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Toby with centre manager, Dave Radford, outgoing chair, Sheelagh Hanson, and newly-elected chair, Fee Unwin

Toby Perkins MP congratulates Chesterfield & North Derbyshire Volunteer Centre on another successful year

Local MP Toby Perkins joined staff, volunteers and stakeholders at the Chesterfield & North East Derbyshire Volunteer’s annual general meeting (AGM), which marked another successful year for the organisation.

Toby said, “Volunteer organisations across the country have struggled over the last few years but The Volunteer Centre remains resilient during these tough times. Much of this is due to the excellent fundraising skills of the centre manager, Dave Radford, and because of the hard work of the staff, volunteers and board, who really go above and beyond for the people they are supporting.”

The Volunteer Centre, which is based on Knifesmithgate in Chesterfield town centre, has over 250 volunteer-supporting organisations registered with them and provides a number of services across the Borough and North East Derbyshire. Toby presented a special recognition ward to volunteer, Brian Veasey, and to the Chair, Sheelagh Hanson, who is standing down after 4 years in the role.

Toby made special mention of the Centre’s ‘Elderfriends’ befriending service, which is aimed at lonely and socially isolated people who are over 50 years old and live in Chesterfield and NE Derbyshire.

Toby with centre manager, Dave Radford, outgoing chair, Sheelagh Hanson, and newly-elected chair, Fee Unwin

Toby with centre manager, Dave Radford, outgoing chair, Sheelagh Hanson, and newly-elected chair, Fee Unwin

Toby said, “With the huge pressures on social care and cuts to council budgets, there are many older people who are not receiving the support they need and are becoming increasingly isolated and cut off from the community. The Elderfriends service is a vital lifeline for many vulnerable and lonely people in Chesterfield. They currently have over 400 people waiting for befrienders and I would urge more people to volunteer with the service”.

Toby is supporting the new Parliamentary Commission on Loneliness, which was originally conceived by Jo Cox, the MP for Batley & Spen who was murdered last year.

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Toby with CSC Unite rep, Colin Walker

Chesterfield MP calls for parliamentary debate on CSC job losses

Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), which has an office on Old Road in Brampton, announced plans to cut another 1,100 jobs ahead of a potential merger with a division of U.S. Computer giant, Hewlett Packard. Following a meeting with Union reps, Toby Perkins, MP for Chesterfield, has called for a debate in Parliament to discuss the job losses and potential effect on government contracts delivered by CSC.

Toby said, “Over the last 4 months, CSC has announced plans to cut over 1500 jobs, which is a third of their workforce. When this number of jobs are cut in the steel industry, it becomes front page news and questions are raised at PMQs, and it should be no different for the IT industry. CSC deliver services for the NHS, GCHQ, The Passport Office, The Metropolitan Police, and it is only right that MPs get to scrutinise the potential effect on public services”

Toby has now applied for an Adjournment Debate in the House of Commons and is arranging a meeting with union representatives and the MPs from all the areas where CSC have sites. Unite the

Toby with CSC Unite rep, Colin Walker

Toby with CSC Unite rep, Colin Walker

Union have criticised CSC management for the lack of transparency in the decision-making process and accused the company of seeing workers as “collateral damage” in the pursuit of a merger deal.

Toby added, “I will be doing what I can to keep job losses in Chesterfield to an absolute minimum and to ensure that any losses do not impact on public services or compromise personal data”

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Toby with the school council and governor, Cllr Keith Mils, at Spire Junior School

‘Running for cash is the only alternative to sacking staff’

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins questioned the Prime Minister on the new national schools funding formula after a local school serving a deprived area was told it would receive the biggest cuts in Derbyshire. The funding formula dictates that Spire Junior School will lose funding equating to £17,000 per annum.

Toby highlighting the cuts to school funding at PMQs

Toby highlighting the cuts to school funding at PMQs

Spire Junior School serves an area of high deprivation, it is ranked 3rd in the list of Derbyshire schools by both deprivation indicator and Free School Meals, with 70% of pupils receiving Free School Meals.

This is the school where the Government launched their Pupil premium initiative. The pupil premium was supposed to give additional funding to publically funded schools, to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils of all abilities, closing the gaps between them and their peers.

