Archive | October, 2013

Chesterfield Market has been revitalised with a £4 million refurbishment

MP hails ‘new era for historic market’

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins has given his seal of approval to Chesterfield’s ‘magnificent’ newly-refurbished market hall which opens today, Monday 28th October.

Chesterfield Market has been revitalised with a £4 million refurbishment

Chesterfield Market has been revitalised with a £4 million refurbishment

The market is an integral part of Chesterfield’s history with documents from an ex-High Sherriff of Derbyshire stating that an established bazaar was in existence in the town in 1165. The current Market Hall, which crowns the market square, was built in 1857 and, along with the outdoor facility, became a vibrant and popular resource over many years.

Whilst the charming Market Hall exterior was saved from the tide of developers in the 1960s, the interior had become dated in recent years and became an unattractive space for traders and shoppers alike. Responding to the needs of business and a motivation to consolidate the resource for future generations, Chesterfield Borough Council, the Hall’s owners, oversaw a £4 million redevelopment which has been hailed by the local MP as ‘evidence of the Council’s commitment to small business and the town’s heritage’.

Commenting on the opening, Mr Perkins said: “The newly developed Chesterfield Market Hall is a magnificent building, showing the Council’s commitment to indoor markets and the high street. Once again Chesterfield is bucking the national trend, building on its rich past to sculpt future.”

Mr Perkins added: “I congratulate Council Leader John Burrows and his Labour-led administration for seeing this landmark project through.”

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Tony Perkins MP with Denise Rossiter and Robert Leng of the Essex Chambers of Commerce.

Shadow minister meets with Colchester firms to find out how to help small businesses

Colchester’s Daily Gazette recently reported on Toby Perkins’ visit to Colchester.  You can read the original piece here: http://www.gazette-news.co.uk/news/10755280.Shadow_minister_meets_with_Colchester_firms_to_find_out_how_to_help_small_businesses/

Shadow minister meets with Colchester firms to find out how to help small businesses

COLCHESTER firms held a meeting with a Westminster business chief.

MP Toby Perkins, shadow Small Business Minister, met representatives from a number of businesses at a lunch yesterday in a bid to find out how a future Labour Government could help.

Tony Perkins MP with Denise Rossiter and Robert Leng of the Essex Chambers of Commerce.

Tony Perkins MP with Denise Rossiter and Robert Leng of the Essex Chambers of Commerce.

He said: “I’m here because I want to find out what we can do for business owners.

“The impression I get from small business owners both here in Colchester and around the UK is that they don’t mind contributing when they are making money, but they say ‘we do mind paying so much out when we’re not making money ourselves’.

“That’s something we need to look at and it means looking at business rates and not increasing corporation tax and people here do have something to say on that and I want to hear it.”

He added: “We want to be the wind behind small businesses rather than the rain in their faces.”

Mr Perkins was hosted by Essex Chambers of Commerce, based in St Peter’s Street, in Colchester.

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Toby meets Jemma Hill during a previous surgery at his Chesterfield office

Agony poised to end for Chesterfield woman

A Chesterfield woman who is living with constant pain was given new hope after her case was raised in Parliament.

Jemma Hill, 25, of Newbold, was told by specialists at Doncaster Royal Infirmary, that she needed a hip arthroscopy operation to cure her painful hip condition. However she was left disappointed when her local Clinical Commissioning Group told her that they wouldn’t fund the treatment, despite it being available to patients in South Yorkshire.

Now the Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt has promised to intervene after her MP Toby Perkins brought Jemma’s case to parliament.

Toby said: “It makes a mockery of the NHS when a GP can send you to a specialist and then refuse to fund the treatment the specialist recommends. I will be writing to the Health Secretary today and demanding that Jemma gets the treatment that she needs. It’s barbaric that a young woman could be walking around in agony because health bureaucrats deny treatment to patients from Chesterfield that would be allowed if she lived in Doncaster.”

Toby meets Jemma Hill during a previous surgery at his Chesterfield office

Toby meets Jemma Hill during a previous surgery at his Chesterfield office

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Weather Report

Despite heavy rain over night and disruption to traffic this morning, the Environment Agency has not issued a flood warning for the Chesterfield area as of 0930 today.

Should conditions change, you can keep abreast of developments by checking the Environment Agency website: http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/31618.aspx

For updates on road closures, visit: http://www.bbc.co.uk/travelnews/national

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Toby Perkins: "Hard-working people should feel confident and secure at work"

“End exploitive zero-hours contracts and rising insecurity in the workplace” – Perkins

Families in Chesterfield and across the country are facing the greatest cost of living crisis in a generation. Prices are increasing, wages are falling and for many hard-working people there is rising insecurity in the workplace.

