My Newsletter 09/03/18

Welcome to the latest issue of my weekly newsletter.

It’s been a very busy week, both in Parliament and Nottingham, ending today with the Nottingham North Jobs and Apprenticeships Fair at Riverside Bulwell. As always this was an incredibly popular event, and I’d like to thank everyone who made it happen and everyone who came along. I hope over the next few weeks I hear many success stories of people finding the jobs and training opportunities they were looking for thanks to the fair, and of companies finding great local employees.

I’ve also got a small update on the Coventry Road Post Office I mentioned a while back. The plans have been finalised and can be found online here.

Read on to find out what else I’ve been up to…

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.

Justice Questions

On Tuesday morning I had the rare opportunity of being able to question Justice Ministers twice in the same session, meaning I didn’t have to choose between two very important issues to raise in the House of Commons Chamber.

I first asked the Government about their use of private probation companies, which have been failing to hit their targets and prevent reoffending. In fact, last month we learnt that only two of the 21 regional companies set up to oversee low and medium-risk offenders actually reduced the number of new offences committed by reoffenders. This is clearly far from acceptable and I took the opportunity to hold the Government to account on this, highlighting particularly the companies’ focus on contract compliance rather the true quality of supervision, which is inevitably undermining the established values of probation professionals. You can watch this question and the Minister’s answer here.

For my second question I returned to a topic which I’ve touched on several times already – HMP Nottingham. After a spate of suicides last year and horrific reports of conditions in the prison, the Government has been formally notified that drastic action has been taken. Yet just last month there was another inmate death, and progress is clearly not being made quick enough. I called the new Prisons Minister up on this and asked if he will accept, unlike his predecessor, that there is nothing random going on at this jail and that it is not a safe environment. You can watch this question and reply here.

Supporting Local Talent

At the start of this week I was able to welcome two groups of local young people in Westminster, currently going through different stages of their journeys of education and training.

On Monday, a group of 17- and 18-year olds from Bilborough College came to the Houses of Parliament for a tour and educational experience provided by the Parliamentary Education Centre before I met with them to answer all their great questions about my life as an MP. I hope they had an enlightening and enjoyable day and would encourage any other local schools to follow suit if they can; I’d be keen to meet them too!

The next day, rather than college pupils, I met young local apprentices in the pub, bar, brewing and casual dining sector, who came to Parliament for a Celebration of Apprenticeships event. Apprenticeships are a wonderful way for those who don’t feel suited to more ‘traditional’ routes to continue learning while working and learning a skill or trade they’re passionate about, and something that need to continue to be expanded upon so all young people have the right opportunities available to them when it’s time to leave school. I was pleased that these apprentices are having a positive experience and will continue to work so that others can share it in the future.

I also met another great group of local apprentices today in Nottingham, as E.ON chose our city for their own national Celebrating Apprentices Day, to celebrate their achievements and provide an opportunity for them to network and share their experiences.

I very much enjoyed meeting with all of these groups, all of whom are on the right path in life, and look forward to welcoming many more of you in future and hearing where these paths lead.

In Nottingham

I want to mention the shocking footage that emerged overnight on Thursday of a student a Nottingham Trent University seemingly being the victim of racist abuse. There is no place for this in our city, or anywhere else.

The person affected is not my constituent but I have offered my support. I have also encouraged NTU to act and I am glad to hear that the two people arrested by the Police in connection with this have been suspended.

Yesterday there was a by-election in Wollaton which kept me busy, and of course we’ve had the Jobs Fair this morning before heading to E.ON’s event, but that’s still far from all I’ve had time for today. Here’s what else I’ve been up to in the Constituency this week:

  • I spent some time today filming with Advice Nottingham, in support of their terrific efforts to help those in need.
  • I met with Cllr Graham Chapman, Deputy Leader of the City Council, to discuss the Neighbourhood Strategy.
  • I met with Alan Dawson, a Trustee of the Bendigo Memorial Fund, a fund set up to honour Nottingham bare-knuckle boxing legend William ‘Bendigo’ Thompson.
  • And finally, I’m currently on my way to meet with Trevor and Kevin from LoveBulwell, to discuss their Bulwell stable block project.

In Parliament

And this is what else I’ve worked on in Parliament this week:

  • Tuesday was the final day of the Committee Stage for the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill that I spoke about last week. I continued to push for amendments to improve this important Bill, but they were voted down by the Government. We’ll have another opportunity in the remaining stages.
  • I asked the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport why the Government can’t finish the Leveson Inquiry and deal with fake news and clickbait. Watch here.
  • I met with Roberto Sanz from One Young World, a global platform which will be taking place in London next year, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act 1969, granting 18-20-year olds the right to vote.
  • I met with Andrew Lennox from Eden Futures, a learning disability provider who care for some of our vulnerable people, to discuss what we can do together about the sleep-in back pay crisis currently affecting social workers.
  • I attended a reception to support the current campaign by various animal welfare charities against the use of cruel electric shock collars.
  • I met with Labour colleagues to discuss a wide range of policy issues
  • I attended a workshop hosted by the Socialist Health Alliance around primary care policy. This was the first of a series, with SHA members providing relevant knowledge and experience.

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.

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

Mothering Sunday at St Mary’s
9.30am, Whiz Kids (ages 5ish to 11ish) – free arts & crafts with a free breakfast
10am, Parish Mass with a free gift for mothers/grans/aunts/carers
3pm, Mother’s Day Messy Church – free arts & crafts for the whole family, with a hot dog dinner
St Mary the Virgin & All Souls Parish Church, Highbury Road, Bulwell
Sunday 11th March, all day

Lost in Memories
A performance about dementia and caring, in partnership with Bulwell Arts Festival
Bulwell Academy, Squires Avenue, Bulwell, NG6 8HG
Saturday 7th April, 3pm for 3:30pm start
Free event, donations welcome to cover costs
For more info please contact Cllr Cheryl Barnard, 07946 467190

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

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



  • 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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