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Toby pledging support for Arthritis Research UK's 'Prevent, Transform, Cure' manifesto

MP urges government action to help people living with the pain of arthritis

Arthritis Research UK, whose head Office is based in Chesterfield, attended Labour Party conference last month to urge Labour MPs to back their plans to improve healthcare services for people living with arthritis.

Toby Perkins, MP for Chesterfield, has been a strong supporter of the charity and is calling on the Government to take on board Arthritis Research UK’s ‘Prevent, Transform, Cure’ manifesto and help the thousands of people in Chesterfield living every day with the pain of arthritis.

Toby said, “I became an Arthritis Champion earlier this year and have been working to put issues affecting people

Toby pledging support for Arthritis Research UK's 'Prevent, Transform, Cure' manifesto

Toby pledging support for Arthritis Research UK’s ‘Prevent, Transform, Cure’ manifesto

with arthritis at the forefront of Parliament’s agenda. I call on the Government to ensure arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions are a public health priority. It is vital that the NHS improve access to services and that we provide real support to people with arthritis to help them continue to work and lead independent lives.

Arthritis is the single biggest cause of disability and pain across the country with 10 million people living with arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions such as back pain. The pain, fatigue and lack of mobility caused by arthritis affects every aspect of a person’s life, making everyday tasks such as making a cup of tea, travelling to work or getting out of bed extremely difficult.

As well as the personal impact, these conditions amount to the third largest area of NHS spending, with an annual budget of £4.8 billion, and are the cause of one in five working days lost in the UK.

Toby said, “arthritis and related conditions are the third largest area of NHS spending, costing an estimated £4.8 billion every year. They are also the cause of one in every five working days lost in the UK. BY improving the support available and investing in research, we can transform people’s lives and reduce the impact on our economy.”

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CONF - GUIDE DOGS

Toby Perkins MP shows red card to taxi refusals

The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association put Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins taxi hailing skills to the test in a football-themed game aimed at highlighting the difficulties caused for blind people turned away by taxi drivers.

Toby said, “I have been contacted by disabled constituents in the past who have been turned away by taxi drivers due to having a wheelchair or an assistance dog with them and it has left them frustrated and hurt. Drivers need to be aware that this isn’t just a case of bad service, they are breaking the law.”

The Equality Act 2010 makes it illegal for a taxi or minicab driver to refuse to take an assistance dog or to charge extra for carrying it. However, Guide Dogs research found that 42% of assistance dog owners have been turned away by a taxi or minicab in a one-year period because of their dog. The research also uncovered that 38% of assistance dog owners have been asked to pay an extra fare for carrying their dog.

Toby said, “I support The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association campaign calling for all taxi and minicab drivers to undertake disability equality training so they understand the rights and needs of disabled passengers and feel confident to offer assistance. I urge the Government to introduce legislation making this a requirement of all minicab and taxi licences”.

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Toby at the launch of the 'Keep Pubs Afloat' campaign

Toby Perkins MP calls on Chancellor to Keep Pubs Afloat

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins has joined with representatives of the UK’s beer drinkers, pub goers, brewers and publicans to urge the Chancellor to keep pubs afloat in the Autumn Budget.

Toby, who is the Chair of the AllParty Parliamentary Group for Pubs, has called on the Chancellor to provide an annual £5,000 business rate relief for pubs in England and freeze in beer duty for the rest of this Parliament.

Toby said: “In Chesterfield and the surrounding area we have 3 breweries, 105 pubs and the industry supports over 1,300 jobs. Pubs are already under huge pressure with hundreds closing their doors every year. Every time a pub closes, our communities lose out socially and economically. Pubs are struggling under the weight of a growing tax burden, with each paying nearly £140,000 on average in tax every year and I call on the Chancellor to do all he can to protect pubs this autumn.”

Toby at the launch of the ‘Keep Pubs Afloat’ campaign

Reviews of business rates across England mean many pubs are being hit with a massive new financial burden, which in some cases could only be covered by them selling thousands of extra pints of beer every year. UK beer duty is among the highest in Europe, with tax making up a third of every pint. Recent research carried out by YouGov for CAMRA found that 55% of people think beer duty is too high at 54 pence per pint.

Toby said: “A freeze in beer duty and an annual £5k business relief rate could save thousands of pubs from closure. The Government need to get serious about supporting our pubs before it is too late”.

