Archive | March, 2018

Big wheel

The big wheel was a big success – let’s build on it

I felt a real twinge of sadness as I made my way to the train station on Monday 12th March and saw the Chesterfield Wheel being taken down. The Chesterfield Wheel has been a huge success that has brought in customers and visitors from miles around, with families coming to spend an entire day visiting our town and coaches bringing in people from across Yorkshire and the East Midlands to visit the attraction. Shops, market traders and cafes have reported higher sales and the town centre has been more bustling and busy place.

The bringing of the wheel to Chesterfield shows that we have a Borough Council that is innovative and business-focussed. Usually it is only cities that have secured the wheel and it is a real coup for the Council to bring it to our town. The Wheel raised a little money for the Council through rent charged to the operating company, but more importantly it has provided a huge boost to the town centre economy and given people a real sense of pride in the town. The views from the top of the wheel were truly stunning, giving people the chance to see the Crooked Spire like they have never seen it before and a panoramic view of the miles of beautiful countryside and hills that surround Chesterfield. Hundreds of people took a turn on the wheel, and the stunning pictures that have been shared on online have been a wonderful advertisement for our town.

I have seen many comments on social media over the last few years lamenting the reduction in the size of the market and noting that there have been fewer visitors to the town centre. Whilst there is an element of truth to this, we need to recognise how well Chesterfield is doing in these tough economic times and changing retail landscapes. The most common complaint I see is regarding vacant shops in town, but a quick ‘fact check’ shows that Chesterfield is doing better than most retail centres. Currently, 93.5% of units are let, which is a shop vacancy rate of 6.5% and far lower than the national average of 11%. Chesterfield is ranked as the seventh largest retail destination in the East Midlands, far outperforming other towns such as Mansfield, Worksop and Sutton-in-Ashfield. Chesterfield is in the top 3% of retail centres nationally and has a total annual consumer spend of £432m. We may only be a market town but we are      punching far above our weight and competing well against cities and large retail outlets.

Town centres across the country have all experienced a decline over the last decade due to due to the growth of online shopping, development of out-of-town retail parks, expanding supermarkets and an increase in budget retailers. These changes make it difficult for market traders and town centre shops to compete on price. Wages have also been stagnant for many years and people have not had the disposable income that they had before, reducing the shoppers in town. One of the reasons for Chesterfield’s resilience, and why we should remain optimistic about the future of our market and shopping centre, is the Labour-run Borough Council’s willingness to innovate and adapt to the modern retail climate.

Hopefully, the visitors who came to Chesterfield for the wheel will have seen how much our town has to offer and become regular visitors. I look forward to seeing how the Council build on this success and we should all feel optimistic about the future of our town centre.

Posted in BlogComments Off on The big wheel was a big success – let’s build on it

Toby, who became an Arthritis Champion in July 2017, at the launch of Arthritis UK's 'Ask Us' campaign

MP supports people living with arthritis in Chesterfield

Thousands of people in Chesterfield are living with arthritis and the town’s MP, Toby Perkins, is calling for a greater awareness of the impact it has on people’s lives.

Toby attended the launch of Arthritis Research UK’s new ‘Ask Us’ campaign, which encourages those living with arthritis to reach out to the charity and ask questions about their condition. The campaign directs people to information and advice provided by the charity, and which will hopefully lead people to getting the support they need.

Mr Perkins said, “I was shocked to learn that in Chesterfield, 7,325 people aged over 45 live with osteoarthritis of the knee, 4,368 people aged over 45 live with osteoarthritis of the hip, and 15,160 live with back pain. Too many people locally are living with daily pain, fatigue, and isolation. This is unacceptable. I encourage anyone who suffers with this to contact Arthritis UK and speak to the ‘Ask Us’ advisors.

