Archive | February, 2013

Toby Perkins MP: "Derbyshire-produced food and drink is important to the local economy"

Derbyshire Day: MP backs County Food Festival

A selection of Derbyshire’s food and drink is coming to the House of Commons for a special fair celebrating the County’s produce. 

Toby Perkins MP: "Derbyshire-produced food and drink is important to the local economy"

Toby Perkins MP: "Derbyshire-produced food and drink is important to the local economy"

Leading companies including Thorntons, Chatsworth and S&A Foods will be displaying their wares alongside independent local producers such as Janjo’s of Erewash and Scropton Cider of South Derbyshire on Tuesday 16th April 2013.

A cross-party group of Derbyshire MPs have invited representatives of the County’s diverse food and drinks sectors to the all-day event.  The festival will give producers the opportunity to show Parliamentarians what Derbyshire has to offer, not only to its consumers but also to the local economy.

Derbyshire County Council, which organises an annual food and drink fair – this year’s will be at Elvaston Castle on the weekend of 18th and 19th May – are working with our County’s MPs to make sure Parliament gets to see products proudly made in the County.  The Tourist Board and Visit England will also be attending to highlight the sites and attractions that make Derbyshire a fantastic place to visit and stay.

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins said: “I’m looking forward to welcoming representatives from the food and drink industries to Parliament to showcase the great selection of culinary delights Derbyshire has to offer.

“With the growth of the slow food movement and increasing interest in locally-sourced produce, purveyors of distinctive high-quality Derbyshire cuisine are well placed to do well in a growing sector.”

Mr Perkins added: “I’m honoured to be supporting this platform to raise the profile Derbyshire companies and local food producers”.

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Toby Perkins MP: "this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to venture into the heart of English rugby"

MP’s Derbyshire XV for Twickers Charity Match

North Derbyshire Rugby players will get the chance to play on the hallowed turf at Twickenham after Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins was asked to lead a team of Rugby veterans against Members of the House of Commons & Lords in aid of charity.

Toby Perkins MP: "this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to venture into the heart of English rugby"

Toby Perkins MP: "this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to venture into the heart of English rugby"

The match, which will take place on Thursday 11th April, is in aid of the Injured Players Foundation which supports anyone whose career or life has been seriously affected by a rugby based injury.

Now Toby is looking for enterprising Vets to join his team. Each player will attempt to raise funds towards the charity in return for stepping out at Twickenham and playing in this prestigious fixture.

Toby Perkins MP said: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to venture into the heart of English rugby, to go where the England players go, see what they see and for one game only, to experience the thrill of playing at Twickenham. I am delighted to be associated with this charity which does some amazing work supporting injured players. Last year’s annual game raised over £11,000 and I am hopeful that this year’s fixture can do likewise.  Rugby players the world over are keen to support those who have been injured playing the sport.”

After a tour of the stadium, players will change in the England changing rooms, before their debut at Rugby HQ. Then players, MPs and peers will sit down for a celebratory meal and presentation of the commemorative shirts.

Mr Perkins added: “I’ll be writing to all clubs in the area to extend the invitation to a few of their Vets.  We are pleased that Vehicle Weighing Solutions are supporting this charity, any other local businesses interested in supporting this charity and event should get in touch with my office on 01246 386286.”


Visit Vehicle Weighing Solutions’ website:


Notes to editors

IPF – The charity’s main aims are:

SUPPORT – providing immediate and lifelong support for all seriously injured rugby union players

PROTECTION – funding research and training to protect players by reducing the risk of serious injury

We work across the entire game – from international players to schools, juniors, and men and women playing at all levels across the country


The last Commons and Lords invitation match raised £11,000 and below are some of the grants made as a result:

 •             £4,045 to provide a new rugby chair to keep a player involved in rugby, playing wheelchair rugby

•             £2,000 to adapt a kitchen to allow wheelchair access to items like the cooker and sink

•             £1,600 to improve their home heating, vital as injured players can’t maintain or control their body temperature

•             One player was struggling to move around their own house. £395 improved the flooring to make it easier

•             £2,000 for training course fees so the player can re-train for a new career

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Chesterfield Crown Post Office is earmarked for relocation

Town Post Office Delivered Relocation Plans

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins has raised concerns about plans to relocate the town centre post office.

Chesterfield Crown Post Office is earmarked for relocation

Chesterfield Crown Post Office is earmarked for relocation

Post Office bosses have drawn up plans to relocate 70 of their 373 Post Offices Crown branches, larger outlets managed directly by Post Office HQ, into the ‘host’ premises of other organisations with the remainder going into partnership with another retailer at a existing Post Office sites. The reorganisation will bring this key aspect of the Post Office estate into line with many smaller branches which are already in partnership with other retailers.

Chesterfield’s iconic Market Place Crown branch is earmarked as one of the 70 to be moved into the premises of another retailer which is yet to be identified.  

News of the proposed relocation was delivered to staff last week and billed as a cost-saving exercise, due to the 373 Crown Branches collectively losing £40 million per year. Management confirmed that there will be no compulsory redundancies and that customers are to be consulted on the move.