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Toby chairing a roundtable meeting between local business owners and customers and Natwest representatives

Chesterfield MP chairs crunch talks meeting ahead of NatWest branch closure in Staveley

Toby Perkins MP chaired a meeting last week to give residents and local businesses the opportunity to speak to representatives from the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) about their concerns with the planned closure of the NatWest branch in Staveley.

Toby chairing a roundtable meeting between local business owners and customers and Natwest representatives

Toby chairing a roundtable meeting between local business owners & customers and NatWest representatives

Toby said, “Sadly, the battle to save this branch appears to be over and the decision is final. As one local business owners said at the meeting, this feels like ‘one branch closure too far’. I share the

concerns raised at the meeting regarding the potential impact the closure will have on local businesses and the difficulties it will create for customers who are not confident with online banking. I am pleased that RBS agreed to this meeting so that they can take the passionate and frank views of my constituents back to the senior managers making these decisions.”

“The Staveley branch still has a high customer turnover and is still seen as a hub of the community, with customers coming from Bolsover, Eckington, and other villages. It is increasing footfall into Staveley and providing customers for other town centre businesses.”

Customers will still be able to deposit and withdraw money at the Post Office in Staveley and a mobile bank will visit the area once a week where customers will be able to deposit larger sums and complete other banking, such as transfers. RBS have deployed ‘TechXperts’ in the branch to help assist customers with learning about online and telephone banking, and to assist customers with using the Post Office for their banking.

Jane Solomon, NatWest Local CEO, said, “We are very grateful to Toby for arranging the meeting last week. We know how much the branch means to customers and the local community and did not take this decision lightly – it was as a result of a long-term change in the way our customers are banking with us and after careful consideration. While we will not be reversing our decision, our local team – including our TechXperts – are committed to supporting our customers with the full range of options so they can continue to bank locally in the way that suits them best”.

Toby with Keith Bannister, right, the owner of Tillys Bar and Harley's Bar in Staveley and Tony Kay from Kay's Carpets with a 900 name petition against the closure of the town's NatWest branch

Toby with Keith Bannister, right, the owner of Tillys Bar and Harley’s Bar in Staveley and Tony Kay from Kay’s Carpets with a 900 name petition against the closure of the town’s NatWest branch

Toby added, “The growth in online banking has understandably led to some branches closing but it appears that the ease of use of online banking for some customers has come at the cost of branch closures for the rest. Whilst I appreciate the efforts NatWest continue to make to help all customers go online, I am hugely disappointed that this busy branch will close. I will also be seeking assurances from the Post Office that they will be able to cope with the added footfall.”

 

 

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Toby on a recent visit to New Beetwell Street Bus Station to discuss the homelessness issues in Chesterfield

Universal Credit could lead to an increase in homelessness, warns Chesterfield MP

Toby Perkins, MP for Chesterfield, has this week written to the Secretary of State for Work & Pensions, raising concerns about the roll-out of Universal Credit (UC) and calling for it to be postponed.

Toby said,Chesterfield is recording rough sleeping levels similar to what we would previously only expect in city centres. This is putting vulnerable people at risk and has led to an increase in street drinking and antisocial behaviour in the town centre. I have spoken to a variety of agencies and housing providers, all of whom are concerned that Universal Credit will lead to further evictions, more people on the streets and increased pressure on services.”

A recent report by the Association of Retained Council Housing and the National Federation of ALMOs has highlighted that for claimants on Universal Credit, 73% were in arrears in March 2017, compared to 31% of non-UC claimants, with average arrears almost double amongst UC claimants. Research done by the Citizens Advice Bureau has also shown huge delays in claims due to maladministration that has resulted in severe hardship and rent arrears for claimants.

Universal Credit will also mean that the Housing Element, which is currently paid as Housing Benefit direct to councils, housing associations and landlords, will be paid directly to claimants.

Toby on a recent visit to New Beetwell Street Bus Station to discuss the homelessness issues in Chesterfield

Toby on a recent visit to New Beetwell Street Bus Station to discuss problems homelessness and rough sleeping in Chesterfield

Housing providers and charities have warned that this could result in many claimants not paying their rent and becoming at risk of homelessness.

Toby added, “The Borough Council, Police and local agencies are working together to try and address the homelessness situation in town, but they also need Government to take action. The

Government need to put Universal Credit on hold until they have investigated the concerns raised from the pilot areas and made changes to ensure it does not lead to hardship, rent arrears and more people losing their homes.”

