Archive | April, 2012

Environment Agency

Flood Warning Dropped

The Environment Agency has stated that the River Rother in the Chesterfield and Staveley area is no longer posing a flood risk. 

Should this situation change, more information will be available here and on

Posted in NewsComments Off on Flood Warning Dropped

Environment Agency

Update from the Environment Agency

The Environment Agency have issued a Flood Alert for the River Rother Upper Catchment. This means that flooding is possible, but not imminent.


Latest Information:

  • Heavy rain has already fallen during the day; further heavy rainfall is expected within the next 2 hours. Parkland at Saint Augustine’s is expected to flood.

Call Floodline on 0845 988 1188, select option 1 and enter Quickdial number 137605 to get more information

Posted in NewsComments Off on Update from the Environment Agency

Toby Perkins MP

Independent Figures Confirm Dire Economic Situation

The UK economy has returned to recession, after shrinking by 0.2% in the first three months of 2012. 

Independent information from the Office for National Statistics indicates that a sharp fall in construction output was behind the contraction.

A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of contraction. The economy shrank by 0.3% in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Toby Perkins, Member of Parliament for Chesterfield and Shadow Minister for Small Business, in response to today’s economic growth figures, said:

“David Cameron and George Osborne complacently boasted their austerity plan had taken our economy out of the danger zone – but their failed policies have plunged us back into recession.

“But with businesses suffering in Chesterfield and well-known national names disappearing from the high street, Labour consistently warned that the Lib Dem backed Tory austerity plan was self-defeating, and that cutting spending and raising taxes too far and too fast would badly backfire.

“The reason why last month’s Budget is such a disaster for Britain is not just because it unfairly cut taxes for millionaires while clobbering families and pensioners, it also failed to come up with the plan for jobs and growth Britain desperately needs and we have been urging.

“The Chancellor needs to explain why America, which has taken a much more balanced approach with a jobs plan to boost growth, has more than recovered all the output it lost in the global recession while our economy is shrinking again.

“The price of this recession is billions more borrowing to pay for economic failure. The Government’s pledge to balance the books by 2015 is now in tatters and is leaving dire economic and social costs which will scar the life chances of  future generations.

“The longer this out of touch and incompetent Government sticks with these failed policies, the more damage will be done.”

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Environment Agency

News from the Environment Agency

Although we are told much of England is now in drought, Chesterfield people may have been alarmed to hear this morning that heavy rain has caused four Derbyshire rivers to flood.

Given Chesterfield’s history with flooding in recent years, I contacted the Environment Agency this morning to see if there are any flood warnings in place.

I am assured that, at present, there is no imminent threat to property. However if anyone has any concern that rivers appear dangerously high, please feel free to contact my office. The official Environment Agency response is below.


The Environment Agency Floodline (advice on river levels) number: 0845 988 1188

There are quick dial numbers after this for update on flood warnings and river levels:

021321      Gives access to Chesterfield’s river system

137602      Central Chesterfield – River Rother            No Warnings in place at the moment

Central Chesterfield – Staveley                     No Warnings in place at the moment

137606      Brampton – River Hipper                                No Warnings in place at the moment

Posted in News, Press ReleaseComments Off on News from the Environment Agency

Barclays 022

On The Money: Toby Perkins MP investigates bank lending to small business

Following concerns raised by a number of Chesterfield businesses and the demise of the well-loved Chesterfield music shop Hudson’s, Toby Perkins MP has visited Barclays Bank’s Sanction Office to discuss access to finance for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs).

Barclays’ team in Leeds are responsible processing credit applications for new and growing firms across the country – including a number of expanding companies in Chesterfield.

Mr Perkins, who is also the Shadow Minister for Small Business, followed the journey of a number of applicants applying to borrow up to £5million.

The banks assess a number of criteria before investing in order to guarantee their stake.

A criticism of the banks since the onset of the credit crunch has been that growing and struggling companies have struggled to secure financial support which is hampering efforts to expand and create jobs.

Toby Perkins MP said: ‘It was interesting to see the process financiers undertake before loaning to up-and-coming businesses.

‘Many of the business people I meet in Chesterfield and across the country have expressed concern that financial backing is increasingly difficult to come by.

