Archive | July, 2011

Toby Perkins pledges support to social workers in crisis

The British Association of Social Workers (BASW) is grateful for the support of Toby Perkins MP at a time when huge public sector funding cuts, massive redundancies and sweeping salary cuts are affecting the profession and leaving vulnerable children and adults who rely on social work services every day, unsupported and abandoned.

MP’s met with social workers at the Houses of Parliament to hear some very difficult accounts of how many social workers are being forced out of their jobs at a time when family breakdown, mental illness and distress, and abuse of children and adults is more likely to occur with the pressures of Benefit cuts and rising prices during this period of austerity. BASW explained that more social workers are needed at such a time to help people deal with greater challenges 

Toby Perkins MP pledged to support social workers where they are under threat because social workers support people in need. He said:

“Social workers do a really vital job in protecting some of the most vulnerable people in our society. BASW are right to be angry about the promises made by the coalition that are now being routinely broken and means that social work caseloads will increase and the quality of practice will suffer.”

Ruth Cartwright, England Manager at BASW said: “We are delighted to have the backing of Toby Perkins MP as we continue to oppose cuts which directly affect vulnerable people and social work posts. Social workers tell us on a daily basis of how they are increasingly unable to do their jobs properly. Last year 94% of BASW members warned the government that upcoming cuts would have an adverse effect on vulnerable children, they didn’t listen and we now know this to be true. It is time for the government to start listening and taking responsibility for what these cuts will do to vulnerable people.”

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Top of the Class: Toby Perkins MP presents Families First Children’s Nursery with ‘outstanding’ OFSTED certificate

Top of the Class: Toby Perkins MP presents Families First Children’s Nursery with ‘outstanding’ OFSTED certificate

Delighted staff, children and parents have celebrated the news that Families First Children’s Nursery, based at the Birdholme Children’s Centre in Hunloke has been awarded an ‘outstanding’ status by OFSTED. Toby Perkins, Labour Member of Parliament for Chesterfield and Shadow Education Minister, presented Lisa Kelly, the Nursery Manager, with the certificate in the state-of-the-art facilities which have contributed to the success of the organization.

The Families First Nursery was formed with investment from the former Labour Government, and its latest achievement reflects the fantastic service it has provided over a number of years. Serving an area with significant deprivation, the nursery has overseen a dramatic improvement in Early Years Education across Derbyshire and the UK generally. The Church Street South based outfit is the only nursery of its kind, however, to achieve the OFSTED ‘outstanding’ accreditation.

As a former director of the co-operative and Borough Councillor for Rother Ward, the area in which the Families First nursery predominantly serves, Toby Perkins MP said:-

“I am delighted for the Families First Nursery which, through the hard work of the staff, has been recognized by OFSTED. This achievement shows the way in which investment in Early Years education can really make a difference to the lives of children right from day one. I am aware of the ongoing negotiations with Derbyshire County Council regarding the lease of the Birdholme Children’s Centre facility, and I hope that after such a fantastic achievement the Council will fully appreciate the educational service this nursery provides for the local area. Lisa and the team should be very proud of what they have done so far, and I know through meeting with her and her colleagues today they are keen to continue to provide top class nursery care to babies and children from right across south and west Chesterfield”.

In her report, Ofsted Inspector Karen Byfleet commented:

“Staff highly value and recognize the uniqueness of each child that attends the nursery and children are making excellent progress in their learning and development. Children are happy and settled within a very well organised and welcoming environment.”

“Staff are enthusiastic and motivated and they fully interact with all the children, making learning fun and challenging for all ages. Staff are attentive, warm and caring towards the children.”

The management was also praised for their clear vision for developing the Nursery Further “Management and staff constantly evaluate the provision and there is a very clear vision to move the setting forward and maintain exceptional continuous improvements.”

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Expenses Update April – June 2011

The expenses claimed over the period1st April to 30th June 2011 were as follows:

Constituency Office costs:

The Chesterfield constituency office cost £1495 per quarter; this includes rent, gas, electric, water, rates and car parking spaces. The payment for Quarter 3 2011 was claimed in this period.

