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Hello from Mims! 

This month I start this newsletter in a more somber tone than usual, following the sad news yesterday that the UKs longest serving Borough Councillor and former Eastleigh Mayor and Conservative Group Leader, Godfrey Olson OBE, had passed away. I will miss his kindness, advice and warmth very much, and my thoughts go out to his family and friends. I have made a full tribute to Godfrey, and have included a section of this below.
If you look outside your window today you'll see it's officially summer in the UK! As we come to the end of June and approach July, I've been busy out and about locally and in Westminster. As we celebrated the 75th Anniversary of D-Day in Hamble and the launch of the Football Hub in Stoneham Lane, I also had the chance to represent many of you in Westminster after many wrote in about meeting the fantastic Guide Dogs in Westminster Hall and the Red Cross team in Parliament to mark Refugee Week 2019, all of which you can read about below!

This month we celebrated Loneliness Awareness Week. Loneliness can affect anyone and I was delighted to launch a new campaign to help tackle the stigma. ‘Let’s Talk Loneliness’ brings together charities, organisations and businesses including The Marmalade Trust, the Co-op Foundation, the British Red Cross, the Campaign to End Loneliness, Mind, Public Health England and the Jo Cox Foundation to help people talk about their feelings. There's lots packed into this month, and you can read all about the new campaign below. 

This month we also marked what would have been Anne Frank's 90th Birthday. It was a pleasure to be able to reflect on this and my own recent visit with my daughter to where Anne Frank lived, during a debate in the House of Commons on Discrimination in Sport. A reminder that we must never, ever forget where hate leads humanity. You can read the full transcript here.
In the House of Commons Chamber MPs legislated for net-zero carbon emissions in the UK by 2050, which came two days ahead of 'The Time is Now' lobby day in Westminster, which I was delighted included constituents from Eastleigh - read more about this below!

Environment Secretary Michael Gove confirmed that he would be bring forward a Bill to legislate for stricter food packaging following the tragic death of  Natasha Ednan-Laperhouse. As a coeliac I also really welcome this decision.

Michael Gove also started a process that will see stronger sentencing for people that abuse animals, something many of you have previously raised with me, and that I pushed during my time working with Michael Gove and his Ministerial team!

And in my mailbox and postbag, as well as plenty of e-mails about the Guide Dogs event in Parliament, which I was delighted to attend, I have had lots of e-mails regarding the environment, banning live exports and education rights for refugees. I’m posting regular updates on my website, and so please visit:

Please get in touch if you’d like to be added to my mailing list or do contact me if there’s anything else you would like to have a chat about. 
Armed Forces Day 2019
During my time as your MP I have been fortunate enough to see first-hand the incredible dedication of our serving armed forces, the devotion of our veterans and the determination of our cadets.

Many people across our area have an armed forces background, and as we approach Armed Forces Day I absolutely pay tribute to the key role that servicemen and women past, present and future play in the defence of our country but also in the example they set to ALL of us.

Read more here
Hampshire County Council has said that it would like to hear from as many residents and stakeholders as possible to help inform areas of focus for the council 2021/22. The views submitted through the consultation will be collated and used to inform discussions at Executive Member, Select Committee, Cabinet and Council budget proposal meetings during 2019.
The ‘Balancing the Budget’ consultation will close at 11:59pm on 17th July 2019.
Find out more here.
75th Anniversary of D-Day
This month, we marked the 75th anniversary of the Normandy landings as constituents in Hamble held a commemoration. A parade was held from the Royal Air Force Yacht Club to the Foreshore Quay where the service was held. Pupils from Hamble Primary School and Hamble school attended the event to read poems and passages in tribute to those who lost their lives on 6th June 1944, when 156,000 servicemen took part in what remains the largest amphibious assault in history. 

Find out more here.
Have your say on the future of the Solent
This month, I had a meeting with Business Board Member Brian Johnson and Chief Executive Anne-Marie Mountfield of the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). The Solent LEP – which covers an area from Ringwood in the West to Havant in the East, Bishopstoke in the North to Ventnor on the Isle of Wight in the South - develops a Local Industrial Strategy for the Solent focussing on skills, transport connections, sustainability and communities.
Find out more about how you can have your say here.
We've ALWAYS got More in Common!
Jo Cox was tragically murdered in her constituency in 2016. I recently met Jo's sister, Kim Leadbeater and her and Jo's parents together with representatives and volunteers from the Jo Cox Foundation at a meeting to discuss this years’ Great Get Together, an event held in her memory.

I was delighted to pledge my support for this year’s Great Get Together which took place on 21-23 June, over what would have been Jo’s 45th birthday weekend.

Find out more here.
Internet Legends
Working in partnership with family internet safety experts, Parent Zone, the 'Internet Legends' programme has reached over a million children across the UK. As part of the programme, the children are shown Interland – a fun-filled adventure game to make learning about online safety fun and informative. Children learn about avoiding hackers, phishers and bullies practising the skills learnt with the programme.

