MY NEWSLETTER 16/02/18

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Welcome to the latest issue of my weekly newsletter.

As the Parliamentary recess continues, there is no news from the Palace of Westminster; and this week’s newsletter will therefore have a slightly different focus: on the wonderful creative efforts of those in our constituency and city. Next week I’ll be back to Westminster, after attending Ken Bullivant’s funeral on Monday to pay my respects.

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 alex.norris.mp@parliament.uk and I will include it in future issues. Please also forward it onto anyone you think may be interested.

Creative Nottingham North

On Thursday, I met with Cathy Mahmood, the Coordinator for Creative Nottingham North, to discuss all the good work she and Creative Nottingham North have been doing in our community.

Formed in 2015, Creative Nottingham North looks to improve Nottingham by harnessing the creative talent of our community. In connecting community organizations with art organizations, they are helping to cultivate a shared sense of purpose and care.

I would therefore like to take this moment to highlight some projects that they have completed, are in the process of completing, and are looking to start within the near future:

  • Earlier this month, the first Big House event was held in Riverside. Members from the Creative Quarter and D2N2 Growth Hub talked to the public about free support services available to those brave entrepreneurs looking to start up or grow new, creative businesses. From what I have heard, there were calls for another meeting to maintain these new networks and support! If you are interested in starting your own business, click here for some helpful links provided by Creative Nottingham North.

Civic role of arts orgs

  • On the 22nd January, community theatre specialists Excavate held a community planning meetings regarding ‘Three Doors Down.’ ‘Three Doors Down’ is a community theatre piece which looks to involve as many people as possible and convey the character of Minver Crescent. This is a wonderful opportunity to transform the experiences of those in our community into a work of art.

Andy Barrett, pic for Three Doors Down.jpg

  • Every Tuesday, the Minver Sports Centre is home to Women for Women’s Sake. Here, women can meet to hold discussions pertaining to topics important to them, engage in arts and crafts activities, attend Zumba classes, and participate in a host of other fun and informative activities.

CNN Logo colour

  • In Aspley, a new weekly sewing group is being founded to bring together women of all faiths, cultures and backgrounds. Every Thursday at the Aspley Community and Training Centre from 10am-2pm, the goal is to cultivate new friendships while learning a new and useful skill.

Aspley Sewing Workshop launch.JPG

There are many more fantastic projects happening through Creative Nottingham North, and I cannot mention them all, unfortunately. If you are curious about what new projects are happening around you, you can click here.

Creative Connections at the National Portrait Gallery

alex npg.JPG

Speaking of creativity in Nottingham, I recently visited the Creative Connections exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery.

The reason being that the subjects of these wonderful photos are the people of Nottingham!  In partnership with Nottingham Contemporary, photographer Katherine Green has worked in collaboration with students from Farnborough College in Clifton, to present an exhibition of new work documenting insights into community identities and stories through photographic portraits inspired by the Collection. This display invites audiences to explore local identity and sense of place.

I am always proud at the work the members of our community do and it is nice to see us getting recognition at the national level.

I highly encourage a trip to the exhibit if you do happen to be down in London before the 25th February. Here is a link to the National Portrait Gallery’s website about the exhibit.

Real Science in Schools

On Thursday, I joined young scientists and other experts in a symposium to explore how we can create more opportunities for authentic research and genuine investigations for young people in our Nottingham Schools. The event was held as a part of a week-long Nottingham’s Festival of Science & Curiosity. The festival brings creative and inspiring science, technology, engineering and maths based events and activities to the heart of Nottingham. It takes place until 21st February and you can find more and the list of events here.

Appeal for help

Grant Herrod, who is one of my constituents, have signed up to volunteer with Voluntary Service Overseas to help support and better the lives of those less fortunate than ourselves. He will be going to Cambodia in May for three months and he asked me to share his fundraising page to help him raise £800 by 9th April. If you can donate any amount please visit his fundraising page here.

On top of this I’ve been campaigning in the forthcoming Council by-election and will be attending Labour’s Regional Conference tomorrow.

Look forward to filling you in on a busy week in London next week

 

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.

Basford United Football Academy
A football education programme for 16-18 years old. Football trials are on Monday 19th February and Tuesday 20th February 2018 between 12pm and 3pm. They are held at Basford United FC, Greenwich Avenue, Basford, NG6 0LD. For more information contact Abbie on 0115 914 6457 or visit https://goo.gl/atuYei.

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.

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 www.nottsfosac.co.uk

Bulwell Forest Garden Lunch Club
You can go and harvest, prepare and cook a delicious veggie meal, to share and eat together. The first lunch is held on Friday 2nd March from 10.30am to 1.30pm at Bulwell Forest Garden, Austin Street, Bulwell, NG6 9JU.

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 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: www.creativenottinghamnorth.com, @CreativeNNorth, cathy.mahmood@rebalancingouterestates.com

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: www.stmartinsbilborough.org.uk, info@stmartinsbilborough.uk

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: www.apriltowriess.co.uk, hello@apriltowriess.co.uk

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 soundasapound@ncha.org.uk or visit their website at www.soundasapound.org.

 

If you would like your events advertised here, or further information on those advertised, please email me at alex.norris.mp@parliament.uk.

