Welcome to the latest issue of my weekly newsletter.
Another busy week for me, with plenty on in both Westminster and Nottingham North, but first I need to talk about the terrible events in Israel and Palestine this week.
Once more though, some data protection before I get started. Please do read and act upon this if you haven’t yet…
A couple of weeks ago I sent an email out which asked for written permission (by email is fine) to store your email address for the purpose of sending these newsletters, and the occasional other political mail out. I love sending these newsletters and want them to get to as many of you as possible every week, but unless I receive an email or letter from you giving your permission before May 25th, I won’t be able to send them to you afterwards, until that permission is granted.
Hundreds of you have already replied, and for that I’m very grateful, but if you haven’t already then please do so if you would like to continue reading. The easiest way to do so is to either reply to this newsletter or the email I originally sent letting me know that I can keep your email address. If you change your mind at any point, you can be removed exactly the same way.
This comes into force next week, so until you give me your consent, you won’t receive any more newsletters by email.
Read on to find out how what my week’s involved…
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 email@example.com and I will include it in future issues. Please also forward it onto anyone you think may be interested.
Israel and Palestine
I continue to be concerned at the humanitarian situation in Gaza and the terrible suffering that many Palestinian people are experiencing.
On Monday, over 35,000 Palestinians took part in violent riots along the border fence between Israel and Palestine. At least 58 Palestinians were killed by Israeli troops – the highest number of Palestinian fatalities in a single day since the 2014 Gaza war.
I am appalled by this and all the violence that has occurred in Gaza over recent weeks. All parties must commit to respecting peaceful protest, showing restraint and following international law. There is a need to establish the facts around these events and I believe there should be an independent and transparent investigation.
These events in Gaza serve as yet another reminder of the urgent need to work towards the two-state solution we all want to see – a secure Israel living in peace alongside a viable state of Palestine and an end to the senseless cycle of violence.
I am committed to pressing for a comprehensive peace in the Middle East based on a two-state solution but this will require both sides avoiding actions that make it harder to achieve. This must mean an end to the blockade of Gaza, an end to the occupation of Palestinian territory and an end to illegal settlement construction. It must also mean an end to terror attacks and a move away from extreme and entrenched positions.
I believe we all have a shared duty to look to the future and towards the next generation of young people growing up in Israel and Palestine today. Unfortunately, at present, that generation knows nothing but division and violence. It is essential that the Government fully backs all initiatives aimed at keeping the two-state solution alive. I hope it will also join the Opposition in recognising the state of Palestine while continuing to press for an immediate return to meaningful negotiations.
Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill Committee
Once again, I’ve found myself on a Bill Committee – this time with an infuriating twist.
Previously when I’ve been on Bill Committees they have been on what’s known as Public Bills, where the committee examines and amends Government legislature which has been budgeted for by the Chancellor. In this case, the Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill is a Private Members’ Bill, put forward by my Labour colleague Afzal Khan MP, which passed its Second Reading in the House of Commons on 1st December 2017.
Unlike Public Bills, finance for Private Members’ Bills isn’t included in the Budget, so a money resolution must be agreed upon, which is effectively the Government saying they will provide the funding for the Bill’s provisions. However, the Government has not done this for this Bill, despite Parliament voting for it to proceed, so we are currently unable to debate it in Committee.
Despite this, the Committee is still required to meet about twice a week, and have our very valuable time wasted because the Government won’t provide the funding for a Bill that so far has been supported by Parliament, and of which the primary aim is to permanently shelve a coalition provision to reduce the number of MPs that the Government has just been delaying anyway.
This is unacceptable and I will be continuing to press the Government to pass a money resolution for this Bill, so I can continue to do my job.
We’ve got a wonderful market in Bulwell, which we’re very proud of, and despite condition for trading being tough, it is something that gets people into Bulwell, provides a very valuable service to us and is something distinct about our area.
I’m therefore incredibly passionate about making sure this stays the case, and using my role as an MP to support Bulwell Market as best I can.
On Tuesday I therefore attended the All-Party Parliamentary Markets Group reception, which was held to celebrate the launch of two major events in the markets calendar year: the Love Your Local Market Campaign which will be taking place from the 17th-31st May, incorporating local youth markets encouraging the next generation of entrepreneur, and the national youth market taking place on the 31st August and 1st September in Stratford on Avon, where the best participants from the above and regional events throughout the country will be put forward to participate resulting in one of them becoming young trader of the year 2018.
Both initiatives are wonderful ways to encourage the next generation of market entrepreneurs, which is exactly what Bulwell Market will need to keep thriving, and I was glad to be there to support.
Yesterday I was able to take these ideas back to Nottingham, as I met with Mark Armstrong, Shaun Miles and Jamie Beardsley from the City Council to discuss their plans and aspirations for Bulwell Market and the wide town centre. We also discussed the most effective way of liaising and consulting with market traders, who will know better than anyone how we can help the market succeed.
I enjoyed two full days in Nottingham this week, so there was plenty more I got done too:
- I met with Cllr Neghat Khan and Jo Talbot from Guide Dogs, to discuss shared surfaces in Nottingham, particularly around the Broadmarsh developments in the City Centre, but these areas (where cars and pedestrians share the same surface – unlike a usually road with a pavement), cause issues for those with impaired vision.
- I met with a constituent to discuss probation and the justice system, in relation to a personal experience of his
- We had a board meeting of Rebalancing, the local charity that I chair. We’re doing lots of great work in the area and plenty more to come.
- I met with Lisa Webb from Barclays. While we don’t have one in the constituency, I’m sure plenty of constituents use those in the city, and many of the issues apply to everyone. At the meeting I was given an overview of the situation with Barclays’ customers; how they are coping in the current economic environment, what kind of businesses are starting up and what has been happening since the Brexit vote. We also discussed the increasing problems of personal and business fraud.
- I met with Ryan Pinkett, local Community Protection Officer, who is the main point of contact between me and my office and the Community Protection Office.
And as well as that, here’s what I’ve been up to down in Westminster:
- I questioned Ministers from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on Human Rights Violations in Bahrain, which a recent report from Reprieve and the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy indicates UK-funded organisations have been complicit in. I have since written to him asking for his assessment with a copy of the report.
- I met with Sir John Peace, Lord-Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire, and other stakeholders about proposals to extend the city tram. This is all still very early and far from decided upon, but we had a very productive meeting with lots of good ideas considered.
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.
Wolf Photography Events
A free breakfast for children aged 5ish – 11ish followed by fun arts and crafts and gentle Bible teaching
St Mary the Virgin & All Souls Parish Church, Highbury Road, Bulwell
This Sunday, 20th May, 9.30am
Alternative menu available
St Mary’s Church, Bulwell, NG6 9AD
Saturday 26th May, tickets £7 for a 3-course meal, proceeds for Christian Aid
For more information or to book a meal, tel Father Andrew Fisher 0115 975 5358 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com or Andy Barrett firstname.lastname@example.org further information. Dates for your diary include:
- Sat 26th May, 6-8pm, The Minver Crescent Nosh Up
Free Bike Health Check
If you’re aged 16-29, not in employment or education, and a Nottingham city resident, come along (with proof of age, address, and benefits) for a free bike health check and minor repairs
Bulwell Market Place, NG6 8HD
Friday 1st June, 12-2pm
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 7th June
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
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, next on June 10th
Messy Church Bestwood/Bulwell Forest
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
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; Tuesday 26th June is the Kitchen’s 1st birthday
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
If you would like your events advertised here, or further information on those advertised, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com 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: findyourmp.parliament.uk.
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 Direct.gov.
- For the main Parliamentary website click here and to explore the Parliamentary education site click here.