Archive | May, 2013


Shadow Small Business Minister Toby Perkins visits Plymouth sales trainees

This article originally appeared on the Plymouth Herald website.  Read more: 


Shadow Small Business Minister Toby Perkins met apprentices and business leaders when he saw first hand how Plymouth is training the sales force of tomorrow.


The MP for Chesterfield visited the offices of Focus Training, in Plympton, where he found our how its

partnership with another training provider, Competitive Edge, is preparing youngsters to fill vacancies in sales and marketing.

Mr Perkins was visiting Plymouth as guest of Moor View MP Alison Seabeck.

And it turned out they had more in common than just Labour Party membership – both having once worked in sales themselves.

Mr Perkins said he was impressed with the ground-breaking training being carried out in Plymouth, and wants to see it adopted elsewhere to encourage more youngsters to consider a career in sales.

“We are looking at how to get sales skills into schools, and we’d like to see this rolled out across the country,” he said. “Sales is a massive part of the economy and drives growth, it employs about 10 per cent of all people.

“If you professionalise sales you will also get fewer of the bad sales stories.

“And a good quality salesperson will never be out of work – they are the last people a company can afford to let go. In these difficult times it is a career people should think about.”

Tom W

yness, managing director of Competitive Edge, has highlighted Government data which shows there were about 300,000 sales and marketing jobs advertised in 2011– but only 2,000 people left education with the appropriate qualifications.

He said: “We have recruited about 50 learners in 12 months, and train them so they can get into a sales-type job.


“I met Toby at a conference and told him we are the first in the country doing this and he wanted to see it.”

During his visit to the city Mr Perkins also met representatives of Plymouth Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Small Businesses and SMEs to discuss issues such as finance and Government procurement.

Ms Seabeck said: “Toby will not go away without knowing what Plymouth has to offer.”

She added: “Competitive Edge is at the cutting edge of training. Sales is a career that’s worth pursuing.”

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Toby Perkins MP with Whitecotes School young writers

MP turns over school’s new leaf

Bookworms and budding young writers at a Chesterfield primary school have had their newly refurbished library opened by local MP Toby Perkins.

Toby Perkins MP with Whitecotes School young writers

Toby Perkins MP with Whitecotes School young writers

Whitecotes Primary’s Friends, Parents and Teachers Association have funded a £3,000 refurbishment of the school’s library. The school has also been awarded £5,000 by publishers Foyles to invest in new books.

The much-enhanced resource is set to increase participation in reading and drive-up literary standards across the 229-pupil primary.

Commenting on the opening ceremony, Toby Perkins MP said: “It was a real privilege to be invited to Whitecotes to cut the ribbon on this fantastic new library.

“The resource will certainly give our young people access to a wide range of literature and help to cultivate life-long interest in reading.

“I congratulate the school’s FPTA for their fundraising which has financed this great refurbishment.”

Whitecotes School Acting Head Linda Dawson said: “We’re really grateful to Toby for opening our refurbished library and look forward to seeing the resource being used by the whole school community for years to come.”

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Toby and Big Ben

Toby joins RNIB’s “Spot the Signs” campaign to fight against avoidable sight loss

Toby Perkins MP is joining the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to urge local people in Chesterfield to learn how to spot the signs of wet AMD, the biggest cause of sight loss in the UK so that they can act quickly.

RNIB can help you understand the early signs of wet AMD – just Google “Spot the Signs”.

Toby and Big BenPerkins said:

“Lack of awareness is risking hundreds of local people’s sight each year and I hope I can do my bit to promote understanding of this problem. Nearly half of adults have never heard of AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration) and even fewer – 36% – would make an appointment with their GP or optician straight away if they started experiencing blurry vision or wavy lines.”

“I would encourage all local people who think they may have a problem with their sight to find information on the RNIB website or go to see their GP early.”

Toby Perkins MP is supporting RNIB’s ‘Spot the signs’ campaign to encourage over 50s to recognise the early signs of AMD. These are:

– Straight lines start to appear wavy, curved or distorted.
– Small print becomes difficult to read even when wearing reading glasses
– People’s faces start to appear blurry.

There are two main types of AMD, wet and dry. There is no current treatment for dry AMD but sight saving treatment is available for the wet type if diagnosed in time.

