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Toby portrait 2019

Chesterfield MP responds to strike action at Hasland Hall School

Toby said:

“Parents are understandably angry and frustrated that their children are missing more vital days at school due to strike action. I have spoken to the Interim Director of Schools at Derbyshire County Council to express my concerns and urge for intervention to help resolve these issues.

I am sure everyone will agree that teachers have a right to work in a safe environment and the fact that they have taken this extraordinary action shows the scale of the problems that we saw at the school last term. A new behaviour policy has been introduced and I am hoping it will lead to the genuine change that parents, teachers and pupils can believe in so that the school can begin to rebuild confidence. Last year’s GCSE results were disappointing but not disastrous and there are new staff in place, so there needs to be a relentless focus on ensuring that every child at Hasland Hall is in a consistent, supportive and disciplined environment to maximise their potential.

I am aware that Ofsted have recently inspected and I will be looking with great interest at their findings. I have tried to speak to representatives from the NASUWT on a number of occasions and have been frustrated by their lack of engagement with me, though some teaching staff have given me their personal perspectives. It is difficult for me to comment on this week’s strike action as I have not heard their view on what their outstanding concerns are.

I will continue to pursue this and offer my services in trying to help to resolve the problems at the school and end the current industrial action.”

 

 

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Toby with concerned residents of Matlock Road

Chesterfield road is “an accident waiting to happen” warns MP

Residents on Matlock Road in Chesterfield who feel like they are taking their lives in their hands every time they leave their driveway have enlisted the help of their local MP, Toby Perkins, in trying to make the road safer.

Toby said, “This is a really dangerous stretch of road. It is narrow, with blind bends and people are racing along it. It feels like motorists get onto Matlock Road and feel like they are on their way into the countryside and put their foot down. Pulling out of driveways or crossing the road can take a long time and feels very risky. It is an accident waiting to happen.”

Following a meeting with concerned residents, Toby has written to the County Council urging them to take action and contacted the police to request they conduct a Community Speed Watch session.

Toby with concerned residents of Matlock Road

Toby with concerned residents of Matlock Road

Toby added, “I think the best course of action would be to change this stretch of road to a 30mph limit and add speed warning signs. Motorists need to be aware that this is still a residential road and people have a right to leave their properties without being put at risk.”

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PUBLIC HEALTH conf

MP vows to tackle alcohol harm in Chesterfield

New figures from the Alcohol Health Alliance UK suggest that alcohol harm is ruining hundreds of lives of people in Chesterfield and creating additional strain on NHS services. The local MP, Toby Perkins, has pledged to do all he can to reduce alcohol harm in his constituency.

Toby said, “The alcohol and pubs industry is important to both our local and national economy and most of us will be drinking responsibly. However, there are people causing harm to themselves due to alcohol consumption and it is vital that we have the information and support locally to help reduce the risks to people’s health and ensure people are drinking at safe levels”.

The Alcohol Health Alliance UK estimate that there are 3,081 alcohol-related hospital admissions annually in Chesterfield and 60 alcohol-related deaths. The figures also show that 26% of adults in the East Midlands are drinking more than the recommended units of alcohol each week. Toby added, “Harmful levels of alcohol consumption can have a massive effect on individuals, families and our communities. I want to eradicate alcohol related violence from our streets and reduce the pressure on the police and NHS. Only 20% of dependent drinkers are receiving treatment or support following massive cuts to public health grants to local authorities and I will be pushing the Government to increase the funding for tackling alcohol harm”.

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GUIDE DOGS conf

MP takes a trip down Guide Dogs’ Memory Lane

National charity Guide Dogs UK is calling on the Government and local authorities to take action to protect blind and partially-sighted people in the community. Local MP, Toby Perkins, met with them at the Labour Party conference to support their campaign.

Toby said, “I have been pushing for stronger legislation to reduce the obstructions and hazards encountered by blind people on our streets for many years. Pavements blocked by parked cars, wheelie bins and overhanging branches can force blind and partially-sighted people into the road, putting them in danger of being hit by a car.”

