My Newsletter 17/11/17

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

As you’re probably aware, this week has been dominated by Brexit once again – with long Tuesday and Wednesday evenings dedicated to the Withdrawal Bill’s Committee of the Whole House Stage – where amendments to the Bill are discussed in detail. The Government has already made concessions on some of the points made in tabled amendments, to avoid defeats, but there is still a long way to go to ensure that the Brexit we get is as positive as possible – and the Government’s majority is dwindling quickly. I will update you with the progress we make next week.

It’s important that Brexit doesn’t take absolutely everything over so happily I have plenty more to tell you about below.

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 and I will include it in future issues. Please also forward it onto anyone you think may be interested.

Weekend in the East Midlands

Weekends in the constituency are usually a great opportunity for me to meet with constituents on the streets and doorsteps, but last weekend was a little different.

Before watching constituency team Basford United beat Spalding Utd to go 10 points clear in the league on Saturday, I made the short trip to Leicester for the Unite Regional Political Conference. Unite do amazing work in the East Midlands I very much enjoyed the opportunity to talk to their local members about the importance of the work the Union does in the region: campaigning for decent jobs, pay, conditions, equalities, pensions, and safe and healthy workplaces – as well as supporting community issues and defending its members against injustices. I used to work for a Union so was also able to touch on my first-hand experiences, and discuss how I’ll working in Parliament to promote our common ideas. It was a wonderful turnout with tons of energy and ideas and I can’t wait to come back again next year to talk about the progress we’re making.

Sunday was of course Remembrance Sunday and I was honoured to lay a wreath as part of the touching service at the War Memorial on Victoria Embankment. I was proud to play my small role as we remembered all those who have fallen.

Going Nuclear

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I have for the last few weeks been sitting on a Public Bill Committee as it passes through Parliament.

The Committee relates to the Nuclear Safeguards that will be needed if the UK leaves Euratom (the European Atomic Energy Community) as part of the Brexit process. The committee met for several sessions a week, where the 19 MPs, including myself, on the committee reviewed submitted written evidence, and took oral evidence before debating each clause of the Bill and making amendments as it went through. Those who submitted oral evidence included the Minister, Richard Harrington MP, and his Department, and other individuals and organisations including academics, energy companies, and unions.

Since being elected in June I’ve been busy getting involved in debates, meeting organisations both national and local, helping Nottingham North residents, doing my bit to hold the Government to account, and supporting Labour’s Health Team.

This Bill Committee is new territory and has involved me working with Ministers to try and improve their plans. I don’t believe that it’s desirable or necessary to leave Euratom as part of the Brexit process and will continue to argue for us to remain a member of it. I’ve also been arguing for a transition period if we do lose as well as amendments that give Parliament proper oversight – not just Ministers.

This Bill is important as it makes sure that civil nuclear materials aren’t used for weapons. So our safeguards need to be really strong and we heard evidence that leaving Euratom will weaken our safeguards – that isn’t tolerable.

The Next Generation

  • I addressed East Midlands Young Labour at the regional GMB office where I discussed how I got to Parliament, the work I’m doing there and the issues that I’m facing. Hopefully some of the young activists there will have felt inspired and continue their political journey with the party.
  • I also had a very productive chat about the House of Lords with an undergraduate Politics student from Nottingham Trent University. I hope my views on the current undemocratic state of our Upper Chamber, and how we can build on the last Labour Government’s initial changes, helped him out with his dissertation!
  • I gave an assembly to the enthusiastic primary school kids at Whitemoor Academy, where I talked about how Parliament works and the role of the MP in the community. This week is UK Parliament Week so it was great to bring the week to life, and hopefully help get the pupils talking about politics, engaging in the democratic process, and becoming agents of change in their local areas.

Talking Issues

Unfortunately, due to my need to be in London most of the week, while I do my best to meet people in person, this isn’t always possible so this week I’ve had a mixture of meetings over the phone and in person:

  • A phone call with David Ralph from D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, with whom I discussed the East Midland HS2 Growth Strategy and how best I can support it
  • Phone calls with Rebalancing the Outer Estates Foundation to catch up on the work they’re doing in NN
  • A meeting with Meg Hillier MP to discuss the Local Government Transition Grant
  • A teleconference with my fellow Nottingham MPs and City Councillors to discuss how we can campaign together against the Government’s attacks on council housing
  • A meeting of the Co-Op Parliamentary Party, where my fellow Co-Operative MPs and I discussed how we can work together to achieve the party’s goals

This morning I also enjoyed joining Guide Dogs charity for a short walk and talk in the constituency. This gave me the chance to meet with both their political team and some of the local people who rely on support dogs and see the difference it makes to them.

And this evening I’m off to record the East Midlands Sunday Politics show; I’ll be talking about Brexit, the next generation of politicians, and council tax, so tune in!

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. I’m pleased to see this has taken on as I hoped, and we have a very busy Christmas lineup in Nottingham North. I hope to see some of you at some of the events! If you have an event you’d like me to advertise, let me know.

Challond Court Christmas Fair
Everyone Welcome!
Challond Court, Wendling Gardens/Chippenham Road, Bestwood Park
Tomorrow, 18th November, 11am-2pm

Christmas Craft Fair
Bulwell Arts Festival selling local and handmade gifts at affordable prices!
Tesco, Jennison St, Bulwell, NG6 8EQ
Tomorrow, 18th November, 11am-3pm

Christmas Fayre
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

‘Songs by Candlelight’
Concert performed by Carlton Male Voice Choir
St. Martin’s Church, St. Martin’s Road, Bilborough, NG8 3BH
25th November, 7:30pm
£5 (£3 con.), for more info please email

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

Hidden Treasures Homemade Christmas Fair
Cakes, Raffle, Crafts, Refreshments, Cards, Tombola
St. Martin’s Church, St. Martin’s Road, Bilborough, NG8 3BH
1st and 2nd December, 11am-4pm both days
For more info please email

Festive Firbeck
Christmas carols, activities for young children, Firbeck school choir, traditional stalls including crafts, tombola, mulled apple and mince pies, and much more!
Firbeck Road park area, NG8 2FB
10th December, 2-3:30pm

Christmas Concert
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

Messy Church
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

Bulwell Connectors
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:, @CreativeNNorth,

Crafty Ladies
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:

Crochet Clinic
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:


Heathrow Airport are also hosting a summit in Derby next Thursday, 23rd November, titled Heathrow Business Midlands for local small and medium businesses. This is a unique opportunity for SMEs from across Nottinghamshire to connect and trade face-to-face with Heathrow’s supply chain. A breakfast will provide context for the summit in addition to providing networking opportunities.

Venue: Risley Hall, Derby Rd, Risley DE72 3SS
Breakfast launch: 08:30-10:00
Business Summit Main Event: 10:00-16:00
Speakers include:

  • Scott Knowles, CEO, East Midlands Chamber of Commerce
  • Phil Wilbraham, Expansion Programme Director, Heathrow


Sound as a Pound have asked me to advertise their 2-day finance ‘Money Talks’ courses in Nottingham. Transport and lunch are both provided, attendees will receive a £10 gift voucher for each day and there are plenty of other freebies on offer, as well as some sound money-saving advice! For further information you can call 0115 844 3745, email visit their website at

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

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 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:

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


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

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