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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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Toby with repairers Margaret Hersee and Sue Scott

Make do and mend

The old war time adage of make do and mend is making a comeback as people are becoming more conscious of saving money and reducing CO2 emissions and waste to landfill.
And locally, a ‘Repair Café’ in Chesterfield is bringing a local dimension to this growing trend.
Repair Cafes are set up by volunteers to fix broken belongings, increase mending skills and reduce waste and the Chesterfield Repair Café is currently set up at the Monkey Park where local MP Toby Perkins called in to view the repairers at work.
Volunteers in Chesterfield gather once a month to repair items such as furniture, appliances, toys and clothing. Toby said: “Very often the simplest ideas are the best and this is certainly the case with the Repair Café. We are fortunate here to have a group of willing and skilled volunteers who are can fix items that may otherwise have been thrown away. Sadly, many items are not built to last anymore, because the parts are poorer quality, or they’re designed to wear out and then be thrown away, so we spend more on new equipment. I think we have become so much better at recycling our waste and initiatives like this go one step further by helping prevent the waste and hopefully make us more conscious of buying better quality or re-developing the skill of mending things, if we can, in the first place.
I was very impressed with all the team here who also like to work with the community on how to fix items themselves. I am told that within the last year the team in Chesterfield have prevented 285 kg of waste and prevented 2,310 kg of CO2 emissions. I am happy to support this worthy cause and help the volunteers have what they need to continue to repair as many items as possible which means needing access to quality spare parts and appropriate documentation.”
Repair Cafes are held every second Saturday of the month in 2019 and the

Toby with repairers Margaret Hersee and Sue Scott

last repairs are accepted at 2pm. The team can be contacted at repairs@transitionchesterfield.org.uk and please get in touch if you know how to fix things and would like to help.

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Toby being grilled on the environment by Hollingwood Primary pupils

Hollingwood pupils pledge to protect the environment

Environmentally-conscious pupils at Hollingwood Primary School have enlisted the help of Chesterfield MP, Toby Perkins, as part of their campaign to improve the environment locally and globally.

Toby said, “The pupils at Hollingwood Primary School wrote to me regarding concerns that affect the local environment, such as litter and dog mess, as well as their pledges for tackling the climate change emergency. I visited the school last week and was impressed by the children’s knowledge about environmental issues and I think they would all be great candidates to be Climate Change Ambassadors to the Borough Council.

Following the letters from Hollingwod pupils, Toby wrote to Cllr Jill Mannion-Brunt, Cabinet Member for Health & Wellbeing at Chesterfield Borough Council, who has confirmed that the Council

Toby being grilled on the environment by Hollingwood Primary pupils

Toby being grilled on the environment by Hollingwood Primary pupils

recently passed a resolution to declare a Climate Change Emergency in Chesterfield. The Council will also be talking to young people in the Borough, to create young ambassadors for climate change who will work with the Council to help develop a local strategy to combat climate change and deal with local environmental issues. The Council will be contacting Hollingwood Primary with a view to them becoming an early adopter as an encouragement for other schools.

Toby added, “I am very proud of the schools in Chesterfield, who are teaching students about what they can do to improve the environment so that hopefully when they get to my age, a long time from now, the planet is not ruined by pollution and waste.”

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Toby accepting the Pub Parliamentarian of the Year Prize

Parliamentary Beer Group nominates Chesterfield MP as Pub Parliamentarian of the Year

Last week, the 25th Annual Beer Awards was held by the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group to celebrate the efforts of people in the brewing and pubs industry. All-Party Parliamentary Groups – or APPGs for short – are cross-party groups run by MPs to try and bring attention to a particular issue.

At the Beer APPG Awards, Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins won the Pub Parliamentarian of the Year award, for his work as Chair of the Pubs APPG, and in running the Parliamentary Pub of the Year competition, which celebrated hundreds of pubs up and down the country. Many in Chesterfield may remember Toby’s own nomination for the Parliamentary Pub of the Year: The Chesterfield Arms; the East Midlands regional winner.

