Welcome to my latest newsletter as Member of Parliament of Nottingham North.
With the Parliamentary calendar on Monday and Tuesday being quiet and the rest of the week being recess I’ve spent the whole week in Nottingham; a welcome change after a lot of time in Westminster recently. So I’ve had a full week to catch up with lots of people, whose concerns, views and ideas I’ll be bringing back to Parliament next week.
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.
Friday is usually the only weekday I get the in the constituency, so it can be difficult to visit schools as often as I’d like, so I took full advantage of having the whole week and visited five of our local schools this week.
- The Grand Opening of Park Vale Academy
On Wednesday morning, I was honoured to be shown around and then officially open Park Vale Academy’s terrific new campus. You may be aware that the Academy, formerly Top Valley Academy, is now part of the Redhill Academy Trust, and it was great to see the positive changes that have come because of this. The new buildings are fantastic and as we walked around the school the positive effect it was having on the pupils was evident; they were proud of their new facilities and determined to make the most of them. I look forward to seeing this be reflected in the numbers in years to come.
As well as Park Vale Academy, I also visited Heathfield, St. Margaret Clitherow, Portland Spencer and Our Lady of Perpetual Succour primary schools. At each of these I had productive chats with the Heads, with whom I discussed their progress, successes and the issues they are facing. I also particularly enjoyed being able to talk to the Key Stage 2 students at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour about my role as their local MP and answer all the great questions they had – I just hope they enjoyed it as much as I did!
As a Chair of Governors myself, I know that the importance of education can never be understated, particularly in the earlier years, and I will continue to fight for these schools, and the others in the constituency, in Westminster so all their pupils can receive the education they deserve and not be denied the right opportunities later in life.
Supporting Local Business
I also managed to meet with some local businesses during my week in Nottingham North. My constituency is one of the most residential in the country and when people think of business they often think of the city centre. But we’ve got high-quality businesses in our community and we need more so that local people have access to good employment.
It’s my job to not only stick up for those we do have, but also to encourage more people to come and take advantage of the benefits of doing business here.
Did you know that Nottingham was home to a clean tech energy firm that’s one of the fastest growing companies in Europe and exporting its revolutionary technology all over the world? Well, Chinook Science are just that. And they have grand plans for the future that might well involve our area – watch this space. I went to see them to talk about their plans and how I could help. We need skilled work in our area and I’ll chase every opportunity to secure it.
I met with Kully and Sandy Sandhu who run the NISA convenience store on Arnold Road in Basford. This store (and other convenience stores elsewhere in the constituency) plays an often-underappreciated role in the community, employing local people and offering an extensive range of fresh produce, food to go, National Lottery and services such as Click and Collect. It’s also easy to overlook some of the difficulties that come with running a small store like this though, not least business rates and deposit return schemes that I discussed with the Sandhus.
When overheads greatly increase, like they have for some firms due to business rate revaluation, it has a real impact. So, I took away good ideas how I might help this store and others like it.
A few weeks ago I had attended a business breakfast at Micro-Mesh in Bulwell. Having seen their facility I wanted to see more! James and Bob Underwood kindly showed me around and talked about their business. There’s is exactly the sort of business we need in Britain: high-tech, high-quality, competing globally and providing skilled work locally. I was also able to help them with an issue they were having so my visit was well timed.
Offering my support
As you’ve probably noticed by now, a lot of my time and energy is spent on the groups that I believe to be particularly important, either to Nottingham North specifically or the people of the UK as a whole. I feel the best way to be able to support the aims of these groups, whether charities, unions or other organisations is to stay as up to date with their campaigns and challenges as I can, which means meeting with them regularly. Often this will be in London, but it’s great to meet with locally based groups or branches when I’m at home, and that’s how I spent a lot of time this week.
My predecessor, Graham Allen, worked closely to support the introduction of Family Nurse Partnership in Nottingham, and I met with Caroline Wragg and Rebekah Adgar on Monday so I can continue this. It’s now been 10 years since FNP have been present in Nottingham, and their nurses have done incredible work supporting young families with new-borns in the area over the last decade. I hope in the next 10 years I can work alongside Caroline and Rebekah to help FNP make even more of a positive impact in the area.
I also met with Ash Morley, the East Midlands Regional Organised for UNISON. I used to work for UNISON, so know first-hand the amazing work they do for the workers they represent, which is 1 in 25 across the country. It was very productive to hear from Ash what work is being done locally, and more importantly, discuss what I can do as MP to defend our workers’ rights alongside him.
Part of City Hospital is in Nottingham North and of course, many of you from Nottingham North will use both this Hospital and the QMC in Lenton, so I think it’s very important I stay up to date with all aspects of the NUH Trust’s planning. This is even more the case given my role on Labour’s Health team. This week I met with Andrew Chatten, the Director of Estates and Facilities, to discuss the physical aspects of both hospitals, and primarily hear about the challenges they are facing as they look forward and plan for the future. With the number of people who use the hospitals and the high standard required of any temporary space, making any upgrades, improvements or repairs is a logistical challenge I certainly wouldn’t want to face. I was pleased to hear the work Andrew and his team are doing to look ahead, and I’ll do what I can to support the long-term strategy which I believe will be best for the patients in the long run.
