Welcome to the latest issue of my weekly newsletter.
The bank holiday means I’ve had a slightly shorter week than usual but still got plenty to tell you about.
But first, some data protection again…
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and I will include it in future issues. Please also forward it onto anyone you think may be interested.
Secure Tenancies (Victims of Domestic Abuse) Bill
You may recall that back in March I sat on the Public Bill Committee for this very important piece of legislation, which is now on the brink of becoming law.
For those unfamiliar, this Bill will ensure that when provisions in the Housing and Planning Act 2016 are brought into force requiring local authorities in England to offer only fixed-term tenancies, this will not apply to certain victims of domestic abuse. This addresses an important concern raised during the 2016 Act’s progress through Parliament that victims of domestic abuse would be less likely to leave their homes if doing so would result in an offer of a tenancy with reduced security of tenure.
I tried to improve this Bill during the Committee Stage, by attempting to ensure certain aspects were explicitly defined to avoid any potential future barriers. This was unsuccessful but on Tuesday, when the Bill had its final stages in the House Commons, I spoke in favour of another new clause and two further amendments that I believed would make the Bill stronger in its aim of protecting domestic abuse victims.
When a survivor of domestic abuse —usually a woman—makes the decision to leave their abuser, the state must be there to wrap around that person. There can be no grey areas and no “I’ll call you back on Monday”. It must be immediate and comprehensive. Whether it is housing, support for children or fostering for pets, it has to be there. It is with that in mind that I rose to speak, and I am therefore disappointed that none of these measures were passed.
You can watch my contribution here, while I continue to fight to protect vulnerable people such as domestic abuse victims.
The Next Generation
While Sir Patrick Stewart has been vocal on Brexit in the past few weeks, this actually refers to two groups of Primary School children that I’ve been fortunate enough to meet, and hopefully made a positive impression upon, this week.
On Wednesday morning I welcomed the Year 4 class from Crabtree Farm Primary School to the House of Commons, as part of an incredible two-day trip to London. As well as Parliament, where they were given a tour of both Houses before meeting with me, they also found time to visit the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir (a Hindu Temple in North-West London), Wembley Stadium, the HMS Belfast, and the Shard!
With so much to fit in I’m very glad they had to time to meet me. I told them all about how I became an MP and what I try to change in my role, while they asked me a wonderful range of questions, from the hard-cutting “What have you changed so far?” to simply what I do in my very limited free time (spend time with my family, watch TV and play Football Manager!). I hope everyone enjoyed the trip and I’m sure such a varied experience will be wonderful for all the kids, with lots of great memories to take home. I’ll be returning the visit at some point and I’m looking forward to meeting next year’s class already.
I hope that more and more schools continue to follow suit. Do get in touch if your class would like to meet me down here!
And this morning I met a Year 5 class at Rosslyn Park Primary School, where I’m also Chair of Governors. The class have been studying persuasive letter writing and looking at animal rights, so will be writing to me with the view of me introducing a new bill to Parliament to ensure fox hunting with hounds remains banned. To help with this, they invited me to discuss how Laws are passed. I talked about this, and my wider role as an MP, and was pleased to hear so much enthusiasm for Politics and Animal Welfare from those of such a young age. I’m looking forward to receiving their letters, although thankfully with fox hunting currently banned, a new law won’t be needed!
Still No Place for Hate
Last night I attended the launch of Nottingham Citizens’ report on hate crime, Still No Place for Hate.
Through this report, Nottingham Citizens have produced an incredibly thorough report into hate crime; their research evidencing how difficult this situation is locally – manifested in a wide range of simply unacceptable behaviours. They’ve also provide a range of excellent suggestions for how we can begin to make our city one that treats minority communities with the respect they deserve.
One of their suggestions, the ‘respect charter’, is one which applies directly to me as a Member of Parliament, and I hope that all political parties will sign up to this, as a statement of intent to stop allowing minority communities of all descriptions to be mistreated.
I was pleased to be able to highlight this report in Parliament yesterday, as I asked the Minister to assure me that hate crime will be properly prosecuted – something which the report outlines does not happen enough. You can watch this here.
