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Toby helping out in the galley on HMS Collingwood as part of the Parliamentary Armed Forces Scheme

Toby Perkins MP calls on Government to give our Armed Forces a ‘fair deal’

To mark Armed Forces Day on 24th June, Toby Perkins, Member of Parliament for Chesterfield, has called on the Government to give our Armed Forces a better deal.

Toby, who is Chair of the Labour Friends of the Forces, said “I am delighted to show my support for our Forces, serving personnel, Veterans and their families, on Armed Forces Day. It’s wonderful that we have a day that recognises the hard work and bravery of the forces community but of course they deserve our support all year round.

Government are rightly quick to praise our Armed Forces, but too often the warm words aren’t backed up by actions. Service personnel have seen reductions in pay and conditions, redundancies, more and more deployments and inadequate support for them and their families during and after they serve.

“I’ll be attending The Chesterfield Cadets Armed Forces Day at Wallis Barracks on Boythorpe Road and I look forward to celebrating the day with the whole community”.

Toby helping out in the galley on HMS Collingwood as part of the Parliamentary Armed Forces Scheme

Toby helping out in the galley on HMS Collingwood as part of the Parliamentary Armed Forces Scheme

The Chesterfield Cadets Armed Forces Day will celebrate our Armed Forces and help raise funds and awareness for the Sea and other Cadet units. Chesterfield Sea Cadets is one of the oldest units in

the UK. A number of Armed Forces and community information stalls will be onsite, together with children’s rides, BBQ, Charity Stalls, food and tea stalls, with a flyover from a Battle of Britain aircraft.

Toby added, “Our servicemen and women stand up for us every day, it’s especially important that we stand up for them on Armed Forces Day. I would encourage my constituents to come along to Wallis Barracks on Sunday and show their appreciation for all our Armed Forces personnel and veterans.”

The Wallis Barracks are open from 10am – 4pm on Sunday and will include a march through town from 10.15- 11am. Two weeks later, the Staveley Armed Forces Day will take place at Poolsbrook Country Park on 7th and 8th July.

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Toby with Douglas Fogg, Kevin Fogg and Madeline Makarem

Toby Perkins urges action to save vital ‘Meals On Wheels’ service

Toby Perkins, Labour Party Parliamentary Candidate, has called on the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) and Social Services to do all they can to ensure the RVS ‘Meals On Wheels’ service continues to provide meals to over a hundred elderly and vulnerable people in Derbyshire.

The RVS has decided that the service is no longer financially viable and will be closing on the 16th of June, leaving service users and their families concerned about how they will manage. Toby has met with representatives from the RVS and contacted senior managers, but the service is still scheduled for closure and redundancy notices issued to staff.

Toby visited one service user, Mr Douglas Fogg, a celebrated war hero who was recently awarded a medal by the Russian Federation for his role protecting Arctic convoys during the Second World War (http://www.derbyshiretimes.co.uk/news/chesterfield-s-arctic-heroes-awarded-russian-medal-1-7998551) to discuss how important the service is to him.

Toby said, “Like many of the people who use this service, Douglas is keen to remain in his own home and maintain as much independence as possible. The meals he receives enable him to do this. If the RVS cannot run the service, I urge them to work with the County Council’s Adult Social Care team to ensure that a new provider is found before.”

Toby with Douglas Fogg, Kevin Fogg and Madeline Makarem

Toby with Douglas Fogg, Kevin Fogg and Madeline Makarem

“Douglas has strong family support, but many other service users do not. This service is helping people to remain in the community, rather than being forced into residential care which would result in a far greater cost to the public purse. It is in the interests of everyone that this service is maintained.”

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Staveley Matters- Tell us your views on Banking and GPs

Toby with local business owners Keith Bannister and Tony Kay

Chesterfield Labour candidate Toby Perkins needs to hear your views on two issues that are crucial to Staveley and its people.

Banking

NatWest have suggested that they will be closing their branch in Staveley. Hundreds of local residents have already signed a petition in an attempt to keep the branch open. Local business owners have said that the closure of the NatWest branch in Staveley will be hugely damaging, both for the running of the businesses and the local economy.

Toby Perkins has spoken to senior management at NatWest who have said that they will provide a weekly mobile branch for businesses and training for internet and telephone banking. However, it is clear that many people in the area remain unhappy. Toby would like to hear your views below.

Doctors Surgeries

Doctors Surgeries in Staveley have been problematic in the last few years. Toby arranged for 600 people to attend a public meeting regarding the problems at Holywell Medical Group in 2014. This resulted in a change of ownership to Royal Primary Care which resulted in immediate improvements. However, whilst the administration has improved, there are again reports of problems with obtaining appointments. Are you a patient at the Inkersall or Rectory Road surgeries, What are you views?