Mike Wood, Chair of the Beer APPG, said of Toby’s award:

Toby accepting the Pub Parliamentarian of the Year Prize

 

“Whilst we are called the “Beer Group”, we are as much about pubs as beer.  Beer and pubs are inseparably linked. 

This year’s Pub Parliamentarian was elected in 2010 and shortly afterwards he was appointed Shadow Pubs Minister where he very quickly mastered the brief – becoming enormously knowledgeable about UK pubs, their contribution to our communities and the pressures they face.  In 2017, he was elected to be the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Pubs Group. In this capacity he organised the inaugural Parliamentary Pub of the Year award.  There were over 100 entries and the shortlisted pubs were invited to a fantastic event on the Terrace in January this year.   All the shortlisted pubs made short videos and MPs voted for the winner with handsets. The winning pub was the Four Elms that had been nominated by their local MP, Jo Stevens, MP for Cardiff Central.”

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Versus Arthritis;
"Working it Out" Reception;
House of Commons, Westminster;
2nd July 2019.

© Pete Jones
pete@pjproductions.co.uk

Chesterfield-based Versus Arthritis event leads to MPs call for better support to keep people with arthritis in work

Toby Perkins MP joined people living with arthritis at a Parliamentary event in Westminster on Tuesday 2nd July. Toby heard firsthand about the impact the chronic pain associated with the condition can have on the ability to remain in employment and how to ensure every person with arthritis who wants to work has the support they need.

At the event, healthcare charity Versus Arthritis – based in Chesterfield – launched its new report, Working it Out: Demanding More From the Access to Work Scheme. Access to Work is a government scheme that can provide valuable workplace assistance, such as specialist equipment, transport and support staff.

However, the charity found that 59% of people they spoke to had never heard of the Access to Work scheme, with many more unaware of the type of help it can provide. This means that too many people with arthritis are going without the support they need and are unnecessarily struggling or dropping out of work.

Versus Arthritis also found that one in four applicants (with arthritis) surveyed said the scheme was difficult to communicate with, and three quarters did not know they were entitled to a review of their support.

Versus Arthritis is calling for ongoing promotion of the scheme to people with arthritis and improvements to the way it operates, so that people with arthritis do not face barriers to getting the right support.

Arthritis can make work more difficult, with tasks such as commuting, carrying equipment or even typing becoming challenging. Only 63% of working age adults with a musculoskeletal condition are in work, compared to 81% of people with no health conditions.

Toby said:

“As an Arthritis Champion, I understand the difficulties facing people with all forms of arthritis, and that is why I have committed myself to voicing those people’s concerns in parliament by being an Arthritis Champion.”

“4,368 people in Chesterfield are living with osteoarthritis of the hip, 7,325 with osteoarthritis of the knee and 15,160 with back pain. Many more are affected by other related conditions every day.

“I wanted to show support in Parliament for my constituents and highlight the steps we can all take to make life easier for people with arthritis who want to work. It is important that people with arthritis in Chesterfield are aware of the help available, such as the Access to Work scheme, and can access support when they need it.”

Arthritis can be understood within the class of “invisible illnesses”, a group of conditions which are often stigmatized and poorly understood. Recently, Toby held a debate in Parliament about Fibromyalgia – another invisible illness with some similar symptoms – which generated a huge amount of cross-party support for helping people with fibromyalgia and invisible illnesses more broadly.

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RNIB

RNIB event attended by Chesterfield MP highlights importance of emotional support for blind and partially sighted people

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins met with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) last week at a parliamentary reception to hear about the charity’s Sight Loss Advice Service and the vital work that Eye Clinic Liaison Officers (ECLOs) carry out.

Statistics show that calls to RNIB focused on emotional support are set to triple, increasing from 2,021 calls in 2016 to a projected 7,000 calls in 2019.

