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2012

Maria hears about projects on River Loddon

posted 13 Dec 2012, 09:30 by Maria Miller

Maria Miller, MP for Basingstoke, met up with John Sutton of the Environment Agency and Dr Alan Gibberd of Countrywatch recently to see the locations of the two proposed gauges to monitor the flow on the River Loddon at Old Basing.

 

The project to install the gauges is a partnership between the Borough Council and the Environment Agency, with the Council funding the installation of the gauges and the Environment Agency the maintenance and data handling. The gauges will provide information on river flows which in turn will help with water quality information.

 

Maria had the opportunity to see some of the ways in which the health of the river can be monitored, and was updated by the Environment Agency on the work they are doing to implement the Water Framework Directive. Consultations on how to bring about improvements in the river quality will be launched by the Environment Agency in the Spring.

 

Maria said: “Our river is polluted and is failing to meet its environmental objectives. It is essential that long term improvements are put in place very soon to meet these legal standards.”

 

She added: “It is important that people who are concerned to improve the health of the River Loddon take part in the Environment Agency consultation when it is launched early next year.”

Maria welcomes support to help disabled people into work

posted 6 Dec 2012, 05:12 by Maria Miller

The Government has announced more support for small businesses and disabled entrepreneurs to pay for specialised equipment and to cover the other costs facing disabled people in work.

 

Businesses with more than 49 employees will no longer pay towards the extra costs faced by disabled people in work – saving businesses up to £2,300 for every employee who uses the Access to Work fund.

 

Disabled jobseekers who want to set up their own business using the New Enterprise Allowance will now be eligible for Access to Work funding from day one of claiming Jobseekers Allowance.

 

Maria Miller, MP for Basingstoke, commented: “Under this Government the number of disabled people in work has steadily increased. There are now 123,000 more disabled people in work than before the election.”

 

Maria, who was previously the Minister for Disabled People before becoming Culture Secretary, added: “This is fantastic progress, but we need to do more. That is why this announcement is so important. We are breaking down the barriers facing disabled people who want to work.”

 

Investment in BCOT welcomed by Basingstoke MP

posted 29 Nov 2012, 04:12 by Maria Miller

Maria Miller, MP for Basingstoke, has welcomed £515,000 of funding from the Government to help improve facilities at Basingstoke College of Technology (BCOT).

 

This investment will go towards the installation of overcladding on buildings on the south site of the college campus.

 

Across the country the Government is investing £110 million which will be matched with £302 million investment from colleges. This is part of over £1 billion of investment in college building across England.

 

Maria commented: “This investment will help to continue the programme of improvement at BCOT, ensuring that it is a state of the art facility for Basingstoke students.”

 

“This funding shows that the Government’s commitment to enabling students to grow and flourish in an exciting, inspirational, modern learning environment in the heart of the local community, whilst equipping them with the skills they need for the work place.”

Maria calls in at M3 Job Club

posted 26 Nov 2012, 08:15 by Maria Miller

Basingstoke MP Maria Miller dropped in on a session at the M3 Job Club recently at the Innovation Centre at Basing View. She was welcomed by Richard Thayer, who founded the M3 Job Club in April 2011.

 

The M3 Job Club works with a number of partners and volunteers to help people who are looking for work. They run a programme of activities, including training in how to prepare for an interview and practice in interviewing techniques. The session that Maria sat in on was about writing a CV.

 

Maria said: “Employment levels in Basingstoke are rising, but it can still be tough for people to find the work they want. The Job Club has now helped over 120 people to get back into employment, which is a great achievement. The session I saw about CV writing was superb, and Job Club members were getting top quality advice from experts in the recruitment field.”

Basingstoke MP welcomes Post Office contract to provide DVLA services

posted 26 Nov 2012, 08:14 by Maria Miller

Maria Miller, MP for Basingstoke, has welcomed the announcement by the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, that the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has awarded a new seven year contract to the Post Office to provide DVLA’s services from their post office network.

 

DVLA-related services at the Post Office will expand to include services currently only offered through DVLA local offices. There is also scope for the provision of other Government services through the post office network.

 

Patrick McLoughlin commented:  “I congratulate the Post Office and am confident they will deliver an excellent service to motorists throughout the country. This contract also provides value for money for the taxpayer, resulting in savings of between £13 million and £15 million a year and demonstrates how serious we are about making savings within Government.”