A Post Office Spokesperson said:  “The 70 branches that have the potential to be partnered with a retailer will be subject to a six week public consultation to gather the views of the local community. We are committed to having a Post Office branch within the area.”

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins said: “I understand that the Post Office needs to make changes to remain profitable in a changing market, but I am determined to ensure that customers shouldn’t be left with second class provision as a result.

“I’m particularly keen to ensure that waiting times are not exacerbated at the new branch, as businesses and regular customers alike need a quick and efficient service.”  

Mr Perkins added: “The plans for the Chesterfield Town Centre outlet are still very sketchy at the moment, but I’m scheduling talks with Post Office management to ensure that users of this vital service are not left worse off by these proposals.”

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Make IT Safe, Make IT Happy

Make IT Safe, Make IT Happy

Toby Perkins MP urges local primary schools to “Make IT Safe, Make IT Happy.”

Make IT Safe, Make IT Happy

Make IT Safe, Make IT Happy

Toby Perkins, MP for Chesterfield and Staveley visited Poolsbrook Primary School today to launch an initiative to help children use the internet safely.

Toby Perkins MP says: “All parents are concerned about the dangers of internet access for their children, but in our age of technology it is impossible to protect them from afar.  I therefore fully support this initiative which looks to promote the safe use of the internet by the children themselves in a fun and creative way”.

Toby is launching a programme in Chesterfield to encourage all local schools to enter the national Make IT Happy competition, a UK-wide technology challenge for primary school students aged 9 to 11.

This year’s competition has been specially designed to help children use the internet safely and creatively. Staying safe online is an important skill even for primary age children, and the competition helps them learn how to make the most of the internet without putting themselves at risk.

Children will be asked to create an infographic – a digital poster – that tells other people what they’ve learned and how they too can be safe on the web. This reinforces the learning and helps spread the word about using the internet securely.

£1,200 will be awarded to each of the regional competition finalists, with the overall winning school taking home an additional cash prize of £4,000. Winners will also be invited to attend an awards ceremony to be held at the Houses of Parliament in London in June 2013.

Toby is keen for local primary schools to get involved and will be offering all Chesterfield Schools the chance to win the top prize:

“I have written to every primary school in the constituency to encourage them to get involved with Make IT Happy this year. The competition helps children gain invaluable internet safely skills, and pass them on to other people. I’m confident that pupils will enjoy the chance to work together on such an exciting and relevant project, as well as having the opportunity to win cash prizes for their school.”

Lisa Duncan, Headteacher at Poolsbrook Primary, said: ‘Children are now able to access the internet from a very wide range of devices, including mobile phones, tablets and their games consoles, so it vital that they have the knowledge and skills that enable them to keep themselves safe. We always teach the children about how to stay safe online and the’ Make it Safe, Make it Happy’ project is an excellent way to not only remind the children of this important issue but to motivate them to apply these principles to their internet use. We are delighted to work with Toby to promote this message.

The closing date for entries is April 6, 2013.

For further information and details of how to enter, visit the website at



The Parliamentary Internet Communications and Technology Forum (PICTFOR) provides a forum for MPs, Peers, senior civil servants, academics and ICT professionals to exchange information and opinions. It has evening meetings in a Committee Room of the House of Commons on the policy implications of new technologies, and holds receptions and an annual dinner in the House of Lords. The Committee also provides in-depth briefing papers for Members of Parliament.


About e-skills UK

e-skills UK is the Sector Skills Council for Business and Information Technology, rated ‘outstanding’ in the relicensing of Sector Skills Councils.  We work on behalf of employers to ensure theUKhas the technology skills it needs to succeed in a global digital economy. Our work covers software, internet & web, IT services, telecommunications and business change.

Find out more at


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Growing picture

New report highlighting the innovative work Labour Councils are doing to support business, is launched

9 Feb 2013

Toby Perkins MP: “Central government is making unprecedented cuts so it's never been more important for councils to work together to support their local businesses and economies"

Toby Perkins MP, the Shadow Small Business Minister will today launch a new report –Labour Councils: Backing Business – which show cases the innovative work Labour Councils are doing to support small businesses across the country.


You can read the report here: Labour Councils – Backing Business by the LCBN.

The report includes articles from trail-blazing Councils from each region of England and Wales which includes ideas:

on procurement

  • Vale of Glamorgan and Merthyr Tydfil Councils describe how they have developed a smartphone app to alert local small businesses to new tenders and explain the process to them
  • City of Manchester Council explain how they have re-written their tender guidelines to boost local jobs and businesses

on jobs and skills

  • Plymouth Council highlight the success of their 1000 Club which encourage 1,000 local companies to employ a local young person
  • Stoke-on-Trent’s JET scheme is highlighted, which connects and provides support to businesses and unemployed people

on regenerating town centres

  • The London Borough of Merton sets out how it has won national recognition for the performance of its high streets
  • Nottingham City Council describes how it has established an effective cluster of businesses in the new technology sector, called the “Creative Quarter”

The report has been produced by the Labour Councillors Business Network (LCBN) – a network which allows Labour Councillors to share ideas, best practice and develop new thinking around business policy.