Toby, who became an Arthritis Champion in July 2017, at the launch of Arthritis UK's 'Ask Us' campaign

Toby, who became an Arthritis Champion in July 2017, at the launch of Arthritis UK’s ‘Ask Us’ campaign

Toby met with people living with arthritis, who explained how the condition can affect their lives in different ways – from going to work, to coping with the daily tasks such as cooking or driving that many of us take for granted. Arthritis UK states that there are now over 17.8 million people in the UK suffering from the condition.

The ‘Ask Us’ advisers will provide information and advice via Arthritis UK’s helpline, and online ‘Virtual Assistant’.

Toby, “I have been an ‘Arthritis Champion’ for some time now, and I am doing all I can to improve access to advice and services. Arthritis is affecting people’s ability to work and lead independent lives, and the Government needs to provide the funds to the NHS and local authority to ensure everyone has access to support’.

Posted in Featured, News, Press Release, UncategorizedComments Off on MP supports people living with arthritis in Chesterfield

Toby with representatives from The Chesterfield Canal Trust

MP calls for more support for Chesterfield Canal Project

Ongoing progression of the impressive Chesterfield Canal Project was the subject of discussion on a visit to the Staveley basin site by Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins.

The Chesterfield Canal currently runs for 46 miles and links Derbyshire with Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire. Since 1989, 12 miles have been restored with 37 locks, 11 bridges and 2 marinas. There are less than 9 miles left to restore with plans already in place by the Trust.  The Chesterfield Canal Trust is a charitable company run entirely by volunteers.

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins has been a long term supporter of the project, and he visited the basin site at Staveley again to see how work is progressing and to learn about the future plans.

Toby with representatives from The Chesterfield Canal Trust

Toby with representatives from The Chesterfield Canal Trust

“The Chesterfield Canal is a fantastic project that has really brought life to the canal. In order to realise the full potential of the project, there are issues that need resolving first, such as certainty about the impact of HS2 and a need to set up a development company to take forward future plans. It requires more than extra money, it also needs better engagement from organisations such as Derbyshire County Council. I will be working with the Trust to try and help ensure that these obstacles can be overcome. The possibilities for leisure, business and wildlife are hugely beneficial and achievable goals worth working towards.”

To learn more about the Chesterfield Canal project visit their website at www.chesterfield-canal-trust.org.uk/

Posted in Featured, News, Press Release, UncategorizedComments Off on MP calls for more support for Chesterfield Canal Project

Chesterfield MP met with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

Chesterfield MP met with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

Learning different ways to protect Derbyshire wildlife was the focus of Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins visit to a local Trust.

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust is the local organisation that works to protect all wildlife across the county. The Trust manages nature reserves and works with communities, schools and landowners to promote and protect the natural environment.

Toby Perkins learnt how to encourage and protect wildlife in urban areas, such as Chesterfield. The Trust have put forward their recommendations for planning new homes, which create nature-friendly housing by planting wildlife-rich green spaces, walkways, gardens, wetlands and other natural features.

Toby said “It was really interesting to hear about how we can all help towards protecting local wildlife and encourage more species into our gardens and community spaces. It is vitally important that government take these issues seriously and protects our environment in rural and urban areas, for future generations to come.”

For more information about the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and how you can help, visit their website http://www.derbyshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/

 

Posted in Press ReleaseComments Off on Chesterfield MP met with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

As Chair of the APPG for Pubs Toby hosted the CAMRA Reception and had a Meeting with the Minister for Business and Industry

As Chair of the APPG for Pubs Toby hosted the CAMRA Reception and had a Meeting with the Minister for Business and Industry

As Chair of the APPG for Pubs Toby has both hosted the CAMRA Reception and had a Meeting with the Minister for Business and Industry as a follow-up meeting to the debate of the 23rd of January on the Application of the Pubs Code.

On the 21st of February Toby attended a follow-up meeting with the Minister for Business and Industry on the Application of the Pubs Code.

Toby met with, the Minister for Business and Industry Richard Harrington, former BIS Select Committee Chair Adrian Bailey MP, the Pubs Code Adjudicator and the Deputy Pubs Code Adjudicator.

