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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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Chesterfield MP met with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

Chesterfield MP met with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

Learning different ways to protect Derbyshire wildlife was the focus of Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins visit to a local Trust.

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust is the local organisation that works to protect all wildlife across the county. The Trust manages nature reserves and works with communities, schools and landowners to promote and protect the natural environment.

Toby Perkins learnt how to encourage and protect wildlife in urban areas, such as Chesterfield. The Trust have put forward their recommendations for planning new homes, which create nature-friendly housing by planting wildlife-rich green spaces, walkways, gardens, wetlands and other natural features.

Toby said “It was really interesting to hear about how we can all help towards protecting local wildlife and encourage more species into our gardens and community spaces. It is vitally important that government take these issues seriously and protects our environment in rural and urban areas, for future generations to come.”

For more information about the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and how you can help, visit their website http://www.derbyshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/

 

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As Chair of the APPG for Pubs Toby hosted the CAMRA Reception and had a Meeting with the Minister for Business and Industry

As Chair of the APPG for Pubs Toby hosted the CAMRA Reception and had a Meeting with the Minister for Business and Industry

As Chair of the APPG for Pubs Toby has both hosted the CAMRA Reception and had a Meeting with the Minister for Business and Industry as a follow-up meeting to the debate of the 23rd of January on the Application of the Pubs Code.

On the 21st of February Toby attended a follow-up meeting with the Minister for Business and Industry on the Application of the Pubs Code.

Toby met with, the Minister for Business and Industry Richard Harrington, former BIS Select Committee Chair Adrian Bailey MP, the Pubs Code Adjudicator and the Deputy Pubs Code Adjudicator.

In this meeting, questions and concerns that were raised in the Westminster Hall Debate on the Application of the Pubs Code were put to the PCA and Deputy PCA.

These included the arbitration process, work being conducted on the current backlog of cases and arbitration vs adjudication.

Following the meeting, Toby said “I was encouraged by the DPCA determination to get more decisions made and to hear that there is a reduction in the number of elements of contractual disputes in recent adjudication requests. I was also pleased to hear an acknowledgement that the backlog and adjudication decisions were too big and that the DPCA does see an increase in ‘free of tie’ deals as a likely and desirable outcome”.

Whilst the Pubs Code has not yet had the desired effect, I left the meeting hopeful that it would be more robustly applied in the future.

On the 27th of February Toby joined CAMRA in hosting a Parliamentary Reception

The reception celebrated a freeze in beer duty, the extension of the £1000 relief in business rates and the More Than A Pub Programme.

The freeze in beer duty was announced in last year’s Autumn Budget, as a result of the freeze, a pint of beer is 12p cheaper than if prices had kept rising.

The extension of the £1,000 relief in business rates means that pubs will get £1,000 off their business rates bill if you’re a pub in England with a rateable value of less than £100,000. The relief is applied between the 1st of April 2017 and 31st of March 2018.

The More Than A Pub Programme is an Initiative set up to help community groups purchase their local pub. To date, they have helped 18 groups take ownership of their pub and they hope to help 80 in total with the fund.

Toby said “The pub industry is important economically and socially. There are still big challenges facing us, business rates are still too high, the highest corporate property tax in Europe and viable pubs are still under threat from property speculators and developers, this reception highlighted those challenges again, whilst celebrating the achievements too”.

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Toby Perkins MP visited the Chesterfield museum for their very first LGBTQ+ exhibition called “Other Stories”

Toby Perkins MP visited the Chesterfield museum for their very first LGBTQ+ exhibition called “Other Stories”

On the 16th of February Toby Perkins MP visited the Chesterfield museum for their very first LGBTQ+ exhibition called “Other Stories”, which gave people the chance to see the story the of the LGBTQ+ community in chesterfield.

The exhibition which was opened on the 2nd Feb 2018 and will remain open until the 7th Apr 2018 explores the personal stories and social history of the LGBT+ community in Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire.

The experiences of North East Derbyshire LGBT+ community reveal devastating cases of discrimination and prejudice but also examples of self-determination, resilience and creativity. 50 years on from the 1967 Sexual Offences Act, the exhibition offers a reflection on the significant advances that have been made and recognises that there is still work to be done for full equality. The exhibit also showed the views of those in the LGBTQ+ community in the present day, with reference to legislative and public attitude changes.

On his visit Mr Perkins said “It was a pleasure to be invited as one of the first people to experience this exhibition. Throughout my time as the Member of Parliament for Chesterfield I have always championed LGBTQ+ rights and ‘Other Stories’ is a reflection on how the people of Chesterfield have been vocal in their support for a community that have previously been marginalised. It also shows the sacrifices and injustices done to many members of the LGBTQ+ community and it is important that we remember that intolerance”

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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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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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