Archive | May, 2014

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School Inspires

Headteacher Fiona McCloughlin, MP Toby Perkins and school governor Cllr Keith Miles with students from the School Council

Headteacher Fiona McCloughlin, MP Toby Perkins and school governor Cllr Keith Miles with students from the School Council

Toby Perkins MP visited Spire Infant School to discuss plans for the development of their early years provision with Headteacher Fiona McCloughlin and governor Cllr Keith Miles.

Fiona McCloughlin explained the need to increase the community space at the site to include a hall and play areas for the children and to extend into the field space beyond the current perimeter.

Toby Perkins said ‘Spire Infant School has always been at the heart of the community and I am right behind plans to bring the community into the heart of the school.’

After a tour of the school Toby met the school council, made up of representatives from Key Stage 1.  The children told Toby about some of the decisions they had made and how they ensured the voices of all the children in their classes were included.  Toby said ‘Talking to 5 year olds about democracy is an interesting experience; it is a credit to the school how much of the concept they understood. There were some pretty good advocates in there; I hope they get their new facilities and help the school move from strength to strength’.

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Toby Perkins MP observes an immunisation.

News From Westminster – 16 May 2014

LABOUR GUARANTEES PATIENTS THE RIGHT TO SEE A GP WITHIN 48 HOURS

Under the Tory-led Government it has become harder to see a GP. More people have to wait over 48 hours for an appointment, and over a quarter of the public say they can’t get an appointment in the same week.

That’s awful for families who depend on their local GP service, and it’s also putting huge strain on our A&Es which are also now in crisis.

That’s why Labour has announced plans to improve services for patients and ease pressure on local hospitals. There will be a guarantee of a GP appointment within 48 hours. And for those patients who feel their problem requires immediate attention, we will promise a phone consultation with a nurse or doctor and if it’s urgent, a same-day appointment.

Toby Perkins MP observes an immunisation.Labour will invest an extra £100 million a year in general practice to help ease current pressures and support the delivery of these new access standards – enough to pay for an additional three million GP appointments every year. It will also ease the pressure across the NHS and could save millions of pounds by reducing the number of patients going to A&E departments.

David Cameron scrapped Labour’s guarantee of a GP appointment within 48 hours – and now 60 per cent of patients say they can’t see their GP within two days.

Under the Tory-led Government a quarter of people now cannot get an appointment with a GP in the same week, adding to the pressure on A&E departments. Local patients are fed up of waiting for days before being seen by a local GP and this scandal can’t continue.

That’s why I’m backing Labour’s plan to raise standards, put patients first and guarantee them an appointment with a local GP within 48 hours or on the same day if they need to be seen quickly.

People in Chesterfield are fed up of David Cameron’s broken promises to protect the NHS. It just goes to show that the Tories can’t be trusted with our National Health Service.

LABOUR’S PLANS TO BAN UNFAIR LETTING FEES AND DEAL WITH THE HOUSING CRISIS HEAD ON

The Tory-led Government voted against Labour’s amendment to ban unfair letting agent fees this week which will dismay ‘Generation Rent’ – the nine million people in this country including 1.3 million families who live in rented accommodation for whom housing is already insecure, uncertain and a strain on family finance.

Labour is standing up for private renters who are being hit hard by David Cameron’s cost-of-living crisis and we will continue to push for letting agent fees on tenants to be banned.

The average up-front fees are £350, but in high demand areas these fees can be much higher.

Toby Perkins at the site of the new Chesterfield Panthers ground with Fred Pell Tresurer, Michele Lord Chair and Kevin Brown Secretary

A Labour government will ban letting agent fees on tenants as well as introducing long- term stable tenancies with predictable rents.

There is a housing crisis in this country as confirmed by this week’s house building statistics which show that we’re building less than half the homes we need to keep up with demand.

David Cameron has failed to tackle the growing housing shortage which is central to the cost-of-living crisis. Under David Cameron the number of homes built has fallen to the lowest level in peacetime since the 1920s.