The Governments complicity in stripping the most deprived schools of funding is shameful.

Dave Shaw the Headteacher of Spire Junior School, was going to run the Great North Run, for a cancer charity, but Governments cuts mean that running for cash is the only alternative to sacking staff.

Toby with the school council and governor, Cllr Keith Mils, at Spire Junior School

Toby with the school council and governor, Cllr Keith Mils, at Spire Junior School

 

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Toby speaking in last night's debate

MP battles for Chesterfield in HS2 debate

Local MP, Toby Perkins, attended a late night debate in Parliament regarding the planned M18 route for HS2 which would ensure the high-speed rail link included Chesterfield.

At a debate which went on until almost 2am, Toby demanded that any changes ensure Chesterfield remains part of the plans. Toby said in the debate:

Toby speaking in last night's debate

Toby speaking in last night’s debate

From the perspective of Chesterfield, may I tell the Minister that we were actually quite pleased with the change, because it brings in the whole north Derbyshire area, and up to about 400,000 people? Whatever comes out of this, can we make sure that Chesterfield is served either by the route he is now proposing, or by the route to the east of Chesterfield?

https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2017-02-06/debates/E650CA55-5866-4CB7-A2FF-A51B7C5CC693/HighSpeed2Yorkshire

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Toby behind bar in pub

Chesterfield MP named one of the top 10 “movers and shakers” in Derbyshire’s beer and pubs scene

Toby Perkins MP, who was recently elected as the new chair of the All Party Parliamentary Save the Pub Group, has been named in the Derby Telegraph’s top 10 “movers and shakers” in Derbyshire’s beer and pubs scene.

Toby is a former Shadow Pubs Minister and was named the British Beer & Pub Association’s Parliamentary Beer Champion for 2015. He was also declared a ‘Pub Hero’ in 2014 by the Punch Tenants Network for the work he has done in trying to introduce a ‘market only rent’ option in order to help thousands of struggling tied publicans.

The Derby Telegraph’s “Beerhunter” columnist had this to say of Toby:

“The Chesterfield MP is the new chair of the All Party Parliamentary Save The Pub Group. He’s one of those rare MPs who can transcend party politics and simply argue about what’s obviously the right thing to do. God knows, we’d be better off if they were all like that […] He’s one of the good guys and you won’t catch me saying that about a lot of politicians.”

Toby said:

“I thank the Derby Telegraph for their kind words and will be doing all I can to ‘move and shake’ the pub industry. In my role as Chair of the APPG Save the Pubs group I hope to increase the dialogue between the industry and politicians, and help put pressure on the Government to do all they can to support our struggling publicans.”

You can read the full story at http://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/are-these-the-10-top-movers-and-shakers-in-derbyshire-s-great-beer-and-pubs-scene/story-30092026-detail/story.html#2uhTlTKBHxi3yFFx.99

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Toby with Tesco staff and Usdaw organisers

MP calls for better protections for retail workers

Toby Perkins, MP for Chesterfield, has joined calls for action to protect shopworkers and retail staff from violence and abuse.

A recent study by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) shows that the human cost of retail crime is growing, with a 40% increase in offences involving abuse or violence against shopworkers; rising

Toby with Tesco staff and Usdaw organisers

Toby with Tesco staff and Usdaw organisers

from 41 to 51 per 1,000 shopworkers during 2016. And a survey by the retail workers’ union, Usdaw, showed that 8% of shopworkers had been assaulted in the last year, half had been verbally abused and almost a third had been threatened with violence.

Toby said, “Just last week there was an armed robbery at the Co-op in nearby Whitwell, a terrifying ordeal for the staff on duty. Luckily, this type of incident is rare, but every day across the country shopworkers have to deal with verbal abuse, shoplifters, and threats of violence. I am calling on the Government to commit to stiffer sentences for those who assault retail staff”

 

Toby recently joined USDAW members and staff at the Tesco on Lockoford Lane to promote the union’s ‘Freedom from Fear’ campaign, which seeks to prevent violence, threats and abuse against workers.

The main aims of the campaign are:

  • Negotiate with employers for safety and security improvements in stores.
  • Campaign for Government to ensure that their policies and actions help tackle retail crime and anti-social behaviour in shopping areas.
  • Raise awareness with the shopping public that violence, threats and abuse against workers is unacceptable behaviour.
  • Give workers the confidence to speak out and not accept abuse as just a part of the job.

