Archive | August, 2017

The Borough Council, Toby Perkins MP, Hardyal Dhindsa and various agencies, charities & businesses have joined together to discuss ways to tackle issues of homelessness and anti-social behaviour in Chesterfield town centre at a series of summit meetings.

Chesterfield’s first ‘Town Centre Summit

Chesterfield is a wonderful place to live, work, socialise and shop. It is a beautiful town that I am proud to represent and I feel optimistic about its future. And I am pleased that the majority of Chesterfield residents agree with me. A recent survey of over 2000 residents by the Derbyshire Times showed 77% of the people would recommend Chesterfield as a place to live and showed that the majority of my constituents feel positive about the town’s future. Chesterfield is a great town with an even greater future.

However, no town is without issues and in these tough economic times there are challenges to maintaining our environment as a peaceful place to live, shop and work. The issues regarding rough sleepers and street drinkers in the New Beetwell Street Bus Station and other town centre sites are one of the biggest concerns facing Chesterfield. I recently attended the first in a series of summit meetings arranged by Derbyshire’s Police & Crime Commissioner, Hardyal Singh, to discuss these problems. The meeting brought together representatives from Chesterfield Borough Council, , Derbyshire Constabulary, local businesses, homelessness support charities, health & treatment services, church groups and other agencies, to create a proactive approach to tackling rough sleeping, antisocial behaviour, street drinking and drug abuse.

The strategy agreed at the meeting will focus on enforcement to tackle the unacceptable behaviour, support to help people get rehoused and access appropriate services, and challenging current Government policies that are exacerbating homelessness.

The police and council are developing new rules to stop the behaviours we have seen in the town that are causing so much disruption and concern. The Council, housing associations and charities are also doing all they can to help rough sleepers in to permanent accommodation. The multi-agency approach will help charities, treatment services and housing providers, to work together to provide holistic support that will hopefully lead to long-term housing stability and the removal of this problem from our town centre.

This will need central government to take action as it is clear that the increase in rough sleeping and homelessness also has roots in escalating financial crises facing people on benefits over the last few years and the cutting of funding for local authorities. Changes to Local Housing Allowance now means that anyone under the age of 35 faces a shortfall in rent. Together with other reductions in disability benefit payments and council tax support, this means many on the streets know they cannot afford the properties that are being offered to them. They want the support, but feel like they are being set up to fail and will only end up homeless once again, possibly with huge debts for rent arrears.

We have wonderful charities like Action Housing, who have created a multi-occupancy supported housing service for homeless young people, which I visited last year, and Pathways, which provides advice and practical support to homeless people. There are also church and charity groups providing food and clothing to rough sleepers. These are all vital in helping provide treatment but not to cure root causes.

Locally, we now have a joint strategy that will hopefully lead to positive change, but homelessness is increasing every year right across the UK and we need Government to take action so that towns like Chesterfield remain safe, enjoyable places to visit and live.

The Borough Council, Toby Perkins MP, Hardyal Dhindsa and various agencies, charities & businesses have joined together to discuss ways to tackle issues of homelessness and anti-social behaviour in Chesterfield town centre at a series of summit meetings.

The Borough Council, Toby Perkins MP, Hardyal Dhindsa and various agencies, charities & businesses have joined together to discuss ways to tackle issues of homelessness and anti-social behaviour in Chesterfield town centre at a series of summit meetings.

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Toby Perkins statement on Paris Conference

Toby Perkins statement on Paris Conference

The Right-wing news blog Guido Fawkes carried a ‘story’ today about Toby Perkins, MP for Chesterfield’s attendance at a Human Rights conference in Paris which was hosted by the pro-democracy National Council for Resistance in Iran.

The story, which the website chose to publish without seeking clarification or comment, repeats long discredited slurs from the Iranian Regime about the pro- democracy resistance and ignores the fact that the NCRI won support from hundreds of MPs and peers for their ten point plan for Iran and that in fact Toby was part of a cross-party British delegation of around 20 people led by a recent Conservative Secretary of State and around a dozen other MPs and peers of all parties.

He said:

“The only thing that’s ‘bizarre’ about this story is that Guido Fawkes has so little to put on their clapped out website that they think this ‘story’ is newsworthy.

I went to the conference with a cross party group that also included at least 5 Tory MPs who don’t get a mention in the story.

It was also attended by International figures like former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani and Congressmen and MPs from USA, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and many other countries, with around 60,000 pro- democracy supporters in attendance.

Many MPs believe that resistance to the Iranian regime which executes more of its own citizens than any other Government and is a major source of the continued unrest in the Middle East should be supported, it’s odd that the website should choose to promote the spin from the Iranian regime and their attempts to discredit those who call for democracy. I am happy to work with anyone who wishes to see democracy return to Iran.”

If any constituents would like to learn more about the cross party delegation to Paris earlier this year, and Toby’s work to promote democracy in Iran, please contact him on toby.perkins.mp@parliament.uk

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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 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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