Toby Perkins: "Hard-working people should feel confident and secure at work"

Toby Perkins: “Hard-working people should feel confident and secure at work”

One of the worst examples of this is the exploitive use of zero-hours contracts. I’ve spoken to many people in Chesterfield who are employed on zero-hours contracts and they’ve told me of the struggle they and their families face on a daily basis.

According to recent estimates there could be as many as 1 million workers employed on zero-hours contracts across the UK – with a big increase since the Tory-led government took office –  and they are now used in one in five workplaces.

The Tory-led government has failed to act on zero-hours contracts. It emerged that a ‘review’ of the issue initiated by Business Secretary Vince Cable earlier this year consisted of three officials spending part of their time “speaking informally” with stakeholders.

Zero-hours contracts mean insecurity and stress for too many families in Chesterfield. We can’t let this continue, which is why I voted on Wednesday for an end to their exploitive use and for action to stop rising insecurity at work.

The Tory-led government has failed to act. According to recent estimates there could be as many as 1 million workers employed on zero-hours contracts – with a spike since the Tory-led government took office –  and they are now used in one in five workplaces.

A Labour Government would ban employers from insisting zero-hours workers be available even when there is no guarantee of any work, stop zero-hours contracts that require workers to work exclusively for one business and end the misuse of zero-hours contracts where employees are in practice working regular hours over a sustained period.

Both employers and employees need flexibility but this shouldn’t mean people in Chesterfield lacking job security and having to be flexible about whether or not they can afford the weekly shop.

We’ve got to put a stop to it and that is what Labour is determined to do.

Hard-working people should feel confident and secure at work; ending the exploitive use of zero-hours contracts is an integral part of achieving this.

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Toby Perkins: British households are facing a cost-of-living crisis

Freeze that Bill!

Labour MP for Chesterfield Toby Perkins has welcomed Ed Miliband’s announcement that One Nation Labour is planning to freeze energy bills until the start of 2017.

Under the CONDEM government, gas and electricity bills have gone up £300 for the average household.

Labour's Shadow Energy Secretary Caroline Flint is leading the charge on sky-rocketing bills

Labour’s Shadow Energy Secretary Caroline Flint is leading the charge on sky-rocketing bills

Mr Perkins said: “Under David Cameron and Nick Clegg, Britain’s families are facing a cost of living crisis. Prices have risen faster than wages in 38 of the 39 months that David Cameron has been in Downing Street and energy bills have gone up by almost £300. David Cameron’s failure to tackle rip-off bills has meant that many people are struggling to pay their bills.

“People in Chesterfield are struggling with the rising cost of living. Many of my constituents have written to me worried about their energy bills, and having to make a choice between heating their homes or buying food.

“When the price of energy increases energy companies pass this on but when it drops consumers don’t see their bills fall. 

“David Cameron and Nick Clegg can’t deal with the cost of living crisis because they stand up for a privileged few, not for the hardworking majority; they’ve cut tax for people on over £150,000 a year while raising it for everyone else.

Toby Perkins: British households are facing a cost-of-living crisis

Toby Perkins: British households are facing a cost-of-living crisis

“Ed Miliband says Labour will freeze energy prices until the start of 2017 if Labour wins the next election. And he says we will break up the big energy companies so that we can all get a fair deal.

“This will save a typical household £120 and an average business £1,800.“But people round here need help now. So I’m calling on David Cameron and his Lib Dem backers to freeze our bills now. And I’m asking local people to sign my petition today so that the voices of Chesterfield are heard loud and clear in Downing Street.”

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ScreenshotBIS130613

Shadow Pubs Minister Comments on new survey of tied landlords

Toby Perkins, Labour’s Shadow Pubs Minister, today commented on a report from the Federation of Small Business, which revealed that most tied landlords want more freedom and independence from the Pub Companies.

Mr Perkins said:

ScreenshotBIS130613

“This survey demonstrates the urgent need for a mandatory free-of-tie option for landlords.  This would be a free market solution which would allow publicans to compete on a level playing field.

“Labour have been working closely with the FSB, CAMRA and other business organisation and unions to call for a free of tie option for some time.  We will be strongly pushing the government to include this option as part of their new statutory code for the pub trade.”

New FSB survey confirms ‘tied pubs’ want freedom and choice

Exclusive independent research from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) shows pub landlords want to call time on the big pub owning companies (pubcos) that own them and want to be free of the tie.

