Archive | July, 2010

MP Celebrates 10 years of “re-generation success story” at Hunloke Gardens

Labour Member of Parliament for Chesterfield, Toby Perkins, hailed Hunloke Gardens as a “ten year regeneration success story” in Birdholme at the 10 Year Anniversary Celebrations event on Sunday 25th July. During the last decade the gardens have expanded, opening a shop on site, growing a wide range of fruit and vegetables, and attracting school visits.

Starting life as a derelict field, Hunloke Gardens is now a fully operational nursery growing and selling vegetables and plants. The community garden has become a haven for wildlife, birds, butterflies, hedgehogs, wildfowl and pond life. The garden was designed by Rother Community Action Partnership and it includes a pond, a meadow area, a vegetable growing and composting area, poly tunnels, an orchard and some formal flower beds. Mr. Perkins praised Treasurer Maggie Dolan, Marion Wilcockson and colleagues for all their hard work in transforming waste land into a much loved facility for the community. He also paid tribute to the work of founders Carol and Ray Ellis.

In his speech, Mr. Perkins said:-

“The team has worked wonders over the last ten years in maintaining such a fantastic facility. Hunloke is a ten year regeneration success story and I am proud to be one of its biggest fans. Ten years ago I don’t think any of us imagined such a diverse and creative area right in the middle of Birdholme, and now we have one. This is down to the sheer hard work and dedication of local people who have fought to make Hunloke what it is today”.

Maggie Dolan, Treasurer of Hunloke Community Gardens added:-

“I was delighted when Toby accepted our invitation to speak at the 10 Year Anniversary event on Sunday. It was a great opportunity for him to speak to our members and for us to thank him for all his support over the years. We hope the next ten years are as successful as the last!”.

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Perkins joins campaign to champion local pubs

Toby Perkins, Labour Member of Parliament for Chesterfield, last week visited the Derby Tup on Sheffield Road as part of The Publican’s Proud of Pubs Week. Mr. Perkins met with the Tenant of ‘the Tup’ pub to champion the role it and many others play in the community, and to highlight the serious concerns of many local landlords and managers who fear dozens more may be forced to close.

The local MP met with Tenant Landlord Brendan McConville to discuss threats to the pub industry badly affected by the recession. Many pubs have closed in Chesterfield and the UK, with Mr. McConville expressing serious concerns about huge supermarket chains having an unfair advantage by selling vast quantities of alcohol at irresponsible prices.

Mr. Perkins said:-

The Derby Tup is an excellent example of a community based pub, a place where local people come for a good pint and a chat. Brendan has highlighted ways in which I can represent the pub industry in both Parliament and the constituency to try to buck the trend of pub closures all over Chesterfield. We need a level playing field that protects the role of the publican society, and reduces the binge drinking associated with alcohol price promotions”.

Brendan McConville, Tenant of the Derby Tup added:

“It was good to welcome Toby to the Derby Tup to chat about the problems we face as pub managers and owners across Chesterfield and the UK. It’s great to know that in difficult times our local MP is listening to our concerns”.

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Laptop Presentation

Local MP Toby Perkins presents laptop to competition winner

On Friday 16th July Toby Perkins, Labour Member of Parliament for Chesterfield, presented Carol Brooks with a brand new laptop computer after her name was drawn out of a hat on completion of an Online Basics computer skills course. Lucky Ms Brooks was the only student to be given the computer after passing all aspects of the government funded initiative which is aimed at improving IT skills throughout the country.

Online Basics is run by UK Online centres, which offered the opportunity for one of the successful students to win a laptop, presented by Mr. Perkins at Hurst House Adult Education Centre. Ms Brooks has learnt to send and receive emails, to write letters using computer software, use search engines and customise her work. Mr. Perkins, a long term supporter of adult retraining and education, also enjoyed a tour of Hurst House with Helen Figg, the Manager of the facility.

Mr. Perkins said:-

“Initiatives like Online Basics are vitally important to improving people’s work related skills and giving them the tools to make the most of computers and the internet. Carol was especially lucky as she benefited from the course and then won a fantastic new laptop! It was great to be invited to present her with her prize and to be shown around what is an invaluable organization”.

Robin Jeeps, Head of Learning at UK Online Centres added:-

“It was great to see Carol pick up her laptop prize from Toby this afternoon. She has worked really hard to learn her new skills here at Hurst House and now she can keep them up to date while learning with her family at home.”

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Springwell College

New Springwell College close to completion

Toby Perkins, Labour Member of Parliament for Chesterfield, met with the school’s senior management in a visit to the near complete Springwell Community College site in Inkersall. The visit involved a tour of the multi-million pound project starting last April and which will open its doors to the students in November this year.

The Headteacher, Steve Goddard, held a meeting with other members of the school staff and Mr. Perkins to discuss issues effecting Springwell and other schools in Chesterfield. The group then had a tour of the sparkling new school site, built by the local building firm Bowmer and Kirkland, and examined the state-of-the-art equipment which will soon be in full operation. The new site was built under the recently scrapped Building Schools for the Future government programme.

Speaking after the meeting and tour of the new site Mr. Perkins said:-

“The new Springfield Community College is a shining example of how government investment can improve the education of every young person, regardless of their background. The new school will inspire the students at Springwell to achieve their very best in such an outstanding environment. It also highlights the need for the Coalition Government to continue to re-modernise schools in our area which are, quite literally, not fit for purpose. It is so important for youngsters to be proud of their school and not see classrooms left to rot”.

