Welcome to my latest newsletter as Member of Parliament of Nottingham North.
I’ve spent most of this week at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton, so even though it’s recess I have plenty to share with you in this newsletter. I’ve been watching speeches, meeting various groups, attending events and catching up with lots of old friends, which I’ll tell you all about below. One thing I’d recommend everyone checks out, if you didn’t catch it on Wednesday, is Jeremy Corbyn’s rousing keynote speech. You can watch it in full here, or just catch the highlights here. Labour are ready to lead, and Jeremy makes it very clear how we’d do it for the many, not just the minority that the Tories work for.
Voting is also still ongoing for Westminster Dog of the Year. My two wonderful border collies, Boomer and Corona, have entered this year’s competition (read their canine CV here). Part of it is 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 26th 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 email@example.com and I will include it in future issues. Please also forward it onto anyone you think may be interested.
I’m afraid there’s just one topic this week – as I’ve been in Brighton all week.
After a dreadful Sunday watching my beloved Baltimore Ravens get thrashed at Wembley, I was relieved to go to Brighton where I got stuck right into the action on arrival.
The first event I attended was a Health and Care Forum debate, where my colleague on the Labour health team, Justin Madders MP, spoke about what needs to be done to improve social care in the UK, and I heard the views of several prominent health and social care organisations on the important issues in the sector. In Government, Labour will invest an extra £8 billion to tackle the crisis in social care, and this was a great opportunity to hear how experts in the field think it should best be spent.
Given my role on Labour’s health team, I spent a good chunk of my time in Brighton meeting with organisations working in the health sector, and the two meetings that followed the debate were a clear example of this. I met with Danny Beales from Diabetes UK to discuss the care and treatment of diabetes, with which over 15000 people in Nottingham have been diagnosed, and the prevention of Type 2 diabetes. I then met with Natasha Burgess from Parkinson’s UK and talked about the failures of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for those with Parkinson’s, mental health services, and reductions to NHS Continuing Healthcare (NHS CHC). My next meeting was away from health, as I met with Max Sugarman from the Railway Industry Association to discuss some of the pressing issues facing the rail sector. We all know how important this is for Nottingham with HS2 on its way, and we still aren’t giving up on the electrification of the Midlands Mainline.
Then it was back to talking health with Andy Bell, the Deputy Chief Executive of Centre for Mental Health, with whom I discussed current mental health policies and awareness of mental health issues. Then travel again with Andrew Cliffe, the CEO of East Midlands Airport. This is obviously our local airport so it’s important to stay up to date with the changes being made there.
From there I went to a reception held by Unite the Union with new MPs. I had the chance to meet their General Secretary, Len McCluskey, where we talked about his speech.
I then finished off the evening with a dinner hosted by E.ON, the sponsors of the East Midlands Labour Party reception. They have two major sites in my constituency and are one of our biggest employers. So, it was good to talk about local skills and hoe to make sure that our people can get into work. Following this I went to the Reception itself to meet up with East Midlands colleagues.
Bright and early on the Tuesday I met with Ian Eardley from the Royal College of Surgeons and Ayesha Ahmed from the National Union of Students, before finding time to talk to a constituent about how I can assist with some trouble he’s been having. I would later find that this has been resolved in the constituents’ favour; definitely the most positive part of my time in Brighton!
The main session on health and social care was in the afternoon, opened by Jonathan Ashworth, the Shadow Secretary of State for Health for whom I am Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS). Jonathan gave a great speech which has very well received by conference and the public. He made several important announcements, setting out what Labour would do in power to reverse the damage that the Conservatives have done to the NHS in the last 7 years, as well as reaffirming the policy we already have in place.
You can watch the speech here, but here are a couple of the key points too. but here are a couple of the key points too. Jonathan announced that Labour would reverse the marketisation of the NHS, by legislating to reinstate the Secretary of State’s duty to provide universal care, reintegrating the NHS, reversing the Health and Social Care Act, fighting fire sales of hospital assets and ending Tory privatisation, to stop the millions of pounds that are being wasted on tendering services currently.
Were he Secretary of State he would also introduce a national strategy to help the children of alcoholics and drug users. 2 million children grow up with an alcoholic parent, 335,000 children grow up with a parent with drug abuse issues, yet just this year the Government are cutting the budget for treating these afflictions by £43m. A Labour Government will give these people the support they deserve.
Labour would also allocate an extra £45bn for health and social care overall, including a new £500m “emergency winter fund”. The latter measure absolutely cannot wait until the next General Election however, as 10,000 people a day will wait at least four hours for A&E treatment this winter, so Theresa May needs to act now.
I then stayed in the Chamber for uplifting speeches by Barbara Keeley and Tom Watson. After that I attended a reception held by Stonewall and LGBT Labour. And after such a long day – I had an early(ish) night.
Wednesday was the final morning of Conference, and before Jeremy’s keynote speech I attended the Health and Social Care Policy Seminar where the ideas presented previously throughout conference were discussed in more detail, and caught up with Paddy Tipping, Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner. I’ve been contacted recently about policing at anti-fracking demonstrations, and this was one thing I asked him about. The day was then finished off with Jeremy’s excellent speech, as I mentioned previously.
I’m back in Nottingham again next week for another busy week meeting people and groups in the constituency before Parliament resumes the following week.
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
Free Community Cinema
Free screenings of films, everyone welcome!
St John’s Church, Key’s Close, Bulwell
2nd Friday every month, 7pm
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com 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
- If you’d like to learn more about the Labour party their website is here.
- To join the Labour Party 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.