Questions around emotional support are one of the top three reasons why people spoke to the advice line in 2018 and is expected to remain in the top three for 2019.

ECLOs work alongside health professionals in eye clinics to offer support and advice to blind and partially sighted people on a range of areas.

They are an important part of RNIB’s Sight Loss Advice Service, which provides practical advice and emotional support over the phone, as well as face to face in eye clinics, for anyone affected by sight loss.

Toby said: “I am supporting RNIB’s drive to raise awareness of the importance of practical and emotional advice for blind and partially sighted people.

“I’ve heard about the fantastic work that the Sight Loss Advice Service carries out and the benefits to the people living with sight loss in Chesterfield.”

 

Get in touch with RNIB on 0303 123 9999 or visit www.rnib.org.uk/advice for more information.

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Toby taking part in a speed-stacking challenge

MP bowled over by school’s approach to sport

Sporty students at Brockwell Junior School marked the Youth Sport Trust’s 2019 National School Sport Week by inviting local MP, Toby Perkins, to watch them and compete against them in

Toby hits one for six!

a range of sporting activities.

Toby said, “At a time when there is huge pressure on school budgets and more of a focus on league tables and exams, sports and P.E. can often not receive the time or consideration that it deserves. At Brockwell Juniors, they have taken a very proactive approach to sports, thinking of more diverse activities to ensure all children can participate, and this has led to happier, healthier children as well as the school securing a number of trophies and high-profile sporting wins”

Toby had the chance to try speed stacking and archery, as well as demonstrating the cricket skills he had previously put to good use playing for Holmewood MWCC many years ago!

The theme for the 2019 YST National School Sport Week was Journey to Wellbeing and encouraged schools to organise activity which align with the following five steps to wellbeing:

  • Being active
  • Connecting
  • Giving back
  • Taking notice
  • Learning

Bullseye!

The Youth Sport Trust is the leading national charity working in partnership with over 20,000 schools, government and leading sporting organisations to improve PE and school sport. We harness the power physical activity to improve young people’s life chances with a focus on building life skills and resilience, as well as supporting physical and mental wellbeing.

Toby added, “As a former Derbyshire rugby player, who enthusiastically follows many sports, I am a huge believer in the value of competitive sports in schools. It not only promotes activity and fitness, but improves children’s confidence, social skills and ability to work as a team. We need the Government to provide more funding to schools to ensure that P.E. remains a central part to the school week.”

Toby taking part in a speed-stacking challenge

Toby taking part in a speed-stacking challenge

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Toby at the monthly social meeting of the YNA group

Derbyshire mental health group lets people know that support is always available

A peer-to-peer support group for people with mental health issues, ‘You’re Never Alone – Mental Health Awareness (YNA)’, invited local MP Toby Perkins to attend their monthly meeting to learn more about the group and the issues facing mental health sufferers.

The group was co-created by Chesterfield resident, Mark Sims, and provides advice, support and friendship through a Facebook group and regular meetings.

Toby said, “With the cuts to health services it has become increasingly difficult for people to access the support they need. Waiting lists for counselling services can see patients waiting for over two years before they are seen and so there are hundreds of people across Derbyshire not receiving support and feeling like they are alone with their mental health issues. Peer-to-peer support groups such as the YNA group can be a significant help to people who are falling through the cracks in the system”

The YNA Facebook page is a private group that allows people to interact with others with mental health issues and build up their support network. The groups admins are also available for one-to-one support via messenger and email.

Toby added, “Whilst these groups are important, they can never replace NHS mental health services and we need the Government to ensure that mental health is receiving parity of esteem for funding, to protect patients who are vulnerable and unwell.”

You can join the group at https://www.facebook.com/Youre-Never-Alone-Mental-Health-Awareness-contact-page-390975894990697/

Toby at the monthly social meeting of the YNA group

Toby at the monthly social meeting of the YNA group

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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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