Archive | September, 2016

The sooner we can get control for planning and transport devolved from Whitehall to the local area the better , says Toby Perkins MP

Statement on the Labour leadership election

The sooner we can get control for planning and transport devolved from Whitehall to the local area the better , says Toby Perkins MP

The sooner we can get control for planning and transport devolved from Whitehall to the local area the better , says Toby Perkins MP

It has been a very difficult summer for the Labour Party, I congratulate Jeremy Corbyn on his victory in the leadership contest.

There is now a real need for the party to come together and for all sides to aim to heal the wounds that now exist. I urge all Members to stay with the Labour Party it is the greatest force for good for ordinary people that has existed in our country, and only by staying with it can we ensure it stays relevant in the years to come.

I will do all in my power to ensure that the party becomes a credible and united force once again ready to provide an alternative government.

I will continue to put the needs of my constituents first. Of course, I will be supporting the leader of the Labour Party, in Labour’s fight to back our overstretched NHS, to stand up for inclusive education opportunities for all children and to build an economy that works for everyone.

He has also said that he wants the party to unite. The fact is that 42% of members and 63% of those who were members at the time of the 2015 General Election voted for a change at the top. If the party leadership is going to represent those who voted for Jeremy as well as those who didn’t, there is a need to recognise the level of concern there is and aim to build a programme and run an operation that wins the support of all members and of voters across the country.

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MPs stand out in pink for families affected by breast cancer

Toby Perkins MP wears it pink in Parliament in aid of Breast Cancer Now

 

Toby Perkins, MP for Chesterfield, has shown support for women affected by breast cancer by dressing up in pink and encouraging their constituents to take part in the UK’s biggest, brightest and pinkest fundraiser, wear it pink, on Friday 21 October.

 

wear it pink is back for its 15th year, calling on supporters across the country to add a flash of pink to their wardrobe for the day and raise money for Breast Cancer Now’s life-saving breast cancer research.

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Toby joined fellow parliamentarians in wearing it pink in Westminster this week to encourage people across the UK to get involved and help Breast Cancer Now towards their ambition that, by 2050, everyone that develops the disease will live.

 

Wear it pink raises close to £2 million each year for world-class research into breast cancer, and this year it’s going to be pinker and more fun than ever before. Anyone can take part, whether at work, at home or at school. All you have to do is wear something pink and donate what you can.

 

When you join the hundreds of thousands of people who take part in wear it pink, you become part of a collective force of scientists, supporters and people affected by breast cancer, passionate about putting an end to deaths from the disease.

 

Toby Perkins MP also continues to demonstrate support for women and men living with breast cancer by being one of 211 Breast Cancer Ambassadors across the country, urging fellow politicians and constituents that immediate action must be taken to stop the disease taking lives.

 

He said:

 

“50,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the UK, and sadly around 11,500 women and 80 men will lose their lives to the disease. Together, we must put a stop to this.

 

“Through cutting-edge research, Breast Cancer Now are tackling the disease from all angles to ensure that, by 2050, everyone that develops the disease will live. But we all need to join forces and act now, and in wear it pink there is a fun and simple way for everyone to get involved.

 

“As a Breast Cancer Ambassador I am particularly passionate about standing up for the women and families affected by the disease in [insert constituency] and I am very proud to take part in wear it pink. I hope everyone in the local community will join me by wearing it pink on Friday 21 October and show their support for Breast Cancer Now.”

 

Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Now said:

 

“It’s wonderful to see so much parliamentary support for wear it pink. It’s a great opportunity for friends, co-workers and families across the UK to have some fun, wear something pink and show their support for those affected by breast cancer.

 

“Far too many women are still losing their lives to this dreadful disease. On Friday 21st October, every cake baked, every feather boa or pink tie worn and every laugh shared will help us create a future where no one dies from breast cancer.

 

“We will all be standing together, with colleagues and friends, to stop breast cancer taking the lives of the people we love – and we very much hope you’ll join us.”

 

Sign up to wear it pink on Friday 21 October to support Breast Cancer Now’s life-saving research. For more information or to register, visit www.wearitpink.org.

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Defence Equipment: My Letter to Harriett Baldwin MP

As a former Labour frontbencher I’m used to Tory Ministers playing fast and loose with truth. But imagine my dismay when the newly appointed junior Defence Minister, Harriett Baldwin MP, declared from the despatch box on Monday that “We [the Government] are in the process of providing our armed forces with more ships, more aircraft and more equipment than ever before.” I could hardly believe my ears.