Labour is clear that you can’t deal with the cost-of-living crisis without building more homes. That’s why Labour will deal with the housing crisis head on and has committed to getting 200,000 homes a year built by 2020.

 

LABOUR WILL CALL TIME ON CLOCK-WATCH CARE

This week Labour announced new plans to call time on clock-watch care and 15 minute home care visits which mean our loved ones aren’t getting the care they need.

Ed Miliband has promised to improve the quality of care in this country – to ensure vulnerable people and carers get a better deal.

HMRC figures reveal that a big part of the problem lies with unscrupulous care companies who exploit their employees and 50 per cent of the care providers HMRC inspected failed to pay the minimum wage, let alone the living wage.

Far from supporting care workers to look after vulnerable people, these companies owe a staggering £1 million in unpaid wages and refuse to pay workers who stay longer than the time limited 15 minute visit even if the person they are visiting needs them to stay longer.

The Government should be standing up to companies who fail to meet their legal duties, and should start by immediately naming those concerned.  HMRC must take action in each case where it finds non-compliance, and dedicated care workers must get what they are owed.

This is a chance for the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition to act now – but if they fail to do so the next Labour Government will.

Labour has already set out detailed policy to strengthen the enforcement of the National Minimum Wage and end exploitation of zero hors contracts, and will work with councils and care providers to raise standards in the industry.

The current situation is completely unacceptable and will be a shock to most people, particularly those with loved ones in care.

 

THE TORIES ARE FAILING ON IMMIGRATION

David Cameron promised to get net migration down to the tens of thousands. But it’s rising, not falling and is now at 212,000 leaving the Tories’ target in tatters.

Meanwhile, illegal immigration is getting worse, with fewer people being stopped at the border, more people absconding and fewer foreign criminals being deported.

And the Tories are doing nothing to tackle the undercutting of local workers’ conditions and wages – one of the things that worries people most about immigration.

Britain should not turn its back on the world and many people who have come to Britain from abroad have made it richer, fairer and stronger, but Labour will not ignore people’s concerns about immigration.  Labour got things wrong in the past on immigration – on transitional controls for Eastern Europe and in not talking about the unequal impact of immigration. But Ed Miliband has set out a new approach, controlling immigration and controlling its impact on local communities.

With a Labour Government, immigration will be controlled, with people counted in and out at the border. We will tackle the exploitation of migrant workers that undercuts local workers, and ban recruitment agencies from hiring solely from overseas and put in place tougher enforcement of minimum wage laws.

Toby Outside Big BenWe would cut illegal immigration, with tough action including the reinstatement of fingerprint checks at the border and closing loopholes that enable people to exploit short term student visitor visas.

Every firm hiring a migrant worker from outside the EU will be required to offer an apprenticeship in return, to help ensure that young people are given the opportunities and training they need.

We will make sure that the system is fair and seen to be fair – imposing a six month residency before EU migrants are able to claim benefits and a new assumption that people who commit crimes soon after arriving will be deported.

And to ensure migrants are better able to integrate into British society, we would make sure more migrants learn English.

Labour will take a different approach, controlling immigration and controlling its impacts.

Posted in Featured, NewsComments Off on News From Westminster – 16 May 2014

Houses

BLOG: More working people in Chesterfield need housing benefit to make ends meet under Cameron

The Tories talk tough about reducing the benefits bill but the truth is they’ve failed to get to grips with the problem. In fact, their cost-of-living crisis has now left hundreds of working people in Chesterfield relying on housing benefit to help pay their bills.

Since David Cameron became Prime Minister, the number of working people claiming housing benefit has increased by 60 per cent nationally, costing ordinary British taxpayers an extra £6 billion. In our town alone, the number of working people now claiming housing benefit has increased by a staggering 42 per cent.

People in Chesterfield will be shocked to hear that the Tories’ cost-of-living crisis has gotten so bad that hundreds of hard-working local people are now reliant on housing benefit just to pay the bills and keep a roof over their heads.

