Archive | September, 2013

(l-r) Rachel Rush, Margaret Speed, Toby Perkins MP, Natascha Engel MP and Councillor Anne Western enjoying coffee and cakes at Chesterfield Labour Club's Macmillan Coffee Morning

County’s leaders brew-up support for charity

Two Derbyshire’s MPs and the leader of the county council have given their backing to the ‘World’s Biggest Coffee Morning’ on Friday 27th September.

(l-r) Rachel Rush, Margaret Speed, Toby Perkins MP, Natascha Engel MP and Councillor Anne Western enjoying coffee and cakes at Chesterfield Labour Club's Macmillan Coffee Morning

(l-r) Rachel Rush, Margaret Speed, Toby Perkins MP, Natascha Engel MP and Councillor Anne Western enjoying coffee and cakes at Chesterfield Labour Club’s Macmillan Coffee Morning

Toby Perkins MP, Natascha Engel MP and Councillor Anne Western joined local supporters of Macmillan for coffee and cakes as part of the annual national fundraising event which raises millions of pounds for the cancer support charity. Thousands of coffee mornings were held across the UK on Friday with profits going to help pay for Macmillan’s nurses, therapists and advisers for cancer patients and their families.

Friday’s get-together, held at Chesterfield’s Labour Club, was attended by around a 100 coffee lovers who dug deep to raise £300 for the popular cause.   

Commenting on the event, Margaret Speed, Chair of the Labour Club Committee said: “One in three of us will get cancer at sometime in our lives. It’s a cruel, debilitating disease which strikes indiscriminately and until we find a cure we need to do all we can to support patients. Macmillan does a fantastic job not just supporting patients, but their friends and family too”.

Mrs Speed added: “It was great to be supported by Toby Perkins, Natascha Engel and Anne Western as we did our bit at the Labour Club. We hope to raise even more next year!”

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Ed Miliband and Toby

What is a One Nation Business Model?

At Labour Party Conference in Brighton on Tuesday 24 September, Toby Perkins MP set out his vision for a One Nation Business Model to be implemented by the next Labour Government after 2015.

You can read the full speech here: ValueandValues

Ed Miliband and Toby

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Munitions 1

Neue Labour – Reflections on a visit to Germany

This article appeared in the October edition of the House Magazine.

“On 23 July I was one of a delegation of 14 MP’s who travelled out to Ludwigshafen, Germany with the Industry Parliament Trust to visit the world’s biggest Chemical plant, home to German Giant BASF.

As a fresh faced 22 year old working in the IT industry I had travelled there once before, and was left with the memory of the vastness of the plant and the fact that everyone seemed to cycle, but beyond that I couldn’t recall too much about what had set this corporate superpower apart from other households names that had struggled in the years since.

Armed with the benefit of a good deal more experience, I was keen to learn more about BASF’s take on the German industrial and economic performance and how progressives might transport those lessons into a British context.

Munitions 1It followed previous visits to Germany to learn about how their banking infrastructure had enabled German businesses to borrow through the banking crisis and how the Germans had transformed their energy requirements.

BASF employ around 110,000 people around the world, including 35,000 on the Ludwigshafen site. The town is basically a one company town in a way that no UK town, that I can think of, is.  And those jobs that exist outside of BASF seem to be to service the firm or its workers.

Following lunch in BASF’s own hotel (!) we had a bus tour around the huge plant, particularly focusing on the way that BASF generate their own energy. As the user of 1% of all Germany’s energy (equivalent to the German Railway), policy and cost is a very central issue to BASF, and a key factor in their global decision making. They clearly wanted to take the opportunity to present to UK politicians the case for a global level playing field on energy costs.

They confirmed that there was corporate recognition of the fact and the effects of global warming and an acceptance that it was anthropological, and expressed an interest in taking action internally and viewing renewable energy as a potential growth market for them, whilst also wanting action on CO2 emissions to be done in a way that is not economically disadvantageous to the West.

As the world’s largest chemical company, the low staff turnover at BASF is both a source of pride and a matter of necessity, whilst the company have shed large numbers of staff, their ethos is far closer to the ‘job for life’ that chemists & scientists in 1970’s Britain would have recognised.