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,

Alex

 

 

How to contact me

If you would like to contact me, please email alex.norris.mp@parliament.uk 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

Alex’s Website: click here.

Alex’s Twitter: click here.

Nottingham City Council: click here.

Find your MP: click here.

Register to vote: click here.

School term dates in Nottingham: click here.

LABOUR PARTY

If you’d like to learn more about the Labour party their website is here.

To join the Labour Party click here.

LOCAL NEWS

Nottingham BBC news: click here.

East Midlands BBC news: click here.

Nottingham Post: click here.

Notts TV: click here.

LOCAL INFORMATION

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.

NATIONAL LINKS

For the main Parliamentary website click here and to explore the Parliamentary education site click here.

 

My Newsletter 19/01/18

Welcome to the latest issue of my weekly newsletter.

This week has of course been dominated by the news that Carillion, the UK’s second-largest construction firm, entered liquidation on Monday morning. As well as imperilling the 19,500 they pay, through direct and indirect employment and pensions, Carillion also held approximately 450 Government contracts for public services. These jobs and public services are now in crisis thanks to the Government’s blind commitment to outsourcing.

Carillion issued their first profit warning last July and it has been clear for months that the company had been in sincere difficulty but the Government continued to hand over contracts long afterwards, to the tune of almost £2 billion. Now that this damage has been done, the Government needs to act, but their commitments to workers and on pensions simply aren’t good enough. Thousands of workers could be facing compulsory redundancies today.

These crucial public sector contracts need to be brought back in house immediately to protect Carillion’s employees, supply chain companies, pension holders and British taxpayers. Furthermore, there needs to be a full, independent and transparent investigation into the actions of Carillion, those linked to the company and the Government to get to the bottom of the issues with this whole ideological system of contracting out public services.

I’ve got direct experience of this having campaigned to stop Carillion picking up big contracts at our hospitals and then campaigning for them to lose the contracts as they mishandled them badly. That their operation isn’t sustainable does not surprise me.

This crisis would never have happened under a Labour Government, as we promised in our Manifesto to insource our public and local council services as preferred providers, so that quality of service could be put first.

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 atalex.norris.mp@parliament.uk and I will include it in future issues. Please also forward it onto anyone you think may be interested.

Nottingham Station Fire

This time last week, Nottingham Fire Service had just put out the terrible blaze that afflicted Nottingham Train Station from Friday morning. The fire lasted 6 and a half hours, flames were seen coming from the station roof and smoke filled the main foyer. I was saddened to hear that the incident, which started in a women’s bathroom, is being treated as arson. If this is the case, I hope justice is done for the millions of pounds of damage and economic losses done.

Despite the size of the fire, the station was reopened the very next day, was back to operating at a near-to-normal level by Sunday, and I was pleased to hear yesterday that the water supply has been reconnected. This is a tribute to the quality of our emergency services and everyone else who has worked tirelessly on the day and since to fight the fire and restore the valuable service the station provides. We are very thankful.

To show my personal thanks, and to bring attention to the tremendous job done, particularly by the fire and police services, I raised this in the House of Commons on Thursday. You can watch this here.

Prime Minister’s Question

On 15th December 2017, the National Audit Office released a report, ‘Reducing Modern Slavery’, which found that the government’s Modern Slavery Strategy was not working effectively, and the Home Office did not know how much money is being spent. Furthermore, the Home Office hasn’t set out how a reduction in modern slavery will be measured, doesn’t set clear anti-slavery activity, doesn’t know what activity is going on across government and isn’t monitoring business compliance with the Modern Slavery Act.

We’re now in the third year since the Modern Slavery Act came into law, announced with great fanfare by the Tory government, but they have failed to implement it fully and effectively. The Conservative Minister who introduced the Bill said it would be sending the strongest possible message to criminals involved in this disgusting trade, but this is clearly just not happening.

The HMIC report on modern day slavery in October was a damning indictment of this Tory government’s unwillingness to properly resource our police and border forces, and this new report from the National Audit Office shows that the problems go even deeper into the Home Office. It isn’t good enough.

That’s why at Wednesday lunchtime I took the opportunity to ask the Prime Minister what she’s going to do about it; the Government cannot leave their legislation to go stale while victims are being forced into work, sex, domestic servitude; suffering inhumane and degrading treatment for long periods of time, and being subjected to threats or violence.

HMP Nottingham

You may recall that on 2 separate occasions last year, on the 31st October and 5th December, I asked Justice Ministers what they planned to do after five prisoners at HMP Nottingham died in a two-month period. It took a month and a half for me to receive a response, and it appears the Department for Justice weren’t using that time productively acting on the issue (despite the letter telling me they were on it), as yesterday, the Prisons Inspector issued an “urgent notification” to the Justice Secretary, warning that lives are at risk at HMP Nottingham after inspectors deemed it to be a “fundamentally unsafe” jail.

The inspection took place on 8th January – the third in about three years – on all occasions inspectors found many of the same serious failures in safety. Levels of self-harm have risen significantly since 2016. Indeed, four of the five deaths I mentioned to the Justice Minister were suicides. Moreover, over two-thirds of men said they had felt unsafe in the prison at some time, more than a third felt unsafe at the time of the inspection, and levels of drugs, violence and assaults and use of force by staff were all considered high.

