My Newsletter 26/01/18

Welcome to the latest issue of my weekly newsletter.

For the last couple of weeks (this week too), I’ve ended this newsletter with a letter from Nottingham City Councillor David Mellen, who has this month been reading to 2018 children to raise money for the Imagination Library, an amazing scheme which delivers one free book a month to children aged 0-5 in the communities it serves.

Yesterday I took the opportunity to highlight this tremendous charitable effort in the House of Commons Chamber to draw attention to David’s work, the scheme, and most importantly the need for us to improve our children’s literacy levels, knowing how they can make a huge impact on future life.

You can watch this contribution in the Chamber here, and donate to David’s cause here.

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.

Violence against Women

This week gave me another opportunity to highlight once again an issue that I care very much about: domestic violence against women. For the second time now, this representation was made directly to the Prime Minister.

This has been an ongoing campaign. Back in November I attended a Parliamentary summit to mark White Ribbon Day, with the focus on how we encourage men to be agents of change in the workplace. This was followed up in December by an informative open evening at Nottingham Women’s Centre, where I got to meet some incredibly brave survivors of such violence, my contribution to Jess Phillips’ Westminster Hall Debate on Women’s Refuge Centres (of which there are 4 under threat in Nottingham), a Parliamentary Briefing by Women’s Aid on the Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill (which we’re still waiting on), and I used my first question to the Prime Minister to ask if she would step in to protect our Women’s Refuge Centres. Just yesterday I also met with Elizabeth Filkin from the Employers’ Initiative on Domestic Abuse, to discuss how we can prevent similar behaviour in the workplace.

And so on Tuesday I joined Dame Julie Walters, Women’s Aid, 38 Degrees, a domestic violence survivor and other MPs to deliver a petition to the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street, asking her once again to halt changes to women’s refuge funding. Tuesday was the final day of the government’s consultation on these planned changes, which spell disaster for domestic abuse refuges. The proposed model will remove refuge’s last secure form of funding – housing benefit – and devolve housing costs to local authorities to “fund services that meet the needs of their local areas”. I believe that domestic abuse is a problem that needs a national response, so I hope the Prime Minister and the Government finally heed our warnings. I will keep fighting until they do.

In Nottingham

Unlike last week with a sitting Friday, I was pleased to have more time in Nottingham and the constituency this week, as I travelled back yesterday afternoon.

I had time locally Monday morning too, when I kicked off the week by attending the East Midlands Public Health Conference, hosted by Public Health England. I gave a speech myself, on how public health can work within the political system to address current challenges, and listened to some interesting contributions from other local public health experts. Summits such as these are great ways to share and improve ideas, and with a local focus its even more useful to gather great ideas to bring to Westminster.

This morning I met with a wonderful group of politically-minded children at a meeting of Transform Trust, a school council of sorts made up with two representatives from each school that is involved. They had lots of interesting questions for me, so I only hope my answers helped teach them something and maybe inspire them to continue representing their peers in their future lives.

Following that, we had the latest board meeting of Rebalancing the Outer Estates, as we continue to look ahead to this year’s work and continue planning the Jobs Fair on 9th March. Look back to my newsletter on 12th January for more about that.

I then popped to BesTop Kitchen at Bestwood Park Church for a great lunch at their Responsible Business Community Engagement Network Event. The speakers I heard were excellent, focussing on what can be done by our local businesses to help embrace the people of Nottingham North better. I’m proud that these newsletters have been full of great work being done by organisations in the area, but we can always do more, and events like this are an ideal opportunity to help fuel efforts and generate better ideas on how to do it.

Afterwards I’ve met with local Councillors and Council staff to discuss children’s dental health A something which is a real issue for some. Just now, I met with Alan Hardy, the owner of one of Nottingham’s two great league teams. I’ve already done lots of work with Notts County’s Sports in the Community program, so it was great to discuss this with the man at the top, who I know is very keen to continue engaging with the people of Nottingham, being one himself.

Nuclear Safeguards

Tuesday was the last stages (Report and Third Reading) of the Government’s Nuclear Safeguards Bill, before it passed into the House of Lords.

As you may know, I sat on the Public Bills Committee for this Bill, meaning I went into lots of detail trying to improve it after hearing evidence and opinions of experts in the field. This evidence led me to believe that the UK doesn’t have to leave Euratom, the European Atomic Energy Community as part of Brexit, we shouldn’t leave it if that is the case, and if we do have to leave it, it’s in our best interests to align our nuclear safeguard policy with that of Euratom as much as possible.

Unfortunately, the Bill in its current state, which passed without amendment on Tuesday, does not make this explicit, even though the Government have said they agree, and allows for future change from this stance without Parliamentary approval. I do not believe this is acceptable, and spoke in the House of Commons during the debate to make this argument.

There’s nothing more I can do for now, but hope that the House of Lords see sense, and send the Bill back to the House of Commons with these sensible changes in place. You can watch my contribution to the debate here.

In Parliament

While I’ve already mentioned three of the things I got up to in Westminster this week, that’s far from all, so here’s some of the other things that I spent my time on:

  • A UNISON Round-Table on Wholly Owned Subsidiaries in the NHS, alongside Shadow Secretary of State for Health, Jon Ashworth MP
  • Filming for a light segment on Dave’s Unspun with Matt Forde – I’ll let you know when it’s airing when I find out!
  • Attending a meeting of the APPG for ADHD, where impressionist Rory Bremner spoke to those in attendance.
  • A meeting with Shadow Secretary of State for Housing, John Healey MP, to discuss Labour Housing policy and how it suits the situation in Nottingham North
  • One-to-one’s with my Westminster team, who do a terrific job helping me serve our community.

That’s all for this week. Next week starts with a question to the Secretary of State for Education!

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.

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.

‘We are the Lions, Mr Manager’
A play telling the story of the Grunswick dispute, and its inspirational leader, Jayaben Desai, put on by Nottinghamshire TUC and Townsend Productions
Wednesday 14th February, 7pm, Polish Eagle Club, Sherwood Rise, NG7 6JN
Thursday 15th February, 7pm, Create Theatre, Mansfield, NG18 5BH
Tickets £12, (£6 conc.), for further info for the Nottingham performance email or call/text the secretary, Liam Conway, on 07746620779. For the Mansfield performance, email/text/call Ann Donlan (01623 416895 or Jon Dale (07779 205101

Nottingham Festival of Science & Curiosity
Various events bringing Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths to the heart of Nottingham
Various Locations
14th-21st February
For more information and full schedule, please visit

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
Thursdays, 9:30am–12:30pm

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 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

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 or 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,


P.S. As mentioned at the top, 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.

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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