In addition following two significant security alerts and a visit from Crime prevention officers at Derbyshire Police, there were a number of additional security measures put in place at the Chesterfield office.


These were: New Access system with intercom – £1,171.16

New Alarm system £918.86

New External doors £2,362.00 (up to appropriate fire protected standards)

New internal locks and keys £159.18

New maintenance contract to include Police notification system £259.20

IT systems

Set up charge for IT systems – £239.98

We also paid our annual licence fee for our casework software which was £350 in March.

Phone Bills

I claim for only 75% of the cost of my mobile phone, this came to £42.02 in April and £63.36 in May.

There were also Broadband hire charges of £28.21 for May and £67.09 for June and a telephone bill of £217.60 for the Chesterfield office in May.

Hire of Staveley Hall for surgery £31 My surgeries are weekly at my offices in Chesterfield, but once a month, I hold a surgery in Staveley, this bill covers invoices from March and May.

Travel costs

Train travel from Chesterfield to London:

28th Feb- 23rd March £785.20 (this includes four journeys for constituency staff to come to London)

24th March- 23rd April £127

24th April- 24th May £348.10

On 1 occasion in June I drove to London and on this occasion there were costs of:

Petrol £136.80 and Congestion charge £9

Usually my wife picks me up and drops me off at the station costs for petrol for June and July were £32.40

If I am very late or very early going to westminster, I get a taxi in Chesterfield. The taxi is cheaper than parking at Chesterfield station, which is now £9 a day (£36 for the four day trip to London).

Taxi Bills – Chesterfield

May – £3.90

June £12.30

In addition on two occasions my family had to get back to St Pancras stations at weekends when there was no tube service from the nearest tube station to my London flat and due to the time involved they got a taxi, totalling £38.40

I live within reasonable walking distance of the House of Commons and generally walk home regardless of the time, however taxi fares are claimable when the House sits beyond 11.00pm. On three occasions inclement weather or sickness has meant that I have ended up getting a taxi home after late sittings to a total cost of:

May £6.40

June £14

Costs associated with London flat

Electricity bill June £95.25

Gas £34.08

TV Licence £145.50


April £1430

May £1430

As of June my rent went up to £1,490, although IPSa have not yet changed the amount and so it will still show on my expenses as £1,430 until the IPSA have altered their records.

Food (Food is only claimed for evening meals in the event of parliament sitting past 8.00pm, receipts are provided for any food claimed)

April/ May £60

June £77.65

Travel within constituency

Mileage attending constituency appointments was:

April/ May £74.35

June £37.80

Also a parking bill of £2.20.

Stationery, Toners and Ancillaries

Stationery bills were for




and £53.69

Plus a bill for a desk fan in June (when we were still expecting a summer) for £16.99

and a toner bill for £84.66 in June and £320.40 on 31st March.

Accomodation (staff)

Two members of staff from my Chesterfield office attended parliament for a training course/ meeting and overnight acoomodation was provided for one night of the two day trip, the total cost was £204.90

I believe that this summarises all the invoices claimed in April to June 2011, if you have any queries with any of these, then contact me and I will be happy to answer your questions.


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Chesterfield MP backs Labour Leader in calls for B Sky B takeover to be abandoned

Chesterfield MP backs Labour Leader in calls for B Sky B takeover to be abandoned

As further revelations emerged surrounding the quite appalling behavior of the News of the World, a newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch and his News International Corporation, pressure is growing for the Australian media giant to abandon the plans to have monopoly control of the UK’s biggest commercial broadcaster, B Sky B. Toby Perkins, Labour Member of Parliament for Chesterfield, has backed Labour Leader Ed Miliband in his calls for the takeover process to be halted while a full police investigation takes place into the fundamental wrongdoings of employees of the Sunday newspaper.

As Murdoch arrived in the United Kingdom yesterday to hold emergency talks with the News International chief, Rebekah Brooks, doubts about the ability of News International to pass the ‘fit and proper person’ test continue to mount.

