19 MAR 2019

CAROLINE WELCOMES POST-16 QUALIFICATIONS REVIEW

Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, has welcomed the launch of the first stage consultation on the post-16 review of qualifications at level 3 and below in England.

The Department for Education are currently seeking views on the principles that should guide their review of post-16 qualifications at level 3 and below, views on the high level principles and outlines proposals for the removal of funding approval for unreformed qualifications.

Commenting, Caroline said:

"The Government wants to build a world class technical education system, which for decades has not had the attention it deserves. The ambition is to develop a qualifications system in which every student benefits from high quality study that helps them realise their talents, get a good job and achieve their career ambitions.

I would encourage all those involved in the education or business sectors as well as students and parents to make their views known."

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:

"We have made huge progress to boost the quality of education and training on offer for young people. From 2020 we will start to roll out new T Levels which will offer young people high-quality technical courses alongside our world class A Levels. These will be the gold standard choice for young people after they take their GCSEs.

But we also want to make sure that all options available to students are high-quality and give them the skills they need to get a great job, go on to further education or training, and employers can be confident they can access the workforce they need for the future.

We can't legislate for parity of esteem between academic and technical routes post 16. But we can improve the quality of the options out there and by raising quality, more students and parents will trust these routes."

For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/government/news/plans-launched-to-boost-quality-of-post-16-qualifications--2


16 MAR 2019

Brexit Statement

After a frustrating week in Parliament I want to recap on events and set out my position regarding recent Brexit developments.

This week I voted for the Withdrawal Agreement with the additional safeguards regarding the Northern Ireland backstop. I was disappointed that it did not command a majority across the House.

We then had further votes on taking No Deal off the table, extending Article 50 and holding a second referendum. I voted against all three, as I stood clearly on a manifesto commitment to deliver Brexit, and I think that each of these violates that commitment.

Removing No Deal undermines our negotiating position - while suboptimal it needs to remain an option.

I am disappointed that Parliament voted to extend article 50. For many this is viewed as an opportunity to derail the Brexit process. When my constituents are asking the Government to focus on investment in schools, health & policing, Parliament has opted to prolong the uncertainty that businesses and employers are finding incredibly damaging and costly. What’s more delaying Article 50 puts the power in the hands of the EU - who knows what conditions they will likely set if they choose to grant such an extension?

The Government is asking Parliament next week to approve the Withdrawal Agreement again. Voting it down for a third time could risk Brexit in its entirety, sparking constitutional chaos and precipitating a change in Government. The opposition parties are determined to frustrate Brexit; they cannot be allowed anywhere near power at such a critical time.

It is clear that matters are coming to a head and tough decisions will have to be made - however it’s vital that we don’t lose sight of the bigger picture.

I promised my constituents that I would implement the referendum outcome. I will vote for the deal again to ensure Brexit is delivered and we can move forward with certainty. Only in these very limited circumstances would I tolerate a technical extension of a few weeks to pass the necessary legislation.


15 MAR 2019

Caroline Seeks NHS Heroes

Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, is urging local people to recommend NHS staff who they feel have gone above and beyond the call of duty for prestigious NHS awards.

The NHS Parliamentary Awards were created to celebrate NHS staff, carers and volunteers - their hard work, innovative ideas and unwavering efforts to put patients first.

Caroline is now searching for outstanding nominees for 2019 who have innovated, impressed and made a real difference to how the health and care system provides care for patients.

Caroline said:

"The NHS is rightly the nation's most loved institution and there's no doubt its staff make it what it is today, which is why it is only right that we thank the extraordinary health and care heroes who are there to guide, support and care for us, day in, day out.

"I regularly see examples of fantastic care that make a genuine difference and touch the lives of local people in the Gosport Constituency, I want to hear from you again and I would urge all those who have seen or received outstanding care first hand to send me examples they think deserve national recognition."

Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, said:

"This year the NHS set out a Long Term Plan for how the health service will expand and improve care for patients and their families at every stage of life, supporting them to start well, live well and age well.

"The NHS is taking action on big killers like stroke, heart attacks and cancer, as well as stepping up care for mental ill health. This progress will be possible only with the skill and dedication of the 1.3 million staff who work for the NHS, which is why we want to hear about the outstanding staff, volunteers and carers in your area and celebrate with them as part of the NHS Parliamentary Awards 2019."

There are ten categories, including a Lifetime Achievement award to honour those who have devoted their life or career to making the NHS better, both for patients and those who work within it.

To find out more information, please visit https://www.england.nhs.uk/nhs-parliamentary-awards/about/.


14 MAR 2019

Caroline Welcomes Spring Statement

"During a very difficult week, it has been great to hear that the economy remains robust and the positive action that the Government is taking to tackle our most fundamental issues." Caroline Dinenage MP.

Gosport MP this week has welcomed the announcements made in the Spring Statement.

The Chancellor addressed the Houses of Commons, confirming that the economy remains resilient and is forecasted to continue to grow. The continued decrease in Government borrowing, as well as rise in employment and real wage growth are forecasted to continue.

