My Newsletter 15/9/17

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

With important votes on the EU Repeal Bill and Committee Selections and further debates on NHS Pay and Tuition Fees, you’ll have seen that Parliament is back in full swing. Things have been very busy for me here in Parliament, so I have a lot to talk about in this week’s newsletter. I usually try to focus more on my work in the constituency, so I hope you’ll forgive this being a little different.

I also have a small favour to ask for. My two wonderful border collies, Boomer and Corona, have entered this year’s Westminster Dog of the Year competition (read their canine CV here).Part of it involves a public vote, so if as many as possible of you could support them by voting here I’d really appreciate it. There will be a related event on 21st October which I’ll keep you up to date with when it happens. Thanks a lot!

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

Monday continued last Thursday’s second reading of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, also known as the ‘Repeal Bill’, before my fellow MPs and I took two votes, firstly on whether to include Labour’s reasoned amendment and then, when this unfortunately failed, whether the Bill was to continue to the next stage of scrutiny.

I accept and respect the result of last year’s referendum and the Government must now secure a good Brexit deal to safeguard jobs, security, and rights and protections. The Bill will repeal the European Communities Act 1972 and convert EU law into UK law so that there is certainty from the moment we leave the EU. This will then allow Parliament to repeal, amend or replace any EU-derived laws as necessary in the future. I do not underestimate this task and it is important that the Government get this vital legislation right.

However, the Government’s Bill as it stands is not fit for purpose. Without significant changes in several areas of concern, I was unable to vote for the Bill on Monday.

I therefore sat through all 9 hours of debate on Monday, to listen to the arguments of all the other MPs as well as air my own. You can watch my speech here, or read it here.

I hope the Government will listen carefully to the points that have been raised about this Bill, including by more than 70 charities, NGOs and trade unions, and make the improvements that are necessary. I will be following developments closely and will keep you updated as they happen.

On Tuesday, we had another vitally important debate and vote; on how the members of certain Parliamentary Committees are to be selected. Usually the makeup of these committees would match the makeup of Parliament, but the motion put forward on Tuesday was to change the law so that the Government would receive a majority on these important committees, despite only having a minority of seats in the House of Commons. This unprecedented power grab by the Government was purely to manufacture a majority by changing the rules, when they didn’t get one as planned in the General Election. Of course, I voted against this affront to democracy, but regrettably the motion passed narrowly.

Wednesday was much more successful for Labour, as we used our designated Opposition Day Debates to great effect. While the votes following these debates are non-binding, they allow us to make it abundantly clear to the Government where they need to act. In this case the two topics we considered were scrapping the public sector pay cap for NHS workers and against the planned increase to tuition fees. The support for these motions was so overwhelming that even the DUP voted in favour and the Government didn’t even bother to oppose them. Hopefully the Government has now got the message and I’ll be continuing to monitor how they act upon it.

I played a role in the NHS Debate as PPS to the Health Secretary Jon Ashworth who lead Labour’s efforts. I’m glad that despite being in Opposition we were able to be successful on this issue and move one step closer to fairer pay in public services.

While these debates took up a lot of my time, I still managed to fit plenty more in. I met with Audrey Yvernault, the Director of Policy and Public Affairs at the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry. Far too often we hear about treatments which can be life-changing or even life-saving to many people having to be passed over by the NHS due to balancing the cost and benefit. Of course, a lot of this would be helped by much needed Government investment into the NHS, but we can also reduce these occurrences by working with the pharmaceutical industry to help make the decisions easier.

I met with Bliss, the UK’s leading charity for babies born premature or sick, and Autistica, the UK’s leading autism research charity. Both groups do amazing work to both support those who are suffering, as well as researching and lobbying to improve the outcomes, so I’m very keen to support them however I can as an MP. I also spent time learning about and supporting the campaigns of Core Cities UKKidney Care UK(celebrating Organ Donation Week) and CAMRA.

With other East Midlands MPs I met with representatives of East Midlands Councils and the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce to talk about how we can lobby for the reinstatement of the electrification of the Midland Mainline. You can expect to see us campaigning on this issue shortly.

In the constituency

I’ve had a very full constituency schedule too. I visited the office of Nottingham Get 2 Work. I featured their great work in my newsletter on the 25th August. You may have seen it. If not, you can read it here. It was great to catch up and see first-hand what they’re doing.

I was visited by Forever Stars who are a charity who work in the same area here in Nottingham, particularly to support bereaved parents and families following a Stillbirth or early baby loss. Despite having no paid staff or even an office, they have raised over £230,000 and are on the brink of achieving their second key goal of a bereavement suite in City Hospital following the one in QMC. I will be featuring them in a bulletin in October.

Prior to my surgery this evening, where I’m looking forward to meeting a number of constituents once more, I am joining Lilian Greenwood and Chris Leslie, my fellow Nottingham City MPs for a tour of various parks in our constituencies. We’re trying to work as a Nottingham team as much as possible – this is just one example of it.

I mentioned last week that we will have three by-elections coming up in Nottingham North soon, so I’ll be finding time to campaign in those.

Parliament now pauses for Party Conference season. I’ll be at Labour’s in Brighton from a week on Monday but it means next week I’ll have a full constituency diary that I’ll tell you all about next week!

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

Notts Gets 2 Work Summer/Autumn Programme
Programme of free Dr Bike events (bike servicing) and bike maintenance sessions
Various Nottingham Locations
For further info visit http://www.nottmgets2work.org.uk/programme2017

Aviva Community Fund

I’ve also been contacted by Aviva recently, who have asked me to spread the word on grants they are offering for community projects. The Aviva Community Fund awards funding of up to £25,000 for local community projects across a range of categories such as skills for life, health & wellbeing and community support.  Last year there were over 450 winners and this year there are even more up for grabs.

Take a look here for more information, and see if maybe this is something that could help get your project off the ground. Applications can be made until 12 noon on 10th October.

 

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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