The Prime Minister’s decision to employ his former spin doctor, Andy Coulson, has cast serious doubts on his judgment following Coulson’s arrest and now the Police chief responsible for declining to re-open the investigation has spoken of his shame at the decision.

News International chief Rupert Murdoch invited more criticism when declaring that ‘this woman’ Chief executive Rebekah Brooks was his priority on arrival in the UK, rather than cleaning up the cancer at News International’s core, the malignant practices that appear to be common-place within the organisation.

Mr. Perkins said:-

“It is vital that no decision is taken until the full criminal investigation has been carried out. This is a fundamental decision that will have ramifications for our media ownership for the next decade, and I support Ed’s call to refer the bid to the competition commission, but even the monopolies aspect is secondary to exploring the culture that informs the journalistic ethics that appear to have become second nature within News International.

It is inconceivable that the government could think of going ahead with this decision before the full truth about this disgusting and sordid affair has come out.

I support Ed Miliband in his calls for the B Sky B bid to be abandoned until all the unanswered questions are looked into by the police”.

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Staveley Armed Forces Day proves a huge success

Staveley Armed Forces Day proves a huge success

Staveley Armed Forces Day proved to be a huge success on Saturday July 2nd as hundreds of local people took part in the celebrations from Staveley Market Place to Poolsbrook Country Park. Toby Perkins, Labour Member of Parliament for Chesterfield was joined by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor at an event highlighting the fantastic job done by our armed services and the ultimate sacrifice made by many in conflicts across the world.

On a blisteringly warm Saturday morning at 9.30am, the march set off from Staveley Town Centre with what was surely a record attendance at an event which is growing year by year. Mr. Perkins marched with his wife and two children, as locals watched representatives of the navy, army and air force parade through the streets to Poolsbrook Country Park. Later, the crowds were treated to a rare appearance of two Spitfire fighter planes to the delight of the adults and children alike.

After the event Mr. Perkins said:-

Whether we entirely agree or not with the conflicts our armed forces are currently involved around the globe, there is no denying the unbelievable service of our armed forces. This event is a fantastic example of our young men and women involved in the armed services, many of whom are volunteering, and celebrates the professionalism and pride with which so many go about their duties”.

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MP calls for greater awareness of Mesothelioma as Government cuts Health and Safety budgets

MP calls for greater awareness of Mesothelioma as Government cuts Health and Safety budgets

Today, Toby Perkins called for a greater awareness of asbestos related illnesses, a campaign echoed by union leaders and asbestos campaigners, and slammed the Government after plans were announced to cut the Health and Safety Executive budget by 35%. Mr. Perkins, Labour Member of Parliament for Chesterfield, speaking at the Action Mesothelioma Day rally in New Square, highlighted the fantastic work of the Derbyshire Asbestos Support Team (DAST) and urged the Government to re-think its decision to halt the ‘Hidden Killer’ campaign across the UK.

With over 2,400 Mesothelioma cases diagnosed in 2008 nationwide, with almost all those diagnosed passing away within a twelve month period, this disease has become one of the most deadly asbestos related illnesses. With asbestos predicted to be in 90% of all public buildings, including schools and hospitals, Mr. Perkins emphasized the importance of the former Labour Government’s decision to massively improve the condition of school and college buildings through the Building Schools for the Future programme, but also the importance of ensuring that asbestos is disposed of safely and without causing harm to employees.

Many supporters of DAST, several of whom had lost loved ones to asbestos related diseases, sponsored a message leaf on the ‘Reflection and Celebration of Life’ tree before the speeches ended with a pause for those lost led by Reverend Harold Dobbin.

After the event Mr. Perkins said:-

“Cuts of 35% to the Health and Safety Executive will inevitably undo a lot of the fantastic work done by organizations such as DAST in raising the awareness of asbestos related illnesses such as Mesothelioma. This disease has killed thousands of working men and women over decades, with the vast majority of those people being completely unaware of the dangers of asbestos at the time. That’s why I was delighted to speak at this event, and to meet so many friends and families who have lost loved ones, and who fear cuts to the HSE will be counter-productive in the fight against asbestos and its hugely damaging long term affects”.

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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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