Categorized | Blog, News, View from the Commons

View from the Commons

As my children dress in various ghoulish outfits to frighten the neighbours on the occasion of Halloween, it is tempting to reflect that the recent comprehensive spending review contained many measures that will have given people across Chesterfield cause for sleepless nights.

Britain has a large national debt. This is because we, Labour, were fighting during the global  recession to help people who had played no part in the catastrophic banking collapse to save their jobs, pay their bills and protect their savings.  No country should ignore a deficit. However focusing on cuts rather than growth will fundamentally weaken the level of public services that people in Chesterfield have come to rely on.

Already we are seeing the impact of the cuts with a string of local people who rely on care services from the County Council contacting my office to say that their care has been cut. Meanwhile an independent study says that Chesterfield will be the worst hit area in Derbyshire with around 1,400 public sector jobs to be lost over the next six years.

I’ve been in business ever since leaving school so no-one needs to encourage me that a strong business community is vital to a prosperous economy, but whilst attending a recent CBI ‘Question time’ event in Derby I was struck by how the cuts to our public services and the new immigration policies are hurting the private sector as much as the public sector.

We have been well served by our local public services here. Schools right across Chesterfield are rated highly. The County Council was a beacon of quality services until the political change last May, whilst we enjoy an excellent local hospital and good primary care provision to name a few.  Across the board, I will be fighting to maintain that quality provision in the face of these damaging cuts.

Locally, I still see much to be optimistic about in Chesterfield. I spoke at the planning meeting against the Dunston Incinerator and was absolutely bowled over by the commitment and polite determination of the huge band of objectors who secured a big win for Chesterfield by successfully persuading the planning committee of the folly of the proposal.

Chesterfield FC have been enjoying some big wins of their own, starting the season in fine style and sit proudly at the top of the table. Their new stadium along with other developments there is a start towards a vibrant A61 corridor.

I was also reminded of the essential value of our voluntary services when working at the Barnardos store on Trevorrow Crescent as part of the Voluntary sector’s ‘make a Difference’ day on Saturday and subsequently when attending a meeting of Rethink’s award winning Mental and Spiritual Help (MASH) group.

Meanwhile in Parliament, I have been adapting to my new role as Labour’s shadow Minister for Education.  I am now Labour’s representative on issues like safeguarding children, children in care, Youth services, School Sport and Family Courts. Many of these are targeted for government cuts. I am meeting many hard-working and passionate professionals who fear the impact of these cuts will fall on the deprived communities they have served with such dedication and commitment.

At my weekly surgeries I regularly encounter the real life impact of decisions taken in Whitehall, so I am asking any workers or users of public services to keep me in touch with any significant adverse (or positive) changes to service provision as a result of cost cutting measures.

One Response to “View from the Commons”

  1. Megan says:

    Nice work Toby. It strikes me that a key success factor for education is the success of the family unit. Where parents, particularly those in lower socio economic communities, are given encouragement and support, the children stand a greater chance of success at school. Labour in government supported young families to give them a head start – hope this great work isn’t being undone under the current government. (Apologies for typos – am typing this on my phone.)

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Welcome

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.

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Post: 113 Saltergate, Chesterfield, S40 1NF

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