Archive | June, 2016


Statement on signing of Ched Evans

Toby Perkins has issued the following statement on the signing of Ched Evans by Chesterfield Football Club:

I was made aware that the Club had agreed terms with Ched Evans, and am aware that there has been a great deal of local and national interest in this signing.

I am grateful to Chesterfield FC for informing me of their signing of Mr Evans in advance, and for responding candidly to the questions that I put to them.

We should never forget that whilst Ched Evans original verdict has been quashed and he awaits a new trial, so too there is also a young woman who five years after the incident also has her life on hold whilst waiting for a definitive verdict. Mr Evans is right to say that there have been no winners from this whole affair.

I already know that there will be fans who support the signing and others who don’t. However this is not just another addition to the playing squad, and whilst recognising the limitations imposed on what can be said by a further trial, I hope that the Football Club can take this opportunity to emphasise that offering a player a second chance does not in any way condone actions taken in the past. It would be terrible if the good work done to place the Football club at the heart of the community as a Family club was undone in any way.

Similarly, every effort must be made to ensure that the bond between fans and the Club is not broken. When Fans who have supported the Club for a long time feel that they don’t want to be associated with it any more, this should be a serious concern.

Mr Evans statement about wishing to contribute to the club  and the community are welcome, he has a big responsibility to conduct himself, and encourage others to conduct themselves, in a way that shows respect for and wins the respect of, all supporters.

Chesterfield Football Club must remain a club respected  in the local and Footballing community that promotes the best values of respect for all men and women and is a true family club.

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Toby on a recent visit to Direct Engineering Site Services Ltd

Don’t believe the hype- in Chesterfield we’ve still got it made

A common refrain you can hear in any pub or at any bus stop is: “Why don’t we make things in Chesterfield/ Britain anymore?”  Yet when you are in a job like mine, you soon understand how incorrect this is.

Of course, the face of manufacturing has changed. Where once thousands of men walked in the factory gate; technological advances and offshoring means the numbers employed have declined considerably over the years. Yet Britain is still the 5th largest manufacturer in the world and where once a small number of Goliath employers dominated the scene, now we have whole Industrial Estates full of small manufacturing firms employing people making things for firms around the world.

Figures from the EEF manufacturers organisation shows that almost 300,000 people in the East Midlands are employed in manufacturing and it is worth £12.6bn to our region’s annual economy. Our mass production lines may have reduced but Chesterfield still retains a hub of skilled manufacturing, producing quality products that can compete with suppliers across the world.

Many people in Chesterfield will have worked for companies like Markham’s, Biwater, Chesterfield Cylinders, Donkins, Dema and Robinsons. The Engineering and manufacturing firms who currently trade will be much less well known to people.

I recently visited one such company, Direct Engineering & Site Services Ltd, which was established in Chesterfield in 1997 by Ray Woolley. Direct Engineering is a growing company, taking on new employees and apprentices and looking to expand into new premises. Direct Engineering are winning back contracts from suppliers in China because of the superior quality of their products and competitive prices.

Another local firm with a global presence is Cathelco, a Marine Engineering firm who rely on export markets for 95% of their sales. They are at the forefront of highly-skilled manufacturing and engineering, providing marine growth prevention systems (MGPS) for sea water pipework and impressed current cathodic protection (ICCP) systems for ships and submarines across the globe including the replacement of the Nuclear submarines the UK Navy rely on.

Other manufacturing companies in Chesterfield continuing to perform well include Chesterfield Crane Co Ltd, Sonoco, Weightron Bilanciai, Kingfield Electronics, Chesterfield Fabrications Co Ltd, H.I. Quality Steel Castings, Vehicle Weighing Solutions Ltd, Zeal Electronics Ltd to name but a few.

Just as the markets have changed so too have many of the skills required. For 25 years at the end of the last Century, apprenticeships all but disappeared. But now the skills agenda is seeing many of these local firms working with Chesterfield College, East Midlands Chamber of Commerce and other providers to get more young people learning an engineering trade.

Having visited many of the Country’s biggest Engineering sites from Airbus to British Aerospace, it is clear that the dirty old image of the factory site is also unrecognisable. Engineers are as likely to be spending parts of their day at a computer as surrounded by shiny metal.