By any measure, her statement is one of pure fiction. A fiction based on the old tory narrative of cutting spending on vital services while publicly declaring that “we’ve never had it so good.” There’s no doubt the public deserve better. But more importantly our Armed Forces Personnel deserve better.Toby-in-PCH

Please read my letter to Harriett Baldwin MP, below:

 

Dear Harriet,

I am writing to you with regard to an answer you gave in yesterday’s Defence Questions in which you claimed: “We are in the process of providing our armed forces with more ships, more aircraft and more equipment than ever before.”

When I offered you the opportunity to correct this statement in the house, you simply repeated this misinformation and suggested I read the SDSR 2015! I can assure you I already have done.

To put your outlandish claim in a historical context, during World War 2 the British Army lost more tanks in a single month than we currently possess, the Naval task Force sent to the Falkland Islands in 1982 had 17 destroyers and 38 frigates (the SDSR 2015 shows we now have just 19 of these two class of vessels combined). In 1990 we had 33 fighter squadrons, the SDSR confirms we now have 8.

Even after the reduced order of Type 26 frigates and F35 fighter jets arrive we will have nothing like the number of ships or aircraft we have had in the past.

Whilst it was ludicrous to claim that our Armed Forces are provided with more ships and aircraft than ever before. The reality is that, under the Government that you have been a member of we actually have fewer warships and Aircraft than ever before.

Between 2010 and 2015 the Tory-led coalition oversaw huge reductions to in-service defence equipment, including:

  1. A 41% reduction in the number of Main Battle Tanks
  2. A 19% reduction in the number of Infantry Fighting Vehicles/Personnel Carriers
  3. A 17% reduction in the number of Frigate’s and Destroyers
  4. A 33% reduction in the number of Aircraft Carriers/Amphibious Ships
  5. A 17% reduction in the number of submarines
  6. A 29% reduction in Fighter/Ground Attack Aircraft
  7. And of course, a 100% reduction in the number of Maritime Patrol Aircraft.

I accept that in the heat of the moment people sometimes use phrases that they subsequently regret, but when our Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen and women are working so diligently with ever leaner resources it is an insult to them to pretend that they have never had it so good. I fear it also betrays the extent to which the Government and department that you are a part of are loose with facts, and a belief that because a Minister has said something it must be so.

Our Armed Forces operate with the greatest precision every day of their lives, they have the right to expect the same of the people who equip and direct them.

I would be grateful if you would make a statement to the House in order to correct the record, or explain the basis on which you arrive at the assertion you have chosen to repeat.

Yours sincerely,

 

Toby Perkins MP

 

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Toby Perkins MP pledges support for ‘groundbreaking’ new asthma research roadmap

Toby Perkins MP pledges support for ‘groundbreaking’ new asthma research roadmap

Toby Perkins, MP for Chesterfield, has pledged his support for a groundbreaking asthma research roadmap which sets out priorities to revolutionise diagnosis, treatment and care for the millions of people living with the condition.

 

There are 19,253 people with asthma in Mr Perkins’ local health area, with 1 in 11 people living with the condition across the UK, yet asthma is still a relative mystery. Until now medical research into asthma diagnoses, treatment and care has been piecemeal and lacked strategic direction, and so Asthma UK has led a three-year collaboration of international clinical, academic, industry and patient experts to identify the most important unanswered questions in asthma and to ensure research investment is targeted in the most effective way.

 

Asthma UK launched the new asthma research roadmap at a parliamentary reception held at the European Respiratory Society’s International Congress on 5 September. This outlines 15 key areas for future asthma research, to focus investment on the most promising treatments, medical-technology devices, self-management tools and healthcare systems to address the currently unmet needs of people with asthma.

 

Welcoming the roadmap as a ‘once in a generation opportunity’ to improve the lives of people with asthma, Toby Perkins MP said, “I wholeheartedly welcome this new asthma research roadmap as I believe it holds the potential to radically improve care and ultimately cure asthma for people in Chesterfield, and others, living with asthma. Drawing on the knowledge of many experts including globally renowned UK scientists, it marks a real step change in the drive to stop asthma attacks.”

 

Kay Boycott, Chief Executive of Asthma UK, said: “We are delighted that Toby Perkins MP recognises the huge potential the new roadmap holds to target investment into research that could truly revolutionise diagnosis, treatment and care for people with asthma.

 

“Every 10 seconds someone has a potentially fatal asthma attack and we still don’t know enough about the different ‘types’ of asthma which is essential if we are to find a cure. For too long asthma research has lacked the focus and investment it so desperately needs, and we see the asthma research roadmap as the catalyst for attracting the investment needed to make medical breakthroughs that will transform the lives of people with asthma.”

 

The roadmap’s research priorities can be distilled into two key areas:

 

  • Understanding the ‘types of asthma’: new mechanisms, biomarkers, diagnostics.
  • Technology-enabled asthma management.