‘It is evident that an ongoing lack of confidence in the government’s management of the economy has led to banks being more cautious with their cash.’

Mr Perkins added: ‘That’s why I’m calling on the government to temporarily reverse the damaging VAT rise which is hitting the money in people’s pockets and reducing consumer spending. This is putting companies out of business and people out of work. I also propose that the government introduces a temporary National Insurance holiday for every small firm that takes on extra workers.’

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Hope for Meso victims as Lords stand firm on Legal Aid Bill

Tomorrow will see three amendments to the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill (LASPO) return to the House of Commons after the Lords reaffirmed their intention to amend the bill. Their initial amendments were defeated by coalition loyalists last week.

The chaotic passage of the bill, which threatens cuts to the legal rights of the disabled, children and sufferers of terminal respiratory diseases has suffered more defeats in the Lords than any other in the last 50 years.

Last week Toby Perkins spoke in the Commons debate on the subject of Mesothelioma sufferers, arguing that given the appalling diagnosis, the short time period between diagnosis and death, and the exceptionally long lead time between exposure and the onset of the illness that Mesothelioma sufferers should be exempted from the provisions of the bill.

On learning that the Lords had once again asked the Commons to exempt Mesothelioma sufferers, he said: “This is great news and shows the level of determination there is amongst peers of all parties that these unjust sections of a very messy bill really are a step too far. I hope that the government will now see sense and support this small exemption, which would make a miniscule difference to the overall cost of providing legal support, but make a huge difference to some of the most terribly ill people in the land.”

Toby has been working closely with the nationally recognised Derbyshire Asbestos Support Trust (DAST) to co-ordinate the campaign against the unfair provisions of this bill.

Toby’s full speech can be read below: 

I start by echoing the distress expressed by my hon. Friend John Woodcock about the tone of the Minister’s remarks, which showed a real lack of empathy with the situation that mesothelioma sufferers and their families face. What happens in so many of these cases is that victims become aware of the illness many years after they been exposed to asbestos, and often after the organisation responsible for that has long since disappeared. They face a troublesome problem in identifying who was responsible in the first place and they are then faced with the shocking news that their lives are shortly going to come to end and they are going to experience agonising circumstances in the run-up to their deaths.

For many of the people who have been on that journey, the last thing on their minds when they receive this appalling news is the idea that they need to embark on some complicated and potentially costly hunt for compensation. People who work with victims of asbestos-related diseases, such as mesothelioma, say that it is hard to persuade them to make claims because they are so heartbroken by their recent experiences. They tell me that if those who seek advice learn that there may be a cost impact, many are likely to choose to let the matter drop. It would be a real dereliction of duty on the part of all of us if we allowed that to happen.

The Derbyshire Asbestos Support Team has given me some examples including that of Roy Redfern, a joiner in the building trade from Chesterfield who also worked for Severn Trent for 16 years. He was diagnosed

with mesothelioma, but died before he could obtain compensation. His wife Vicky and his daughter Helen pursued his claim, but when they came to see me this week they said that if they had been told that costs would be attached at the time when they were facing the tragedy, they would not have proceeded with the claim. This is not just about the fact that the increased costs will mean victims ending up with less money; it is also about the impact on victims and their families who pursue claims in the first place.

I also question the level of costs that the Government will save. Under the 2008 mesothelioma scheme, every claimant receives a compensation payment regardless of whether the company concerned still exists or whether the exposure to asbestos is secondary. A person aged 77 or over receives £12,666, while one aged 65 receives about £22,000. If someone subsequently pursues a successful civil claim, the Government recoup the money through the compensation recovery unit. If fewer people proceed with their claims there may be a cost saving, but the Government will not be able to recoup that money.

Finally, there is the question of whether approving the exemption for mesothelioma sufferers would open the floodgates. Surely the fact that we cannot always do the right thing for every single group does not mean that we should never do the right thing for any group. As we heard from my hon. Friend Mr Slaughter, these people face an agonising death, and they are never the cause of their circumstances but always the victims. At a time when the Government are proposing massive savings in justice bills, for us to make this small concession to one group of people who are suffering terribly would show the human side of the House. I urge all Members to support the amendment, which was backed by members of all parties and huge numbers of Cross-Benchers in the other place, and to show that the House of Commons has a heart.

