Archive | March, 2012


Success for the Spireites!

Chesterfield have triumphed in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, with a memorable 2 – 0 victory over Swindon Town at Wembley Stadium!

The Spireites faced tough opposition from the League 2 opposition. After having a goal controversially disallowed in the opening stages, the League One side held firm and went ahead through an own goal from Swindon’s Oliver Risser before Craig Westcarr scored a magnificent goal in stoppage time to seal the historic victory.

Chesterfield’s MP Toby Perkins, commenting on the Spireites first visit to Wembley since 1995, said: ‘Huge congratulations to John Sheridan and the whole team who have secured this outstanding win.

‘You have made the 17,000 loyal fans that travelled to the Capital to paint the city blue immensely proud and have been great advocates for our town. I hope that you can now use this historic victory as a springboard to improving your League form and to secure your League One status over the last eight games of the season.’





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Toby Perkins MP

Bad Politics and Bad Economics – Where is Osborne’s Plan for Jobs and Growth?

Toby Perkins MP, Labour Member of Parliament for Chesterfield and Shadow Minister for Small Business, has raised serious concerns about George Osborne’s Budget.

The Con Dem’s fiscal plan for the nation’s revenue generation and capital management has been hailed as the most flawed and unfair in decades.

The IFS have confirmed that George Osborne’s tax raid on pensioners will see nearly four and a half million pensioners losing £83 next year. And people turning 65 next year will lose up to £323 with little forewarning.

But it isn’t just pensioners who will be worse off. The Treasury has silently taken £500 million out of the NHS budget, while giving the very richest a £3 billion tax cut. It means 300,000 people earning over £150,000 a year will get an average tax cut of £10,000, with over £40,000 going to 14,000 millionaires.   


Toby Perkins MP commented: ‘This is an unfair Budget from an out-of-touch Government.’

‘The economy is flatlining, unemployment is at a 17 year high and the government is borrowing £150 billion more to pay for this economic failure; the Chancellor’s plans will punish pensioners, hard working people and small businesses, not create the jobs and growth our economy so badly needs.’

Mr Perkins added:  ‘This Liberal Democrat backed Tory Government have chosen to stick with their political agenda which isn’t working on the deficit or unemployment. I will continue to make the case for the alternative.’


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TICrevamp (2)

Welcome to Chesterfield!

The doors are now open at Chesterfield’s new look Visitor Information Centre.

The Centre has recently undergone a £40k refurbishment, financed by the Destination Chesterfield project and the European Regional Development Fund.

The Centre was opened by Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins, Mayor of Chesterfield Peter Barr and James Berresford, Chief Executive of Visit England.

The refurbishment includes a new-look interior, a dedicated section on “Our Future” which features images of developments coming to the town, and quotations from famous people associated with the Chesterfield including George Stephenson, Bess of Hardwick, Gordon Banks and Lady Baden-Powell.

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins said: ‘Tourism is fundamental to the success of Chesterfield. Research indicates that tourism is worth around £122 million to the local economy and helps to sustain hundreds of jobs in sectors such as retail, hospitality, and food and drink.’

Mr Perkins, who is also Labour’s Shadow Minister for Small Business, added: ‘In tough times, with so little being done at a government level to support local businesses we can’t just wish for prosperity- we actually need to work for it. That’s why I am delighted that Chesterfield is taking practical steps to make our town centre more attractive in recognition of the vital need to make Chesterfield an even better place to work, live and visit.”

The Visitor Information Centre welcomed 155,841 visitors in 2011, an increase of over 12,000 from 2010.





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Chesterfield FC

Chesterfield’s MP Sends Good Luck Message to Spireites

In anticipation of Chesterfield FC’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy cup final tie at Wembley this Sunday, Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins has given his backing to the ground breaking Spireites and their fans.

Thousands of Spireites of all ages will descend on the Capital to paint the town blue and hope to see their local heroes lift the Cup.

The Spireites, who have defeated four League 1 sides in Notts County, Preston North End, Tranmere Rovers and Oldham Athletic on the way to their first ever Wembley cup final will face League Two promotion contenders Swindon Town.

