My Newsletter 02/03/18

Welcome to the latest issue of my weekly newsletter.

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.

Nottingham North Jobs and Apprenticeships Fair

Bulwell Riverside Sports Hall, Main Street, Bulwell
9:30am – 2:30pm, 9th March

A few weeks ago I told you all about the upcoming Jobs and Apprenticeships Fair at Bulwell Riverside. Well now the date is just one week away, and I’m looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible there next Friday.

I was elected on a promise to try improve employment and skills in our community, which of course involves working in Parliament but I’m also keen to offer practical support too, so I’m delighted that through the Rebalancing the Outer Estates Foundation we are bringing this opportunity for people to the constituency.

We’ll be welcoming about 40 different companies (including major national employers such as Primark and Wilko) to Riverside, all offering a wide range of different opportunities, so hopefully we will be able to beat the 128 people we got into work or education as a result of last year’s event.

Nottingham North has unacceptably high levels of unemployment and I hope that the fair will help people to get into employment and offer them other opportunities to gain new skills.

You’re able to register for the fair on arrival on the day, but to save time you can also fill in the registration form in advance here, and just bring it along with you on the day.

I’m looking forward to seeing you there!

Electrification of the Midland Mainline

During Transport Questions on Thursday morning I raised once again an issue I believe to be very important – the cancelled electrification of the Midland Mainline, as well as highlighting the disproportionate lack of transport investment in the East Midlands.

Electrification of the track is wanted by business and communities, and it is better value, better for the environment, and has a brilliant business case, so I used the opportunity to ask the Transport Minister, Nusrat Ghani MP, when she and her colleagues at the Department for Transport will realise the benefits.

You can watch the question and the Minister’s answer here.

Anti-Money Laundering

Just last week I spoke in the House of Commons during the Second Reading of the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill, calling on the Government to implement stronger mechanisms to stamp out money laundering which is criminal, unjust and damaging to the economy.

This Bill is important as it ensures that when the UK leaves the EU, we can continue to impose, update, and lift important sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering regimes, in line with the country’s international obligations, such as under the UN Charter, and its own wider foreign policy and national security goals.

I mentioned that I was sitting on the Bill Committee for the potential law’s next stage, and we had our first sessions this week, meeting twice on Tuesday and twice on Thursday. Tuesday’s first session went as expected, although unfortunately Labour’s proposed new clauses were defeated by the Government representatives on the Committee.

The second session however was outrageously halted after only half an hour of sitting, an unprecedented move by the Government when there remained close to 100 other clauses and amendments to consider. This was done for no reason other than to avoid debate on amendments to introduce important Magnitsky clauses (allowing certain sanctions against other countries) and tighten action vs money laundering for as long as possible. This is not acceptable behaviour from a ruling party, scared to debate even when they have an enforced majority on the Committee.

Unfortunately, when we did resume on Thursday, these amendments were defeated by the Government, along with multiple other important amendments put forward by the Labour Party, which would have made the Bill more purposeful for preventing Money-Laundering. We will continue next Tuesday when I’ll continue trying to improve this important Bill.

East Midlands

As I mentioned before I am Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the East Midlands. This week, with cross-party MPs and the support of East Midlands Councils and the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce we met to discuss infrastructure spending – something the region struggles with.

We left with a draft list of priorities and a commitment to send a delegation to meet with the Treasury, a meeting they have agreed to. There’s still plenty to do but we’ve got things moving.


Today has been disrupted by snow which has cost me a trip to E-On at Pheonix Park and Harmless & The Tomorrow Project but there were still other interesting opportunities:

  • I attended a meeting of the Lung MOT Steering Group, discussing plans to extend the scheme that’s been so helpful providing free scans locally.
  • I caught up with new Bulwell Forest Councillor Cheryl Barnard to discuss how we can work together locally in her ward.

I’ve also been alerted this week that Cold Weather Payments have been triggered locally. Those receiving certain benefits who live in the following postcodes: NG3, NG5, NG6, NG7, NG8 are eligible for a £25 payment due to the weather being below freezing for seven consecutive days.

You can find more information on eligibility and how to claim here.

Association of Personal Injury Lawyers

Before the Bill sessions on Tuesday, I was proud to host the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers in Parliament for a reception to discuss the purpose of compensation.

In the UK, this isn’t something we really think about, at least from my experience, and you might not realise how important being able to receive proper financial recourse can be until you experience an injury personally, and realise the effects it can have on all aspects of your life.

There are obvious things that require financial compensation like having to miss work, or use expensive accessibility equipment, but compensation can also provide the only practical means of making up for stress and emotional trauma, even if not being close to making up for having to endure it to begin with.

This event was a valuable opportunity for industry experts and parliamentarians to discuss all this and much more in greater detail, and will help continue moving the discussion forwards. I will continue to work with the APIL to ensure that ordinary people continue to have access to the legal avenues to which they’re entitled.