David Gauke, the new Secretary of State for Justice, now has 28 days to respond publicly, but more importantly he needs to act immediately before more lives are lost. The Department has had plenty of warning, from myself and others, long before now, and to not have acted is simply unacceptable.

In Parliament

Today is a sitting Friday, so I’ve spent more of the week in Parliament than usual, which unfortunately means less time in Nottingham than I’d like, but I’ve made good use of it.

Aside from my question the Prime Minister on Wednesday, a key part of my week was a Westminster Hall Debate yesterday addressing Supported Housing, where I took the opportunity to raise the issue of Domestic Violence refuges, as I did last year. Government plans threaten the four such refuges we have in Nottingham, which are a vital lifeline for those who need them. On Monday evening, I had also attended a Women’s Aid Parliamentary Briefing in preparation of this. They have been doing tremendous work on this campaign so far, and I’m keen to continue working with them in Parliament as much as I can. You can read more about the campaign here and watch my contribution to the debate here.

I also resumed my more usual schedule of meetings, meeting with Andrew Errington, the Director of Community Protection at Nottingham City Council to discuss the work that he and his team are doing in collaboration with the Police force in Nottingham, and what I can do as Member of Parliament to support their very important role.

On a similar note, my fellow Nottinghamshire MPs and I met with the Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police, Craig Guildford. Craig took over the role a year ago, so was in Parliament to brief us all on how he has been working to deliver policing locally over the last 12 months, and informing us of his plans for the next year and beyond. I also met with Jim Kennedy from Unite to glean some of his expertise on workers’ rights in Qatar.

Now back in Nottingham, I am on my way to our regular MPs’ meeting at the City Council, before heading back to the constituency for my monthly surgery. As always, if you’re interested in meeting me personally to discuss an issue, give my office a call on 0115 975 2377, and they’ll be able to organise this.

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.

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 www.nottsfosac.co.uk

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: www.creativenottinghamnorth.com, @CreativeNNorth, cathy.mahmood@rebalancingouterestates.com

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: www.stmartinsbilborough.org.ukinfo@stmartinsbilborough.uk

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: www.apriltowriess.co.ukhello@apriltowriess.co.uk

 

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 soundasapound@ncha.org.ukor visit their website at www.soundasapound.org.

 

If you would like your events advertised here, or further information on those advertised, please email me at alex.norris.mp@parliament.uk.

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,

Alex

 

P.S. 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 alex.norris.mp@parliament.uk 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

LABOUR PARTY

  • If you’d like to learn more about the Labour party their website is here.
  • To join the Labour Party click here.

LOCAL NEWS

LOCAL INFORMATION

  • 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.

NATIONAL LINKS

  • For the main Parliamentary website click here and to explore the Parliamentary education site click here.

My Newsletter 12/01/18

Welcome to the latest issue of my weekly newsletter.

The only place to start this week is with the very sad and concerning news about the fire that has happened at our train station overnight. The improvements at the station have been a big part of brightening up the entrance to the city and I was proud to have played an active role in that on the Council.

Now is not the time for speculation. The men and women of our Fire Service are doing their usual tremendous work and we need to let them do so. In the mean time we must carry on with our normal routine and then later come together to see what we need to do repair any damage.

In that spirit…

Parliament is now back in full swing, with the Government’s ministerial ‘reshuffle’ dominating the news at the beginning of the week, but there have also been important debates on the Trade Bill and the NHS winter crisis to discuss on which we have been pressing the Government throughout the week.

I’ve also been drawn for another question to the Prime Minister, so keep an eye out next Wednesday lunchtime. Let me know if there’s any important issues you think I should bring up to her.

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 alex.norris.mp@parliament.uk and I will include it in future issues. Please also forward it onto anyone you think may be interested.

Nottingham North Jobs Fair

At the election one of my pledges was to work to help my constituents get good jobs. This of course happens in Parliament by making sure we have a strong economy but I also think this should be a proactive endeavour. So I’m proud to announce details that this year’s Nottingham North Job Fair, hosted by Rebalancing the Outer Estates, the local charity that I chair, alongside Nottingham City Council, Futures and Jobcentre Plus, will take place on Friday 9th March in the Sports Hall at Bulwell Riverside, from 9:30am – 2:30pm.

We’re currently looking for employers, training providers and local employment support organisations to have exhibitions at the fair, and are taking applications to reserve a space. This is a wonderful opportunity to attract some local talent so please email me if you would like an application form. To maximise interest in your vacancies and opportunities prior to the event, you can advertise them with the Nottingham Jobs Hub via www.nottinghamjobs.com.

I will advertise this great event again nearer the time, and look forward to seeing many of you there, whether advertising vacancies or trying to find the job that is right for you.

Coventry Road Post Office

You may be aware that the Post Office at 124 Coventry Road in Bulwell has been closed since 2015, or you may have even thought it was closed permanently, but either way, I have some good news.

After a consultation on moving to the branch to Clayfield Convenience Store didn’t get anywhere, the Post Office have now let me know that a further consultation has led to a proposal to re-open the branch at 21 Main Street, with a full modernisation, so if the move goes ahead it will change to a new style branch and open as Main Street Post Office.