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Toby Perkins MP


The expenses claimed over the period 1st December 2011 to 29th February 2012 were as follows:

Constituency Office costs:

The quarterly rent for the constituency office is £1495 per quarter.

There was also a cost of £22.68 for the broadband line and £525.10 for the constituency phone line.

Phone Bills

I claim for only 75% of the cost of my mobile phone, this came to £42.38 in December, £33.54 in January and £45.49 in February.

Travel costs

Train/ underground travel from Chesterfield to London:

27/11- 20/12 £742.80

23/12- 19/1 £670

25/1- 23/2 £630.80


I claimed £31.50 for taxis from Chesterfield station home or vice versa, it is cheaper than paying for parking at Chesterfield station, although my wife collects me when she can.

My mileage costs were

December £176.53

My mileage costs for January onwards will be updated shortly.

There was one congestion charge at £10.

Costs associated with London flat

Gas- November £185.64

Electric £48.12


My monthly rent on the one bedroom London flat is £1490, however it took a while for IPSA to update it, when it went up, so it was paid at £1430 per month with payments of £236.53 to cover the backlog that developed.

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

January – £35.40

February – £36.15

Stationery, Toners and Ancillaries

There was a  toner bill for £258 in December & February.

And a stationery bill for £50.24 & 84.01in January

There was also a bill for £23.70 for the broadband line.

There was a £255.60 bill for new furniture for the Chesterfield office.

I claimed £636 for annual employers liability legal insurance policy.

The licence fee for the caseworker software was paid in November for £350.

There was also a bill of £60 for a staff member who had overnight stay in London when attending London office from Chesterfield for two days (and one night).

In January we paid our annual data protection registration fee of £35.

Staff Training/ IT Software

There was a bill for £398 to train two members of staff in our casework training software and a bill for overnight accommodation for 1 night of £91.45.

I believe that this summarises all the invoices claimed between December  2011- February 2012, if you have any queries with any of these, then contact me and I will be happy to answer your questions.

Posted in Expenses, FeaturedComments Off on EXPENSES UPDATE DEC’11- FEB ’12


Toby Perkins MP backs Manufacturing Excellence

Toby Perkins MP calls on Chesterfield businesses to take part in programme to find the UK’s top manufacturer

Manufacturing Excellence from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers offers £20,000 worth of free consultancy to all businesses that enter

Toby Perkins, Member of Parliament for Chesterfield and Shadow Minister for Small Business, is calling on local businesses to get in involved in Manufacturing Excellence 2012, the UK-wide awards programme which not only identifies and celebrates outstanding UK manufacturing businesses but can also help companies improve.

Past winners have shown that by taking part and adopting best practice they can thrive, grow and become global players.

Mr Perkins said:

“I’m calling for businesses to apply and take advantage of the programme. Entry is free and there is up to £20,000 free consultancy advice up for grabs as well as the chance to win at the prestigious Manufacturing Excellence Awards in November.

“Manufacturing is the economic backbone to the UK and by entering companies can ensure Chesterfield is at the heart of the country’s manufacturing resurgence.”

Manufacturing Excellence works with all manufacturing businesses, whatever their size, age, sector or area of expertise to help improve their processes and showcase their successes and innovations.

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers has over 100,000 members working in over 19,000 different companies.

With a 30 year history, Manufacturing Excellence is the most successful and long established manufacturing awards programme in the UK, and the only one that provides such a detailed benchmarking and assessment process to help improve your business.

Manufacturing Excellence 2012 is run in partnership with The ERA Foundation, Lombard and WMG and sponsored by Arup.

As well as Awards for Best Manufacturer and Best SME, categories for this year are: Business Development and Change Management; Customer Focus; Financial Management; Innovation in Products and Processes; Logistics and Operational Efficiency; Partnership with Education; People Effectiveness; Sustainable Manufacturing; and Most Improved Company.


Interested parties can apply through

The deadline for applications is 1st June and final judging should be completed by early November. Winners will receive their awards at a gala dinner in the Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane in late November.

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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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