The Robins managed by colourful Italian Paulo Di Canio will prove to be stern opposition but Toby Perkins believes that Chesterfield have what it takes to prevail in one of their biggest fixtures in the Club’s 145 year history.

Toby Perkins said: ‘The Spireites have excelled in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy. Whatever the outcome this weekend, they have brought the town together, provided a welcome respite in a tough season and if they can play like they have done already in this competition I know they can be celebrating on Sunday night.’


Toby Perkins has kindly been offered two corporate tickets to Sunday’s match by Wembley Stadium Sponsors National Express. If you know of two deserving people in the local community who would like to attend but don’t have tickets please email 

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paige and speaker

Inspiring Young Women: Chesterfield Student Shadows MP


A Chesterfield student spent a day shadowing an MP as part of an event to mark International Women’s Day.

Organised by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Women in Parliament, the day aimed to encourage more girls and young women to consider a career in politics.

Paige Collins, a sixth former at Brookfield Community School, spent the day in Parliament with Toby Perkins learning about the role of MPs and the workings of government.

Events in the schedule included meetings with small business stakeholders, a discussion at a Think Tank, observation of the debate in the Chamber for International Women’s Day and tea with the Speaker where Paige met female MPs and other young women visiting Westminster for the day.

Commenting on the day’s events, Paige said: ‘Visiting parliament was a fantastic experience. To see the forum where decisions that affect us all are made was inspiring and of real use to me as I hope to study politics at university next year.’

Toby Perkins, Member of Parliament for Chesterfield, said: ‘It was a real pleasure to welcome Paige to Parliament to mark International Women’s Day. Getting more young women engaged in politics is fundamental to parliament being a more representative and effective legislative body.’

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Perkins College Green

Toby Perkins MP on Developments at CPP

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins visited the Card Protection Plan Chesterfield offices to discuss the recent threat to the firm and the potential repercussions for employees.

The credit card insurance company, which has an office on West Bars, is undergoing a review of sales procedures which could cost £15m and threaten jobs.

Mr Perkins visited CPP on Friday, March 2, and wrote to the Financial Services Authority after it struck a deal to bring in a costly review of the company, which has an HQ in York, over the mis-selling of insurance.

The review deal could cost £15m to implement with compensation and any loss of business so the company has been in talks with banks about loans to prevent administration and redundancies.

Mike Kneafsey, CPP Managing Director, said: “It has been a challenging few weeks for CPP and all our people.

“Toby has been hugely supportive and it was great that he took the time to meet our team and provide encouragement to those he met during his visit to our office.

“We are delighted to have now reached an agreement in principle with the FSA in relation to the scope of actions necessary to address certain failings in CPP’s sales processes.

“While we are still in negotiations with various stakeholders including our financing banks, the resolution of these issues allows us to renew our focus on evolving towards a more customer-centric business.”

As part of the review, CPP will have to contact customers it approached directly and highlight that they have the right not to renew products and it will have to explain any advantages and disadvantages.

Mr Perkins said; “CPP is one of the biggest employers in the Chesterfield area and I am reassured by the progress that has been made in discussions with the FSA and with CPP’s financing banks.

“CPP has stressed their desire to redress customers who have been mis-sold to and that this can be achieved in a way which does not threaten the stability of the company.

“CPP is hoping to increase operations in the Chesterfield office which means more job prospects in the region.”

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My week in Westminster

I have had a particularly full week in Westminster. I have spoken in debates about tax credits, child benefit and the legal aid bill, as well as written to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions regarding the closure of the Remploy factory in Chesterfield; to Norman Lamb MP, the Government Pubs Minister; and Chris Grayling MP, Minister with responsibility for the workfare programme.


As a result of contacts from many constituents about working family tax credits and child benefit I spoke in a debate in the House of Commons Chamber on Monday; raising the issue of those families who will lose tax credits because of the changes to be brought this April when recipients are forced to work longer to access tax credits; while at the same time couples earning over £40,000 a year will lose all their entitlement to child benefit.