Therefore, like many German firms BASF take a long term view on employee development, training and apprenticeships, and in return have a big return on that investment.

Despite their German heritage, they are very much a global player with sites across the World, and around 1,500 UK based employees.

The Industry Parliament Trust perform an important function in bringing business and parliament together and we all left with a greater appreciation of BASF’s role and challenges, and their view on the energy debate.

It also left me to reflect on the collaboration between government and industry in Germany and the long term nature of their economy and the lessons for us as we look to rebalance our economy in a more sustainable way.”

By Toby Perkins MP, Shadow Small Business Minister 

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DSCN0552

MP visits local food bank

Toby with Ben Martin, Project Co-ordinator for Chesterfield Foodbank

Toby with Ben Martin, Project Co-ordinator for Chesterfield Foodbank

The food bank, run under the auspices of the Trussell trust, opened its doors 3 months ago, after changes to the welfare system and increasing pressures on family budgets, saw a growing number of people face the day with empty cupboards.   

Ben Martin, Project Co-ordinator said ‘The safety net the Welfare State provided is crumbling which means that more and more people are slipping through.  The cost of living is going up while wages stay the same and this is having a huge impact.  Working families are choosing between food and warmth and this should not be a choice they have to make.  For those on benefits the new harsher sanction regime, which is punitive, harsh and at times vindictive sees people for weeks and even months with nothing at all, and for people with fragile social networks, this can mean real starvation’.

Yvonne, the Food Bank Centre co-ordinator said ‘this is not a hand out it is a hand up, to get people through a crisis.  It must be an awful feeling to know the cupboards are bare and you have young mouths to feed.  I hope people feel when they leave here that there is hope, and however dreadful their situation there are people across Chesterfield who care about them’.

Toby Perkins MP said ‘I am very impressed with the spirit of community in Chesterfield that means help is available to those in the most dire of circumstances.  But the Government cannot walk away from its responsibility, and I will be making the case that we as a society need to address the evils that cause such outright poverty. No one in this day and age should starve, and we are shamed as a society if we allow this to continue’.

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Toby Perkins with Mr David Allsop, Chairman of the Club

Mindless vandalism too much for pensioners

Toby Perkins with Mr David Allsop, Chairman of the Club

Members of a longstanding town centre Bowls Club are calling on their MP to join the fight against mindless vandals whose behaviour is threatening the club’s very existence.

The Bowling Green and club at Queens Park annex has been affected by graffiti, fires, theft, stone throwing, broken windows and damage to the fragile wooden club house, which is putting the future of the club in jeopardy.

Chairman of the club, Mr David Allsop said “these people are destroying our enjoyment of the game and costing our Landlords CBC a pretty penny.  There are not many sporting activities people can still enjoy into their eighties, and the exercise, friendship and enjoyment we get from the game is vital to all our members.  We have had to put up with constant damage and are at times very concerned for the safety of our members.

Mr Allsop and members of the club have previously worked with the police, rangers and the council to try to address issues as they arise but are now fearful that the club will have to close if the disruption continues unabated. 

Toby Perkins MP said ‘it is absolutely unacceptable that people so wilfully destroy the enjoyment of others and have so little regard for club property.  This is not a wealthy club but a group of individuals who, into the twilight of their years, have come together for exercise and friendship.   I was shocked and saddened to see the state of the club and to hear firsthand the terrifying experiences of some members.  

 I will be working with the local Council and the Police to step up security and ensure those who are responsible are held to account.

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Toby with pupils from William Rhodes Primary School, with Councillor Kevin Gillott, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, and Principal

MP hails breakfast boost for vulnerable Derbyshire children

Toby with pupils from William Rhodes Primary School, with Councillor Kevin Gillott, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, and Headteacher Mr Turner.

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins joined pupils of William Rhodes primary school for breakfast this morning as Derbyshire County Council launched their new initiative.  Pupils at 25 Derbyshire primary and junior schools are set to benefit from breakfast club pilot schemes, which aim to ensure no child comes into school hungry.

Toby Perkins said ‘education is one of the great social levellers of our time allowing children to do well whatever their background. It is very difficult to concentrate and learn if you miss breakfast.  In hard times, families are having to make tough choices and where budgets are particularly stretched, the breakfast clubs can support a family to make ends meet.  They are also a tremendous support for busy parents, and I hope they are a success.’