Working people are now on average £1600 a year worse off as wages have fallen while prices have soared. Many people in work can’t get the hours they need while low-paid and insecure work is forcing more people to rely on housing benefit.

HousesWe also face a massive housing shortage in this country yet this government has presided over the lowest level of home building since the 1920s. David Cameron’s failure to tackle this shortage means the cost of housing is rising beyond the reach of ordinary working people.

It can’t be right that ordinary people who do the right thing and go to work have to rely on housing benefit. The Tory-led government is either unwilling or unable to do anything about this and David Cameron seems content to let the British taxpayer pick up the bill.

People in our town want real action to tackle both the cost-of-living crisis and the increasingly large housing benefit bill. That’s why I’m backing Labour’s plans.

We’ll take immediate action to deal with the cost-of-living crisis by freezing gas and electricity bills until 2017. And we’ll make work pay by introducing a lower 10p starting rate of tax, raising the national minimum wage and ending the abuse of zero-hours contracts.

But you can’t deal with the cost-of-living crisis without building more homes. That’s why Labour has committed to getting at least 200,000 homes built a year by 2020. We’ll also reform the private rented sector by banning rip-off letting agent fees for tenants and introducing long-term stable tenancies with predictable rents.

The increased number of working people claiming housing benefit shows you can’t trust the Tories to solve the cost-of-living crisis. Only Labour has the policies and the determination to stand up and make a real difference for hardworking people in Chesterfield.

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blue wood

Labour Launches Plan to Tackle Childcare Cost of Living Crisis for Working Families

  • Labour MP Toby Perkins pledges to tackle Cameron’s Childcare Crisis
  • Labour announce plan for primary childcare guarantee and extension of free nursery hours for 3 and 4 year olds for working families

Children and families in Chesterfield are set to benefit from new measures by Labour to ease the cost of living crisis. Childcare is one of the most expensive costs for working parents with families in the East Midlands paying up to 4.4% more under this government for childcare. For some families paying for childcare can be as much as having a second mortgage and childcare costs can be a major barrier to getting into work and making ends meet.

Labour’s plans, welcomed by Toby, Labour MP for Chesterfield, would introduce a guaranteed wrap around childcare place before and after school for primary school children benefitting up to 36,250 East Midlands children and their families.

Ten extra hours free childcare provision for working parents of three and four year old will also be introduced, paid for by an increase in the Bank levy.

blue woodFor many parents, arranging good quality, available childcare can be a logistical nightmare. Labour’s primary school childcare guarantee would put parents minds at rest, help them manage before and after school care to fit into the working day and give their children extra opportunities.

Extending free nursery hours for three and four year olds from 15 to 25 hours for working families means that parents can work part time for the first time without having to worry about the cost of childcare. The fifteen free hours available to all three and four year olds remains in place as well as the 15 hour offer for the 20% most disadvantaged of two year olds.

Toby Perkins said: “Families in Chesterfield are facing a cost of living crisis of David Cameron’s making. Whilst millionaires are getting tax breaks people here are suffering. Childcare is a key cause of the cost of living crisis for working parents and I’m pleased Labour have pledged to introduce these bold policies to make a difference to hard pressed mums and dads. A Primary guarantee will make arranging quality before and after school care easier, and extending the free childcare offer from 15 to 25 hours will be worth over £1500 for parents of three and four year olds to help them pay their childcare bills.”

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BLOG: Labour’s Plans Will Help Chesterfield’s Mums Back to Work

Families in our town tell me time and again how much childcare costs eat into the family budget. For many it’s difficult to make ends meet.

Families hit by a cost-of-living crisis are seeing wages fall as prices rise. Childcare costs have soared 30 per-cent under David Cameron. With childcare costs in the East Midlands up 4.4% since 2010. At the same time, childcare places have fallen by 3,023 and Ministers have cut support to help make childcare affordable through tax credits for 4,900 families.

single-parent-98682428

Childcare is a key barrier to enabling many mums, and it still is mainly mums, back to work after they’ve had a baby. Sky-high childcare costs mean work doesn’t pay and mums that want to work more hours can’t afford to.