This would mean that Post Office services will be offered from a till on the retail counter in a modern open plan branch, with longer opening hours and retaining most traditional Post Office products and services.

However, not all is done and dusted yet and the Post Office are looking for views on the proposals. A 6-week local public consultation has just begun, focussing particularly on the following areas:

  • How suitable you think the new location and premises are and how easy it is to get there
  • Are the new premises easy for you to get into and is the inside easily accessible?
  • Are there any other local community issues which you believe could be affected by or affect the proposed change?
  • If the move were to proceed is there anything we could do to make it easier for customers?

You can read more information on the proposals, and share your views using an online survey, by clicking here. The more people that do this, the more likely we are to have a new Post Office that meets all of our needs, so get thinking! The consultation closes on 15th February.

In Parliament

As you’ll know I am a member of Labour’s shadow Health Team. This week we have been raising the issue of winter pressures in the NHS that have led to people waiting on trolleys or in ambulances for care, important operations cancelled and the system only surviving on the goodwill of our incredible staff.

This is a crisis that has been created from years of cuts to social care and under-resourcing of the NHS. It’s a crisis made in Downing Street.

We’ve been raising this in Parliament and secured a vote on Wednesday. The vote was carried unopposed with Government MPs refusing to vote – which is pretty feeble, really.

We will keep the pressure on.

I also received some good news following a series of written questions I’ve submitted. I finally got a response from Steve Baker MP, a Minister at the Department for Exiting the European Union on an important matter. I don’t get much chance to talk about written Parliamentary Questions, as the answers aren’t often helpful on their own – they’re usually either a way to gather information or to prompt action of our more substance. However, they are still a useful tool that I use regularly to hold the Government to account.

Back in November, I asked whether UK pensioners living in EU countries will continue to get their state pension uprated after the UK has left the EU. This is an issue for non-EU pensioners that I have discussed before, as their pensions are negotiated on a country-to-country basis, leaving many worse off year to year. While I will continue to fight for their situation to be changed, we at least now know the situation won’t be the same for UK pensioners in Europe, as this is the answer I received from the Government:

“We have now agreed with the EU that under reciprocal arrangements, the UK will continue to export an uprated UK State Pension and provide associated healthcare cover for UK nationals living in the EU who are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement.

This will include people who are of state pension age and those who are not yet at state pension age, once they start drawing their UK State Pension.”

I’m glad to have secured this commitment.

In Nottingham

Beyond the Jobs Fair and exciting news about the Post Office there’s been plenty going on locally.

  • I spent yesterday with my team in Nottingham, discussing the casework we do for local members and how we can make sure the service we provide in this regard is as helpful as possible.
  • I also met with two constituents involved in amateur boxing about the sport. I am very interested in the role of organised sport in helping young people get a rounded life education so I’m keen to hear from any readers about their involvement in that.
  • Alongside Janet Glass from Rebalancing, I met with the DWP’s District Operational Lead, covering Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Rutland. Rebalancing is run through its relationships with local organisations, and the local district branch of the DWP is one of those that we are very keen to cooperate with, given the work done locally to try and get people into employment.

That’s all for this week, thanks for reading and keep an eye out on Wednesday!

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.

CQ After 5: Creative Connections
Free business support for individuals thinking of turning their creative ideas into action!
Bulwell Riverside, Main Street, NG6 8QJ
Thursday 18th January, 6-8pm

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
Tuesdays, 4:30-6pm, next Messy Church January 16th
Bestwood Park Church, Beckhampton Rd, Bestwood Park
Thursdays, 4:30-6pm
Church on Rise Park, Revelstoke Way, Rise Park
Thursdays 5-6:30pm, next Messy Church January 18th

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: www.creativenottinghamnorth.com, @CreativeNNorth, cathy.mahmood@rebalancingouterestates.com

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: www.stmartinsbilborough.org.ukinfo@stmartinsbilborough.uk

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: www.apriltowriess.co.ukhello@apriltowriess.co.uk

 

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 soundasapound@ncha.org.uk or visit their website at www.soundasapound.org.

 

If you would like your events advertised here, or further information on those advertised, please email me at alex.norris.mp@parliament.uk.

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,

Alex

 

P.S. 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 alex.norris.mp@parliament.uk 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

LABOUR PARTY

  • If you’d like to learn more about the Labour party their website is here.
  • To join the Labour Party click here.

LOCAL NEWS

LOCAL INFORMATION

  • 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.

NATIONAL LINKS

  • For the main Parliamentary website click here and to explore the Parliamentary education site click here.

My Newsletter 05/01/18

Happy New Year – here’s my first newsletter of 2018!

I hope everyone had an enjoyable Christmas period, however you decided to spend it, and are now getting back into the swing of things in 2018.

Last year was an unforgettable one for many reasons – I suspect 2018 may be similar.

Parliament returns on Monday and I’m looking forward to getting at it. Before Christmas I finished the year with a roundup, and I’ll have more of what I’ve been up to next Friday, but for now here is a short preview of what I’m planning for this year.

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 alex.norris.mp@parliament.uk and I will include it in future issues. Please also forward it onto anyone you think may be interested.