I was delighted to recently join Shamblehurst Primary School for their very own 'Internet Legends' class. 

Read more here.
Refugee Week

I have had many constituents write in about support for refugees and I had the pleasure of meeting Nihola this month, a qualified doctor who was given asylum in the UK after fleeing persecution Venezuela, at the British Red Cross for Refugees Week 2019 event in Parliament.
Read more about the day here.
Let's Talk Loneliness

25% of adults have reported feeling lonely on weekends, with evenings the most likely time for people to feel lonely (16%). As Loneliness Awareness Week began this month, I launched a new campaign to help tackle the stigma of loneliness and encourage people to speak out.
Read more about the campaign here.
Meeting Grenfell Survivors
Giving his Statement to the House of Commons last Monday, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire MP, confirmed that over £27.8 million of the nearly £29 million raised through the generosity of the British public has now been distributed, thanks to the Charity Commission.

At the same time, I met with survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire two years on from the tragedy that claimed 72 lives. The Grenfell Survivors, together with volunteers and representatives from Grenfell United came in to Parliament to highlight that while much has been done, there remained much more still to do, particularly in relation to preventing a similar fire in future. Statements marking two years since the tragedy were also held in both the House of Commons and House of Lords.
Read more here.
Constituent Tours
This month we again had dozens of constituents visit Parliament for a tour. This was a great chance to meet constituents, discuss local issues, and give everyone a chance to follow in the footsteps of the Queen at the State Opening and take in the history of Westminster Hall which is almost 1000 years old!
If you are interested in a tour around Parliament please e-mail me at:
'Natasha's Law' to come forward before summer recess 

Living with coeliac disease, I know the daily struggle of knowing what I can and can't eat, and often go without rather than risking a reaction, which can leave me feeling incredibly sick and unwell. Meanwhile, as the Mum of two daughters in a family that also has a peanut allergy which is luckily relatively mild on the scale, I was heartbroken by the needless death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse. 

I therefore really welcome that this week Secretary of State for Food, Michael Gove, confirmed that he will be bringing forward legislation, know as 'Natasha's Law', before the summer recess, ensuring that we all have greater confidence in the labelling of the food that we're eating.

Read more here.
Skills, Apprenticeships and Jobs!

Last week I caught up with Minister for Skills and Further Education, the Rt. Hon Anne Milton MP over our passion for youth policy, youth skills, youth learning opportunities and vitally getting funding right for FE learners.

I feel that our local area is really, really lucky to have fantastic FE colleges like Eastleigh College and Barton Peveril providing a huge range of opportunities for our young people, but these colleges and their stuff must be sufficiently supported. Having recently visited Barton Peveril, the Minister absolute understood this, and assured me that she continues to work to deliver great funding for Further Education, and as Eastleigh's local MP, I'll absolutely support her in that effort!

Schools Diversity Week
Earlier this week I attended a reception in Parliament to celebrate the launch of School Diversity Week. As Eastleigh's MP I have always been absolutely clear that everyone should be able to express who they are and be safe and comfortable doing so.

I am therefore really pleased to be able to support Schools Diversity Week 2019, and delighted that local schools and colleges, including Wyvern, Hamble School, Barton Peveril, Wellstead Primary School and Crestwood Community School we all be taking part! 
Read more here
A tribute to the UKs longest serving Borough Councillor -
Godfrey Olson OBE

The passing of former Conservative Councillor and Mayor Godfrey Olson OBE is a huge loss to our community, and he will be very greatly and deeply missed but most fondly remembered by people on all sides of the political divide for his unwavering commitment to our area, passionately and determinedly serving the interests of people across the Eastleigh Borough for a truly immense 61 years. 

On behalf of all of my Eastleigh constituents I send my thoughts to his family and friends at this sad time.

Read more about Godfrey Olson OBE here. The photo above shows Godfrey at an event earlier this year alongside Home Secretary Sajid Javid MP, myself, and Councillor Judith Grajewski. 

Youth Charter 
Young people play a key role in our society and local community. That's why I was delighted to sign the Youth Friendly MP Charter and meet some of our brilliant Youth Ambassadors. The Charter calls on MPs to ensure that they listen to young people, support the development of their skills, help to create opportunities, recognise young talent and ensure young people are treated fairly in the work they do.

Find out more here
Football Hub Visit 

This month, I was given a tour of the new £8 million state-of-the art football hub at Monks Brook playing fields that is nearing completion and will soon benefit thousands of local footballers of all ages and abilities.

The new hub, that will be called Stoneham Lane Football complex, will consist of three full-size, floodlit 3G artificial grass pitches (including one stadia pitch), three junior and senior grass pitches, together with an eight-changing room pavilion, clubroom, café with an education and social space together with car parking for 350 cars.