Promoted by Chris Williams on behalf of Toby Perkins. Both at 113 Saltergate, Chesterfield, S40 1NF

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Chesterfield MP would like to hear from constituents who may be affected by potential changes to the prescribing of gluten-free products

Chesterfield MP would like to hear from constituents who may be affected by potential changes to the prescribing of gluten-free products

North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (NDCCG) are currently undertaking a review of all services they commission, which could see them stop providing gluten free foods on prescription.

Toby said, “Underfunding of the NHS by the Government is forcing Clinical Commissioning Groups to make some unacceptable and agonising choices about what treatments they can fund or items they can offer on prescription. NDCCG has identified gluten-free prescribing as potentially not being value for money due to insufficient health benefits it provides and this could reduce what the NHS are willing to provide.”

“I am conscious that for many constituents with coeliac disease these prescriptions are crucial and I am keen that their needs should be considered.”

NDCCG are asking for views on the following options for those with a clinical diagnosis of coeliac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis:

Option 1 – Stop providing gluten free foods on prescription altogether

Option 2 – Change the gluten free allowance to eight units per month for everyone eligible for gluten-free food on prescription and have much more limited products available on prescription (e.g. only loaves of bread, pasta and flour allowed on NHS Prescriptions) other products (e.g. breakfast cereals, pizza bases, bread rolls, crackers) would no longer be allowed.

Option 3 – Continue to follow the Coeliac Society’s recommendations for number of units (10 to 18 units depending on the age and sex of the patient) but have limited products available (e.g. only loaves of bread, pasta and flour allowed on NHS prescriptions) other products (e.g. breakfast cereals, pizza bases, bread rolls, crackers) would no longer be allowed, However, the total gluten free allowance would remain the same as it is currently

NDCCG’s consultation will run from 27th February 2017 until Saturday 27th May 2017. The online survey can be completed at: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/GlutenDerbys.

Further information about drop-in sessions at local surgeries and focus groups can be found on www.northderbyshireccg.nhs.uk

Toby said, “I am deeply concerned by the pressures facing the NHS and the impact that Government cuts will have on its sustainability. Alongside completing the survey, I hope that any constituents receiving gluten-free products will get in touch to let me know how these change may impact them”

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Arthritis Press Release Picture (2)

People with Arthritis need more support to work, says MP

Toby Perkins MP has called on the government to provide more support for workers with arthritis to help close the ‘arthritis employment gap’

Arthritis is the number one cause of pain, disability and working days lost, according to Arthritis Research UK, which highlighted the issue to Toby Perkins MP at a recent parliamentary briefing. Arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions like back pain affect one in six of us.

Musculoskeletal conditions cause pain, stiffness and fatigue that can make every day work tasks such as sitting, standing, walking, lifting, and typing difficult. They are the leading cause of workplace absence in the UK, causing 32.4 million sick days each year.

Only 60% of working age people with a musculoskeletal condition are in work, compared to 80% among those without a health condition or a disability. This ‘arthritis work gap’ means that 600,000 people with arthritis are currently missing out on the opportunity to work.

Now, following the Government’s Improving Lives consultation on employment support for disabled people, Toby Perkins MP is calling on the Government to ensure that people with arthritis have the support to stay at work for longer:

“It’s clear how enormous the impact of arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions is on our local communities. 19,170 residents are living with back pain, a leading cause of sickness absence, in Chesterfield right now – 18.47% % of local people.

“The ability to work is something that we often take for granted, but I’ve learnt today that for those living with arthritis this can be difficult. But with the right support and flexibility many people are able to work.’

“That’s why I’m supporting Arthritis Research UK’s ‘Work Matters to Me’ campaign, putting this vital issue on the map. The Government must ensure that there is a level playing field so that people with arthritis who are able to work have the right support to remain and return to work.”

Dr Liam O’Toole, chief executive officer at Arthritis Research UK, said:

“I’m delighted that Toby Perkins MP is supporting our campaign to give people with arthritis the freedom from their condition in employment, enabling them to live their lives to the full.

“The current situation for people living with the daily pain of arthritis is untenable. Arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions such as back pain are the number one cause for workplace sickness absence in the UK.”

“Our retirement age has increased and we’re an ageing working population, so even more people are going to be living with the pain and unpredictability of arthritis, and face an uncertain working future.”

“But with the right kind of support and job; work can benefit your mental and physical health as well as your financial position.”

“We need to see Government action to address the employment needs of people with long term conditions such as arthritis, so that they have the right support and opportunity to maintain their freedom and quality of life.”