The research surveyed 500 pub landlords tied to one of the big pub companies asking what they thought about how much rent they pay and how much of the profits the pubco takes. A negative score indicates that more of the respondents are unhappy with their pubco on rents and think they take too much of the pub’s profits.

Pub owning company

Score

Enterprise Inns

-0.5

Punch Pub Company

-0.5

Star Pubs and Bars

-0.3

Admiral Taverns Ltd

0.1

Greene King

0.4

Marston’s

0.9

Landlords tied to Enterprise Inns, which has around 6,000 pubs across the UK, feel they are the worse off when it comes to how much rent they pay and the amount of profit they think the pubco takes. Eighty four per cent of respondents felt Enterprise took too much of the profits.

Punch, which has around 4,000 pubs across the country, came in second as 81 per cent of respondents tied to the company believe they take a much larger share of pub profits.

The FSB has long campaigned for a fairer playing field for publicans that rent pubs from one of the big pub companies. Self-regulation of the industry hasn’t worked and the FSB is pleased that Government is intervening and looking at legislative action.

Respondents to the survey say that if they could be free they would give more choice to their customers, with 62 per cent saying they would stock a greater range of beers. Moreover, almost all respondents (91%) would approach microbreweries for products.

The FSB has worked with Greg Mulholland MP and supports the campaign he has spearheaded on getting a ‘Fair Deal for your Local’.

John Allan, National Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said:

“The results speak for themselves. The big pubcos are as bad as each other and their tenants don’t feel they are getting a fair deal.  They want to give their punters more choice as well as interesting craft beers too.

“The statutory code can’t come soon enough. The largest pub companies are able to control the relationships to their own advantage and are under pressure to reduce their debts by increasing income from rent and selling off pubs. Considering current conditions we believe that it is not possible for the large pub companies to operate credible voluntary regulation.”

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Pubs of Ulster Photo 2

Pubs of Ulster welcome Toby to Belfast

Pubs of Ulster Chief Executive, Colin Neill, has welcomed Shadow Pubs Minister Toby Perkins MP to Belfast.

Mr Perkins was in the city to learn about Northern Ireland’s liquor licensing laws and to hear about the Responsible Retailing Code to ban irresponsible drinks promotions, which has now been in operation for over a year.

Colin Neill, Chief Executive, Pubs of Ulster said:

Mark Stewart, Chair, Pubs of Ulster, Simon Hamilton MLA, Minister of Finance and Personnel, Toby Perkins MP, Shadow Minister for Pubs and Colin Neill, Chief Executive, Pubs of Ulster attending the Heineken Star Serve competition 2013 held at the Odyssey last night

Mark Stewart, Chair, Pubs of Ulster, Simon Hamilton MLA, Minister of Finance and Personnel, Toby Perkins MP, Shadow Minister for Pubs and Colin Neill, Chief Executive, Pubs of Ulster attending the Heineken Star Serve competition 2013 held at the Odyssey last night

“We are encouraged that Toby has come to Belfast to meet local publicans and learn about our liquor licensing system which is currently under review. As a responsible industry we need updated legislation that allows us to operate in an environment that is always changing. The hospitality industry in Northern Ireland is modernising in order to maintain its position as a key draw for tourists. We are providing a world class product and this requires legislation that is fit for purpose.”

“We are taking the opportunity to highlight our Responsible Retailing Code to Toby, which demonstrates our industry’s commitment to selling alcohol responsibly and ensuring that the pub remains the safest place to consume and enjoy alcohol. We have a zero-tolerance approach to irresponsible practices and we hope that Toby can take our example and look at replicating it elsewhere.”

“We are encouraged that later this month the campaign to reduce VAT for businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector will be raised directly at Westminster. This already builds on the good work that has been carried out at the NI Assembly in relation to this issue. We would call on Toby to do what he can to support a lower VAT rate for the hospitality industry in order to help stimulate growth and boost tourism here.”

Pubs of Ulster Photo 2

Shadow Pubs Minister Toby Perkins MP said:

“Labour are determined to support and save community pubs right across the UK.  In GB the number of pub closures per week has reached 26 and I am determined to reverse this trend.  This is why I am very grateful for Pubs of Ulster for giving me the opportunity to come to Northern Ireland to speak with them and Northern Ireland MLAs and learn about the system of liquor licensing that operates here.  I hope I can learn a lot of lessons which the next One Nation Labour government can replicate across the UK.”

 

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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

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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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