Read more here

Guide Dogs!
In a one-year period, 42% of assistance dog owners were refused entry to a taxi or minicab because of their dog. 33% of assistance dog owners surveyed were refused entry to a minicab or taxi because the driver said they had an allergy but didn't hold a valid medical exemption certificate as legally required. 20% of assistance dog owners surveyed said that a minicab or taxi arrived but the driver drove off without even speaking to them.

These figures are truly shocking and incredibly disappointing. That's why last week I met people from across the south coast alongside their Guide Dogs in the historic surroundings of Westminster Hall to hear their individual experiences so that I can feed it back to Ministers.

You can read more here.
Support for Armed Forces
This month dozens of charities and organisations, all of them with links to supporting our armed forces, came in to Parliament to promote their work and to speak to MPs and Peers about the services they offer in support of armed forces personnel, veterans and their families. Among those in attendance were Help for Heroes, the Royal British Legion and the NHS.

As a former Trustee of a veterans charity, and as the Charity's Minister, I was delighted to be able to support them, and thank them for ALL of the work that they do on behalf of our armed forces, past and present. 

Find out more here
Volunteers Week 2019
Earlier this month I joined with charities, businesses and communities to celebrate the incredible contribution of volunteers to the UK as people across the country marked Volunteers’ Week.

Locally our area is lucky to have so many incredible volunteers and charities, from uniform groups like the Hedge End Air Training Corps and Royal British Legion to sports groups and on to collective volunteer groups like One Community.

I thanks each and every person who takes the time to volunteer in our community, something that is good for our wellbeing, our skills set and our confidence, and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone! 

Find out more about the week here.
Carers Week 2019
This year is the 25th Carers Week held to raise awareness and celebrate the contribution of the UK’s carers, with seven major charities coming together and ‘Getting Carers Connected’. I was delighted to attend the event held in Parliament this month to mark Carers Week 2019 also attended by Carers UK, Age UK, Carers Trust, Motor Neurone Disease (MDN) Association, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society, Rethink Mental Illness and Sense with British Gas the headline supporter.

Carers play a vital role in our society, and as a former carer myself, it has been a great passion of mine to raise awareness for carers across all ages. Both as Eastleigh's MP, as well as a former Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Carers, I have met with the most incredible carers, and it is my pleasure to take any opportunity to show my support and appreciations for the tireless work that they do.

Read more here.
Alzheimer’s Society Cupcake Day 2019
An estimated 8,500 people are living in West Hampshire with dementia, with an estimated 1,663 individuals living with dementia in Eastleigh. The local branch of the Alzheimer's Society provides provisions and services such as a devoted Dementia Support Worker who can provide one-to-one support, helping to maintain the independence of those who suffer from dementia and improve their general well-being.

This month, I celebrated the Alzheimer Society’s national Cupcake day which is aimed at raising awareness of dementia and money for fighting the cruel disease. 

Find out more about the day here.
Conservative Women's Conference 2019
As the 380th Women to be elected to the House of Commons and the former Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Women in Parliament, I know how vital it is that we encourage women to stand. It was fantastic to join parliamentary colleagues and Party activists at the Conservative Women's Conference 2019 this month.
Find out more about my role for Women in Parliament here
The Time is Now!
It was really pleasing that so many people from across the Eastleigh area, as well as across Hampshire, made the effort to travel up to London to take part in the mass lobby 'The Time is Now'. I was really sorry not to be in London at the time to meet with them due to representing the Government at a meeting with the Prince of Wales as Minister for Youth, discussing the Prince's Trust, and highlighting the key link between the environment and our young people.

Just this month Hampshire County Council recognised how important climate change is to people locally, declaring a 'climate emergency' and committing to 'play its part' in reducing the council's carbon footprint, while earlier this week alongside colleagues across ALL Parties in Parliament, I backed the Government's plans to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050! 

There can be no questioning that this is a priority for this and all future Governments!
To read more click here
KEY Animal Welfare Bill introduced to Parliament! 
My own dog TJ – a troublesome but cute Cockapoo! – is just as much a member of my family as anyone else, and like my constituents I have been shocked by the cruelty that too many animals are subjected to but also hugely impressed by the role carried out by animal charities such as Blue Cross, which has a base locally in Bubb Lane.

That's why this week I welcomed the introduction of The Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill to Parliament, which will mean animal abusers could face up to five years in prison, a significant increase from the current maximum sentence of six months.

Read more here
Mims in the Press

"Lets Talk Loneliness" Campaign  -- The Independent
Eastleigh School Visit - Eastleigh News
Football Hub Visit - Eastleigh News
Loneliness Awareness Week - Stylist
"Majority of mums say exercise makes them feel guilty" - The Telegraph
"What she said: can I be taken seriously as a well-dressed woman in a male-dominated office?" - The Times
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