The Government announced that it will continue to deliver on key promises, such as environmental protection and affordable housing, while granting vital funding to tackle the recent rise in violent crime.

Some of the key announcements made were;

  •  Record employment will continue to grow, with 600 000 more jobs predicted by 2023
  •  Britain has experienced the fastest wage growth in over a decade
  •  There will be an increase in the National Living Wage to £8.21 this April
  •  The deficit is £3 billion lower than the last forecast and predicted to drop in every year
  •  A new £3 billion Affordable Homes Guarantee scheme to deliver 30 000 more affordable homes
  •  Free sanitary products for secondary schools and colleges to tackle period poverty
  •  £100 million more funding for police to tackle knife crime
  •  The biggest pledge of any government since 1945 to the NHS with £30.4 billion funding
  •  New Clean Growth measures, such as 'zero carbon travel', increasing green gas use and measures to enhance   biodiversity

On hearing the Spring Statement, Caroline commented:

"While the headlines have been dominated by Brexit, I am pleased to see that the Government is continuing to work to build a better Britain. I am particularly pleased to see new measures taken to tackle climate change and knife crime, issues that are incredibly important to local communities such as Gosport. The fantastic figures on our economy and wage growth are a testament to the strong economic management of the Conservative Government that has had to work to repair the damage of a Labour legacy. I hope to see this continued progression in Gosport and our local area, benefitting the hard-working local residents and families."


14 MAR 2019

Local MP Snaps A Silly Selfie For Comic Relief

This year, Maltesers are running the 'Look Funny, Raise Money' campaign for Comic Relief. The aim is to raise £1 million by encouraging as many people as possible to post their best #funnyface.

This Red Nose Day Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage posted a #funnyface on her social media to help vulnerable people in the UK and the world's poorest communities. For every funny picture that is shared online, Maltesers will donate £10 to Comic Relief so that it can continue to undertake its vital work both in the UK and globally.

Caroline commented:

"After a challenging week, I was glad to take a funny photo and support a brilliant cause. I think the campaign is a fantastic and engaging way to raise money for those who vitally need help. I encourage all Gosport residents to give it a go and build up the nerve to post a ridiculous face for a good cause."


14 MAR 2019

GOVERNMENT GIVES GREEN LIGHT FOR ECLIPSE EXTENSION

"The Eclipse is a vital service for my constituents and the extension to Rowner Junction will be hugely beneficial for commuters." Caroline Dinenage MP

Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, has today welcomed news that the Eclipse extension to Rowner Junction has attracted Government funding.

Hampshire County Council applied to the Transforming Cities Fund and was awarded £1.4 million to contribute to the cost of the project.

The project is due to start this year with a construction time of twelve months.

Commenting Caroline said: "The Eclipse service has been a huge success with passenger growth up by 65%, and it has driven up bus usage by 12% across Gosport and Fareham.

Extending the Eclipse bus corridor to Rowner Junction will help improve journey times at rush hour for my constituents and I welcome this much needed funding for the project."


12 MAR 2019

My Views on the Brexit Votes

Now that the negotiations into the Northern Ireland backstop have been completed I want to set out my thoughts on this week's crucial Parliamentary votes.

These votes will determine if we leave the EU with a deal, without a deal or if the Government is instructed to extend Article 50 beyond 29th March.

I have always been clear that I would respect and honour the outcome of the referendum that the country, and crucially my constituency, voted for.

The first vote will be held this evening, where MPs will have another opportunity to vote on the Withdrawal Agreement between the Government and the EU27. It is not perfect but it does allow the UK to leave the EU in an orderly way, settling the legal status of EU citizens here and British citizens overseas. It gives the UK time to negotiate new trading arrangements with the rest of the world. Vitally it offers protection against the disruption local employers have told me they are extremely concerned about. The Prime Minister has worked tirelessly to secure legally binding treaty level changes to the backstop. Therefore, tonight I will be voting in favour of the Withdrawal Agreement.

If Parliament fails to pass this deal, then tomorrow (13th March) MPs will be invited to vote to rule out a No Deal departure. When Parliament voted to invoke Article 50 in 2017 it agreed that, in the absence of a deal, we will leave the EU on 29th March with No Deal. No Deal is certainly neither ideal nor desirable; however I believe we can make it work and crucially, I know from my years in business, the ability to walk away is critical in any negotiation. I will not vote to reject No Deal.

Lastly, if Parliament votes against No Deal, on Thursday (14th March) MPs will be asked to vote on extending Article 50. In reality this means that MPs will be instructing the Government to ask the EU to grant an extension to Article 50 for some indefinite period in the future. An extension only serves to prolong uncertainty, makes it increasingly difficult for business to plan for the future, and puts the power in the hands of the EU. I am unwilling to support an extension to Article 50.

Too much time has already been wasted, denying businesses and employers the crucial time they need to plan for the weeks and months ahead. Now is the time for MPs across Parliament to deliver the outcome of the referendum.