In this meeting, questions and concerns that were raised in the Westminster Hall Debate on the Application of the Pubs Code were put to the PCA and Deputy PCA.

These included the arbitration process, work being conducted on the current backlog of cases and arbitration vs adjudication.

Following the meeting, Toby said “I was encouraged by the DPCA determination to get more decisions made and to hear that there is a reduction in the number of elements of contractual disputes in recent adjudication requests. I was also pleased to hear an acknowledgement that the backlog and adjudication decisions were too big and that the DPCA does see an increase in ‘free of tie’ deals as a likely and desirable outcome”.

Whilst the Pubs Code has not yet had the desired effect, I left the meeting hopeful that it would be more robustly applied in the future.

On the 27th of February Toby joined CAMRA in hosting a Parliamentary Reception

The reception celebrated a freeze in beer duty, the extension of the £1000 relief in business rates and the More Than A Pub Programme.

The freeze in beer duty was announced in last year’s Autumn Budget, as a result of the freeze, a pint of beer is 12p cheaper than if prices had kept rising.

The extension of the £1,000 relief in business rates means that pubs will get £1,000 off their business rates bill if you’re a pub in England with a rateable value of less than £100,000. The relief is applied between the 1st of April 2017 and 31st of March 2018.

The More Than A Pub Programme is an Initiative set up to help community groups purchase their local pub. To date, they have helped 18 groups take ownership of their pub and they hope to help 80 in total with the fund.

Toby said “The pub industry is important economically and socially. There are still big challenges facing us, business rates are still too high, the highest corporate property tax in Europe and viable pubs are still under threat from property speculators and developers, this reception highlighted those challenges again, whilst celebrating the achievements too”.

Posted in Press ReleaseComments Off on As Chair of the APPG for Pubs Toby hosted the CAMRA Reception and had a Meeting with the Minister for Business and Industry

Toby Perkins MP visited the Chesterfield museum for their very first LGBTQ+ exhibition called “Other Stories”

Toby Perkins MP visited the Chesterfield museum for their very first LGBTQ+ exhibition called “Other Stories”

On the 16th of February Toby Perkins MP visited the Chesterfield museum for their very first LGBTQ+ exhibition called “Other Stories”, which gave people the chance to see the story the of the LGBTQ+ community in chesterfield.

The exhibition which was opened on the 2nd Feb 2018 and will remain open until the 7th Apr 2018 explores the personal stories and social history of the LGBT+ community in Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire.

The experiences of North East Derbyshire LGBT+ community reveal devastating cases of discrimination and prejudice but also examples of self-determination, resilience and creativity. 50 years on from the 1967 Sexual Offences Act, the exhibition offers a reflection on the significant advances that have been made and recognises that there is still work to be done for full equality. The exhibit also showed the views of those in the LGBTQ+ community in the present day, with reference to legislative and public attitude changes.

On his visit Mr Perkins said “It was a pleasure to be invited as one of the first people to experience this exhibition. Throughout my time as the Member of Parliament for Chesterfield I have always championed LGBTQ+ rights and ‘Other Stories’ is a reflection on how the people of Chesterfield have been vocal in their support for a community that have previously been marginalised. It also shows the sacrifices and injustices done to many members of the LGBTQ+ community and it is important that we remember that intolerance”

Posted in Press Release, Uncategorized1 Comment


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.

Total Politics Top 30 MP Blog

RSS Appearances

  • Points of Order | Commons debates March 20, 2019
    On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Anyone who heard the urgent question from the right hon. Member for Rayleigh and Wickford (Mr Francois) and all those who responded to it will know how there are...
  • No-Deal EU Exit Preparations | Commons debates March 20, 2019
    It is patently obvious that the Government are not remotely prepared for us to leave without a deal, and at the same time we have a Government who are ploughing on with a plan that has been twice...