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Parking on Avondale Road

Businesses seek new consultation period as many suffer under new regulations

Schools, health centres and businesses have contacted Toby Perkins, Labour MP for Chesterfield, to call for Derbyshire County Council to introduce a new consultation on the Residents Parking scheme in Newbold. The new parking system has meant that Avondale Surgery on Avondale Road has lost around 50 patients since its introduction, St Mary’s junior school is often log-jammed and local businesses have lost considerable trade.

Mr. Perkins will present a 600 strong petition, signed by local people, to Derbyshire County Council next Friday at County Hall, Matlock. A number of issues have arisen leading to the meeting being called earlier this week. Frustration has erupted in the Newbold area as customers, patients and parents have received dozens of parking tickets despite many spaces appearing to be available on both sides of the streets.

Each business has received just one parking permit, despite many hiring around 5 local staff. Spaces along the streets without the new Resident Parking are taken by people walking into the town centre to work and the safety of schoolchildren travelling to St Mary’s is put at risk with parents parking on the roadside to avoid breaking the new rules.

Mr. Perkins said:-

“There are clearly many issues with the new residents parking system in Newbold. It has improved the situation for many residents which is excellent, but the number of business owners who have contacted me with genuine concerns shows that more needs to be done to ensure that all organisations in the area can continue to thrive without unnecessary barriers. The economic situation is hitting firms hard so we need to make sure that local businesses are given a fair deal to help them as much as we possibly can”.

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Chesterfield Children's University

Chesterfield Children’s University holds inaugural graduation ceremony at Chesterfield College

History was made last week when pupils from primary schools across North Derbyshire attended the Chesterfield Children’s University graduation ceremony at Chesterfield College.  Toby Perkins, Labour Member of Parliament for Chesterfield and Vice Chancellor of the University, presented the youngsters with certificates for outstanding achievement.

Chesterfield Children’s University is the first of its kind in Derbyshire. Youngsters from Brimington Juniors, Inkersall, Springwell, Norbriggs, Woodthorpe and Heath received the awards after completing between 60 and 90 hours of extra curricular activities outside their normal school day. The presentation also gave over 200 parents the chance to see their children receive certificates in the traditional university dress.

Mr. Perkins said:-

“The Chesterfield Children’s University is a fantastic initiative and I was delighted to present the certificates to youngsters who have worked tremendously hard to get that far. This event proves just how much young talent we have here in Chesterfield. The kids have been rewarded for all their dedication and commitment to a course which develops their skills ready for secondary school and eventually the workplace. As the Vice Chancellor of the CCU I hope to give every 10 year old in our area the chance to get involved and learn new skills”.

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Fall in unemployment highlights danger in cutting support for jobs

The fall in the number of unemployed people here in the East Midlands has been welcomed by Labour’s MP for Chesterfield, Toby Perkins, a member of the Communities and Local Government select committee, but he also warned that cutting support for local jobs and the economy could damage the fragile recovery.

Toby said: “As the country comes out of recession, the extra support that Labour put into place to secure jobs and investment is being reflected in the fall in the number of people unemployed. But there is still more that needs to be done to support people back into employment.

“With the recovery still so fragile this is clearly not the time to be cutting back on support. We have already seen the ConDem Government cutting projects to help support young people into work and projects that will help boost the construction industry being scrapped and I am worried about the effect that will have on employment here in the East Midlands.”

Responding the to the release of the unemployment figures, Yvette Cooper, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions said: “These figures show just why it is dangerous and callous to cut support for jobs and the economy.

“May’s small fall in unemployment is welcome and reflects the extra support Labour put into the economy as it started to come out of recession.

“But there’s still little sign of private sector growth, with jobs in areas like construction still being heavily hit. And this is before the big spending cuts and the surge in young people leaving education this summer.

“Cutting 90,000 youth jobs and hundreds of thousands of public sector jobs while the private sector is still so fragile will condemn many people to a lifetime on the dole.

“In the 90s the Tories said unemployment was a price worth paying to cut inflation – now they clearly think it’s a price worth paying to bring down the deficit.”

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Chesterfield MP praised by charity for Child Poverty Champion pledge

The charity Child Poverty Action Group has praised Toby Perkins, the Member of Parliament for Chesterfield for pledging to become a ‘Child Poverty Champion’ working in his constituency to end child poverty by 2020. Mr. Perkins has also pledged to work in parliament on national action that will held end child poverty for all UK children.

 Shan Nicholas, Chief Executive of Child Poverty Action Group, said:

“All the main parties have committed to ending child poverty by 2020, but Toby Perkins stands out as one of the first to have signed a personal pledge committing to action. It is important MPs understand the leadership role they can take in their area to bring partners together like local councils, schools, service providers and the voluntary sector, as well as showing public leadership by raising public understanding of child poverty in their constituency.

“Britain has one of the highest child poverty rates in Europe and this has an appalling impact on the life chances of many children. There is no reason why British children should suffer more than our neighbours and we are delighted that Toby is so strongly committed to ending child poverty.”

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I am Toby Perkins, Labour's Member of Parliament for Chesterfield. If you would like to get in touch with me, my office is open and can be reached by phone on 01246 386 286. I also hold regular surgeries so that constituents can meet me and I can take up their concerns. If you would like to make an appointment then please do contact my office. Thank you for visiting.

Contact Toby

Tel: 01246 386286
Post: 113 Saltergate, Chesterfield, S40 1NF


I hold regular surgeries for my constituents.
Please call 01246 386286 or email to make a booking.

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