Welcome to the latest issue of my weekly newsletter.
The only place to start this week is with the very sad and concerning news about the fire that has happened at our train station overnight. The improvements at the station have been a big part of brightening up the entrance to the city and I was proud to have played an active role in that on the Council.
Now is not the time for speculation. The men and women of our Fire Service are doing their usual tremendous work and we need to let them do so. In the mean time we must carry on with our normal routine and then later come together to see what we need to do repair any damage.
In that spirit…
Parliament is now back in full swing, with the Government’s ministerial ‘reshuffle’ dominating the news at the beginning of the week, but there have also been important debates on the Trade Bill and the NHS winter crisis to discuss on which we have been pressing the Government throughout the week.
I’ve also been drawn for another question to the Prime Minister, so keep an eye out next Wednesday lunchtime. Let me know if there’s any important issues you think I should bring up to her.
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.
Nottingham North Jobs Fair
At the election one of my pledges was to work to help my constituents get good jobs. This of course happens in Parliament by making sure we have a strong economy but I also think this should be a proactive endeavour. So I’m proud to announce details that this year’s Nottingham North Job Fair, hosted by Rebalancing the Outer Estates, the local charity that I chair, alongside Nottingham City Council, Futures and Jobcentre Plus, will take place on Friday 9th March in the Sports Hall at Bulwell Riverside, from 9:30am – 2:30pm.
We’re currently looking for employers, training providers and local employment support organisations to have exhibitions at the fair, and are taking applications to reserve a space. This is a wonderful opportunity to attract some local talent so please email me if you would like an application form. To maximise interest in your vacancies and opportunities prior to the event, you can advertise them with the Nottingham Jobs Hub via www.nottinghamjobs.com.
I will advertise this great event again nearer the time, and look forward to seeing many of you there, whether advertising vacancies or trying to find the job that is right for you.
Coventry Road Post Office
You may be aware that the Post Office at 124 Coventry Road in Bulwell has been closed since 2015, or you may have even thought it was closed permanently, but either way, I have some good news.
After a consultation on moving to the branch to Clayfield Convenience Store didn’t get anywhere, the Post Office have now let me know that a further consultation has led to a proposal to re-open the branch at 21 Main Street, with a full modernisation, so if the move goes ahead it will change to a new style branch and open as Main Street Post Office.
This would mean that Post Office services will be offered from a till on the retail counter in a modern open plan branch, with longer opening hours and retaining most traditional Post Office products and services.
However, not all is done and dusted yet and the Post Office are looking for views on the proposals. A 6-week local public consultation has just begun, focussing particularly on the following areas:
- How suitable you think the new location and premises are and how easy it is to get there
- Are the new premises easy for you to get into and is the inside easily accessible?
- Are there any other local community issues which you believe could be affected by or affect the proposed change?
- If the move were to proceed is there anything we could do to make it easier for customers?
You can read more information on the proposals, and share your views using an online survey, by clicking here. The more people that do this, the more likely we are to have a new Post Office that meets all of our needs, so get thinking! The consultation closes on 15th February.
As you’ll know I am a member of Labour’s shadow Health Team. This week we have been raising the issue of winter pressures in the NHS that have led to people waiting on trolleys or in ambulances for care, important operations cancelled and the system only surviving on the goodwill of our incredible staff.
This is a crisis that has been created from years of cuts to social care and under-resourcing of the NHS. It’s a crisis made in Downing Street.
We’ve been raising this in Parliament and secured a vote on Wednesday. The vote was carried unopposed with Government MPs refusing to vote – which is pretty feeble, really.
We will keep the pressure on.
I also received some good news following a series of written questions I’ve submitted. I finally got a response from Steve Baker MP, a Minister at the Department for Exiting the European Union on an important matter. I don’t get much chance to talk about written Parliamentary Questions, as the answers aren’t often helpful on their own – they’re usually either a way to gather information or to prompt action of our more substance. However, they are still a useful tool that I use regularly to hold the Government to account.
Back in November, I asked whether UK pensioners living in EU countries will continue to get their state pension uprated after the UK has left the EU. This is an issue for non-EU pensioners that I have discussed before, as their pensions are negotiated on a country-to-country basis, leaving many worse off year to year. While I will continue to fight for their situation to be changed, we at least now know the situation won’t be the same for UK pensioners in Europe, as this is the answer I received from the Government:
“We have now agreed with the EU that under reciprocal arrangements, the UK will continue to export an uprated UK State Pension and provide associated healthcare cover for UK nationals living in the EU who are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement.
This will include people who are of state pension age and those who are not yet at state pension age, once they start drawing their UK State Pension.”
I’m glad to have secured this commitment.
Beyond the Jobs Fair and exciting news about the Post Office there’s been plenty going on locally.
- I spent yesterday with my team in Nottingham, discussing the casework we do for local members and how we can make sure the service we provide in this regard is as helpful as possible.
- I also met with two constituents involved in amateur boxing about the sport. I am very interested in the role of organised sport in helping young people get a rounded life education so I’m keen to hear from any readers about their involvement in that.
- Alongside Janet Glass from Rebalancing, I met with the DWP’s District Operational Lead, covering Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Rutland. Rebalancing is run through its relationships with local organisations, and the local district branch of the DWP is one of those that we are very keen to cooperate with, given the work done locally to try and get people into employment.
That’s all for this week, thanks for reading and keep an eye out on Wednesday!
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.
CQ After 5: Creative Connections
Free business support for individuals thinking of turning their creative ideas into action!
Bulwell Riverside, Main Street, NG6 8QJ
Thursday 18th January, 6-8pm
Poems in the Pub
Open Mic Night, Free Admission, Local Talent, Full Bar
The William Peverel, Bulwell
Once a month, 7pm for 7:30pm start, next on February 1st
Drop In Café
All welcome for a free cuppa and biscuit, and a place to sit and have a chat
Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Parish Community Centre, Brooklyn Rd, Bulwell NG6 9ES
St Philip’s/St Matthew’s Knit & Natter groups
St Philip’s Church, Knights Close, Top Valley
1st and 3rd Wednesdays every month, 10am-12pm
Bestwood Community Centre, Gainsford Crescent, Bestwood Estate
2nd Monday every month, 10am-12pm
Messy Church Bestwood/Bulwell Forest
Bestwood Community Centre, Gainsford Crescent, Bestwood Estate
Tuesdays, 4:30-6pm, next Messy Church January 16th
Bestwood Park Church, Beckhampton Rd, Bestwood Park
Church on Rise Park, Revelstoke Way, Rise Park
Thursdays 5-6:30pm, next Messy Church January 18th
Drinks, crafts, activities, bible stories and a meal for all ages and interests
Bulwell United Reform Church, Broomhill Road/Brooklyn Road, Bulwell
Usually first Saturday of every month, 10:30am-12:30pm
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website at www.soundasapound.org.
If you would like your events advertised here, or further information on those advertised, please email me at email@example.com.
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,
P.S. Please have a read of this letter from Cllr. David Mellen, the Early Years Portfolio Holder on Nottingham City Council, who is raising money for an incredible cause aimed at helping more young children read, Imagination Library.