To illustrate the risks that blind and partially-sighted people experience every day, Guide Dogs asked Toby to take a trip down memory lane and play their ‘Navigation Game’ – a take on the classic final challenge of the Generation Game – memorising the hazards that a guide dog owner might encounter on a typical journey.

Toby said, “These activities cannot replicate the anxiety caused to blind and partially-sighted people who are put at risk on our streets, but it can help politicians to understand the dangers and the impact on them. I will continue to do all I can to ensure all of my constituents can navigate our town in a safe manner.”

 

 

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Brexit survey Q7

Responses and analysis of my huge Chesterfield Brexit survey

Over the summer recess, I have been running a Brexit survey across the Chesterfield constituency. I am now in a position to publish the responses that I received and give you my summary of what the answers tell us about Chesterfield’s people’s views.

Who completed the survey?

The survey was available online and was promoted both on my Facebook and Twitters accounts and via the Derbyshire Times. We also took the survey onto the streets and invited some Chesterfield constituents to respond to the survey asked by campaigners from the Labour Party. In total we had 1,279 responses from within the Chesterfield constituency.

The first question sought to establish what proportion of respondents had originally voted Remain or Leave and whether there had been significant movement in people’s views since the Referendum.

In response to this 47.82% said they had voted Remain and were still in favour of Remain, and 41.86% said they’d voted Leave and were still in favour of leaving. In addition 2.69% hadn’t voted. This meant that a very small percentage (7.58%) had changed their minds, with slightly more having favoured Remain now being Leave than the other way round.

The Chesterfield constituency is not exactly the same as the Chesterfield Borough area, but an estimated 58% of Chesterfield constituents voted to Leave the EU- this means that either there has been a considerable change of heart since then or that the respondents to my survey contained a disproportionately high number of remain voters. Given that less than 8% said that they had changed their mind, I expect that it was the latter.

What should happen now?

On the question of what should happen next, there was almost an exact split between the three ‘remain’ options and the three ‘leave’ options, but with a vast majority at the more extreme aspects of the answers.

Of the ‘remain’ options, 23% thought the UK Government should revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU, 20.6% thought that the Government should hold a 2nd Referendum to decide whether to leave or remain, and only 5.3% thought Britain should attempt to negotiate a new deal but Remain if no better deal could be resolved.

Of the ‘leave’ options, 21% argued for leaving the EU on WTO terms and 25.65% thought that Britain should attempt to negotiate a new deal but be prepared to leave without one if unable to do so. Just 1.5% were in favour of supporting Theresa May’s deal and then reviewing after the 2-year transition period.

Sadly, these responses merely go to demonstrate how divided we are as

a country. There are people who voted Remain, who nonetheless believe that Government should attempt to negotiate a deal to get Britain to leave, but these are dwarfed by the number of remainers who still wish to see Britain either revoke or wish to see a 2nd Referendum (presumably as a vehicle of remaining in the EU).

Of those who support Brexit almost none support the only deal that has been negotiated, and whilst there were more in favour of a deal than leaving without one, there was a significant number who said Britain should be willing to leave without a deal if no ‘better’ deal can be achieved.

Should Britain attempt to remain in Customs Union and Single market?

There was a majority in favour of remaining in the customs union and single market, which was greater than the numbers who wished for Britain to remain in the Eu, but only a fairly small percentage of Leave voters wished to see Britain remain in these arrangements.

53.8% supported remaining in the Customs Union and 55.6% for the single market compared with 38.4% against.

Labour’s manifesto for the 2017 General Election said that ‘ Labour believes leaving without a deal is the worst possible option for our economy and that we would seek to retain close

alignment with the Customs Union and single market.” Whilst this answer showed a majority in favour of remaining in the customs union and single market, the number of Leave respondents supporting that position showed that for the many Leave voters a Brexit that saw Britain remain in the customs union or single market would not be accepted as a fulfillment of Brexit.

What should happen in Ireland?

Given that the survey respondents were more likely to have voted Remain than Leave, it was maybe unsurprising that the most popular response to the question of Ireland was to continue to have freedom of movement for goods and people (45.39%) than any other. The second most popular answer (22.65%) was ‘there should be no border for people but goods should be subject to customs checks’, 14.72% wanted a ‘border’ in the Irish Sea, whilst returning to a hard border  between the North and South and re-negotiating the Good Friday agreement was backed by just 7.3%.

