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Toby at the launch of the new Taskforce for Lung Health

New Taskforce for Lung Health launched with help of Chesterfield MP

A new Taskforce to help raise awareness of lung health and maintaining healthy lungs has received the backing of Chesterfield MP, Toby Perkins.

The ‘Taskforce for Lung Health’ brings together 25 representatives from across the lung health sector including patients, voluntary sector, professional associations, primary and secondary healthcare. The aim of the Taskforce is to develop a single five-year plan for improving lung health in England, endorsed by the whole respiratory community.

Toby said, “People often don’t realise how many people are affected by lung conditions. In Chesterfield, there are over 7,000 people living with asthma and over 2,500 with COPD. These conditions can have a debilitating effect on people’s ability to lead an active life and contribute towards other health complications. We need a better understanding of how to maintain healthy lungs, and greater awareness of what treatments are available if we do have a lung condition.”

Respiratory disease is one of the top three killers in the UK with 1 in 5 people diagnosed with a lung condition at some point in their lives and 115,000 people dying each year as a result of lung disease. It is estimated that the NHS spends £9.9billion each year on lung disease, including lung cancer and respiratory infections, making it the fourth most costly disease area.

Toby added, “We have seen huge strides made in the past by reducing smoking and related diseases, but the British Lung Foundation (BFL) have highlighted that there has been very little improvement in the number of people dying from lung disease over the last ten years. This is of particular concern to me as figures from the BFL show that compared to the national average, people living in the Chesterfield are 8% more likely to die from asthma, 11% more likely to die from COPD, and 7% more likely to die from lung cancer.  I fully support the new Taskforce which will hopefully identify what needs to change in how we prevent, diagnose and treat lung disease and prevent early deaths.”

Toby at the launch of the new Taskforce for Lung Health

Toby at the launch of the new Taskforce for Lung Health

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Toby with Chesterfield resident, Craig Kennady

Westminster Commission calls for better protections for people with autism

A new report by the Westminster Commission on Autism has highlighted an increase in potentially harmful interventions and treatments for people with Autism. Toby Perkins, MP for Chesterfield, attended the launch of the new report and is calling for greater regulation to combat the problem.

Toby said, “The Commission has been doing important work for many years with one of Chesterfield’s own residents, Craig Kennady, being a member and helping produce this report. The report has shown that autistic people and their carers have had a range of dangerous and unsubstantiated products and therapies offered to them, often presented as a ‘cure’. People have reported being offered homeopathy, crystal therapy, spiritual intervention, aromatherapy, diets and many other interventions that are not only of no use, but can be harmful. There is no cure to autism, people just need the right support and understanding to manage it.”

The Commission has called on the Government to convene all agencies with regulatory responsibility to identify the current gaps in regulation and ensure that potentially harmful treatments and  interventions are covered by legislation.

Toby added, “There are clearly a lot of fraudsters out there looking to exploit people on the autism spectrum and our regulatory bodies need the powers to clamp down on it. We also need a better understanding and awareness of autism to make society a safer space for all autistic people”.

Toby with Chesterfield resident, Craig Kennady

Toby with Chesterfield resident, Craig Kennady

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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’.

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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/

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police cuts

Toby Perkins slams Derbyshire’s Tory MPs for putting party ahead of constituents in police funding vote

A parliamentary vote on further cuts to police budgets took place on Wednesday 7th February and Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins has expressed his disappointment that the call from Derbyshire Police Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa for a cross party approach to protecting Derbyshire Police had fallen on deaf ears.

Toby said, “At the end of last year, the Home Office set out its provisional funding settlement for 2018/19, falsely claiming this equated to £450m in extra funding. The reality is that the only new money is an additional £50m for counter-terrorism and the remaining money will only be realised if PCCs increase their policing precept to the maximum amount allowable. The proposals mean that police are facing a further £100m real terms cut from central government with local tax payers expected to pick up the pieces.”

“There is no hiding from the fact that cuts in the Derbyshire police grant have led to less officers and PCSOs on our streets and an increase in violent crime and antisocial behaviour. As a Member of Parliaments, the health and wellbeing of constituents should always be our top priority. I am disappointed that Derbyshire Tory MPs didn’t put their  constituents before their party and send a message to the Government that we won’t accept soaring violent crime in our communities and that we insist on fairer funding for Derbyshire police.”

Figures reported in the Derbyshire Times last week showed that in the 12 months to September 2017, robbery rose 19%, rape & sexual offences increased 16% and knife crime soared by 20%. In 2010-11 Derbyshire Constabulary received £116.2million in police grant, reducing to £99.8m for 2017-18. Derbyshire Constabulary has lost almost 335 police officers and 26 community support officers in this period and seen the number of front counters open to the public falling from 25 to just 4.