Progress for Nottingham North

Since being elected I’ve spent most of my time campaigning on issues that most affect the people of Nottingham North, whether directly or indirectly, and have no plans to change this in 2018. Here are some of the key issues I’ll be continuing to fight for:

Since being elected I’ve spent most of my time campaigning on issues that most affect the people of Nottingham North, whether directly or indirectly, and have no plans to change this in 2018. Here are some of the key issues I’ll be continuing to fight for:

  • Universal Credit rollout – The Universal Credit rollout, which hits Nottingham in June this year and will affect 7 million people over this Parliament, is still not fit for purpose, with the Government’s minor attempts to placate in the Budget falling far short from what is required. The 5-week waiting period especially is unacceptable and needs to be removed as soon as possible, so I’ll be continuing to fight for exactly that.
  • Electrification of the Midlands Mainline – answers to my Parliamentary Questions have shown that the bi-mode trains, in favour of which the Government has abandoned this important project, are more expensive, less reliable and worse for the environment then their electric counterparts, so I shall continue to push for the common-sense option.
  • Women’s refuges – As you probably know, I joined Jess Phillips MP’s Westminster Hall debate and questioned the Prime Minister on the threat that Government plans pose to our Women’s Refuge Centres, but the fight isn’t yet won and I’ll be continuing this campaign full-on. We can’t risk losing these important services.

Health

This week both the Prime Minister and Health Secretary have apologised for the state of the NHS over the Christmas period, particularly to the 16,900 people in a single week (and tens of thousands more across the whole winter period) who had to wait in ambulances to enter A&E. This was the same week that it emerged that 55,000 ‘non-essential’ operations could be deferred.

Of course, none of this was a surprise and is just the worst part of an ongoing pattern, yet the Government still didn’t take the required actions when the situation was entirely preventable. NHS England called for an extra £4billion for the NHS in the Autumn Budget, while Labour are committed to investment of £6billion. The Government only promised £2.4bn, far short of what is needed.

This year I will be continuing my work as part of Labour’s Health Team to fight against the damage that the Government is doing to our NHS, and stop the damaging effects that is having on its patients, its staff and our country.

Law-Making

Looking forward over the next few months, there are a number of important Bills that are going to be debated in Parliament, upon which I’m looking forward to voicing my own arguments in the House and voting to improve. Here’s some of what is coming up:

  • On Tuesday 16th and Wednesday 17th January, debate will continue on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, which awaits its ‘Remaining Stages’ (Report and Third Reading) in the House of Commons, after which it will pass to the House of Lords for their consideration. The Report stage allows for any further amendments while the Third Reading regards the content of the Bill in its amended state, as opposed to what could be included. Once the Bill has passed through the House of Lords it will then return to the House of Commons for us to consider any amendments made by the Lords, so it’s likely we won’t have seen the last of this Bill on the 17th!
  • The Nuclear Safeguards Bill is another which I’m looking forward to, after having sat on the Public Bill Committee for this legislation in November. Similarly to the EU Bill, this is now due its Report Stage and Third Reading before heading to the House of Lords. The date for this is yet to be announced, but I’ll be sure to fill you in when we know.
  • Constituency Boundaries Bill. I am expecting to sit on this Bill Committee. I have a long-standing interest on Voter Registration so have been asked to serve on this committee. I’m keen to make sure that boundaries are fair and ensure that everyone has a strong voice in Parliament.
  • There will also be a number of Private Members’ Bills on sitting Fridays that I will undoubtedly take a keen interest in. The next of these will fall on 19th January, when I’m particularly looking forward to considering my Labour colleague Karen Buck’s Homes (Fitness For Human Habitation And Liability For Housing Standards) Bill, which seeks to require that all residential rented dwellings in England are fit for human habitation at the start of the tenancy and thereafter. In Nottingham North we know all too well some of the problems that private renters can endure, and it’s important we act to improve this.

And of course, I’ll be looking to secure and support more Westminster Hall and Adjournment debates to build upon the opportunities I had with Voter Registration and Advice Services. I’m currently hoping to secure these on Rail Investment in the East Midlands, Shared Road Surfaces and Migrant Worker Labour Reforms in Qatar, so keep your eyes peeled for one of these.

So there’s lots to look forward to. This is what I’m starting with. But if the last year has shown anything it’s that things will change along the way and I hope you’ll support me in developing new priorities along the way.

Don’t forget I’m also available to help with any issues you may be having – get in touch by either phone (0115 975 2377) or email (alex.norris.mp@parliament.uk) to discuss or arrange a slot to discuss in person.

Happy New Year!

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.

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
Tuesdays, 4:30-6pm, next Messy Church January 16th
Bestwood Park Church, Beckhampton Rd, Bestwood Park
Thursdays, 4:30-6pm, next Messy Church January 11th
Church on Rise Park, Revelstoke Way, Rise Park
Thursdays 5-6:30pm, next Messy Church January 18th

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: www.creativenottinghamnorth.com, @CreativeNNorth, cathy.mahmood@rebalancingouterestates.com

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: www.stmartinsbilborough.org.ukinfo@stmartinsbilborough.uk

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: www.apriltowriess.co.ukhello@apriltowriess.co.uk

 

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 soundasapound@ncha.org.uk or visit their website at www.soundasapound.org.

