|Welcome to my third newsletter as Member of Parliament of Nottingham North. As Parliament rose yesterday so it’s now recess and my first spell in Westminster is over already! This break means I’ll be able to spend more time in the constituency, meeting groups and people and continuing to hear what you need to be working toward when I return in September. The first few weeks have been a hectic learning experience as I’ve got to grips with all the procedures and protocols, but I’m already raring to get back and keep fighting.
As I’ve said before, I will strive to send you a newsletter like this each Friday to keep you updated on the work I’m doing in Parliament as well as in our community, and to inform you of any interesting events taking place in our area. To help me with the latter, if you are running or know of anything that you think may be of interest to others, feel free to drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will include it in future issues. Please also forward it onto anyone you think may be interested. Now onto business…
This week in Parliament
Patient standards in the NHS are getting worse and worse as Tory underfunding and neglect have pushed the health service to the limits – but the crisis affecting the NHS shows no sign of easing. The latest NHS performance data for May includes a doubling of delayed transfers of care since May 2014, missed cancer and 4-hour A&E targets – such as the 1 in 5 visitors spending more than 4 hours in Nottingham’s A&E, and over 3.8 million patients stuck on waiting lists.
Urgent action is needed and now I will be part of the team fighting for it, as the Shadow Secretary of State for Health, Jon Ashworth MP, announced on Saturday that I would be joining the Labour Frontbench Health Team as his Parliamentary Private Secretary. I’m very proud to be given this and can’t wait to get to work on holding the Government to account on their health failures. I’ll be making sure that it does not distract from my constituency work but I know locally there is a lot of concern regarding the NHS so I think it will fit well.
Urgent action is needed and I will work hard so that Labour calls for a sustainable funding package for health and social care aren’t ignored. We need an appropriate Brexit strategy and pay settlement for staff, to ensure our health service remains a world-class service in years to come. This is necessary not only for my constituents in Nottingham North, but for millions throughout the country and I’ll be applying my experience with the Health Portfolio on Nottingham City Council to achieve it.
My new appointment meant attending my first meetings as part of this team, but I also had time to meet with several organisations who are working towards progress that will help those living in Nottingham North, and I look forward to working alongside some of them to help reach these important positive outcomes. Groups I met include: the Sutton Trust, who are working to improve social mobility in education – a vital step in helping people in areas like Nottingham North receive the right opportunities to get themselves out of poverty; Mind, the mental health charity; Ovarian Cancer Action, and the International Fund for Animal Welfare.
You may have picked up the sense from these emails that most of my work is taking place outside of the Chamber. That’s because the Government is doing very little governing at the moment. The Queen’s Speech had very little in it beyond Brexit so much of the time is filled up with “General Debates.” They also blocked the Opposition parties getting due time for raising our issues in this two year Parliament. This shows very clearly how difficult the Government is finding even getting through the week – it can’t go on like this.
In the constituency
The primary engagement of my time on constituency business was meeting with the Leader and the Chief Executive of Nottingham City Council, Jon Collins and Ian Curryer, respectively. Along with my fellow Nottingham MPs, Lilian Greenwood and Chris Leslie, we had a productive meeting, discussing how we will be working together for Nottingham over the next five years. Issues we discussed included Broadmarsh, economic plans for the city and the implications of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
As we see in Parliament, it’s all too easy for Nottingham to be ignored, let alone the outer estates here in Nottingham North, so combining our efforts will be essential to make sure the Government give us what we deserve from what we contribute to the UK economy, education, culture, and sporting landscapes, amongst many others.
There was an example of this on Monday. While I was in the Chamber attempting to secure an opportunity to question the Ministers for Communities and Local Government, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth, Jake Berry MP, was asked about the Core Cities’ (ten of the UK’s main cities, including Nottingham) involvement in Brexit negotiations. The Minister informed the House that the four cities with directly-elected mayors have been invited to meet the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, David Davis MP, but for no clear reason the other six, which includes Nottingham, would not be involved. I immediately wrote to David Davis asking him to meet with Jon Collins, the leader of Nottingham City Council, as Nottingham too deserves a say.
Following this I met with the city’s Chief Planner to talk about an issue that people had raised locally. I hope to be able to talk more about this in future weeks.
Constituents have also raised concerns regarding changes at the newly-formed Nottingham College. I will be meeting Trade Union reps and the College Chief Executive shortly and will update you following that.
Today I will be holding a surgery at Bulwell Riverside. I know from my time as a Councillor that it is important that elected representatives hold surgeries – constituents want to be able to meet their representatives face to face to discuss their issues. I’m also very clear that with a full-time office up and running I want people to get in touch as soon as they need us rather than waiting for the surgery, as often these cases are very urgent – but ultimately that is up to the constituent to choose. I will let you have the full surgery schedule once it is finished.
I want these emails to be as interesting as possible. That means there’ll be some politics – it’s important that I am held accountable. But I also want to offer information about what’s on locally. So, if you have an event you’d like me to advertise, let me know.
Bestwood Park Church’s Bestop Kitchen
Social Eating Event, Donations Welcome
Bestwood Park Church, Beckhampton Road, NG5 5NG
Every Tuesday, 12-3pm
March across the city begins at Castlegate
Saturday July 29th, 11am onwards
For further information please see www.nottinghamshirepride.co.uk
Coming Together Day
Aspley councillors present a free event celebrating all our communities in Aspley
Minver Crescent Sports Centre, Minver Crescent, Aspley, NG8 5PN
Saturday July 29th, 1-5pm
If you would like your events advertised here, or further information on those advertised, please email me at email@example.com.
That’s all for now! Details of how to get in touch or to have a look at the things I’m doing are below…
All the best,
How to contact me
If you would like to contact me, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or give my Nottingham North constituency office a ring on 0115 975 2377.
If you are a constituent from Nottingham North e-mailing me regarding a casework issue you are my priority, so please ensure your message includes:
- your full name
- your full postal address, including postcode
- a contact telephone number and
- any helpful details relevant to your case such as date of birth, reference numbers etc.
Strict parliamentary protocol means I can only deal with issues on behalf of my own constituents. If you aren’t sure whether or not you live in Nottingham North, you can check who your local MP is by entering your postcode online here: findyourmp.parliament.uk.
You may also wish to write to me with your concerns. If so please send your correspondence to Alex Norris MP, House of Commons, London, SW1A OAA. All constituents who take the time and trouble to write a personal letter will receive a reply as a matter of priority.
Other useful links
· Alex’s Website: click here.
· Alex’s Twitter: click here.
· Nottingham City Council: click here.
· Find your MP: click here.
· Register to vote: click here.
· School term dates in Nottingham: click here.
· If you’d like to learn more about the Labour party their website is here.
· To join the Labour Party click here.
· Nottingham BBC news: click here.
· East Midlands BBC news: click here.
· Nottingham Post: click here.
· Notts TV: click here.
· Benefits Information: Here’s an excellent site that allows you to find out exactly what benefits you are eligible to claim: EntitledTo
· Housing: please contact your City Council
· Problems with benefits or the Child Support Agency? The Citizens Advice Bureau and the Nottingham Welfare Rights Service can give advice. Remember to have your National Insurance number handy if you make an inquiry.
· Local schools / education matters: please contact your City Council.
· Employment rights: see Citizens Advice Bureau or the Trades Union Congress for info.
· Social services, environmental health, noise nuisance, parking, and Council Tax should all be addressed to the City Council.
· Another useful website on public services is Direct.gov.
For the main Parliamentary website click here and to explore the Parliamentary education site click here.