Toby added, “I am proud to support Usdaw’s ‘Freedom from Fear’ campaign and will do all I can to help protect our retail workers from threats, violence and abuse in the workplace. Retail staff are an important part of our communities and our economy, they should be valued and respected.”

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EU UK Flags

Vote on Article 50

The article that I have sent to this week’s Derbyshire Times in response to an enquiry about how I will vote on Article 50 ratification

This weekend’s deliberations ahead of the vote that will take place on whether to trigger Article 50 have been amongst the most tortured I have faced in my time as an MP.

To many, the issue is a straight-forward one. Britain voted to Leave the EU (as did Chesterfield) and the invoking of Article 50 is the parliamentary ratification of that vote. As a democrat, whilst being disappointed by the outcome, I respect it, and accept that Britain must get on with negotiating our exit from the EU.

However, accepting that Britain will leave the EU is not the same as accepting that Theresa May, an unelected Prime Minister who voted Remain, is the only arbiter of the terms under which we will leave. I am horrified that she appears complacent about the impact that leaving the EU single market will have on our economy, and the speed with which she appears willing to jump into bed with Donald Trump’s dangerous and divisive vision of Anglo American relations.

The image of our PM holding hands with the President, moments before he invoked an arbitrary order to ban Muslim refugees from seven countries, is an image that will haunt those who feel proud of Britain’s historic role in fighting the rise of Nationalist extremists, and promoting international co-operation.

Meanwhile, the vote will take place before she has produced the White paper which outlines her government’s approach to getting the best deal for Britain. I also feel she missed a trick by agreeing to trigger Article 50 without insisting that Britain could start negotiating with non-EU countries alongside our EU talks which will reduce the strength of our hand in those negotiations.

However, despite my many misgivings about the approach that the Government is taking, it would be disingenuous for me to overlook the extent to which last June’s referendum was a rejection of the ‘political establishment’ view. In that context, I feel the argument that says that we must allow those negotiations to begin in line with the outcome of that vote is a compelling one. Whilst I will vote for amendments that seek to protect our National Health Service and safeguard our economy, I will support the Government’s desire to invoke Article 50 at this week’s 2nd Reading vote.

I will also be fighting Chesterfield’s corner throughout. Leave campaigners promised that there would be more money not less for our vital public services and regeneration projects, I will be insisting those promises are honoured. None of us can be certain what the future holds, but my fight is to retain what is dear too us, not to fight the outcome of a campaign that is already over.

So I will vote to honour the referendum outcome this week, but Theresa MAY be sure, there’ll be no blank cheque on her vision of Brexit from me.

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IMG_3665 (2)

Toby Perkins MP signs Holocaust Educational Trust Book of Commitment

This week I signed the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Book of Commitment, in doing I pledged my commitment to Holocaust Memorial Day and honouring those who were murdered during the Holocaust as well as paying tribute to the extraordinary Holocaust survivors who work tirelessly to educate young people.

Friday 27th January will mark the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, the site of the largest mass murder in history.

In the lead up to and on Holocaust Memorial Day, thousands of commemorative events will be arranged by schools, faith groups and community organisations across the country, remembering all the victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides. The theme for this year’s commemorations is ‘How can life go on?’

Holocaust Memorial Day is an important opportunity for people from Chesterfield and across the country to reflect on the tragic events of the Holocaust. As the Holocaust moves from living history, to just history, it becomes ever more important that we take the time to remember the victims and also pay tribute to the survivors. I would encourage my constituents to show their support for such an important day.

Karen Pollock MBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said:

Our mission is to educate young people from every background about the Holocaust and its contemporary relevance. We are very grateful to Toby Perkins MP for signing the Book of Commitment, signalling a continued commitment to remembering the victims of the Holocaust as well as challenging antisemitism, prejudice and bigotry in all its forms.

For further information, please contact my office on 01246 386286 or email toby.perkins.mp@parliament.uk

Samantha Abrahams, the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Head of Public Affairs via Samantha.abrahams@het.org.uk or 020 7222 6822 or Public Affairs Officer Jack Mason via Jack.mason@het.org.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 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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