Competing in the new world order won’t be about trying to undercut the Chinese/ African employment markets. That is a race to the bottom we’ll never win.  However the firms I’ve seen are showing the way, by investing in skills and new technologies to make sure Britain and Chesterfield can still get it made.

Toby on a recent visit to Direct Engineering Site Services Ltd

Toby on a recent visit to Direct Engineering Site Services Ltd

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Toby Perkins MP: Why I will be voting to remain in the EU

The EU referendum on the 23rd June will be the most important political decision this country has faced in over 40 years, one that will effect everybody and leave a legacy that will impact on our nation for generations to come.

Polls show that public opinion is very split on the matter, and so I have to appreciate that I will have come to a different conclusion than many people who voted for me in May. The European Union is far from being a perfect organisation, but I will be voting to remain and will encourage my constituents to do the same.

I won’t assert during the campaign that the EU is a perfect body. It and our relationship with it, will be one of constant reform, but I do believe that the benefits to the UK from being part of the EU are enormous. The EU is the world’s largest single market and benefits the UK economy in the region of 4-5% of GDP or £90 billion per year. Furthermore, research by the House of Commons Library shows that 4.5 million jobs in the UK are dependent upon EU exports.

Many people point out that Britain imports more than it exports and so expect that their (the EU)’s need to keep us is greater than our need of them. But the truth is that if we ceased trading we would lose 48% of all our exports whilst individual EU countries would lose just 8% of theirs. This suggests to me that in any post Brexit negotiations, the need for us to sign a trade deal would actually be far greater than theirs.

Some people have suggested that other markets such as China and the US are more important markets, yet the UK sells more to the Netherlands alone than to the whole of China, and Brexit could see us frozen out of the EU-US trade deal currently being negotiated. I also believe that our EU membership facilitates our trade with non EU countries rather than obstructing it.

The two key concerns about our relationship with the EU centre on immigration and the costs concerned. There seems little doubt that any future trade deal we signed with the EU would require freedom of trade and labour, so it is unlikely that we see radical change on immigration and as an aging population attracting young healthy working age people is a benefit to our economy.

The EU has done much to help people across Europe; safe working hours, higher levels of annual and parental leave, protections from discrimination, cheaper air travel, cheaper mobile calls, tighter food safety and labelling regulations, free medical care when holidaying on the continent, safer working conditions, just to name a few.

Those who question the costs of membership overlook the amount of money than comes back in, The cost associated with EU membership comes under two broad categories- investment and administration.

The investment category covers money we pay in to funds like the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) which the North Derbyshire area has been a major recipient of; here in the East Midlands we received over £219m from the European Regional Development Fund between 2007 and 2013 helping create or attract 1,000 new businesses to our region, generating thousands of jobs. EU funding has also been crucial to projects like the Markham Vale regeneration project, the redevelopment of Staveley Town Basin, the Avenue Coking Works and other environmental clean-up projects, the Hornsbridge roundabout sculpture, the upcoming Chesterfield Northern Gateway, the Dunston and Tapton Innovation centres and many more positive contributions.

When it comes to the costs of administration of the EU, they are substantial. The EU Commission has over 23,000 civil servants. But in comparative terms the entire EU Commission, servicing all of the European trade deals, employs just over 4% of the civil servants than we have working here for the UK Government alone (527,000).

So on balance I believe Britain, as a country that has never been frightened to take a leading role in the world should be looking to maintain our global significance by working with global institutions not walking away from them. Europe needs Britain, and our continent as well as our country is stronger by having a strong British voice at the centre of a reformed Europe and the changes that the Prime Minister negotiated will enhance the benefits we get from our membership.

Whatever the outcome, I hope as many people vote as possible, so that the final outcome is truly representative of the view of all the people in the UK.

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Viridor pest problem causing Duckmanton headache

ViridorA large number of people in the Duckmanton area have contacted the Member of Parliament’s office to report excessive insect nuisance and odours linked to the Viridor Waste Management site.

Following the calls, Toby Perkins MP’s office has been in touch with Viridor last week and urged them to take urgent action to end the intolerable situation facing residents.

The Environment Agency were on site on Monday with Viridor and Radio Sheffield report  they have issued the following statement: ” The Environment Agency met with the operator Vindor of the Erin landfill site yesterday.  As a result Viridor will make a number of changes on site to minimise the number of flies that may be coming from the site.  The Environment Agency will continue to monitor the situation.