12 MAR 2019

MPs OFFICE BECOMES DEMENTIA FRIENDLY

Following a meeting with Dementia Friendly Gosport and Fareham, Local MP, Caroline Dinenage has signed her office up to the Dementia Friendly Gosport scheme and is encouraging others to do the same.

The scheme has committed to raising staff awareness about dementia as a way of improving the lives and experiences of people living with the disease.

Dementia Friendly Hampshire is driving the development of dementia friendly communities across the county, they are an independent charity, linked with Alzheimer's Society's national Dementia Friendly Communities program. They want Hampshire to be a county where people affected by dementia can live a good life, with opportunities to participate in and contribute to their communities and be valued for who they are.

Caroline said:

"My grandma lived with dementia and I saw first-hand the effect it had on her and our family. I became a 'Dementia Friend' in 2015 and a 'Dementia Champion' last year, to better understand how to support people living with dementia in our community and encourage others to do the same.

I really want to see our whole area become 'dementia friendly' and will continue to work with Dementia Friendly Gosport and local people to see this become a reality."

Catherine Diamond, Chair, Fareham & Gosport Dementia Action Group said:

"We are delighted that Caroline and her staff are Dementia Friends and have joined the Action Group, which is part of Dementia Friendly Fareham & Gosport.

As a Group we are seeking to encourage local businesses, services and the general public to become 'dementia friendly'. By becoming more aware of the disease and its symptoms we can all actively support those people who live with dementia, helping them to remain as independent and part of their community for as long as possible."

To learn more about the scheme or to sign your business up, please contact Catherine on dffarehamandgosport@gmail.com


11 MAR 2019

Caroline joins Marie Curie Daffodil Appeal

Local MP Caroline Dinenage joined actor, Stephen Mangan to help launch Marie Curie's Great Daffodil Appeal.

This March Caroline met with Marie Curie Ambassador Stephen and Rapid Response Healthcare Assistant Patricia McDonnell at the parliamentary event to celebrate the launch of the Great Daffodil Appeal, Marie Curie's biggest annual fundraising campaign.

Caroline commented:

"I was delighted to support the Great Daffodil Appeal launch, and highlight the fantastic work of Marie Curie for those that need it the most, supporting friends and family at such a difficult time. Every five minutes, someone in the UK dies without getting the care and support they need at the end of their life. The money raised from the Appeal will help Marie Curie be there for more people living with a terminal illness"

Since 1986 Marie Curie has provided care for those living with terminal illness, offering vital support when it is most needed. The Appeal is crucial in raising much-needed funds to enable the charity to continue to provide nursing and hospice care, fund research and campaign on behalf of everyone affected by terminal illness.

The charity's free national Support Line now also offers clinical support, enabling anyone with a terminal illness to access a Marie Curie Nurse. The Information and Support Nurses can answer any clinical questions or concerns people may have, from understanding a diagnosis to explaining treatments, or talking about painful and distressing symptoms.

Actor Stephen Mangan, said:

"I experienced first-hand the difference they make when they cared for both my mum and later, my dad at home.

"Chances are, we all know someone who's been affected by a terminal illness. That's why I'm delighted to be here with Caroline to help launch Marie Curie's annual Great Daffodil Appeal.

"Whether it's worn in celebration, in solidarity or in memory of a loved one, by donating and wearing a daffodil pin during March, you and thousands of others in Gosport will help make sure thousands more dying people get the care and support they deserve."

Scott Sinclair, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Marie Curie, said:

"Having the support of Caroline and Stephen makes a huge difference to our Great Daffodil Appeal.

"Too many people miss out on the care and support they need. By donating and wearing a daffodil pin in March you are helping us to support more people at the most difficult time of their lives. We want to make sure that everyone affected by terminal illness, wherever they may live, gets the right support, at the right time – whether that is high quality nursing care, emotional and practical support, or fast access to the benefits they need."


11 MAR 2019

CAROLINE CELEBRATES OARSOME FUNDING BOOST

Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, has welcomed the news that a good cause in Gosport has received funding from players of the People's Postcode Lottery.

Oarsome Chance have received £20,000 in funding from the Postcode Community Trust for their Paddle Power and Build a Bike projects. The projects will help improve the well-being and prospects of disadvantaged young people from the Portsmouth area by running practical workshop challenges.

Congratulating the organisation, Ms Dinenage said:

"I'm delighted to hear that Oarsome Chance have received funding from players of the People's Postcode Lottery. My thanks go to players of People's Postcode Lottery, as this award will make a real difference to the local community.

I also encourage any other local groups and charities needing additional project funding to consider applying to the Postcode Community Trust, the Postcode Local Trust or the People's Postcode Trust when the next funding round opens. This type of funding can help you achieve more for your charity and the local community."

Commenting Malcolm Fleming, Head of Public Affairs for People's Postcode Lottery said:

"We are delighted that our players are helping to fund thousands of local charities and community groups across the country, including those in Gosport. People's Postcode Lottery was established to raise funds for good causes. Supporting the excellent work of local organisations can help them make a huge difference to the causes and communities they serve."

To date, players of People's Postcode Lottery have raised more than £393 million for over 5,500 good causes across Great Britain.


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