24 MAY 2019

"I am grateful for her loyalty and service to our country" Says Local MP

Today, the Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that she will resign from office on June 7th. 

Theresa May became Prime Minister in 2016 after the resignation of David Cameron - the second female Prime Minister in Britain. Prior to becoming Prime Minister, she was the longest-serving home secretary in over 60 years and held positions in Shadow Cabinets and as Chairwoman of the Conservative Party. 

Nominations for a new Prime Minister will close during the week beginning June 10th and will be put into a ballot. The process will start in which MPs will whittle down candidates to the final two by the end of the month. The final two nominees will then be put to Conservative Party members. 

Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, commented:

"Despite the criticism that the Prime Minister has faced and the incredibly difficult task she was handed in 2016, she has shown incredible strength, courage and integrity. 

"I am grateful for her service to our country that she has worked so passionately for."

23 MAY 2019

MP says "Have a great big kickabout"

Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, is encouraging her constituents to get together with friends, family or colleagues for a Great Big Kickabout to raise vital funds for Soccer Aid for Unicef over the weekend 14-16th June.

Whether it's in the back garden or at the office, Caroline is calling on people across the Gosport Constituency to hold their own Great Big Kickabout so kids everywhere can play.

With a suggested donation of just £5 to play, every header, volley, and near miss counts. The money raised will help make sure that children around the world are happy, healthy, and able to play. Better still, every £1 donated to Soccer Aid for Unicef until 23 July 2019 will be matched by the UK government, doubling the difference.

Commenting Caroline said:

"I would encourage people across the Gosport Constituency to take part in the Great Big Kickabout

The Great Big Kickabout is not the only way to be involved in Soccer Aid for Unicef this year! Whether you are taking part in the Playground Challenge on the 14th June or watching the Soccer Aid for Unicef football match on Father's Day you can help in defending play for every child."

International Development Minister Baroness Sugg said:

"Since 2012, our partnership with Soccer Aid for Unicef has saved lives across the world's poorest countries by reducing child mortality and helping transform maternal and new born care for more than 4.5 million people. By teaming up again this year, we will be helping even more children to play, live healthy lives and reach their full potential. UK aid will double every pound the British public donates to Soccer Aid for Unicef up to £3 million, meaning their generosity will go twice as far."

For more information or to find out how you can get involved in the Soccer Aid Great Big Kickabout visit: www.socceraid.org.uk/kickabout 

22 MAY 2019

Caroline Backs Ban On Plastic

Local MP, Caroline Dinenage has welcomed the ban on plastic straws, drinks stirrers, and plastic stemmed cotton buds in England, following overwhelming public support for the move.

Following an open consultation, a ban on the supply of plastic straws, drinks stirrers and cotton buds will come into force in April 2020. The ban will include exemptions to ensure that those with medical needs or a disability are able to continue to access plastic straws. An exemption will also be in place to allow the use of plastic-stemmed cotton buds for medical and scientific purposes, where these are often the only practical option.

In England, it is estimated that annually we use 4.7 billion plastic straws, 316 million plastic stirrers and 1.8 billion plastic-stemmed cotton buds. An estimated 10% of cotton buds are flushed down toilets and can end up in waterways and oceans.

The government has recently announced a range of measures to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste underpinned by its recently published landmark Resources and Waste Strategy. Other recent key government actions include a world-leading ban on microbeads, taking over 15 billion plastic bags out of circulation with our 5p plastic bag charge and plans to extend it to all retailers, and consulting on introducing a deposit return scheme to drive-up the recycling of drinks bottles and cans. Earlier this year, the government launched a consultation on a world-leading tax on plastic packaging which does not contain a minimum of 30% recycled content from April 2022.

Caroline this year, for the second year running, gave up using single-use plastic for Lent as part of her Plastic Pledge.

Commenting, Caroline said:

"It is fantastic news that the Government is planning to ban plastic straws, drink stirrers and plastic stemmed cotton buds that blight our beaches! During my #PlasticPledge for Lent, I realised how easy it is to say no to these products and use alternatives, I would encourage their use wherever possible.

"Since my Plastic Pledge I have really noticed how you can make daily changes that make can make a significant difference. Every beach clean I've taken part in is notable for the number of cotton buds on our shores - slipping through the sewage system and blighting our oceans.