You can read the full letter Toby has written to the Secretary of State for Work & Pensions : Toby letter to Damian Green MP

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Capture

MP celebrates as National Lottery investment in Chesterfield’s heritage hits £5,322,554 million

Toby Perkins MP, the Member of Parliament for Chesterfield has today welcomed news that £5,322,554 of National Lottery money has been invested in Chesterfield’s heritage projects since 1994.

Toby said: “Chesterfield has an incredibly rich history and I’m delighted to learn that thanks to the National Lottery local people have been exploring and enjoying that heritage. Just like many towns and cities across the UK, the Chesterfield we live in today was shaped by the First World War.”

From exploring local archaeology and restoring local parks and buildings to protecting wildlife and researching local history, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded more than 40 grants to heritage projects in the area.

Now, HLF is encouraging people in Chesterfield to apply for grants between £3,000 and £10,000 to undertake projects exploring the impact and legacy of the First World War beyond 1918.

Toby has welcomed the continued investment in preserving Chesterfield’s historical sites and ensuring the towns rich heritage is preserved

Toby added, “The projects and events that the Heritage Lottery Fund have funded in Chesterfield not only ensure we remember and celebrate our history, but are important in increasing tourism in the area and boosting the local economy. I strongly encourage local people to make use of the money available from the HLF and I am happy to lend my support to funding bids.”

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Toby Perkins is urging the Government to take action now on Fixed Odd Betting Terminals

Toby Perkins MP pledges to become an Arthritis Champion for Chesterfield

Toby Perkins MP has pledged to work alongside leading charity, Arthritis Research UK to represent the thousands of people in Chesterfield living every day with the pain of arthritis.

Toby said, “There are thousands of my constituents living in constant pain due to arthritis and they need timely access to healthcare services to manage their condition and improve their musculoskeletal health.”

Arthritis is the single biggest cause of disability and pain across the country with 10 million people living with arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions such as back pain. The pain, fatigue and lack of mobility caused by arthritis affects every aspect of a person’s life, making everyday tasks such as making a cup of tea, travelling to work or getting out of bed extremely difficult.

As well as the personal impact, these conditions amount to the third largest area of NHS spending, with an annual budget of £4.8 billion, and are the cause of one in five working days lost in the UK.

Toby Perkins has pledged to support Arthritis Research UK’s Prevent, Transform, Cure manifesto in Parliament as an Arthritis Champion, which calls for arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions to be a public health priority, to improve access to services and to increase the support to people with arthritis to help them continue to work.

Speaking about becoming an arthritis champion, Toby Perkins said, “I’m proud to champion Arthritis Research UK’s policy calls to tackle the prevention, transformation and cure of arthritis. We need to put the issues affecting people with arthritis at the forefront of Parliament’s agenda. I will be meeting with Dr Liam O’Toole, chief executive officer of Arthritis Research UK, at the charity’s head office in Chesterfield, to discuss how we can ensure arthritis sufferers are getting the support and services they need.”

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chesterfield station2

Victory for HS2 campaign in boost for Chesterfield

Chesterfield has received a major boost with the confirmation that the High Speed rail service will now definitely serve the Town.

The original plans for HS2 passed through Chesterfield to the East, but lobbying from Town MP Toby Perkins, the local Labour Council and the business community has borne fruit in spectacular style.

The Government announced that they have opted for a proposal which stops at Chesterfield and Sheffield City Centre and requires electrification of the line up to Chesterfield and up to Sheffield to Leeds reducing train journey times North to Leeds as well as south to London.

HS2 is the planned high speed railway that will link London to the Midlands and North, and is due to be completed by around 2033. The East midlands is set to benefit hugely from the HS2 with an increase of between 2.2% and 4.3% in output by 2037, due to the plans.

There was further welcome news as confirmation was also received that HS2 will create jobs at a new Staveley maintenance depot, offering the prospect of high skilled engineering jobs and apprenticeships for local young people long into the future.

Although HS2 is not due to be completed for another 15-20 years, it is a valuable updating of Britain’s Victorian Train infrastructure, reucing journey times between major towns and cities and  freeing up space for passengers travelling on existing rail networks. The building of HS2 will also create thousands of local jobs.

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins said: “ There have been legitimate criticisms about the process that has been followed, but we have managed to persuade HS2 to continue their investment in the Staveley depot, undo their damaging proposal that would have undermined the Chesterfield Canal and now to introduce the Chesterfield stop that will open up shorter journey times (of around 1 hour 15 minutes to London) to travellers across Chesterfield and the North East Midlands.”

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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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