- And more to come this weekend
Tomorrow, I’ll be talking to the East Midlands Political Conference of Unite the Union. I’ll be discussing how things are in Parliament, what happens next and how working people can have a greater say in their lives.
Sunday is Remembrance Sunday. I will be at the Embankment to lay a wreath on behalf of our community as we mark those who have lost their lives in war and who dead so the we can live the free and peaceful lives we lead. We must never forget.
Finally, a very happy note to end on. You’ll remember that earlier this year I wrote about Councillor Alan Clark who passed away this Summer. Well this week he won the LGiU national award for work on the environment. He has left Nottingham with a wonderful legacy from his years of tireless work.
In the photo, you can see Councillor Eunice Campbell proudly collecting the national Place-shaping and Environment award on behalf of her husband.
You can read more here.
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.
Various stalls including Christmas stall, nearly new, gifts and fancy goods, cakes, tombola, bric-a-brac, cuddly toys, jewellery, pluck-a-duck, Christian literature. Santa’s grotto. Light refreshments available.
St Mary the Virgin and All Souls Parish Church, Highbury Road, Bulwell
25th November, 11am-2pm
Christmas Coffee Morning
Many stalls, gifts, toys, toiletries, bric-a-brac. Preserves, refreshments, cakes
Bulwell United Reform Church, Broomhill Road/Brooklyn Road, Bulwell
25th November, 10:30am
Chit and Chatter
Come and meet old friends and make some new ones over coffee, tea and biscuits.
Emmanuel Church Hall, Church View Close, NG5 9QP
29th November, 10am-12pm
A concert in Celebration of Christmas by The Nottinghamshire Band of the Royal Engineers directed by BM WO1 Simon Kerwin
St Mary the Virgin & All Souls Parish Church, Highbury Road, Bulwell
15th December, 7:30pm
Tickets £6.00 or pay on the door. For more information tel 01159161787
Drinks, crafts, activities, bible stories and a meal for all ages and interests
Bulwell United Reform Church, Broomhill Road/Brooklyn Road, Bulwell
Saturdays – 2nd December, 10:30am
Bestwood Park Church’s Bestop Kitchen
Social Eating Event, Donations Welcome
Bestwood Park Church, Beckhampton Road, NG5 5NG
Every Tuesday, 12-3pm
Free Community Cinema
Free screenings of films, everyone welcome!
St John’s Church, Key’s Close, Bulwell
2nd Friday every month, 7pm
Free monthly group developing opportunities for more art in public places in Bulwell. With trips to galleries and hands-on creative workshops, this group is for local people who want to be arts champions for Bulwell. Facilitated by Nottingham Contemporary associate artist Gillian Brent
Bulwell Riverside, Community Room 2
2nd Tuesday every month, 6-8pm
For further info: www.creativenottinghamnorth.com, @CreativeNNorth, email@example.com
Bring along a project, or learn to do something new.
St Martins Church, St Martin’s Rd, Off Strelley Rd, Bilborough, NG8 3BH
Every Wednesday, 11am – 2pm
50p, for further info: www.stmartinsbilborough.org.uk, firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Room at Tesco Bulwell, Jennison St, NG6 8EQ (upstairs near the cafe)
First Wednesday of every month, 6:30pm–8:30pm
£5 (covers refreshments and materials)
For further info: www.apriltowriess.co.uk, email@example.com
I’d also like to congratulate Bulwell Forest Garden on their recent award win. They were awarded a Michael Varnam Award in the group category for the difference they’ve made in our area, particularly recognising the hard work and commitment from residents doing an amazing job to improve and strengthen our community.
I’ve heard that many families enjoyed their annual Spooky Monday event on Monday, with 260 residents enjoying being able to carve pumpkins, take part in craft activities, bake some delicious pumpkin gingerbread in the clay oven and enjoy homemade pumpkin soup.
The garden, located at will be open to the public 1pm-4pm, Mon/Wed/Fri/Sat until mid-December. In January, they will start planning the events and activities taking place throughout 2018. If you would like to be involved, please contact Barbara on 07890557854, and keep an eye out as I’ll be advertising the events in my newsletter once they’ve been organised.
You may also recall I advertised Aviva’s Community Fund recently. I’m pleased to hear that Bilborough Arts have applied to support their 2018 Festival. However, this funding depends on public votes, so please can you show your support by voting for their project here. I’m sure it will be an incredible festival, and be even better if they can receive this extra funding.
I’m delighted to hear that Bilborough Arts aren’t the only group who have applied for this funding. Nottingham Peace Project, who I talked about in the summer have been busy providing music and poetry lessons to groups of disadvantaged young people across the constituency, and have also applied to the Aviva Community Fund. They’re an amazing group and you can show your support for their project here.
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