Economic prospects

Almost half of respondents (48.49%) thought the UK would

be worse off now and in the future when we left, whilst those who thought Britain would ultimately be better off were split between those who thought we’d be better off immediately and eventually (24.76%) and those that argued that the UK would initially be worse off but ultimately better off (23.81%).

Benefits

There were two free text questions concerning the benefits or concerns regarding Brexit.

The words used most often to describe benefits were: laws, freedom, trade deals and control.

The words used most often to describe concerns were: economy, NHS, trade deals and recession.

 Key negotiating priorities

The next question asked respondents to order their key negotiating priorities on a scale of 1-5. There was a list of which answers received the most ‘Number 1 priorities’ and an overall score.

‘Trade with the EU’ was both the most popular Number 1 priority and also the top overall score (3.59), followed by ‘ability to trade with countries outside the EU’ close behind (3.49%), Preserving the United Kingdom union (2.84%), collaboration on security (2.63) and control of immigration (2.51)

A General Election

The question of a General election was one that didn’t go down a purely Leave/ Remain divide.

Remain voters were slightly more likely to think that the PM should call a General Election than Leave voters, although recent events may have changed the response if it was asked again. But overall 49.88% said that we SHOULD have a General Election and 39.87% said that we SHOULD NOT, 10.25% were unsure.

Conclusion

The survey has been immensely useful in getting an updated snapshot of constituent opinions. Every voter in Chesterfield was invited to vote, and no-one was excluded, but that doesn’t mean that the numbers responding were a representative sample.

The most striking conclusion is that currently there seems to be very little sign of the country or the constituency being about to come together. The vast majority of voters still think what they did about the overall question of what we should do, and respondents to this survey seem to be hardening in their view towards a ‘Hard Brexit’ or a ‘Hard Remain’.

Recent elections have also rewarded parties who took a view at the more extreme end of the Brexit debate, with Brexit Party (No deal) and Lib Dem (Parliament to overrule Brexit without a Referendum) benefiting in the recent EU Parliamentary elections whilst both Labour Party and the Conservatives finding Leave and Remain voters were unpersuaded thus far by attempts to find a ‘middle way’.

I can’t pretend that the survey responses have given me a great deal of confidence that we are close to re-uniting the country- particularly whilst so much remains unknown about the basis of our future relationship with both the EU and the rest of the world. One thing that was clear was that the importance of trade and the impact on our economy was now considerably more significant to voters than concerns about immigration.

The complexity of delivering a Brexit that doesn’t undermine the UK union and protects relations on the island of Ireland were also well understood by respondents who were much more inclined to compromise on that question.

In the 2017 General Election, I said that I believed we needed a Brexit deal that delivered on the promises made for it (namely being able to continue to trade and attract world class talent). The support for staying within the single market and customs union at least showed support for that aspect of my approach. I have long said that I believed we could only re-unite the country by finding a resolution that recognised the narrowness of the outcome whilst also accepting that the Referendum result was a vote to Leave. Both I, and the Labour Party manifesto of 2017 made clear our opposition to leaving the EU without a deal. This was consistent with what campaigning organisations like ‘Vote Leave’ and senior Government ministers from the Leave side said during the campaign and since.

I will continue to engage with both constituents and businesses as the process progresses. I hear, loud and clear, people’s frustration about how long the process is taking, but I think there was a deliberate attempt during the campaign and since it to underplay the complexity or full consequences of leaving the EU- particularly in moving on to WTO terms, and leaving without a deal.

I also hope that this survey will have helped others to realise (as I have done) how different the opinions of people who may have voted the same way on 23rd June 2016. Not all leavers are ‘no dealers’, not all remainers are ‘revokers’. But there is still a strong sense that far from bringing the country together and settling the matter once and for all, in many ways opinions are more divided now than they ever were.

It leaves politicians with an unenviable task in finding a way to bring the country together. I have already voted in Parliament in ways that I felt were a compromise, but am renewed in my determination to find a solution that a majority can accept and can help the country come together again.

