Archive | September, 2013

Toby Perkins addressing the public meeting, with representatives of the Post Office and the CWU

“Town must have central, well-staffed Post Office” says MP

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins has told Post Office bosses that Chesterfield needs an accessible town centre post office, able to cope with high public and business demand – amidst concerns that service levels will be reduced in a restructured operation.

Toby Perkins addressing the public meeting, with representatives of the Post Office and the CWU

Toby Perkins addressing the public meeting, with representatives of the Post Office and the CWU

The MP’s comments were made at a lively public meeting, held in Chesterfield Library, organised by the local Trades Council on Monday. Mr Perkins reports that he has received over 500 letters and petition signatories from constituents concerned about the organisation’s plans to relocate the town centre crown branch into the premises of another retailer on a franchise agreement.

A Post Office spokesman claimed the move is needed to save costs; the Post Office plans to move 70 of their 373 ‘Crown Branches’ – larger stand-alone outlets, such as the branch in Chesterfield market place – into line with their 11,800 franchise-run branches, due to losses of £37 million across this element of the firm’s estate last year and a pending cut in funding from government.

Speaking at Monday’s community event, Mr Perkins said: “My top priority in this case is ensuring that there is first-class accessible post office provision in Chesterfield town centre; customers can’t do without it and any reduced service would be bad for businesses that depend on a speedy service.

“The Crown Post Office in New Square is a vital and much loved local landmark – I’d hate to see it disappear. I’m concerned that this proposal would lead to a reduced level of expertise and a lower profile for vital Post Office services. Whilst the Post Office is a commercial operation and needs to balance its books in order to maintain the service it offers, the firm does have a vital social role, working with a number of vulnerable client groups such as older people or those without recourse to accessing services online. That’s why I’ll be fighting to ensure my constituents don’t lose out.”

The Post Office claim they are close to announcing a town centre retail partner to go into operation with by the end of the financial year. A three month public consultation period will then ensue before a final decision to move is made.

Mr Perkins added: “Should Post Office management identify a partner, triggering the three month consultation, I will be hosting another public meeting so my constituent’s concerns can be aired. I’m also in close contact with the Communication Workers’ Union, who represent Post Office staff, to ensure the workforce get a fair deal in any revised operation”.

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Toby Perkins MP: “FGM is a horrific and pointless practice"

REVEALED: MP exposes shocking abuse figures

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins has uncovered appalling statistics divulging that not a single prosecution has been brought against UK nationals practicing or facilitating Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) since stringent laws banning the practice were passed in 2003.

Toby Perkins MP: “FGM is a horrific and pointless practice"

Toby Perkins MP: “FGM is a horrific and pointless practice”

FGM, sometimes known as female circumcision was initially banned in the UK in 1985 but is practiced in at least 28 countries, according to United Nations figures. World Health Organisation experts estimate 140 million girls and women globally are living with the practice’s painful consequences which include severe bleeding, an inability to urinate and kidney impairments. Data from the Foundation for Women’s Health Research and Development indicates around 66,000 women in the UK have been victims of FGM with 23,000 being considered “vulnerable” to the practice annually.

Toby Perkins said: “It’s appalling that so many girls globally are still attacked in this way. To  intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons as a means of sexual control should be in contravention of all religions and societies, and it’s right that it has been illegal for UK nationals to assist in this practice since 2003”.

Mr Perkins took action after concerns were raised by constituents that girls from Derbyshire and South Yorkshire have been trafficked abroad for the horrific procedure. Home Office minister Jeremy Browne was forced to admit, in response to a Parliamentary Question submitted by Mr Perkins, that not a single case has been brought to the courts since current legislation banning Britons from aiding and abetting the practice, at home or abroad, since the 2003 FGM Act was passed. In the same period, French prosecutors secured 100 convictions against those undertaking or supporting FGM. 

Commenting on the damning deficiency he exposed, Toby Perkins said: “FGM is a horrific and pointless practice which has dire clinical and psychological consequences for victims. Whilst family pressure and the closed nature of communities practicing this criminality can make it difficult to identify, the government needs to take a more proactive approach to prosecute offenders and protect the young girls whose lives are blighted by this abhorrent act.”

Mr Perkins added: “I’ll now be writing again to Mr Browne to ask what steps he will take to ensure cases are identified and robust action is taken; I look forward to sharing his response”.


View Toby’s question to Jeremy Browne:

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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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