My Newsletter 8/9/17

Welcome to my latest newsletter as Member of Parliament of Nottingham North.

As Parliament returned from Summer Recess this week, I said goodbye to my previous role, as I have now resigned from Nottingham City Council. It was a tremendous honour to represent Basford on the Council, but I don’t believe it is a good idea to be both a Councillor and an MP so I have stepped down. Of course, I’m not going far and will still be giving Basford and the whole constituency the best voice I can in Parliament.

This means there will be a by-election for my former seat in Basford, as well as the two others in Nottingham North, so I look forward to being on campaign trail this weekend and beyond.

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 alex.norris.mp@parliament.uk and I will include it in future issues. Please also forward it onto anyone you think may be interested. 

In Parliament

After a 6 week break from Parliament, my first week back in Westminster has been something of a lucky one, being drawn to question Government Ministers on two separate occasions.

On Tuesday, I questioned the Justice Ministers. My first question was to highlight the Government’s shameful behaviour in charging people for fighting against unfair treatment at work through Employment Tribunals. Our Supreme Court ruled this an unlawful restriction of access to justice. Regrettably I did not get called to ask my question but a colleague asked a similar one and extracted a promise that people who had been put off from making claims due to the unlawful cost would be able to ring their case now – even if deadlines had passed. This is significant victory. As I wasn’t called I “bobbed” to ask a supplementary question on another colleague’s question. Happily I caught the Speaker’s eye and was able to press the Government on ensuring that an increased focus on fighting cybercrime doesn’t reduce the money available for keeping ‘bobbies on the beat’, like I did to the Home Office in July. It’s incredibly important that people don’t become less safe and secure due to the Government’s change in strategy.

Yesterday I asked David Davis and the Department for Exiting the European Union whether the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill will ensure that UK workers’ rights and protections remain in line with EU rights and protections after the UK leaves the EU. Throughout Brexit, and in the recently leaked Government immigration plans, we’ve been told that UK workers are coming first, so it’s vital that action is taken to ensure our hard-working citizens will continue to be treated at least as well by our Government as they have been within the EU. Thursday also saw the first day of the second reading of this bill, which I’ll discuss more in next week’s newsletter. I pressed ministers for details of the specific mechanism they will use to work with Unions and employers to ensure British rights keep pace. Regrettably the minister did not answer this specific enquiry but I will continue to press this.

Outside of the Chamber, I met with Duncan Selbie, the Chief Executive of Public Health England (PHE). Public Health England’s role for the Department of Health is a very important preventative one, as they focus on protection of health and reduction of health inequalities. I believe such an approach is common sense from both health and financial perspectives, so I’m keen to work with PHE as much as possible to help achieve these goals, particularly with regards to reducing the health inequalities which affect Nottingham North so badly.

On Wednesday, I met several groups campaigning for a diverse range of causes that I know are important to many of you in Nottingham North. I discussed great work being done for wildlife conservation and fighting animal crime with the International Fund for Animal Welfare; grants available from the Big Lottery Fund to finance ‘good causes’ which can benefit local communities like ours; pushing the Government to continue investment to allow fair and equitable access to IVF treatment with Fertility Fairness (as I’ve said before, I was one of the first IVF babies, so this is of great personal significance to me too); and discussed ‘presumed consent’ of organ donation at an event for Organ Donation Week.

I also met with nurses from across the East Midlands at their ‘Scrap the Cap’ rally againt the 1% pay cap on nurses’ salary. Over the last 7 years the starting salary for a nurse has been devalued by 14%. I think this is shameful and it’s led to nurses relying on food banks, credit cards or loans to live. This cap needs to go.

Between the Brexit business on Thursday I met with 38 Degrees campaign group, who, along with other similar groups, provide a great service to promote democracy by offering increased opportunities for letting me know what’s important to you.  I’ll do whatever I can to help make this as positive as possible for both sides, and in a couple of weeks I’ll also be meeting some local people who used their services to hear how we can work together to improve communication even further.

Saving the best until last, my week in Westminster ended by being able to welcome Year 6 from Henry Whipple Primary School to the Houses of Parliament. About 25 local children were lucky enough to receive a tour before I met with them in the Houses of Parliament’s Educational Centre to talk about what an MP does. I hope everyone enjoyed the trip and maybe I’ll get to see some of them here again in a different capacity in the future!

In the constituency

Last weekend I had a great morning in Bestwood, where every Saturday ‘Rejects FC’ play football. This local football club was set up to give kids with autism and other difficulties an opportunity to play football and join a team that they wouldn’t otherwise be afforded. The club is currently working with the Council on issue relating to the development of the pitch they play on and I am keen to play a role in resolving this. A keen football fan myself and a big believer in organised sports I enjoyed my morning there. I was joined on the day by Paddy Tipping, Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, so even managed to combine the visit with some politics!

In Nottingham today I visited Byron House Police Station this morning. As I mentioned in my question to the Justice Minister on Tuesday, I’m very concerned that our safety and security will be affected if the Government don’t give police forces the investment they need to keep enough officers on the streets, due to continued failed austerity and a need to increase the focus on cybercrime.

Then over the weekend I’ll be back on the campaign trail, with the three Council by-elections coming up at the forefront but as always I’ll be looking to find out what’s on your minds at the moment. I hope to see as many of you as possible on the streets!

My next surgery is booked for next Friday, the 15th September. Please call my office on 975 2377 if you’d like to book a slot.

What’s On

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

Poems in the Pub
Poetry Open Mic Night
The William Peverel, Bulwell
Thursday 5th October and Thursday 2nd November, 7pm

If you would like your events advertised here, or further information on those advertised, please email me at alex.norris.mp@parliament.uk.

 

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,

Alex

 

 

 

 

How to contact me

If you would like to contact me, please email alex.norris.mp@parliament.uk 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 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

LABOUR PARTY

  • If you’d like to learn more about the Labour party their website is here.
  • To join the Labour Party click here.

LOCAL NEWS

LOCAL INFORMATION

  • 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.

NATIONAL LINKS

  • For the main Parliamentary website click here and to explore the Parliamentary education site click here.
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