"Whilst the Government is taking concerted action to reduce plastic consumption and waste, we can all take action now to help protect our environment for the future."

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said:

"Urgent and decisive action is needed to tackle plastic pollution and protect our environment. These items are often used for just a few minutes but take hundreds of years to break down, ending up in our seas and oceans and harming precious marine life. So today I am taking action to turn the tide on plastic pollution, and ensure we leave our environment in a better state for future generations."

Hugo Tagholm, CEO, Surfers Against Sewage said:

"Surfers Against Sewage welcome the ban on plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds. Stopping the production and distribution of these single-use plastic menaces will prevent them from polluting beaches nationwide. It's a really positive and bold step in the right direction in the battle against plastic pollution. It is also helps further drive plastic-free options and alternatives for the public so they can truly make more sustainable choices in their daily lives."

22 MAY 2019

Caroline commends Changing Places Consultation!

"A quarter of a million people require Changing Places toilets so it is important to ensure these essential facilities are accessible to everyone" Caroline Dinenage MP

Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, has welcomed the recently launched consultation into Changing Places in public buildings.

Changing Places are specifically designed to accommodate adults whose needs are not met by standard accessible toilets. These facilities are typically larger with adult-length padded changing tables and hoists.

This consultation is seeking views on the Government's proposal to mandate Changing Places facilities in specific new, large buildings visited by the public, including major refurbishments. Currently, building regulations guidance only goes so far as recommending Changing Places toilets are provided.

It also seeks views on the thresholds at which the facilities will be made mandatory in new or largely refurbished buildings of different types, such as overall floor space, visitor numbers or attendance capacity. It also seeks views on the size of Changing Places toilets as well as the range of equipment that must be included.

In Gosport new Changing Places facilities have been installed in the Discovery Centre with further facilities being planned for Lee on Solent Splash Park, Alver Valley Country Park, Gosport Bus Station Redevelopment and Gosport Leisure Centre.

Commenting, Caroline said:

"It is utterly shocking how few Changing Places toilets there are currently in public spaces across the UK.

A quarter of a million disabled people need Changing Places and this consultation is a step forward to ensuring accessibility for everyone. Whilst this is something most of us take for granted, access to spaces like these make a big difference to the lives of disabled people and their carers."

Minister for Local Government, Rishi Sunak, said:

"Everyone should have the freedom to enjoy days out in dignity and comfort. For severely disabled people, this is made very difficult because there are not enough Changing Places toilets. We've made some progress, but I'm determined to increase the number of these life-enhancing facilities, so people are given the dignity they deserve."

20 MAY 2019

Stubbington Bypass Success!

Today, the Secretary of State for Transport made a decision on the Public Inquiry into the Stubbington Bypass, confirming that the Stubbington Bypass will go ahead!

The Inquiry, held in November 2018, was looking at the Compulsory Purchase of Land Order and the Side Roads Order, further to an objection by a member of the public.  

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.  

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.

17 MAY 2019

Gosport Public Health Forum

Gosport MP, Caroline Dinenage, today hosted a Public Health Forum event which enabled local residents to learn more about what steps are being taken to improve local healthcare provision and gave them the opportunity to raise their views and ask questions.

Representatives from; The Willow Group, the Fareham & Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group, Hampshire County Council, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, NHS England Dentistry, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and South Central Ambulance Service, were on the panel and provided an update of their organisation and took questions from constituents.

You can also watch a video of the forum in full here.

More details from this event will be published early next week.

15 MAY 2019

Let’s #BeBodyKind Urges Local MP

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week Gosport MP, Caroline Dinenage, is urging residents to #BeBodyKind.

The theme this year is body image and positivity - how people think and feel about their bodies. Mental Health Awareness Week is about raising awareness about mental health problems, advice, information and support.

New statistics show that over a third of teenagers felt upset about their body and ashamed of their body image. The research also highlighted that over a third of adults also said they felt anxious or depressed about the body image.

Generally, one in four will experience a mental health problem this year.

Caroline commented:

“Mental health is just as important as physical health and as it’s largely invisible it’s all the more important to ensure we ensure those we love get the advice and support they need when it’s required.