Labour understands this problem. That’s why our plans to extend free childcare for working mums and dads with three and four year olds has been such a hit across Chesterfield. Parents tell me this will make a real difference.

10,000 mums could be helped back into work or to work the hours they want in the East Midlands thanks to Labour’s childcare pledge. A parent could work part time for the first time without having to worry about childcare costs. Worth £1500 per child this will help boost the economy and help make work pay. Over 36,000 East Midlands children will benefit.

Labour will also introduce a primary childcare guarantee to help mums and dads manage the logistical nightmare of organising before and after school care.

Hard-working parents in Chesterfield will be better off with Labour. We’ll tackle Cameron’s childcare crunch and help make a difference for mums and dads.

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Budget 2014

Labour calls for new consultation as the only way to restore trust

Labour’s Shadow Business Minister, Toby Perkins MP, has today written to his Tory counterpart to demand that he “push the reset button” and launch a new consultation around the future of the Land Registry.

In a letter to a union representative at the registry on 30 April 2014, Tory Minister Michael Fallon stated that he would:

“like to reiterate once again that the overall proposal is being considered against the option of remaining as is; and no decisions will be taken until all consultation responses have been considered.”

Budget 2014But documents leaked to The Guardian reveal that just five days before this letter was written, senior civil servants had already discounted continuing with the status quo and were only discussing two options.  These were a joint venture between the government and a private company, or letting a private company run it as a so-called Govco.

Toby Perkins said:

“Labour sees no compelling case for privatisation of a government agency which returned a surplus of £98.8m to the Treasury last year.  I have received representations from lawyers, unions and private sector companies who believe this would be a terrible idea.  So I was keen to see the results of the consultation which would assess all of the evidence.

“Unfortunately the integrity of the consultation is fatally undermined by the Guardian’s revelations.  The only way to restore confidence in the process is to start with a new consultation under a new minister with a genuinely open mind.”

You can read the letter in full here.

Perkins also confirmed that Labour will be hosting its own public consultation event on the subject next month.  He explained:

“As the government’s consultation has descended into farce it falls to Labour to give a chance for all voices to be heard.  So on 24 June I will be hosting a select-committee style evidence session to do just this.”

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MP Toby Perkins tried his hand at bowls alongside members of the Staveley King George V Crown Green Bowling Club

Bowled Over!

MP Toby Perkins tried his hand at bowls alongside members of the Staveley King George V Crown Green Bowling Club

MP Toby Perkins tried his hand at bowls alongside members of the Staveley King George V Crown Green Bowling Club

Toby Perkins MP joined club members of the Staveley King George V Crown Green Bowling Club to celebrate the lottery funded Sport England Award of £50,000 to enhance and develop the facilities.

Toby said ‘I am absolutely delighted to hear that club members working alongside Derbyshire Sport have secured this grant which will see the sport of Crown Green Bowling prosper in Staveley for many years to come.’

Many Bowling Greens have suffered from a fall in numbers following factory or industry closure, and a corresponding increase in vandalism. The Staveley King George V has shown initiative in working with local schools to introduce young people to the sport and to bring back a sense of pride in the park facilities. The award will pay for a club house and increased security, and further applications will be made to develop the area for spectators.

Jim Marriott of Staveley King George V Bowling Club said ‘We had a really enjoyable time explaining the upcoming improvements to the green facilities and the plans for the future of the green and park as a whole. We are trying to encourage more local people to come along and try out the game and hope this day will help advertise our intention to revitalise the club and hope more people will come along’.

Keen sportsman Toby Perkins had a quick tutorial before firing off bowls for a couple of ‘ends’. Toby said ‘putting together the application required great skill, team work and a competitive edge, all great skills for a bowler!’

To contact the club please call Mick or Jim on 270793 or 275884, Email: mick1952@fsmail.net

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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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