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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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Toby Perkins MP opens Future House Therapy Centre.

Toby Perkins MP for Chesterfield officially opens a new business in Chesterfield

Future House Therapy Centre is a new pain clinic and Holistic Training Academy, run by Martin Rothery, at South Place in Chesterfield. The centre offers different holistic therapies such as pain relief through hypnotherapy, reiki, laughter therapy and reflexology. Future House is also a training academy that provides training on many holistic therapies.

Toby Perkins MP opens Future House Therapy Centre.

Toby Perkins MP opens Future House Therapy Centre.

Speaking after the launch Toby said “It is always good to see new enterprises opening up in Chesterfield. I was delighted to be asked to open it, and wish everyone associated with it well. I knew nothing about the therapies on offer, so it was interesting to hear that people from across the country would be travelling to Chesterfield to be trained in these techniques. I will watch their progress with interest.”

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Toby Perkins 1

Toby Perkins MP Helps Dog Welfare Charity in Fight Against Puppy Smuggling

Toby Perkins MP highlights plight of smuggled puppies imported to fuel the Christmas puppy trade

Toby Perkins, MP for Chesterfield met with the Dog’s Trust at its annual House of Commons reception, where the charity – who coined the famous slogan ‘A dog is for Life, not just for Christmas’ – asked MPs for their support in the fight against Puppy Smuggling.

Underage puppies are being illegally imported into Great Britain from Central and Eastern Europe, and sold to unsuspecting members of the public. Over the last few months, nearly 100 dogs were seized by APHA (Animal and Plant Health Agency) at the borders, as dealers take advantage of the increased demand for puppies in the run up to Christmas. Dogs Trust has found that of the puppies who do survive the appalling conditions they are forced to travel in, many require emergency treatment – with dehydration and malnutrition among the horrific conditions they suffer from as a result of travelling for thousands of miles in cramped conditions, with no food or water.

Toby said:

“I’m very pleased to support Dogs Trust in raising awareness of the plight of illegally imported puppies, who suffer the most harrowing of journeys at the hands of these unscrupulous dealers. It’s imperative that the Government takes immediate action by enforcing proper checks at the ports and on-the-spot fines to deter these breeders and dealers, as well as introducing revised legislation as a priority when the UK leaves the EU. I really hope this will help to effectively regulate pet travel.”

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Toby with Heather Trueman and Julie Dixon from BANA

Toby Perkins MP supports National charity, based in Chesterfield

Toby with Heather Trueman and Julie Dixon from BANA

Toby with Heather Trueman and Julie Dixon from BANA

The British Acoustic Neuroma Association (BANA), a National charity based in Chesterfield, was visited recently by the local MP, Toby Perkins to discuss the work BANA does in providing support for those diagnosed with acoustic neuromas and how Toby can help them. BANA is the UK’s only national charity providing support and information for people affected by acoustic neuroma and the interrelated conditions, symptoms and effects.

An acoustic neuroma is a non-cancerous tumour of the nerve that connects the inner ear to the brain. Acoustic neuromas usually grow slowly and do not spread to other parts of the brain. The most common symptoms are loss of hearing in the affected ear, a buzzing or ringing noise, feeling dizzy and problems with balance. Depending on the size of the tumour, treatment can range from keeping an eye on it, radiotherapy or surgery to remove it. Surgery will result in a loss of hearing in the affected ear.

BANA provide a support service to those who have been diagnosed with acoustic neuroma allowing people to interact with other patients who have the same diagnosis. This prevents the sense of isolation that being diagnosed with a rare condition can bring. This does not have to be face to face, BANA also provide virtual platforms, such as a website forum and social media groups, to enable patients to interact with each other around the county.

Toby said: “I think it is great that a National charity, like BANA, have decided to have their headquarters in Chesterfield. Acoustic neuroma is a rare condition and I welcome the work BANA do in raising awareness of it and putting patients in touch with each other. Since my visit to BANA I have asked the Secretary of State for Health about acoustic neuroma and I await his answer.”

You can find out more information on acoustic neuroma and BANA at their website https://www.bana-uk.com/

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Toby with Chesterfield College Principal, Julie Richards

Further Education funding crisis threatens Derbyshire colleges

The Further Education funding crisis was the topic of discussion when Toby Perkins visited Chesterfield College last week.

Toby met with Principal, Julie Richards, to discuss the challenges the College faces if the funding for 16-19 years old education is not increased.

Toby said, “Julie and her team are doing a fantastic job and providing high quality education under difficult circumstances. However, the Government’s current funding formula for colleges is unfair and unsustainable. I have written to the Chancellor ahead of his Autumn Budget Statement to urge him to listen to the recommendations of the Association of Colleges and provide fairer funding for further education.”

The Government currently spends 4.3% of GDP on education and training, which is expected to fall at a time when student numbers are increasing. Per-pupil funding for 16-18-year-olds is 22% lower than the funding for 5 to 16-year-olds. The Government’s apprenticeship levy on businesses, introduced earlier this year, has also seen apprenticeship new starts reduce by 61% across England & Wales, placing further pressures on colleges.

Toby with Chesterfield College Principal, Julie Richards

Toby with Chesterfield College Principal, Julie Richards

Toby added, “There are many students who may have struggled in a school environment who then flourish once they are in college. If funding for further education is not increased it could push colleges to the brink, reduce course provision, increase the skills gap and mean the Government cannot deliver the 3 million apprenticeships they promised.”

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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

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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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