“Importantly, we need to remove the stigma that surrounds mental health issues. Body image is something that everyone has experienced issues with, especially with social media churning out daily photos of a certain ‘type’ or the ‘perfect’ look. Promoting body positivity and how we think and feel about our bodies is incredibly important.”

15 MAY 2019

Caroline Celebrates Strength In Numbers for National Numeracy Day

As part of National Numeracy Day, Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage is raising awareness about the importance of numeracy skills.

An estimated 17 million working age people are at or below the numeracy level expected of an 11-year-old child.

Both as a Member of Parliament, and as a former Parliamentary Under-Secretary in the Department for Education, Caroline has long campaigned and championed adult literacy and numeracy skills. Caroline founded and chaired the All Party Parliamentary Group for Maths and Numeracy, has led debates in Parliament and a Select Committee inquiry into adult literacy and numeracy.

For this year's National Numeracy Day the Department for Education has launched their National Numeracy Challenge, where you can check your number skills and learn maths. The website provides free tools and resources to boost numeracy skills.

The Department is providing full funding for those who need these skills to undertake a range of courses included GCSEs and Functional Skills qualifications from Entry Level to Level 2.

Other programmes available include Teaching for Mastery, Centres for Excellence in Maths and the Basic Maths Premium Pilot.

Caroline commented:

"From my work in Gosport and Parliament, I know how incredibly important basic numeracy and literacy skills are on a day to day basis.

"It is everyone's right to get the education they need to start them on the right path in life, and it is disappointing to see so many adults slip through the net and reach adulthood without the basic skills they need. That is why I am proud to see the government's continued work in this field, ensuring that no matter what age, you can access education."

15 MAY 2019

Gosport MP Welcomes Funding For Global Conservation

Today it has been announced that 32 new international conservation projects will be awarded a share of £8.2 million from the UK government's Darwin Initiative.

The Darwin Initiative was set up in 1992, and on its 25th year the focus of this year's funding is on nature, health and food supply and security. The focus follows recent reports about species loss that has put these issues high on the national agenda. Reports now show nearly a million species are in danger of extinction.

Projects from Fauna & Flora International's wild tulip project to the WWT's Cambodian wetland project will receive this share of year's funding. The recipients are from across the globe, including the UK's very own Chester Zoo and the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh.

Gosport MP, Caroline Dinenage, commented:

"There has never been such a pressing time to put resources and funds into conservation and environmental protection. It is great to see how the initiative is working worldwide to protect our species for future generations."

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said:

"Nature matters, and the Darwin Initiative continues to support hundreds of projects that restore and enhance wildlife and nature.

"These schemes are helping nature and our wider environment, delivering clean air and water, sustainable food supplies, and recovery and resilience to natural disasters.

"That is why I am delighted to announce another £8 million of funding for these crucial projects. Our government is taking action at home and abroad to ensure we are the first generation to leave our environment in a better state than we found it."

13 MAY 2019

Lucy’s Law is Presented to Parliament

Today, Lucy's Law is being presented in Parliament, proposing a ban on the third party sale of puppies and kittens.

Lucy's Law is named after Lucy, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, who died in 2016 as a result of the terrible conditions on the puppy farm she was raised.

The ban will mean that puppies and kittens can no longer be sold by a third party unless the animals have been bred by the dealer themselves. Anyone looking to buy a puppy or kitten must deal directly with the breeder or an animal rehoming centre.

Puppies and kittens are bred on farms to produce multiple litters which are then taken from the mothers at a few weeks' old. The practice is known to cause lifelong socialisation issues for the animals and preventable diseases.

The legislation aims to ensure that puppies, kittens and their mothers are bred and brought up in a safe and healthy environment.

A consultation, run by the Government, on the commercial third party sales showed that 95% of respondents supported the ban. The legislation will come into force on 6th April 2020.

Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, commented:

"I am delighted that the Government has acted on its promise to ban commercial third party sales. The conditions of breeding farms, where these poor animals are exploited for human use, is a terrible.

"Pets are not just animals, but part of the family for many households. We need to end the exploitation and abuse of animals and ensure that they grow up healthy and happy. The announcement today is a vital step to ensuring we protect our loved ones and their welfare."

