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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, GCHQ, The Passport Office, The Metropolitan Police, 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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Toby speaking in last night's debate

MP battles for Chesterfield in HS2 debate

Local MP, Toby Perkins, attended a late night debate in Parliament regarding the planned M18 route for HS2 which would ensure the high-speed rail link included Chesterfield.

At a debate which went on until almost 2am, Toby demanded that any changes ensure Chesterfield remains part of the plans. Toby said in the debate:

Toby speaking in last night's debate

Toby speaking in last night’s debate

From the perspective of Chesterfield, may I tell the Minister that we were actually quite pleased with the change, because it brings in the whole north Derbyshire area, and up to about 400,000 people? Whatever comes out of this, can we make sure that Chesterfield is served either by the route he is now proposing, or by the route to the east of Chesterfield?

https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2017-02-06/debates/E650CA55-5866-4CB7-A2FF-A51B7C5CC693/HighSpeed2Yorkshire

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Toby with the Jim Savage, Chair of the Hope Springs Recovery Centre, who retired last week

MP’s support leads to cash boost for local charity

An award winning local charity which supports people battling alcohol and substance addictions has secured vital funding from Derbyshire County Council following intervention from Chesterfield MP, Toby Perkins.

Toby visited the Hope Springs Recovery Centre this week to thank the charity’s Chairman, Jim Savage, who was officially retiring from his role, for his hard work and dedication. Jim also thanked Toby for his intervention and the representations he made to Derbyshire County Council, which has resulted in the Council making a further £18k in funding available so that the Centre can continue with its vital work.

Toby said, “Jim has put his heart and soul in to the Hope Springs Recovery Centre, making a huge difference to local people in recovery. I am so pleased that my assistance has helped secure this funding and enables

Jim to retire knowing the Centre is in a better financial position.”

The Hope Springs Recovery Centre is run entirely by volunteers, providing a free brunch for service users on Mondays and Fridays, as well as a mixture of activities, group sessions and one-to-one support. There is a

Toby with the Jim Savage, Chair of the Hope Springs Recovery Centre, who retired last week

Toby with the Jim Savage, Chair of the Hope Springs Recovery Centre, who retired last week

cycling club, allotment project, photography group, meditation classes, relapse awareness sessions and many other activities designed to help with recovery.

Toby added, “Without people like Jim and his team of volunteers, these services just wouldn’t be possible. We should also pay tribute to the County Council, whose financial support is helping the Centre to survive and thrive.”

 

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Over 40,000 in Chesterfield can save hundreds of pounds on energy

Toby Perkins backs the Energy Switch Guarantee, an industry initiative to make switching supplier simpler, quicker and safer.

 

More than 84% of households in Chesterfield are missing out on hundreds of pounds of energy savings that can be made by switching energy provider.

 

The Energy Switch Guarantee – launched in June – is a set of ten commitments designed to offer customers more confidence in the switching process.img_3334

 

The signatories of the Guarantee will make sure the switch is completed in twenty-one days. The Guarantee gives customers the extra assurance that the switch will be fast and reliable.

 

Toby Perkins MP said:

 

“I want to see that 84% of households in Chesterfield save hundreds of pounds by switching their gas and electricity supplier this winter.  

 

People tell me that if you’ve been with the same supplier for years switching can seem like a daunting task that is why I support the Energy Switch Guarantee which promises to make switching simple and smooth for everyone.”

 

Tina Tietjen, independent chair of the Energy Switch Guarantee said:

 

“I encourage people to shop around this winter for the best deal for them. Customers can save hundreds of pounds and with the Energy Switch Guarantee they are assured a simple, speedy and safe switch.

 

“The Guarantee is a major commitment by suppliers – from the largest to some of the newest suppliers in the market – to make switching simple and quick. It is designed to reassure consumers who may have reservations about switching.”

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GUEST BLOG: Chesterfield Resident, Charles R. Smith MBE

Dear Editor,
During my 96 years I have heard many new Prime Ministers making promises on what they will do. Theresa May claims she will look after the working class. I shall test this by her actions.
First; many workers get no pensions or sick pay from their employers. I have a friend who was made redundant as a project manager and rather than be unemployed went back on the tools some years ago. I have known him 22 years and until last month he’d only had two days off sick. Following an operation he has to be off work for 6 weeks with only state sickness benefit. What will Theresa May do about this?
Secondly; hundreds of thousands of employees can work only part time because of their responsibilities for children, disabled relatives or the elderly. They are unable to earn more than the £11000 tax free income but like the rest of us have been paying and extra 2.5 pence in the £ on VAT imposed in 2010.
Thirdly; university students from the poorest families who got their degrees this year have student debts of about £55000 and while the bank rate has gone down to 0.25%, the interest on the loan has been increased to 4.2%, increasing the debt by £200 a month. This is a treadmill which Theresa May should stop.

Yours sincerely,
Charles R Smith MBE

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Photography by Jason Bye
t:   07966 173 930
e: mail@jasonbye.com
w: http://www.jasonbye.com

MP says more must be done to tackle assaults on Police Officers

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins has called on the government to take steps to keep Police Officers safe from attacks after an event in Parliament which highlighted the shocking extent of the problem.

During the ‘Protect the Protectors’ event in Parliament Mr Perkins met with members of the Police Federation and serving Police Officers to discuss the latest assault figures and discuss how violence towards the police affected their ability to protect their communities.

The most recent Home Office figures on police officer assaults are for the financial year 2015/16. They show that there were approximately 23,000 assaults on Police Officers with over 400 assaults in Derbyshire alone.

However even this is thought to be an underestimate as the Home Office believe that many assaults go unreported. In addition some police forces do not collect data recording the total number of assaults meaning that the national figures provide an incomplete picture of the situation.Photography by Jason Bye t: 07966 173 930 e: mail@jasonbye.com w: http://www.jasonbye.com

Nick Smart, chairman of West Yorkshire Police Federation, which represents police officers said:

“An assault on a police officer is an assault on society and more needs to be done to keep them safe.”

“Officers accept the risk and the public also understand the dangers of the job, but the amount of assaults taking place is alarming,”

Toby Perkins said:

“Today’s campaign is about asking the Home office to record all instances of assaults on officers. This will enable us to really understand the scale of the problem, and do something about it.

We are also calling for tougher sentences for those who assault the police. The courts must be able to provide a strong deterrent against attacks on our front line officers.”

 

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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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