 

If you would like your events advertised here, or further information on those advertised, please email me at alex.norris.mp@parliament.uk.

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,

Alex

 

 

 

How to contact me

If you would like to contact me, please email alex.norris.mp@parliament.uk 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

LABOUR PARTY

  • If you’d like to learn more about the Labour party their website is here.
  • To join the Labour Party click here.

LOCAL NEWS

LOCAL INFORMATION

  • 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.

NATIONAL LINKS

  • For the main Parliamentary website click here and to explore the Parliamentary education site click here.

My Newsletter 22/12/17

Welcome to my latest newsletter as Member of Parliament of Nottingham North, and the last one of the year as I’ll be away on my honeymoon next Friday!

This week’s newsletter will be dedicated to rounding up the main things I’ve done since I was elected in June, and likewise I’ll be using the first newsletter in January to look ahead to what 2018 has in store, but before that there’s one Parliamentary contribution it would be amiss not to mention.

On Tuesday, the provisional Local Government Settlement for 2018-19 was announced and debated – that is, the money provided to councils and the scope they’re given to raise their own. Across the last 2 years, this has changed significantly from a system based on central government grant to one in which local sources (such as council tax and business rates) determine a council’s revenue. During this change the Government provided a transition grant to ease the difficulties faced by local authorities. Unfortunately, this wasn’t distributed fairly, with 83% of the grant going to Conservative-controlled Councils. I therefore spoke up in Tuesday’s debate to ensure this wasn’t going to be done again, and the Secretary of State responded confirming that it is being dropped for good. You can watch this here.

Now onto the round-up…

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 alex.norris.mp@parliament.uk and I will include it in future issues. Please also forward it onto anyone you think may be interested.

My first Parliamentary contributions

Becoming an MP has meant an awful lot of ‘first’ milestones, as I go through the rituals that every MP does, some very soon after being elected, some more recently and some I look forward to achieving in the future.

27th June was one day I met two of these milestones, as I asked my first Parliamentary Question to Margot James MP on zero-hours contracts, before making my Maiden Speech in the House of Commons during a debate on the Queen’s Speech.

I used mine to thank my predecessor, Graham Allen, paid tribute to the great city of Nottingham and to the things and people that make us special, and then made clear what I would be working towards as a Member of Parliament. I shared my anger about the cyclical poverty we endure in Nottingham North, and vowed to work hard to make it a better place. You can watch it again hereor read it here.

Since then I’ve also secured my first Westminster Hall Debate (more on that to come), been on my first Bill Committee, got my first more senior job as Private Parliamentary Secretary to Jon Ashworth MP, and most recently, asked my first question to the Prime Minister, which was just last week (watch it again here). I dearly hope that these will all be the first of many, and I’m looking forward to reaching plenty of other milestones.

Westminster Hall Debates

One of my ‘first’ milestones was securing my first debate Westminster Hall, and there has since been one more. I apply for debates such as these every week for an opportunity to raise an important issue in more detail, allow my colleagues to raise their own opinions and hopefully send a persuasive message to the Government Ministers.

The first, on 11th October, was on Advice Services in Nottingham, and allowed me an opportunity to discuss the incredibly wide range of organisations offering free advice on a variety of issues we have in the city. Some provide a specific service across the city, some support a small locality or focus on a certain community, but what they have in common is their value to the people who rely upon them. I used the debate to highlight some of them; outlining the services on offer, and addressing some of the challenges they’re facing, including the full roll-out of Universal Credit which begins in Nottingham next Summer, which threatens to derail the level of service that can be provided. You can watch this debate again here, or read the transcript here.

More recently I had the chance to discuss the issue of voter registration in the constituency, and to publicly state a belief of mine that we should introduce a system of automatic registration. There are estimated to be about 6 million people missing from the UK electoral register, and millions are spent by local authorities every year trying to maintain this incomplete list.

Two simple changes would create a seamless process that is more convenient and less error-prone for both voters and government officials: firstly, eligible citizens who interact with government agencies would be registered to vote unless they decline. Secondly, agencies could transfer voter registration information electronically to election officials. This policy would boost registration rates, clean up the rolls, make voting more convenient, and reduce the potential for voter fraud, all while lowering costs. The end game is achieving full participation in our democracy – and an accurate system that is easier to administer.

I have continued to question the Cabinet Office on this important issue since. You can watch the debate here or read the transcript here.

Important Debates

As well as the debates I secured, there have been other debates both in the House of Commons Chamber and Westminster Hall where I have contributed, to raise aspects of the discussion that I consider particularly important and hopefully persuade others of my viewpoint.