Derbyshire County Council is funding food at the clubs, while the schools provide the staffing and accommodation.

Councillor Kevin Gillott, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Research has shown that children who’ve had a nutritious breakfast have better concentration, more energy and behave better in class”.

Toby said ‘All children deserve the opportunity to achieve at school and the breakfast clubs are an important part of giving all children the best chance’.

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Electric Safe Drop In

Perkins Expresses helps raise awareness of electrical safety in the home

Chesterfield’s MP, Toby Perkins this week hosted a parliamentary drop-in session to highlight the importance of electrical safety in the home.  The event was designed to raise awareness amongst MPs and policy makers of the importance and benefits of using a competent, registered electrician to householders via ElectricSafe.

The importance of ensuring home electrics are safe should not be underestimated.  Around 3,340 people were admitted to hospital following an electric shock in the UK during 2010/11 and in 2011/12 there were 3,822 domestic electrical fires in Great Britain, resulting in 14 deaths.

After the drop-in session Toby said:

Electric Safe Drop In“Electrical safety in the home is a hugely important safety issue. It is therefore vital people in Chesterfield can easily find information on the simple steps they can take to reduce potential electrical risks in their home.

“The most important of these, and a precaution we can all take, is to hire a competent, registered electrician when requiring electrical work to be done in the home. I fully support the efforts of organisations like ElectricSafe that exist to raise awareness and make it easy for the general public to find a competent, registered electrician in their local area.”

ElectricSafe is a single, recognisable, consumer facing register of competent, electricians from across England and Wales. All ElectricSafe electricians are regularly assessed to demonstrate their ongoing competence; they are required to meet strict qualification requirements, work to a high standard and operate a fair and efficient process for dealing with complaints.

The ElectricSafe register is free to join for all full scope electricians who are registered on a DCLG authorised electrical Competent Persons Scheme. It is designed to make finding, identifying and checking competent electricians locally easier than ever before. It strives to eliminate unnecessary jargon and complexity, bringing a simple message of electrical safety in the home to every household in England and Wales.

For more information, visit www.electricsaferegister.co.uk.

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Apprentice Video Screen Shot

Toby Perkins MP welcomes a simpler world for account switching with the launch of the new Current Account Switch Service in Chesterfield

The Current Account Switch Service, launched on 16th September by the Payments Council, is a new, free to use service designed to make switching current account from one bank or building society to another simple, reliable and hassle-free.

Apprentice Video Screen ShotIt has initially launched with 33 bank and building society brands offering the new service and the accompanying Current Account Switch Guarantee, which will benefit consumers, small charities and small businesses in Chesterfield, with more brands to follow in 2014.

Not only will the new service reduce the time it takes to switch accounts from between an average of 18-30 days to just seven working days, but it will also help to increase transparency and choice for customers. Importantly, the service is backed by the Guarantee, which offers protection should anything go wrong with the switch, and will give customers the confidence to switch their bank account should they wish to do so.

In the past two years, only 8 per cent of individuals in the East Midlands have chosen to switch their current account. Despite people in the region showing willingness to switch their providers of insurance and utilities services, there has been an apparent reticence to date to switch current account provider, staying with their current bank for an average of 18 years, and 27% of those using the same bank as one or both of their parents.

Commenting on the introduction of the new Current Account Switch Service, Toby Perkins MP said:

“I warmly welcome the launch of the Current Account Switch Service and the benefits it will bring to constituents in Chesterfield. Consumers, small businesses and small charities alike can now have the confidence to make that switch, knowing that all their payments in and out will be taken care of, and that the Guarantee exists to protect them should anything go wrong. I look forward to seeing increased competition in the current account market as banks and building societies work hard to attract and keep happy both new and existing customers.”

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Welcome

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 in Chesterfield and Staveley 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
Email: toby.perkins.mp@parliament.uk
Post: 113 Saltergate, Chesterfield, S40 1NF

Surgeries

I hold regular surgeries for my constituents.
Please call 01246 386286 or email toby.perkins.mp@parliament.uk to make a booking.

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