Speaking in the House of Commons, this was my contribution to the debate “There are 335 Chesterfield families, and 635 children, who will lose up to £4,000. There are 1,305 people in my constituency alone—working families who are trying to play by the rules and do their bit—who are having the rug pulled out from under their feet.


“More working people will be forced to give up work and to rely on benefit, which is the polar opposite of what the Minister wants to achieve. These changes will lead to parents being £728 a year better off out of work than staying in work without the tax credits. Why would a Government who support marriage and the family introduce harsh fiscal measures that are likely to put more pressure on those families who stay together? The Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers has stated that 78% of its 410,000 members working in retail cannot get extra hours at work.


“The Government’s policy of cutting child benefit for higher rate taxpayers is entirely chaotic, as has been exposed by several Members. If two members of the same family earn £42,000 each, that family will keep its child benefit, but a single parent on £43,000 will lose theirs. About 170,000 families could increase their net income if an individual in the family managed to lower their pre-tax income to just below the higher rate tax threshold. The policy creates a perverse disincentive to success, and it is wholly anti-aspirational”


You can read my speech in full and the rest of the debate here


Speaking on Tuesday regarding the Legal Aid bill and access to legal aid for assistance with benefit claims I addressed the Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly MP: “My concern is that if the Minister comes through with this policy without identifying an alternative, the most vulnerable people, who are used to being on benefits and suddenly find that they are not eligible, will be desperately marooned. Will the Minister give us a sense of who might pick up the slack in those cases? If not, will he consider giving Government support to that amendment, rather than scrapping the entire savings proposals?”


In response, the Minister stated that the Government have launched a review into advice services (which would be affected by these changes), which is due to conclude later this spring, and will contain proposals to provide for the sustainability of the advice services across the UK.


Speaking at an emergency statement in the House of Commons last night, I expressed my anger at the closure of the Remploy factory in Chesterfield and pressed the Minister to report back to parliament to let us know whether laid off workers found work: “I think that the 54 disabled people who are losing the jobs at Remploy in Chesterfield will see through the Minister’s warm words and rhetoric. The fact is that more disabled people than able-bodied people are unemployed generally: it is a desperately difficult jobs market out there anyway. The Minister has already dodged this question twice. Will she commit herself to coming back to the House in six months and telling us where those who have lost their jobs at Remploy have gone, so that we can establish whether her warm words mean anything to the 54 people in my constituency who are losing their jobs?”


I am also writing to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith MP to urge the Government to change course on this issue and stop the closure of the Remploy factory in Chesterfield.


This week I have written to Chris Grayling MP about the workfare programme, following one constituent’s disappointing experience, and to Norman Lamb MP in my capacity as Shadow Minister for Small Businesses, regarding the lack of regulation for pub companies.


Yesterday a Chesterfield ‘A’ Level student, Paige Collins, was in parliament as part of an International Womens day event encouraging more girls and young women to consider a career in politics.


Yesterday evening I headed back to Chesterfield to attend an International Women’s Day event, before a busy day in the constituency and at surgery today.


I have also met with representatives of Institute for Public Policy Research, Bioindustry Association, National Casino Industry Forum, British Bankers Association and the trade union UCATT. I then attended an ICAEW breakfast meeting on Tuesday, discussing growth companies and investment, and the dinner of the ICAEW as part of my brief in representing Labour as the Shadow Small business Minister. Yesterday I was glad to attend a meeting of the think tank ‘Reform’, accompanied by Paige Collins, to meet with the Permanent Secretary of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.



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Toby Perkins MP appalled by decision to close Remploy Factory in Chesterfield

It has been announced today by Remploy that their Chesterfield factory is to close, with the potential loss of 64 jobs, including 54 of those held by disabled people.

Speaking today, Toby Perkins MP said “I am absolutely appalled that the Government have taken the decision to close Remploy factories, particularly the one in my constituency of Chesterfield.

“At a time of rising unemployment this decision seems not only cruel, but economically absurd.

“As benefits for the disabled are cut and support from central Government is axed I am desperately disappointed that the Government should close this factory.

“I will be writing to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions personally and liaising closely with involved trade unions to fight this closure with ever resource we can.”

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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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