Local Plan has recently been published and includes some worrying proposals for the Gosport Constituency. Specifically HA2 – the proposed development of 475 homes adjacent to houses on the western side of Tukes Avenue and Pettycot Crescent, right on the border of the Gosport Borough.

I am strongly opposed to this proposal which threatens the strategic gap between Gosport and Stubbington and will cause further stress on our already over congested roads and local infrastructure.

I have made a formal comment on Fareham's Draft Local Plan against this development (see my letter here) I would encourage other residents to do so too. The consultation will run until Friday 8th December 2017 and you can make your views known through the following link http://www.fareham.gov.uk/planning/localplanconsultation.aspx.


25 OCT 2017

CAROLINE SUPPORTS MACMILLAN'S WORLD'S BIGGEST COFFEE MORNING

Local MP, Caroline Dinenage showed her support for Macmillan Cancer Support on Wednesday 18 October by attending a World's Biggest Coffee Morning event in Parliament. The occasion marked the launch of a new report, 

Following the success of Macmillan's biggest fundraising event of the year on Friday 29 September, which saw thousands of people come together across the country, the charity hosted a parliamentary Coffee Morning at which MPs and Peers had the opportunity to meet with and hear from people living cancer who were featured in the report.'Am I Meant To Be Okay Now?: Stories of Life After Treatment', that focuses on the challenges people face after cancer treatment ends.

Caroline attended the Commons event and said,

"Macmillan's World's Biggest Coffee Morning is a fantastic annual fixture and I was really glad to have the opportunity to attend the event in Parliament.

"The focus of Coffee Morning has always been about encouraging people to get together and talk about all the issues people living with cancer have to deal with. This year's event provided a really important opportunity to hear more about the physical and emotional challenges that people can face after finishing cancer treatment.

"I also welcomed the chance to learn more about the support that Macmillan offers to people affected by cancer. Whilst a cancer experience is always significant - life with cancer is still life - and it was great to hear about how Macmillan supports people to live it in the best possible way."

Having raised over £29.5 million in 2016, the World's Biggest Coffee Morning is Macmillan's biggest fundraising event of the year – and there is still time to get involved. For further information, please visit: www.macmillan.org.uk/coffee.


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