This week I got back to Nottingham for last night’s launch of the report just mentioned, and as well as that and visiting Rosslyn this morning, this is what I’ve been up to here today:
- I met with Ajaz Hussein from iCare Nottingham, a local provider of caring services, to discuss a project they are working on and how we can work together to get them additional support to serve the elderly community in and around Nottingham.
- I caught up with Cathy Mahmood, the co-ordinator of Creative Nottingham North, which works to develop the six wards of Nottingham North as a creative and digital industries hub, and was originally developed by and still works very closely with the Rebalancing Charity I chair. Many of the creative events in the What’s On section will have come through Creative NN!
- My fellow Nottingham MPs and I met with the City Council at Loxley House for our regular catch-up on local issues.
And as well as that which I’ve already mentioned, here’s what I’ve been up to down in Westminster:
- I was on the Bill Committee for a Private Members’ Bill, the Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill, but as the Government has not agreed a financial resolution for it – meaning they haven’t agreed to fund it – there is nothing to consider. I also spoke in Parliament on Thursday about the ridiculousness of this situation.
- I met with Katie Nixon from the Premier League to discuss Safe Standing areas in football grounds, which aren’t currently allowed in the top league. I also asked the Sports Minister why she thinks only a vocal minority think this choice should be available – which she admitted she regrets saying.
- I dropped into the PCS launch of their new report, An Alternative Vision for Prisons, which is very important to me at the moment given the spate of deaths at HMP Nottingham locally.
- I attended a regular meeting of the Co-Operative Group Parliamentary Group.
- Alongside Alex Sobel, MP for Leeds North West, I met with Jack Baker from Mark Ramsdale about setting up an All-Party Parliamentary Group for Baseball. Good timing with London MLB games announced this week.
- And I asked the Leader of the House in Parliament if we could discuss the impact, both on and off pitch, of non-league football, after congratulating Basford United FC on their wonderful double and promotion. You can watch this here.
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.
Notts Fire and Rescue Prince’s Trust Team Programme
Through this programme, Notts Fire and Rescue work with young adults aged 16-25 who are not in employment, education or training & provide a twelve-week personal development course which is run from Stockhill Fire Station on Stockhill Lane.
The course involves an outdoor activity residential, a two-week community project, a two-week work placement & activities organised with local community groups. Young people will get a nationally recognised qualification along with certificates in Manual Handling & Basic First Aid. Benefits are not affected by attending the programme & bus fare is provided.
They are currently now recruiting for their next Team programme in Basford.
When does the next team start? – The next team starts on Monday 21st May and runs for 12 weeks.
Who is the programme for? – The programme is for unemployed young people between the ages of 16 and 25.
How much does it cost? – Nothing – the programme is free of charge and even public transport costs are paid for.
What will young people gain on the programme? – They work on skills which are useful for the workplace, including team building, problem solving, leadership skills, communication skills, and organisation skills. Support is also offered for young people to build their confidence and self-esteem, and to overcome any problems which they may face.
How do I make a referral to the team programme? – Please contact the Stockhill Team Leader – Gavin Clark on 07967 690795, or email email@example.com.
What next? – There is an Open Day on Tuesday 15th May at the Team Room, Stockhill Fire Station – Prince’s Trust House (next door to Stockhill Fire Station), Stockhill Lane, Basford, Nottingham, NG6 0LG. It is a drop in session at any time between 10am and 3pm. Young people can come alone or come with friends & family if they prefer.
You may also like to find out more on their website here.
Christian Aid Week Service
Christian Aid Weeks runs from 12- 19 May 2018, including a special service
St John’s Church, off Key Close, Bulwell, NG6 8JL
13th May, 4pm
Stalls including a cake stall, also refreshments available
URC (United Reformed Church), Broomhill Road, Bulwell, NG6 9GJ
Tomorrow, 12th May, 10.30am-12pm, proceeds for Christian Aid
With Nottingham Ukelele Orchestra. Cakes for sale too.
URC (United Reformed Church), Broomhill Road, Bulwell, NG6 9GJ
Tomorrow, 12th May, 7pm. Tickets £3 or pay on the door, proceeds for Christian Aid
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
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
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.