The booklet will also help Labour Groups seeking to win office at Council elections this May to develop  strong manifestos with sound business policies and ideas to secure jobs.

Mr Perkins is the National Chair of the LCBN and will launch the document at an event at the Labour Local Government Conference being held at the University of Nottingham this weekend.

Toby Perkins said:

“Although Labour are out of office nationally, there is still much we can do to support the small businesses who are the lifeblood of our economy. Labour wants to see more people setting up and working in business.

“Across the country Labour councils and councillors are often the first point of access for small businesses seeking support.  These Councils are playing a huge role in demonstrating how the next One Nation Labour government will champion and support small business growth and jobs.

“This report provides several excellent examples of this trailblazing work.  It includes articles from all types of council from right across the country.”


  • The Labour Councillors Business Network (LCBN) was launched by Toby Perkins, Chuka Umunna and Hilary Benn in Camden in November 2012.  You can read more about it here and follow its work on twitter: @lcbn_uk
  • Perkins will be launching a local LCBN network in every region of the country this year.  The first of these was held in Nottingham on 31 January 2013.
  • The Labour Local Government Conference is being held at the East Midlands Conference Centre, University Park, Nottingham on 9 – 10 February.

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Toby Perkins MP cutting the ribbon at Vehicle Weighing Solutions' new Chesterfield factory

Innovative firm Tips the Balance

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins had the honour of officially opening the new factory of a cutting-edge company.

Toby Perkins MP cutting the ribbon at Vehicle Weighing Solutions new Chesterfield factory

Toby Perkins MP cutting the ribbon at Vehicle Weighing Solutions' new Chesterfield factory

The Shadow Business Minister cut the ribbon at Vehicle Weighing Solutions’ (VWS) Sheepbridge site where high-tech weighing systems are fitted to refuse collection vehicles for local authorities and recycling companies to improve efficiency.

VWS’s pioneering products and service have brought them recession-busting growth, allowing the firm to expand from its Reading base to Chesterfield – selected for its central location and established skills base.

Commenting on the opening, Toby Perkins MP said: “I was really impressed by the cutting-edge innovation which has brought VWS solid growth and an expanding international order book over the last few years.

“I’m delighted the company has selected Chesterfield for their new factory and that they will be creating a number of jobs here.

“VWS is a real leader in weighing technology and the high-tech manufacturing sector is key to getting the growth and jobs our economy so badly needs.”

VWS Managing Director Julian Glasspool said: “We’re grateful to Mr Perkins for coming along to mark the official opening of our factory here in Chesterfield.  We will continue to invest resources into developing these facilities and to further growing our business in the future.”


Visit Vehicle Weighing Solutions’ website:


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Toby Perkins MP at the launch of Staveley ShopWatch

MP’s on Crime-Fighting Wavelength

Toby Perkins MP is backing a trailblazing scheme to catch shoplifters in Staveley.

Toby Perkins MP at the launch of Staveley ShopWatch

Toby Perkins MP at the launch of Staveley ShopWatch

ShopWatch, backed by the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce and the Derbyshire Community Safety Partnership, provides shopkeepers with two-way radios which are used to alert other ShopWatch users, along with the local CCTV Control Room, of any incident or suspicious activity.

The CCTV Control Room is in direct radio contact with Police and Community Support officers and will alert them if necessary. There is no registration fee to join ShopWatch, just a small weekly charge for radio rental which includes maintenance and training.

Chesterfield & Staveley MP Toby Perkins said: “I’m delighted to see the ShopWatch scheme, which has been a real success in Chesterfield, being extended into Staveley.

“The Lib Dem-backed Tory government isn’t doing enough to support small businesses – many firms are struggling to get by and shoplifting is an unnecessary extra cost for retailers.”

Mr Perkins added: “Hopefully, the extension of this innovative scheme will help hard-pressed local firms get the support they need to protect themselves against crime and ensure that more of their profits can be reinvested in the local economy”.

For further information about ShopWatch, visit or call 01246 207207

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Toby Perkins MP pulling the first beers with festival organiser Jane Lefley

Roll out the barrel!

Toby Perkins, Chesterfield’s MP and Labour’s Shadow Pubs Minister, had the honour of pulling the first pint to formally open the Town’s annual beer festival. 

Toby Perkins MP pulling the first beers with festival organiser Jane Lefley

Toby Perkins MP pulling the first beers with festival organiser Jane Lefley

Run by CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale) in the Winding Wheel, organisers are expecting 2,400 drinkers through the doors between Friday lunchtime and Saturday night. 

140 real ales are on offer, with a large selection of Derbyshire beers available. 

Toby Perkins MP said: “It was a pleasure to participate in the official opening of this popular local event. 

“Real ale is growing in popularity. CAMRA deserve recognition for raising the profile of the drink and helping countless micro brewers become profitable businesses.” 

Mr Perkins added: “I hope that the festival will be as successful as it has been in previous years and that the huge variety of fantastic Derbyshire-brewed beer will be brought to a wider audience.”



Visit the Chesterfield & Distrist CAMRA Branch’s website

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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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