  • On 12th July, I joined my Nottingham neighbour Lilian Greenwood’s Westminster Hall Debate on Nottingham Schools to outline the effect that cuts to school budgets are having and will continue to have on schools in Nottingham North, and more importantly, their pupils. Getting a good start in life is key to moving out of poverty, and should be something we aspire to for every child, but unfortunately in our constituency that too often isn’t the case. Our schools losing money in real terms will cost them staff and other resources which are necessary to keep up the good work they’ve been doing. You can watch the full debate here, watch my speech here, or read it here.
  • On 11th September, I set out my reasons for voting against the Brexit Bill getting a Second Reading. During June’s election, I made two promises about Brexit to whom are now my constituents: first, that I would respect the outcome of the referendum; and secondly, that I would work to get the best deal for our fine city. I believed that the Bill as it was, was not fit for purpose, because it utterly bypassed the very Parliament that our constituents elected us to form. Moreover, there are sweeping powers outlined in the Bill that allow Ministers to make changes to other laws. I believe these are powers that require effective oversight or accountability. However, such safeguards are currently lacking from the Bill. The Bill also lacks clear enforcement mechanisms. While the Bill passed and still has major flaws, I’m at least pleased that last week the Bill was amended to guarantee Parliament a meaningful vote on the final negotiation. You can watch this speech here, or read it here.
  • On 26th October, I joined another debate secured by a local colleague, this time Vernon Coaker MP. The debate was on Modern Slavery, an issue I’m incredibly passionate about and have been working with the Co-Op Group relentlessly to tackle. One of the biggest issues with Modern Slavery is a lack of awareness, with 1 of 10 not knowing what it is and 2 in 3 not knowing how to recognise it, so I highlighted this and the actions we can take to improve the situation, and allow the Modern Slavery Act to make the difference it intended. You can watch my contribution here.
  • And just last week, on 12th December, I spoke in a debate on Women’s Refuges secured by Jess Phillips MP before following it up with my question to the Prime Minister on the 13th. Women’s Aid believe that Refuge Services, of which there are 4 in Nottingham, are under threat due to Government plans to change their funding. I spoke for the 15,000 domestic violence survivors Nottingham City Council believe live in my constituency, who rely on these services and are too important to be let down by not making simple changes. You can watch this speech here.

 

These are far from my only contributions to Parliament, just some that I consider most important. You can read through the entirety of my contributions here.

In Nottingham

While a lot of my work is done in Parliament, I have tried to spend as much time over the last 6 months as possible at home in Nottingham, and use this time as productively as possible. My job is to represent the people of Nottingham North and do best by them, and to do this means making sure I know what they want. I therefore spend a large amount of my time here visiting and meeting with constituents, local businesses, charities, organisations, schools and the like, to the extent that my Nottingham diary is often full weeks to months in advance.

Here are some of the more interesting experiences so far:

  • I’ve visited several of the schools in the constituency, where I’ve been kindly shown around, talked to pupils and teachers alike, hopefully inspired some youngsters, and even opened the new facilities at Park Vale Academy. If I haven’t been to your school yet, get in touch!
  • I attended Sunrise’s Sports Day, where I got to join in all kinds of fun and games. Sunrise House is one of many locations in the region run by Framework Housing Association to tackle homelessness people in the area. Framework do excellent work. At Sunrise they have 16 homes for young mums aged 16 – 19. It was a great privilege to meet the staff, take a tour and hear the stories of local users of Framework’s services. And then I got to show off my competitive side with some hilarious activities like welly-tossing and an egg and spoon race.
  • I met with Guide Dogs charity for a dog walk in the constituency, which gave me the chance to meet with both their political team and some of the local people who rely on support dogs and see the difference it makes to them – even trying out blindfolded walks with an assistance dog and a white cane.
  • I was tested for HIV by the Terrence Higgins Trust to help raise attention – as 1 in 8 UK sufferers of HIV are unaware they’ve been infected. You can find more information about the screenings offered here.

This is a fraction of the things I’ve been up to. If you’ve hosted me at your school, church or organisation thank you very much. If you’ve got something you’d like me to see – please get in touch.

Rebalancing the Outer Estates

As I’ve mentioned recently, I now Chair local charity Rebalancing the Outer Estates. Being an Opposition Backbench MP it can be difficult to bring about change. But this charity is making a direct difference in our area and I am proud to lead it. Here are just some of the great things the Charity has achieved this year:

  • Together with Teeth Team they are now working with 10 primary schools in the constituency ensuring that all their pupils have a dental check.
  • They organised lung health checks in the constituency. The Roy Castle Foundation believe these have saved 5 lives already this year in Bilborough and Bulwell – with Aspley to come.
  • They organised Nottingham North Jobs and Apprentice Fair which helped many people to get into work. The next jobs fair will be on 9th March 2018 in Bulwell Riverside.
  • Together with ThinkForward they worked to put skills coaches in four Nottingham North secondary schools: Bulwell Academy, Ellis Guilford, Bluecoat Beechdale and Nottingham University Samworth Academy, to help pupils from these constituency schools succeed in education and progress into employment.
  • They helped to install Bulwell Welcome Archway.

This is just a snippet, and you can find more by visiting the website here.

Casework

One part of my job that I don’t often get to talk about, for privacy and confidentiality reasons, is casework. This is a crucial function of a Member of Parliament and is often how I’m able to make the most direct difference for constituents who need my help. I have a dedicated team in Nottingham who assist me with this, and since I’ve been elected we’ve managed to have some wonderful victories for local people that I’m very proud of, such as wiping out a large unfair tax credit overpayment debt and obtaining deserved clearance to stay in the UK. These both meant we could give wonderful news to vulnerable people who turned to their MP as a last resort, as well as plenty of other smaller bits of help throughout the year. Unfortunately, we aren’t always able to obtain a positive outcome, but we will always try our best, so please do get in touch with my office if we can assist you, or to arrange a slot at my monthly surgery if you’d rather discuss something with me in person.

