November 2015

Weekly letters to my constituents

Caroline in Parliament

November 2015

November 13th 2015

This week the nation remembers those who gave their lives for our freedom.

On Sunday I was moved by the annual Remembrance Service in the Memorial Park and afterwards in Romsey Abbey, where I was struck – as always – by the vast numbers of local people who came to pay their respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. It was also particularly poignant to have the recently unveiled War Horse statue in the background as the wreathes were laid by local people and organisations.

There has been a great deal of talk, in the media and elsewhere, of groups ‘politicising poppies’ and the depth of bows of politicians at The Cenotaph but, while these criticisms may be perfectly valid, they take the focus away from the importance of remembering the cost of war and the bravery of those who put their own lives at risk for our country.

On Monday I met another very brave man. A local vicar who has made regular trips to Syria in an effort to help secure a lasting peace there. He has worked with both Christians and Muslims and told me about some of the extremely difficult experiences in the region. He explained there are a number of good people in the area who are genuinely trying to bring peace to their country and that people need to hear the voices of Syrians rather than simply listening to the twisted narrative in this most harrowing of civil wars.

There was no PMQs this week, enabling MPs to return to their constituencies for Armistice Day. This allowed me the chance to attend the short service of remembrance in the Memorial Park on Wednesday along with the Mayors of Romsey and Test Valley, RBL members, children from Romsey Abbey Primary School and Revd. Sledge.


November 9th 2015

Caroline Signing the Pledge in Parliament

Caroline Signing the Pledge in Parliament

Caroline Nokes, MP for Romsey and Southampton North has pledged to work with the Arrhythmia Alliance to raise awareness of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) – the UK’s leading killer – and Arrhythmia Alliance aims to work in partnership with others to reduce the number of deaths in the UK from SCA by 50% by 2020.

At an event held in Parliament hosted by the Arrhythmia Alliance on Thursday 5th November, Caroline signed a pledge in support of the Arrhythmia Alliance’s ‘Now is the Time’ Manifesto. Arrhythmia Alliance’s Manifesto: ‘Now is the Time’ was launched in June this year and delivered into parliaments across the UK. The manifesto presents both the cause of SCA and the consequences of not being adequately equipped to revive a patient. It also offers a seven-task solution to improving, and dramatically increasing, the number of lives saved from SCA.

This event raised awareness of these issues and Parliamentarians who attended had a FREE pulse check, FREE ECG hand-held recording and the opportunity to see a defibrillator demonstration.

Arrhythmia Alliance Chief Executive Trudie Lobban MBE, who hosted the event, said:

“Today across the UK, up to 250 people will be struck down by sudden cardiac arrest and less than 20 will survive – in many other places across the world MORE THAN 100 of these people would survive and continue to live their lives. All of this can happen quickly – in fact, in a matter of seconds… sudden cardiac arrest can strike anyone, at any time, any age, without warning. Unless treated immediately by CPR and defibrillation this always leads to death within minutes.”

Caroline added:

“We have seen, first-hand, the affects of Sudden Caridac Arrest recently at a school in Romsey it is only thanks to the quick thinking of a member of staff that the person involved survived. I would call on my constituents to have your heart rhythm checked to ensure those with underlying hearth problems such as arrhythmias are diagnosed before suffering what is all-to-often a fatal cardiac arrest.”

For further information about Arrhythmia Alliance or to view the Manifesto, please visit:

– Ends –


Notes to editor:

  • Arrhythmia Alliance
    The Arrhythmia Alliance (A-A) is a coalition of charities, patient groups, patients, carers, medical groups and allied professionals representing thousands of individual members. Although these groups remain independent, they work together under the A-A umbrella to promote timely and effective diagnosis and treatment of arrhythmias. This unique coalition provides an integral information and support network for those affected by arrhythmias and it is a springboard for medical discussion and health service improvement.
  • Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA)
    Sudden cardiac arrest is caused by an abnormal heart rhythm (e.g. ventricular tachycardia). There is rarely a warning and the patient always loses consciousness. SCA is not the same as a heart attack, although a person suffering a heart attack has an increased risk of SCA. A heart attack can be thought of as a problem with the plumbing of the heart, a SCA is a problem with the electrical system within the heart. A heart attack is caused by a blockage in an artery that supplies blood to the heart. The affected heart muscle then begins to die due to lack of oxygen. Symptoms include central ‘crushing’ chest pain, often radiating to arms and jaw. The patient usually remains awake and alert.


  • Defibs Save Lives
    CPR or cardiopulmonary resuscitation is used when someone enters sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) to circulate oxygen around the body until the emergency services arrive. When CPR chest compressions and a defibrillator are used together chances of survival from SCA increase from 9% to 50%. The Resuscitation Council recommends that CPR chest compressions are administered to a depth of 5 to 6 centimeters at a rate of 100-120 times a minute. 30 CPR chest compressions should be administered between shocks from a defibrillator.


Arrhythmia Alliance provides fundraising support, in addition to information, advice and guidance to help make communities across the UK safer in the event of sudden cardiac arrest. To learn more about placing an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) in your community, visit


November 6th 2015

I facilitated a useful meeting this week between the Planning Portfolio holders of Test Valley Borough Council and the Planning Minister, Brandon Lewis.

It is essential local councils can communicate their concerns to the Government and part of my job as a Member of Parliament is to ensure I support councils and councillors in my constituency in this way.

Planning affects every community in Romsey and Southampton North in some way. I recognise the importance of the Government’s planning policy to provide enough homes for local people, but that needs to reflect specific local circumstances, requirements for infrastructure provision and the valuable local environment. There are significant numbers of jobs connected to the industry, which is certainly having a positive effect in this constituency.

However I think it is extremely important to make clear to the Government, there are many people who are very concerned about the impact this is having to their communities. Many, if not most, villages simply do not have the infrastructure to support hundreds of new homes. I have long been an advocate of retaining gaps between settlements, such as North Baddesley and Valley Park, to ensure communities do not simply become a suburb of Eastleigh or Southampton.

I am pleased a number of villages are beginning their own Neighbourhood Plans. These will help bring some clarity to both developers and councils as to what residents envisage for the future of their communities.  

This Saturday I will be holding my monthly drop-in surgery at The Swan Inn in Barton Stacey, between 9:30 and 11:00. Drop-in surgeries are for short, 10 minute appointments, however for those issues that may be more complex I can offer appointments in my constituency office.


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