In Parliament

As well as what I’ve already mentioned, here are some other things I got up to while in Westminster this week:

  • I met with Dan Murphy and Frances Luff from Gilead Sciences to discuss uptake of antiretroviral therapy for HIV in the East Midlands
  • I met with two Labour advisors from the Local Government Association, for a general chat about local government issues, especially given my experience as a councillor before becoming an MP.
  • I spoke with Nottinghamshire Police Chief Constable Craig Guildford, following the fatal stabbing of a teenager in Bulwell recently.
  • I attended a reception hosted by the Benefit to Society campaign, aimed at ending social housing stereotypes.

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.

Women’s equality discussion
A panel of high-profile women in Nottingham will discuss their insights and experience in regard to the ongoing campaign for women’s rights and gender equality. This event is open to the public (both women and men) and it takes place at the Council House on the Old Market Square on 7th March at 6pm. Tickets are free but must be ordered through Eventbrite. Get your tickets here.

Erasmus+ funding
Work for a school in Nottingham North? Apply for some of the €170m Erasmus+ funding available this year for schools to exchange staff and pupils. The next deadline for school exchange partnerships is 21st March. Apply now here.

Funding is also available for youth organisations in Nottingham North. Next deadline for youth funding is 26th April. More information here.

Bilborough Arts Festival (BArts)
Apply now! BArts is gearing up for a second year in venues across Bilborough – involving community groups, schools and individual artists organising creative opportunities and showcasing their work. BArts will take place from Saturday 30 June – Fri 6th July 2018 and the organisers are looking for local artists and volunteers to apply to take part in exhibitions, performances or to run workshops.  The deadline for online applications is 26th March 2018 – find out more here.

Bulwell Arts Festival Applications Open! Deadline 31st March 2018
Applications are open to artists, workshop leaders, performers and volunteers! Taking place from Sat 7th – Sat 14th July 2018, this eight-day festival celebrates the creativity of the people, history and landscape of Bulwell.  You can apply to take part via their online application form here. 

Joining Lines – Community Crochet Project for Bulwell Riverside 
Local Designer and Maker April Towriess has launched an appeal to crocheters from far and wide to send her white crocheted doilies! These will form part of an installation and exhibition at Bulwell Riverside in the this summer. You can follow April’s Unity Doily pattern, which can be found here or use one of your own. Use any white yarn or thread weight you like. When submitting your doily or doilies, let April know your name, age, gender and briefly describe who taught you to crochet and why you do it now.  Each doily and set of comments will be photographed and added to a blurb book which will be available to purchase. All proceeds will be donated to charity.  The closing date for submissions is Saturday 26th April 2018. 

Send your doilies to:
Chris Tilley Community Champion, C/O April Towriess Crochet
Joining Lines Project, Bulwell Tesco Extra Community Room, Jennison Street, Nottingham, NG6 8EQ

Three Doors Down
Over the next 6 months, Andy Barrett from Excavate Theatre Company is working with local people who live in and around Minver Crescent in Aspley, to uncover the stories of life in the area over the last 80 years. A series of events are being planned from theatre in living rooms and front gardens, to storytelling, filmmaking and photography to engage as many residents as possible. Contact Cathy Mahmood on 07808 165209 or Andy Barrett for further information. Dates for your diary include:

  • Sat 10th March, 11am-3pm, Project Launch Day, ACTC
  • Sat 21st April, 11am-3pm, Film making Day
  • Sat 26th May, 6-8pm, The Minver Crescent Nosh Up

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 5th April

Nottingham North Jobs Fair
Rebalancing the Outer Estates Foundation and Nottingham City Council join forces with local employment and training specialists and employers to hold the first large jobs and apprenticeship fair of the year. It will take place at the Bulwell Riverside Sports Hall on 9th March from 9:30am to 2:30pm.

Jazz Café with Cool Jazz
Join us for a relaxing afternoon of tea, cakes and cool jazz
St Mary the Virgin & All Souls Parish Church, Highbury Road, Bulwell
Tickets £3 or pay on the door
Saturday 10th March, 2–4pm
For more information Fr. Andrew Fisher tel: 0115 9755358 or

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
Thursdays, 9:30am–12:30pm

Messy Church
All welcome – food, fun, arts & crafts, & God slot
St Mary the Virgin & All Souls Parish Church, Highbury Road, Bulwell
2nd Sunday every month, 3-5pm

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
Various Tuesdays, 4:30-6pm
Bestwood Park Church, Beckhampton Rd, Bestwood Park
Various Thursdays, 4:30-6pm
Church on Rise Park, Revelstoke Way, Rise Park
Various Thursdays, 5-6:30pm

Messy Church
Drinks, crafts, activities, bible stories and a meal for all ages and interests
Bulwell United Reformed 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, 12-2pm

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:

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


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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