About 40,000 people develop wet AMD each year, however both the public and medical profession are failing to recognise the urgency needed to diagnose and treat the condition which can take your eyesight in as little as three months.

Research commissioned by RNIB, as part of its wider Save our Sight (SOS) campaign, found that many patients were not aware of the symptoms of wet AMD or the need for urgent treatment.

RNIB’s research report – Don’t lose sight! Don’t delay! – reveals:

Nearly 60 per cent of patients were unaware of the condition despite having dry AMD – a more gradual loss of sight which cannot be treated but can develop into the wet form.

Just under 70 per cent of patients were not diagnosed within seven days – in accordance with professional guidance – increasing their chances of permanently losing their central vision. Smoking is a risk factor, with smokers twice as likely to develop AMD than non-smokers. Studies show that stopping smoking can reduce your risk of developing AMD.

Steve Winyard, Head of Policy and campaigns at RNIB, said:

“We welcome the support of Toby Perkins MP in raising awareness of the signs of wet AMD. Losing your central vision can have profound consequences, with many people unable to carry out basic tasks such as driving, chopping vegetables, reading a newspaper or writing a shopping list. However, it doesn’t have to be this way and people need to be aware of the early sign of wet AMD so they can act quickly and avoid sight loss.”

“We’re encouraging people over 50 and the medical profession to find out how to spot the signs of wet AMD and understand why it’s important to act quickly. About 40,000 people develop wet AMD each year but the deterioration of your sight can be managed with treatment, if caught in time.”

To find out more on how to Spot the signs of AMD and other eye diseases visit or call RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999.

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Anti bullying

Local MP says: “Anti Bullying Campaign – should be as easy as ABC”

Toby Perkins, MP for Chesterfield, has today spoken of his support for Kevin Healey’s ant bullying campaign. 

23 celebrities including Ricky Gervais, Melanie Sykes and Katie Price have put their names to the campaign and have become ambassadors for the charity and Toby also hopes to do his bit to give Kevin his backing.

Toby explained: “Bullying affects many lives and all-too-often it can have devastating consequences. Many people are bullied for various reasons, whether it is for the clothes they wear, the way they look or whether they have a particular disability or learning difficulty.”

Kevin Healey is autistic and has been a victim of bullying since he was a child, and still faces bullies well into his adulthood.

Anti bullyingKevin speaks of his experience; “For far too long now, adults on the spectrum have been targeted by bullies. I am a victim of bullying, from a child to a teenager, to now a grown adult at 38. Cyber bullying has become so severe; I have even received death threats. Cyber bullying is one of the most horrendous things I have ever experienced. Bullying is with you 24/7 and it totally consumes your life.”

Kevin Healey has been campaigning for better services and support for people with an Autistic spectrum Condition for over a decade. His campaign has received high accolades leading to Kevin receiving various awards including Charity Champion of the year 2007 and Stoke on Trent Citizen of the Year 2006. He has also won the Queens award for his charity SAAS and has been appointed Ambassador for the NAS.

“We need to change the law on bullying internationally. I have started the campaign to encourage people to make the changes needed to make a difference. Attacks on Goths and punks has now become a hate crime in Manchester, so why isn’t the same laws being put in place for all bullying including attacks on people with autism? I am asking people to sign my petition to change the UK law so then we can take the campaign global to ensure law changes across the world. ” Kevin continues.

Apprentice Video Screen ShotRicky Gervais, Alex Reid and Melanie Sykes amongst other celebrities are backing Kevin and his global campaign to have the laws on bullying changed to ensure that no one has to suffer in silence.

Alongside the celebrity support, Simon Sugar, son of Lord Alan Sugar is helping develop a digital advertising campaign. However, Kevin is still seeking a national sponsor.

The campaign and petition has received phenomenal support and thousands of messages from people who have been affected by bullying. Kevin’s campaign is simple in its delivery, to make the Government take notice and have the law on UK hate crime for vulnerable people, especially with those with autism changed.

