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Toby’s Summer Update

As we approach the summer I thought you might be interested in reading about some of my recent work in Chesterfield and Westminster.  I hope you find it of interest.

Working for safer communities

  • Probation officers do an incredibly difficult and important job to reduce reoffending rates and rehabilitate offenders.  Community safety depends on their work.  So I was shocked to meet a probation officer from Chesterfield, who despite 20 years of loyal service, was transferred to a private company after her name was plucked out of a hat!  I have raised this issue directly in Parliament with the Tory Minister responsible (read more here) and was extremely disappointed that he dismissed the story as “absolute nonsense” (read more here) despite the fact that he signed of the guidance which created the system of job transfer by lottery (read more here).  I will continue to fight for my constituent on this cause.

Labour’s Toby Perkins MP & Cllr Sharon Blank (left) with local trader Bridget Jones. The trio are fighting to rid our streets of ‘legal highs’.

  • No one should be frightened to walk to work or support their local high street stores.  But traders on Knifesmithgate have said that so called ‘legal highs’ are creating a no-go zone.  Shops such as Reefer in the town centre have been mocking the law by acquiring and distributing new chemical substances quicker than Parliament can act to ban them.  I think it is time for government to give greater powers to local authorities and local police to rid our high streets of this blight.  Just as they can deal with anti-social tenants, so they should also have the power to curb the activities of anti-social retailers. I’ll keep the fight going.  I therefore called a debate in Parliament this month to call for just this change.  You can watch the debate here, read a transcript here and read my article for Politics Home on the subject here.
  • On 7 July, in the House of Commons, I raised the issue of missing Home Office files which may provide vital evidence of child abuse, with the Home Secretary, Theresa May.  You can read the exchange here.

Fighting for public services

  • Alongside Unions, Small Business and other organisation, I have been fighting the Tory-led government’s plans to privatise the 150 year old Land Registry.  This campaign scored a great success on 14 July when Ministers announced that they would not be bringing forward privatisation plans in this Parliament.  You can read how we did it here and see more photos of the evidence session I hosted in Parliament on this issue here.
Toby joins campaigners to hand in a petition with over 100,000 signatures against Land Registry privatisation.

Toby joins campaigners to hand in a petition with over 100,000 signatures against Land Registry privatisation.

  • Under the Tory-led government the NHS is under pressure. Nowhere has this been more true than at Rectory Road Surgery in Staveley.  This is why I have organised two packed public meetings where local people were able to put their concerns directly to bosses at NHS England (read more here).  Unfortunately, plans for a new provider to take over were thwarted by new Competition regulations and the GP shortage, which blocked a new provider (read more here, my comment at the bottom).
  • This summer marks the 66th anniversary of our NHS.  The NHS is the Labour Party’s greatest achievement and the staff who work in it are its greatest resource. For 66 years the doctors, nurses, healthcare assistants, cleaners and porters have kept our hospitals running, cared for us from cradle to grave and made ours the best and most enviable healthcare system in the world.  This is why I recently met with staff to listen to concerns about their pay and working conditions (read more here).

Backing small businesses and jobs

  • To help young people become work ready and able to find jobs, and to ensure that businesses are able to recruit the skills they need, I believe it is really important that we help more people from the world of business become school governors.  This is why I recently launched a new policy on behalf of the Labour Party provide new opportunities for business people from local communities to contribute and get involved, developing stronger links between schools and local business and enterprise, as well as bringing new expertise and helping drive knowledge and understanding of enterprise within schools and foster pathways to enterprise as a career.  You can read more about these plan by clicking here and scrolling to the bottom.
  • On 10 June 2014, I gave a speech to The Entrepreneur’s Network policy think tank on the subject of “What Small Businesses Can Expect from a Labour Government”.  You can read it in full here.
  • As many of you will know from previous update I have led the campaign in Parliament for a statutory code to give local pubs the protection they need and to ensure landlords get a fair deal.  Despite voting against the proposals three times in Parliament in as many years, the government announcement in June they would finally be introducing such a code.  You can read my thoughts on this u-turn here.

Boosting local growth and housing

  • In June I revealed new figures which demonstrate how new house building in Chesterfield has fallen to just one third of the national average.  This far behind the figures needed to keep up with projected demand and marks the 5th quarter of decline in a row.  That’s why Labour has committed to getting 200,000 homes a year built by 2020 and to introduce tough new ‘use it or lose it’ powers to prevent companies sitting on land while waiting for the price to rise.  You can read the figures in detail here.
  • To grow our economy from the bottom up we need to devolve more money and responsibility to the local level.  You can read my blog on this plan here.
  • Earlier in July I asked a question in the house about boosting local growth deals for the area.  You can read more here.

Support for local families & children

  • Childcare costs in the East Midlands up 4.4% since 2010.  I recently wrote this piece about how the next Labour government could help.
  • Opening the Ashgate Croft Gym

    Opening the Ashgate Croft Gym

    Far too many young people with disabilities do not participate in enough physical exercise to stay healthy.  It is really important that provide them and their families with the facilities to stay fit.  This is why I was delighted to open a new outdoor gym at Ashgate Croft School.  The outdoor gym is for young people aged 11 – 19 all of whom have learning disabilities (Autism, Severe and Moderate Learning Difficulties) and is made up of 6 items designed to build imagination, fitness and wellbeing into play (read more here).

  • Hady Lane Primary School have faced ongoing problems with flooding on the path that leads to the school.  This is a longstanding issue that has been affecting parents and pupils for several years and they are quite rightly fed up with it, which is why I visited the site the see the problem for myself and arranged for the appropriate authorities from the Council to come along too.  The Council are obviously cash strapped in this era of central government cuts but we are working to find a feasible and affordable solution (read more here).

Toby and the SpireAside from an annual family holiday, I will be working out of my Chesterfield office over the parliamentary summer recess and will still be holding regular advice surgeries. 

Simply call 01246 386286 to book an appointment.

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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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