If anyone has concerns please contact the Environment Agency on 24 hr incident number 0800 80 70 60.”

Following continued complaints after the hot weekend, Toby Perkins also enlisted the help of Radio Sheffield who have visited residents of North Grove and witnessed huge numbers of flies in the kitchens of local residents. Radio Sheffield will be on site again tomorrow, and will bring much needed publicity to the issue.

Radio Sheffield also report that Viridor have issued the following statement: “Viridor, as a responsible operator, takes its commitment to environmental compliance very seriously indeed. In response to a small number of complaints, Viridor moved quickly to review site operations.

In doing so Viridor’s UK compliance team have worked closely with site operations and the Environment Agency. Whilst unable to substantiate complaints, Viridor has responded by enhancing environmental controls as precautionary measures, including: increasing the extent of fly repelling spray used, along with careful management of the tipping face and enhanced vigilance of the waste streams received. The onsite team will continue to ensure that the high standards of operation are upheld, remaining a good neighbour to the local community, whilst providing an essential waste management service to businesses and local authorities in the Chesterfield area.

We have contacted local residents and will maintain in contact over coming days. If any members of the public are still concerned about the operations at Erin, please contact Viridor directly on our 24-hour incident line 0800 9753029 or the Environment Agency, 0800 807060.”

Toby Perkins MP will visit residents of North Grove on Thursday and said; ” I am pleased that the Environment Agency are taking an interest, but I am concerned by the tone of Viridor’s statement, it suggests that they are downplaying what seems to be a significant concern. I am alarmed that they consider the problem ‘unsubstantiated’, I will be looking to visit their site when I am in Duckmanton on Thursday.

The people of Duckmanton already tolerate having the landfill site, and the least they should expect is that when serious issues like this are raised that urgent action is taken.

I look forward to hearing that the extra measures put in place by Viridor bring about an urgent improvement and will be attempting to ensure that there is no repeat.”

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Toby with concerned families at Staveley Cemetery

Chesterfield MP calls for crisis meeting over thefts and damage at Staveley Cemetery

Toby Perkins, MP for Chesterfield, has called for a crisis meeting to discuss a spate of thefts, damage and antisocial behaviour at Staveley Cemetery, following a meeting with concerned families.

Toby with Amy Goucher and family

Toby with Amy Goucher and family

Toby said “People are understandably angry and upset that the graves of their children, parents and grandparents are not being respected. They are placing gifts and sentimental items on their loved

ones graves and they cannot be sure they will still be there the next time they visit”.

Toby was contacted by Staveley resident Amy Goucher, who has set up a Facebook campaign group and organised a petition calling for more security at the cemetery following thefts from her grandfather’s grave.

Toby added, “There appears to be two main causes of problems at the cemetery, one is children who do not understand or appreciate the sanctity of the graves and cause damage and nuisance. The other is older drug and alcohol users, who are stealing items and causing an intimidating atmosphere for grieving visitors. We need improve security, but we also to educate our young people. I have now written to local schools, the police, the church and the Council to see if we can organise a coordinated response”.




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Toby with company director, Ray Woolley

Making It Big, ‘Made in Chesterfield still cuts it

Toby Perkins MP highlighted the strength of local manufacturing during a visit to Chesterfield company, Direct Engineering & Site Services Ltd.

Toby visited Direct Engineering & Site Services Ltd to look around their facility on Sheepbridge Industrial Estate and discuss their plans for expansion.

Toby said, “Direct Engineering & Site Services Ltd have taken on five new employees recently and are now looking at expanding their site to help deliver new contracts. They are investing in local people, taking on apprentices and have created a diverse product range that is being delivered to customers across the world.”

Toby with company director, Ray Woolley

Toby with company director, Ray Woolley

Direct Engineering & Site Services Ltd was established in 1997 by Ray Woolley and has grown from strength to strength. The company moved to bigger premises two years ago and is now looking to expand into new units on the industrial estate. The company has invested over £200k in new equipment to meet the requirements of the new contracts it has won.

Toby added, “It was great to meet Ray and his team and see another Chesterfield company that is growing. We may not have the huge factories of old in Chesterfield employing hundreds of people, but we do still have a hub of manufacturing and engineering that is competing strongly and providing skilled jobs.”

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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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