If you would like to lend your support to Kevin and his campaign then please visit and sign his petition here

For more information regarding Kevin or the campaign, please visit his website

Celebrity support

“Please support Kevin Healey’s Bullying has to stop.” Ricky Gervais

“I support and back Kevin’s anti bullying autism campaign. Bullying people with autism needs to stop. The UK laws must change to protect them. It’s more than a hate crime and people who bully need to be prosecuted. We need to protect people on the spectrum. These vulnerable people have enough challenges each day without been bullied. My eight-year-old son Valentino is on the spectrum, so this campaign holds a very poignant place in my heart. Please join the fight to create laws against bullying” Melanie Sykes

“People don’t choose to be Autistic, they learn to live with it. But some people choose to bully and hate. I support this cause in hope that we all choose to love and support those with Autism” Luke Goss

“Autism and Anti-bullying are issues very close to my heart and I am proud to support Kevin’s ‘Autism Anti Bullying campaign’, No one should feel they have to suffer alone and together we can hopefully make changes that matter” Alex Reid

“Everyone of us can make a difference. Just think of that! The world would be a much better place without BULLIES” Debra Douglas

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Super Saturday

CONDEMS blown away as Labour retake Derbyshire

Ed Miliband taking questions

Ed Miliband taking questions

Super SaturdayLabour’s campaign to wrestle back control of Derbyshire County Council from the Conservatives ended in joy as 20 seats across Derbyshire were gained in a huge victory for Labour.

In Chesterfield the victory was even more stunning with Labour winning eight of the nine seats up for grabs, and falling just 117 votes short of a clean sweep.

Labour leader Ed Miliband who had visited Chesterfield in the run up to the election, was back in Derbyshire the day after the poll, joining supporters in Ilkeston for a victory rally.

Ed Miliband said: “We are on the road to a ‘one nation’ Labour General election victory” he also praised Derbyshire Labour leader Anne Western saying : “In Anne Western, Derbyshire has a leader that is on your side and will work with you.”

Labour MP Toby Perkins said: “To win eight out of nine seats was a stunning victory, more than we dared dream of. But the other significant change was the rise of the other parties, the Lib Dems who in recent years have been a main party in Chesterfield were only in the first two in four out of 11 seats here. UKIP, Conservatives and Independents all came in the first two in some seats. It appears the days of two party politics are over here, and voters are going to have more choice in future. So whilst we will enjoy our victory today, tomorrow we will be back to work, in Chesterfield and in Derbyshire to make sure we are worthy of the continued support of our electorate.”

The Derbyshire County Council Chesterfield election results in full:


Dave Allen (Labour) 1792 70.8%

Dietsch (Con) 376 14.8%

Dunks (LD) 362 14.3%




Ron Mihaly (Labour) 1300 46.0%

Falconer (LD) 932 32.9%

Buxton (UKIP) 414 14.6%

Linsey (CON) 183 6.5%



Walter Burrows (Labour) 1857 68.7%

Thompson (Con) 301 11.4%

Taylor (LD) 250 9.3%

Mullins (IND) 175

Mann (IND) 114




Stuart Brittain (Labour) 1429 39.94%

Rogers (LD) 1124 31.4%

Lomas (UKIP) 677 18.9%

Bagshaw (IND) 181 5.1%

Sterland (Con) 167 4.7%



Jean Innes (Labour) 1517 51.2%

Abberley (UKIP) 763 25.8%

Barnett (LD) 436 14.7%

Dale 247 8.3%


Sharon Blank (Labour) 1292 55.6%

Yeowart (UKIP) 420 18.7%

Mather (IND) 272 11.1%

Cannon (LD) 190 8.2%

Temperton (Con) 148 6.3%



John Williams (Labour) 1976

Mann (IND) 310 11.7%

Dale (Con) 233 8.8%

Bierne (LD) 136 5.1%


Staveley N & Whittington

Dean Collins (Labour) 1307 40.5%

Bingham (LD) 972 30.1%

Bexton (UKIP) 829 25.7%

Rowley (Con) 119 3.7%


Walton & West

Morgan (LD) 1079  30.8%

Martin Stone (Labour) 962 27.4%

Boult (Con) 936 26.7%

Coney (UKIP) 528 15.6%


There were also two Borough Council by elections on the same day, these also went to Labour with UKIP in second.

St Helens

Helen Bagley (Labour) 602

Lomas (UKIP) 246

Marshall (LD) 135

Bagshaw (IND) 46

Dale (Con) 35


St Leonards

Linda Clarke (Labour) 904

Yeowart (UKIP) 301

Mather (IND) 294

Cannon (LD) 164

Temperton (Con) 120


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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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