To find out more about working when you are living with arthritis please visit our website at http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/arthritis-and-daily-life/work-and-arthritis.aspx

 

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Toby with centre manager, Dave Radford, outgoing chair, Sheelagh Hanson, and newly-elected chair, Fee Unwin

Toby Perkins MP congratulates Chesterfield & North Derbyshire Volunteer Centre on another successful year

Local MP Toby Perkins joined staff, volunteers and stakeholders at the Chesterfield & North East Derbyshire Volunteer’s annual general meeting (AGM), which marked another successful year for the organisation.

Toby said, “Volunteer organisations across the country have struggled over the last few years but The Volunteer Centre remains resilient during these tough times. Much of this is due to the excellent fundraising skills of the centre manager, Dave Radford, and because of the hard work of the staff, volunteers and board, who really go above and beyond for the people they are supporting.”

The Volunteer Centre, which is based on Knifesmithgate in Chesterfield town centre, has over 250 volunteer-supporting organisations registered with them and provides a number of services across the Borough and North East Derbyshire. Toby presented a special recognition ward to volunteer, Brian Veasey, and to the Chair, Sheelagh Hanson, who is standing down after 4 years in the role.

Toby made special mention of the Centre’s ‘Elderfriends’ befriending service, which is aimed at lonely and socially isolated people who are over 50 years old and live in Chesterfield and NE Derbyshire.

Toby with centre manager, Dave Radford, outgoing chair, Sheelagh Hanson, and newly-elected chair, Fee Unwin

Toby with centre manager, Dave Radford, outgoing chair, Sheelagh Hanson, and newly-elected chair, Fee Unwin

Toby said, “With the huge pressures on social care and cuts to council budgets, there are many older people who are not receiving the support they need and are becoming increasingly isolated and cut off from the community. The Elderfriends service is a vital lifeline for many vulnerable and lonely people in Chesterfield. They currently have over 400 people waiting for befrienders and I would urge more people to volunteer with the service”.

Toby is supporting the new Parliamentary Commission on Loneliness, which was originally conceived by Jo Cox, the MP for Batley & Spen who was murdered last year.

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Toby with CSC Unite rep, Colin Walker

Chesterfield MP calls for parliamentary debate on CSC job losses

Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), which has an office on Old Road in Brampton, announced plans to cut another 1,100 jobs ahead of a potential merger with a division of U.S. Computer giant, Hewlett Packard. Following a meeting with Union reps, Toby Perkins, MP for Chesterfield, has called for a debate in Parliament to discuss the job losses and potential effect on government contracts delivered by CSC.

Toby said, “Over the last 4 months, CSC has announced plans to cut over 1500 jobs, which is a third of their workforce. When this number of jobs are cut in the steel industry, it becomes front page news and questions are raised at PMQs, and it should be no different for the IT industry. CSC deliver services for the NHS,  The Passport Office, The Metropolitan Police, and many other arms of Government and it is only right that MPs get to scrutinise the potential effect on public services”

Toby has now applied for an Adjournment Debate in the House of Commons and is arranging a meeting with union representatives and the MPs from all the areas where CSC have sites. Unite the

Toby with CSC Unite rep, Colin Walker

Toby with CSC Unite rep, Colin Walker

Union have criticised CSC management for the lack of transparency in the decision-making process and accused the company of seeing workers as “collateral damage” in the pursuit of a merger deal.

Toby added, “I will be doing what I can to keep job losses in Chesterfield to an absolute minimum and to ensure that any losses do not impact on public services or compromise personal data”

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Toby with the school council and governor, Cllr Keith Mils, at Spire Junior School

‘Running for cash is the only alternative to sacking staff’

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins questioned the Prime Minister on the new national schools funding formula after a local school serving a deprived area was told it would receive the biggest cuts in Derbyshire. The funding formula dictates that Spire Junior School will lose funding equating to £17,000 per annum.

Toby highlighting the cuts to school funding at PMQs

Toby highlighting the cuts to school funding at PMQs

Spire Junior School serves an area of high deprivation, it is ranked 3rd in the list of Derbyshire schools by both deprivation indicator and Free School Meals, with 70% of pupils receiving Free School Meals.

This is the school where the Government launched their Pupil premium initiative. The pupil premium was supposed to give additional funding to publically funded schools, to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils of all abilities, closing the gaps between them and their peers.

The Governments complicity in stripping the most deprived schools of funding is shameful.

Dave Shaw the Headteacher of Spire Junior School, was going to run the Great North Run, for a cancer charity, but Governments cuts mean that running for cash is the only alternative to sacking staff.

Toby with the school council and governor, Cllr Keith Mils, at Spire Junior School

Toby with the school council and governor, Cllr Keith Mils, at Spire Junior School

 

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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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