 

The asthma research roadmap can be read in full here: www.asthma.org.uk/research/future/earip/asthma-research-roadmap

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Toby pictured with Denise Hawksworth, Centre Manager, and Jim Savage, Chairman, with their award for 'Chesterfield Volunteer Organisation of the Year'

Local charity continues to bring hope to many, say Chesterfield MP

An award winning local charity which supports people battling alcohol and substance addictions won the praise of Chesterfield MP, Toby Perkins on a recent visit.

Toby attended a service user brunch session at the Hope Springs Recovery Centre at Springwell House on Newbold Road and met with volunteers and service users to hear about the programme of events the Centre is running and the difference it is making.

Toby said, “I was really pleased to return to the Hope Springs Recovery Centre and see how the service has developed. I met several service users who explained to me how important the centre is in building their confidence, enhancing their resolve to stay clean and developing their skills.”

He also paid tribute to the local Councillors whose financial support is helping the Centre to survive and thrive: “The project staff were at pains to stress how much help they have had from elected

Toby pictured with Denise Hawksworth, Centre Manager, and Jim Savage, Chairman, with their award for 'Chesterfield Volunteer Organisation of the Year'

Toby pictured with Denise Hawksworth, Centre Manager, and Jim Savage, Chairman, with their award for ‘Chesterfield Volunteer Organisation of the Year’

Councillors and the Police Commissioner. The volunteers keep the centre running but there is a need for financial support too, and those elected members have recognised the value to society of a project like this.

As well as free brunch for service users on Mondays and Fridays, the centre offers a mixture of activities, group sessions and one-to-one support. There is a cycling club, allotment project, photography group, meditation classes, relapse awareness sessions and many other activities designed to help with recovery.

Toby added, “It is abundantly clear why the Hope Springs Recovery Centre was awarded the ‘Chesterfield Volunteer Organisation of the Year’ in 2015. The hard work and daily support provided by committed staff and volunteers really does give people in recovery hope for the future.”

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Toby having lunch with staff and residents

MP backs ‘Support Supported Housing’ plea

The sustainability of Housing projects for vulnerable young adults could be at risk if Government changes to housing benefit go through, Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins was warned this week.

He met with staff and residents at the new Action service on Highfield Road, which provides accommodation for homeless and vulnerable young people.

The changes would cut housing benefit levels for people in specialist accommodation by as much as 75%, and mean that the additional services needed would no longer be provided.

Toby having lunch with staff and residents

Toby having lunch with staff and residents

Toby said, “I was really pleased to visit this vital new service for our town and I praise both Action and Chesterfield Borough Council for ensuring there is specialist housing for vulnerable young people here. Austerity cuts over the last six years have drastically increased homelessness and this service will reduce the risk of young people ending up on the streets.”

Toby also had a chance to discuss the difference the accommodation was making to the lives of young people, all of whom are on the road to entering full time education or employment, as well as discussing the fears that Housing benefit changes could undermine the success.

The service opened on 1st August and is now up to its full capacity with 8 young people in residence. The project will provide stable transitional housing for service users, whilst they engage with work, training and education before they hopefully move on to independent accommodation in the future.

Toby said, “The young people I spoke to are all keen to make better lives for themselves, to get educated and secure good jobs in the future. They all spoke of how the stability and assistance provided by Action will help them to do this.”

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Toby Perkins MP with Claire Bond, Matron, and Jake Oakley, Ophthalmic Photographer, at Chesterfield Royal Hospital’s ophthalmology department

Chesterfield MP takes a look at local eye care services

The hard work and dedication of hospital staff and the pressure on Health services was on the agenda when Chesterfield’s ophthalmology department had a visit from their local MP.

Chesterfield MP, Toby Perkins, met staff and patients at the Ophthalmology department at Chesterfield Royal Hospital to learn about the provision of emergency eye care and discuss recent changes.

Toby said, “As with every department I have visited at the Chesterfield Royal, I was impressed with the dedication and professionalism I witnessed from the staff. We discussed the increased

Toby Perkins MP with Claire Bond, Matron, and Jake Oakley, Ophthalmic Photographer, at Chesterfield Royal Hospital’s ophthalmology department

Toby Perkins MP with Claire Bond, Matron, and Jake Oakley, Ophthalmic Photographer, at Chesterfield Royal Hospital’s ophthalmology department

pressure on services, the chronic difficulties NHS departments have recruiting specialists and emergency cover arrangements that can see patients travelling to Mansfield for late night treatment.”

Weekend and evening services have been shared with the ophthalmology department at Kings Mill Hospital in Sutton-in-Ashfield leading to some concerns around availability of services.

Toby added, “We also discussed steps that the department have taken recently to give patients a one stop shop service to provide a wider range of services in a single visit, the quality of equipment at the Royal and the positive steps that have been taken in recruitment in recent months.”

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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

Surgeries

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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