 

Welcoming the decision, Maria said: “Today’s announcement is great news. Local post offices sit at the heart of community life, and this decision will make life easier for everyone in Basingstoke who drives and needs DVLA services.”

Andwell’s beer features as guest ale at the House of Commons

posted 8 Nov 2012, 07:26 by Maria Miller   [ updated 8 Nov 2012, 07:27 ]

Maria Miller, MP for Basingstoke, was delighted to have been successful in nominating the Andwell Brewing Company for the guest ale spot in the Stranger’s Bar in the House of Commons. The Stranger’s Bar has recently served Andwell’s “Gold Muddler” as its guest ale.

 

Maria welcomed Adam and Helen Komrower, owners of Andwell’s, when they came to the House of Commons to help launch their beer in Parliament. Maria was also joined in the Stranger’s Bar by James Arbuthnot, MP for North East Hampshire, as they sampled the Gold Muddler.

 

Maria said: “It is great to be able to support and showcase a Basingstoke business and to have Andwell’s “Gold Muddler” appearing as a guest beer in the House of Commons. The Andwell Brewing Company is an outstanding example of a high quality local manufacturing business, and I am really pleased that they are having this opportunity to introduce one of their award winning ales to MPs and their guests from across the UK.”

Maria welcomes River Loddon monitoring project

posted 8 Nov 2012, 07:25 by Maria Miller

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council is working together with the Environment Agency on a proposal to install flow monitoring equipment in the River Loddon.
 

The work is aimed at measuring flow and water quality in stretches of the river, as well as monitoring the effects of discharges into it.

Maria said “I welcome the innovative partnership between Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and the Environment Agency to install flow monitoring equipment in the River Loddon.  I have been working with a number of environmental and biodiversity groups in Basingstoke, to look at the impact house building is having on our environment, including water quality in our rivers.  This project will give us the much needed data to monitor river flow to help better model environmental impact.”

Maria calls for Basingstoke’s young volunteers to be nominated for Award

posted 23 Oct 2012, 04:25 by Maria Miller   [ updated 23 Oct 2012, 04:25 ]

Basingstoke MP Maria Miller wants to make sure that charities and community groups in Basingstoke have the opportunity to nominate an exceptional young volunteer (aged 11-25) for the vInspired National Awards.

 

Maria said: “There are a huge number of young volunteers here making a real difference to our community and I want to make sure that they get the recognition they deserve.”

 

“This year, with the Olympic and Paralympic Games, we have really seen what fantastic things volunteers can achieve. Now more than ever we need to recognise our country’s young volunteers and the vInspired National Awards are a brilliant celebration of young volunteers. I would urge everyone to think about nominating a young volunteer for this year’s awards.”

 

For more information visit www.vinspired.com/nationalawards. Nominations are free and close on 2 November 2012

Disability Challengers win lottery funding

posted 23 Oct 2012, 04:21 by Maria Miller

Maria Miller, MP for Basingstoke, was pleased to hear that the Disability Challengers Basingstoke Youthscheme has just been awarded £4,500 from the Big Lottery Fund.

 

Maria had called in on the Disability Challengers at the Popley Spotlight Centre recently to see the work that the charity does with disabled children and young people. They will be using the Big Lottery funding to help them provide these young people with mainstream activities, including abseiling and archery.

 

Maria said: “I was delighted to hear about this Big Lottery funding for the Disability Challengers. When I visited them recently I was so impressed with what they are doing and the help that they are giving to disabled children and young people, and their parents and carers.”

 

Maria hears about plastic bags campaign

posted 16 Oct 2012, 09:39 by Maria Miller

Maria Miller, MP for Basingstoke, called in at the Lush shop in Festival Place recently, to hear about their campaign to reduce the use of plastic carrier bags. Lush had carried out a survey over a ten day period asking their customers whether they would welcome the introduction of a 5p charge on single-use carrier bags and found that everyone they asked supported the charge.

 

Maria met Sorrel Griggs, the Basingstoke Lush shop’s “Green Hero”, who was wearing a dress made up of over 400 plastic carrier bags, highlighting that the average person in the UK uses some 400 carrier bags a year.

 

Maria said: “Plastic bags so often end up littering our towns and countryside, and I welcome steps to reduce the number of bags being used.  I applaud Basingstoke Lush customers for showing that they want to reduce the use of plastic bags too. “

 

She added: “These days many of us have got used to carrying a reusable bag around with us, and this can only help our environment.”

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