Archive | December, 2014


Chesterfield MP leads the way in call for heart donors for children

Toby Perkins welcomed members of the heart charity Children’s Heart Federation to Parliament on Monday 17th November having organised a campaign day on behalf of the charity in order to raise awareness of the need for more heart donors for children.

The need for heart donors is being highlighted by the Children’s Heart Federation as the consent rate for organ donation remains static while children with congenital heart conditions is growing each year due to the tremendous developments in surgical treatment and care . However, many of these children will need a heart transplant in the future.

CHFToby first came across the issue when his constituents, Nick and Clare Bingham from Chesterfield, approached him for help. They were told the devastating news that their five year old daughter Freya needed a heart transplant.  Nick says “Our world turned upside down. It was a living nightmare.  We arrived at the hospital in the middle of the night and Freya was put on a Berlin Heart Machine for 63 agonising days.  Thankfully we received a heart but without the donor Freya would not be alive today.  All our family are on the register now.”

Since hearing about the case, Toby has worked to raise the problems behind heart donation in the UK within Parliament, as well as Monday’s Campaign day he is also hosting a selection of MPs and health officials for the Children’s Heart Foundation’s reception in February.

Opinion polls in the UK show the vast majority of population is in favour of organ donation but evidence shows low levels of awareness and the need for transplants.  Across the UK there are 6,893 people waiting for transplants.

Toby Perkins said:It’s a pleasure to be supporting the Children’s Heart Federation and the Bingham’s in their call for raising awareness of the need for heart donors for children. I hope the campaign day offered the chance for MPs to listen carefully to the problems behind heart donation, particularly for children. Nobody likes to think of their children’s mortality, but one family’s tragedy is a lifesaver for another, so I hope everyone will consider whether they want to put their children on the donor register.”

 Anne Keatley Clarke, Chief Executive of Children’s Heart Federation, said: Being told that your child needs a heart transplant is devastating.  The Children’s Heart Federation wants to give heart children the best chance of life.  The charity is committed to working closely with government, industry and stakeholders to raise awareness of the need for an increase in the consent rate for heart donors. We are grateful to Toby for organising the event and all the support he has given us to help achieve this aim.”

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Government must now act on "pay and stay"

Government must now act on “pay and stay”

On last night’s BBC Newsnight it was revealed that Premier Foods, one of the UK’s biggest manufacturers, has been asking its suppliers for payments to continue doing business with the firm.

One supplier said the practice – known as pay and stay – was like “blackmail” and Newsnight reported that  the struggling company has received millions of pounds from its suppliers in this way.

Labour’s Shadow Small Business Minister appeared on both Radio Four and the BBC News Channel to condemn the practice and reveal how the government very recently passed up an opportunity to deal with this problem once and for all.

The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill is currently working its way through Parliament.  Around two months ago, when this Bill was in the Commons, Toby tabled an amendment which would have made this practice illegal.

Unfortunately the government did not support the amendment and so it has not been included in the Bill.

It is our sincere hope, that now the issue has been brought back to public attention following the Premier Foods example, the government will now accept our amendment if it is retabled in the Lords as the Small Business Bill progresses there.

To this end, Toby has today written to his Conservative opposite number, Matt Hancock MP, to ask him if the government will support these much needed changes in the House of Lords.

You can read this letter here.

Commenting, Toby Perkins said:

“If we are to build strong economy which works fairly for everyone we need business of all size to thrive.  Unfair business practices threaten this recovery by undermining free and fair markets. 

Firms always have a right to negotiate for better prices, but the Premier Foods’ approach exploits suppliers who are dependent on their relationship with the food giant. Suggesting that allowing someone to supply you is providing them with a service they should pay for is a perverse variation on established business practice.

If allowed to go unchecked it would give Premier an unfair competitive advantage over their competitors and could very quickly become the norm.

It is in the interests of our economy, major players and consumers that barriers to entry for innovative new suppliers are minimised not deliberately erected. That’s why Labour proposed outlawing this and taking action on late payment during the passage of the Small Business Bill.

If ministers fail to act and put a stop to this egregious practice, the next Labour government will.”

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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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