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said:

"This is about giving our animals the best possible start in life and making sure that no other animal suffers the same fate as Lucy. It will put an end to the early separation of puppies and kittens from their mothers, as well as the terrible conditions in which some of these animals are bred.

"I would like to thank the tireless campaigners and animal lovers who have helped to bring about this positive change.

"This is all part of our plan to make this country the best place in the world for the protection and care of animals."

Animal Welfare Minister, David Rutley said:

"The legislation laid in Parliament today is the next crucial step in stamping out the appalling trade of farmed puppies and kittens.

"As well as protecting and improving the lives of animals, it's also about protecting the public from being tricked by unscrupulous sellers. Our ban on third party sales means that people can see first-hand that their new pet is healthy and has come from a responsible breeder."

Marc Abraham, Lucy's Law campaigner and founder of Pup Aid said:

"I'm absolutely thrilled that Lucy's Law is now being laid in Parliament and will come into effect from April 2020. For years irresponsible breeders in the UK and abroad, so-called puppy farmers, have depended on commercial third party sellers – e.g. dealers and pet shops – to keep their breeding dogs and puppies in horrific conditions hidden from the public.

"Lucy's Law is named after one of the sweetest, bravest dogs I've ever known, and is a fitting tribute to all the victims of the cruel third party puppy trade, both past and present.

"On behalf of my fellow grassroots campaigners I'd like to thank Mr Gove, Defra officials, and every single supporter, parliamentarian, celebrities, and ethical animal welfare organisation that has proudly helped make Lucy's Law a reality."

Peter Egan, Downton Abbey actor, animal welfare campaigner, and Patron of the All-Party Parliamentary Dog Advisory Welfare Group (APDAWG) in Westminster said:

"Lucy's Law is the most exciting change in animal welfare legislation for years. Commercial third party sellers enable and encourage irresponsible and exploitative breeding and selling practices e.g. impulse purchases and smuggled puppies, leading to widespread cruelty, sick breeding dogs and their pups, and heartache for new owners.

"Lucy's Law will help make all breeders transparent and therefore accountable. This historic change in legislation is the first major step in tackling puppy farm cruelty and illegal puppy smuggling, whilst also providing greater public protection.

"As the proud owner of five rescue dogs I'm extremely proud to support Lucy's Law as it will help protect the future health and welfare of this country's dogs and cats."

RSPCA chief executive Chris Sherwood said:

"We're absolutely thrilled with today's announcement which, if properly enforced, will help protect thousands of puppies and their mothers who are the victims of this horrific trade. We believe all puppies and kittens should be born and reared in a suitable environment, with their mother, where their welfare will be the primary concern.

"Every year, the RSPCA's officers see first-hand the devastating impact that the unscrupulous puppy trade has on dogs and their owners. Last year (2018) was the busiest year yet for our inspectors who received 4,397 complaints about the puppy trade in England alone - a 162% increase on five years ago.

"We hope this ban - alongside the tougher licensing regulations that were introduced in October - will help to stamp out the underground trade that exploits these wonderful animals simply to make a quick buck."

Caroline Yates, CEO at Mayhew:

"Mayhew is very pleased to hear that Lucy's Law has now been laid in Parliament. We have long supported the call to ban third party puppy and kitten sales; and we are delighted that such legislation will come into force next year and make a difference to the lives of countless animals.

"This ban is a great step forward in improving animal welfare standards, and together with the tighter licensing laws introduced last October, will result in significantly fewer animals being bred in and passed around harmful or unsuitable environments by unscrupulous breeders and dealers.

"We hope this legislation will also encourage potential pet owners to first think about visiting their local rehoming shelters when searching for a puppy or dog, cat or kitten to adopt into their families."

Claire Horton, Chief Executive of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home said:

"Battersea welcomes the announcement that new legislation to put a stop to puppy and kitten farming will be laid in Parliament later today.

"Each year thousands of puppies are bred in terrible conditions and then sold for large sums of money to unsuspecting members of the public. A lot of these young pups will be sickly and under-socialised, leading to high vet bills and behavioural issues that a lot of new owners are sadly not able to deal with.

"Once these new regulations are approved, owners will have far greater reassurance that their new pet is happy and healthy, whether they buy from a responsible breeder or from a rescue centre such as Battersea."

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