Police Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa had written to all Derbyshire’s MPs asking for them to fight for extra funding for Derbyshire Police services and outlining the impact that further cuts would have on services.

Following the vote, Toby said, “The police are doing a great job considering the limited resources they have. The growth of cybercrime is providing additional challenges and we’re seeing forces stretched too far. Our Chief constables and Police Commissioner have done an excellent job in coping with cuts this far, but there is nothing left for the police to cut without cutting deep into service provision”.

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Ravenside Retail Park

Chesterfield MP warns motorists about risk of parking tickets at town retail parks

Motorists visiting the Markham Retail Park and Ravenside Retail Park in Chesterfield are receiving unnecessary parking tickets and the town’s MP, Toby Perkins, is trying to raise awareness to prevent further charges to his constituents.

The Markham Retail car park is run by Vehicle Control Services Ltd and serves the three stores on site, JYSK, SCS and Benson for Beds. The Ravenside Retail car park is operated by Euro Car Parks and is only for customers of Debenhams, HobbyCraft, Asda Living, Maplins, Currys, PC World, Next, Pets at Home, Carphone Warehouse and Pizza Hut. The rules of both car parks prohibit motorists from leaving their vehicle and walking off the site.

Toby said, “I have been contacted by a number of my constituents who have been stung by parking tickets at these two car parks. Due to the proximity of the retail parks people quite naturally assume that they can shop in stores at both sites without the need to move their car. Whilst I can appreciate the need to stop people parking here for free and then going into town, it seems ridiculous that customers who are using these shops, and providing vital income for the businesses there, are penalised.”

Ravenside Retail Park

Ravenside Retail Park

Toby has written to Vehicle Control Services Ltd and Euro Car Parks urging the companies to work together and come to an arrangement that allows customers to use either car park whilst shopping at the two sites.

Toby added, “these are private car parks and they can set their own terms and conditions. Shoppers need to be aware of the rules or risk receiving a ticket. However, I call on the companies to work together and do what is in the best interest of customers and businesses at the retail parks.

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Toby - Deaf Children Campaign 3

New Campaign to Help Deaf Children

A new campaign by the National Deaf Childrens Society to increase the provision of radio aids to pre-school deaf children has received the backing of Chesterfield MP, Toby Perkins.

The ‘Right from the Start’ campaign is aimed at ensuring deaf children get the help and support they need during early years, when learning and communication are crucial, and trying to reduce barriers that can delay development.

Toby said, “At a time when local authority budget cuts are impacting on services available to families, we need the Government to step in and help ensure deaf children have the equipment and support they need to develop at the same pace as other children.”

Radio aids help deaf children hear speech by transmitting what people are saying direct to the child’s hearing aid or cochlear implant. Research undertaken by the National Deaf Childrens Society has found that the use of radio aids hearing technology can make a big difference in the early years, helping deaf children hear their parents above any background noise. At the moment less than half of local authorities across country have any provision of radio aids.

Toby added, “I have now written to the Secretary of State for Education urging the Government to make funding available to local authorities to increase provision of radio aids. It is my understanding that Derbyshire is one of the authorities who provide aids to pre-school deaf children in the home and I am contacting them to see how we can increase awareness of the benefits of radio aids and ensure every deaf child has the opportunity to access this technology.”

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Toby Perkins MP

Toby Perkins MP marks 200 years of Parkinson’s

Toby Perkins MP for Chesterfield recently joined charity Parkinson’s UK to mark 200 years since Parkinson’s was first recognised as a condition.

At the recent Parkinson’s UK parliamentary reception Toby talked to staff and volunteers about the strides that have been made in understanding the condition since James Parkinson’s Essay on the Shaking Palsy in 1817, but also the work that is still to be done as there is no cure for Parkinson’s and current medication can’t stop the condition from progressing.

Parkinson’s UK highlighted the issues faced by people with Parkinson’s, including mental health problems, a common but often overlooked symptom of the neurological condition.

Parkinson’s affects one in 500 people in Chesterfield, and can cause a myriad of symptoms including insomnia, depression, and hallucinations, robbing people of their independence. But through more research, improved services, and empowering people with Parkinson’s to take control, their lives can be turned around.

Toby Perkins MP said after attending the event: “It is not well known that mental health symptoms are common with Parkinson’s. I want to help ensure that people in Chesterfield and Staveley get the support they need, when they need it. I look forward to seeing the report into this by the Parliamentary Group on Parkinson’s so that I can work locally and nationally to improve mental health services for everyone affected by the condition.”

For advice, information and support, visit www.parkinsons.org.uk or call their free, confidential helpline on 0808 800 0303.

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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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