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Toby Perkins Wildlife survey

Toby Perkins Wildlife survey

Famously, the British are a nation of animal lovers, and here in Derbyshire we are fortunate to be spoiled with acres of beautiful countryside to explore that should be rich with wildlife.
But some of these habitats have been eroded, and wildlife issues are amongst the most prevalent in my parliamentary postbag.
Whether it be enforcing the fox hunting ban, protecting badgers from an unnecessary cull or banning grouse shooting, constituents regularly get in touch to lobby me to ensure that Chesterfield and Derbyshire remains a green oasis for two legs and four.
Now, I’ve produced my first ever wildlife survey, working with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, and I’m asking my constituents to complete it to help inform Labour’s proposals for a more animal friendly future. Please grab a cuppa and take a few minutes to complete this survey and let me know what you think our wildlife priorities should be.
You’ll find the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/TobyPerkinsWildlifeSurvey

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Toby Hady survey

Toby Perkins to hold Brexit public meeting

After a summer recess spent gathering the views of voters across Chesterfield on the issue of Brexit, MP Toby Perkins has arranged for a major impartial public information session in Chesterfield next week.

Mr Perkins will host the session, which will allow Chesterfield residents who wish to learn more about the many issues that arise from Britain’s impending departure from the European Union.

The session will be run by an independent thinktank, ‘UK in a Changing Europe’ and facilitated by Professor Anand Menon, a Professor of European and Foreign Affairs at Kings College, London.

All those attending will be able to ask Professor Menon about any issues that they are uncertain about, including but not limited to questions on frictionless trade, WTO terms, NO deal Brexit, the backstop, Northern Ireland and many others.

The free-to-attend session will be held at the Winding Wheel on Thursday 5th September, 6.00pm and tickets can be acquired by email, telephone or in person at Chesterfield Labour Club.

Anyone who wishes to attend, should either email amandam.collumbine@parliament.uk for a ticket, call 01246 386286 during normal office hours or call into Toby Perkins MP’s office at Chesterfield Labour Club, 113 Saltergate, Chesterfield, S40 1NF.

Toby Perkins said: “It is clear from the huge number of survey responses that I received that Brexit continues to infuriate, confuse and frustrate my constituents in equal measure but many valid questions were raised through the process, and I believe that the vast majority of people just want the best for our country and so I hope that providing my constituents with a forum in which they can get their questions answered will be helpful.”

“I recognise how much anger and frustration there is as we try to negotiate our way through a very intricate and complicated process in a way that respects the democratic outcome of the Referendum and protects our national interests. I sometimes think the whole process of what happens now is over simplified and so I am setting this unbiased Q&A up so that everyone can be as well-informed as possible.”

The Winding Wheel has a maximum capacity and so whilst the event is free to attend it is important that all those wishing to come should contact the MPs office for a ticket, though the event is open to all strands of political opinion.

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Toby Hady survey

NEW- Toby Perkins Chesterfield Brexit survey hits the streets

Brexit is the most divisive issue to hit UK politics in our political lifetime.

The country voted to Leave the EU, and in Chesterfield around 60% of those who voted, voted to leave.

Yet whilst Parliament has confirmed it’s intention to leave, it has never agreed on the basis of our future relationship with the EU, which has prevented Article 50 being fully enacted. When Parliament returns from the summer recess, it really will be decision time.

Over the recess, Toby Perkins and his team are taking to the streets to conduct a Brexit survey, that attempts to break down the key thorny issues and hear how people’s views have progressed since the Referendum and where the UK Government goes from here.

You can take the survey online, by clicking here https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/TPerkinsMPBrexit

Introducing the survey, Toby Perkins said: “I am concerned that rather than come together, the country seems more divided on this issue than ever before. I believe Britain should endeavour to leave the EU in a way that protects jobs and our economy, and allows us to continue to trade with the EU. I am keen to see if there is a way that a balance can be struck that takes everyone with us. This survey is therefore crucial to informing my view of what people in Chesterfield think should happen now. I urge all of my constituents to complete it.”

The survey is purely for Chesterfield constituents and respondents who live outside of the constituency or respond anonymously will have their answers discounted.

 

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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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