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.

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
Tuesdays, 4:30-6pm, next Messy Church January 16th
Bestwood Park Church, Beckhampton Rd, Bestwood Park
Thursdays, 4:30-6pm, next Messy Church January 11th
Church on Rise Park, Revelstoke Way, Rise Park
Thursdays 5-6:30pm, next Messy Church January 18th

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: www.creativenottinghamnorth.com, @CreativeNNorth, cathy.mahmood@rebalancingouterestates.com

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: www.stmartinsbilborough.org.ukinfo@stmartinsbilborough.uk

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: www.apriltowriess.co.ukhello@apriltowriess.co.uk

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 soundasapound@ncha.org.uk or visit their website at www.soundasapound.org.

If you would like your events advertised here, or further information on those advertised, please email me at alex.norris.mp@parliament.uk.

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,

Alex

 

 

 

How to contact me

If you would like to contact me, please email alex.norris.mp@parliament.uk 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

LABOUR PARTY

  • If you’d like to learn more about the Labour party their website is here.
  • To join the Labour Party click here.

LOCAL NEWS

LOCAL INFORMATION

  • 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.

NATIONAL LINKS

  • For the main Parliamentary website click here and to explore the Parliamentary education site click here.

My Newsletter 15/12/17

Welcome to my latest newsletter as Member of Parliament of Nottingham North.

As I mentioned in last week’s newsletter, I headed to Festive Firbeck on Sunday, which was an awful lot of fun despite the cold weather. As we edge closer and closer to the holiday period, there’s a lot of Parliamentary business still to be done, with Brexit taking centre stage as you can tell, but this week again I was once again fortunate to be able to spend a decent chunk of time in the constituency, for meetings and one or two Christmas socials!

That wasn’t all I got up to this week though, with my first Prime Ministers’ Question earlier on in the week amongst much more. Read on to find out more about that…

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 alex.norris.mp@parliament.uk and I will include it in future issues. Please also forward it onto anyone you think may be interested.

Holding the Prime Minister to account

Although the Prime Minister answers questions on a weekly basis while Parliament is sitting, these are understandably popular so it’s very rare to be selected to ask one. So when I was selected for the first time this week, I had to think long and hard about how best to take the opportunity, in the end choosing to build upon Tuesday’s debate (which I’ll go into more detail on below) to highlight the threats to Domestic Violence refuges that Women’s Aid say are a likely result of the Government’s proposed changes to short-term housing support.

Nottingham has four such refuges for those who need them in their darkest times but the Government’s current plans for them have two key flaws, so I asked the Prime Minister whether she will step in, especially given she personally launched the Government’s Ending Violence Against Women And Girls Strategy as Home Secretary in 2016.

You can watch a clip of the PMQ here.

Women’s Refuge Centres

On Tuesday, I spoke in Parliament against proposed changes to the way the Government is funding women’s refuge centres.

There are two flaws in the current plan proposed by the Minister:

  • Firstly, grouping refuge provision with other short-term housing services. Refuges fulfil a completely different function to these other services – such as for those with substance abuse issue or care leavers. Aggregating refuges with other such services risks them disappearing from proper commissioning processes and getting lost.
  • Secondly, local devolution of the funding for these services. I am a big fan of devolution. I believe that decisions should be taken at their lowest appropriate level. However, the lowest appropriate level for refuge provision is not at the local authority. As much as domestic violence services are a complex local ecosystem they have a significant impact on each other across local boundaries. For a woman in Nottingham fleeing a violent relationship, the safest place for her may well be Birmingham.

And it’s not just local authority funded refuge provision that I fear for. We have a fourth refuge that is funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government. We know that DCLG have committed to £40m of supported funding between 2016 and 2020 for organisations such as this and Nottingham Central Women’s Aid benefited from this. What we don’t know is what happens with the next element of funding. I understand that the DCLG do not want to allocate the 18-20 funding until they have evaluated or audited the previous funding round. And that’s a sensible idea. But why haven’t they done that already? The NWCA is at a cliff edge – when will Ministers be able to let them know if they will stay open?

I know that some things take long time to change. However, what we’re talking about today doesn’t take time to change. Publishing funding decisions could be done this week. Moving away from this dangerous new model of funding could be done on the 23rd of January. I strongly encouraged ministers to do so – the cost of not doing so is so great.

You can see my whole speech here.

Busy days in Nottingham

Today and yesterday I’ve spent in Nottingham, with a great mix of events thanks to the festive season bringing out a wonderful range of social activities. It wasn’t all fun and games though. Here’s what I got up to:

  • I had meetings with John Dexter and Chris Henning, who work for Nottingham City Council, to discuss how we can continue to work together in each of their specialist areas, local schools and economic development respectively
  • Last night I attended a political Christmas social
  • This morning I visited Bilborough Sixth-Form College, where I was treated to a tour of the facilities by Chris Bradford, the Principal, and met with members of the National Education Union too, with both of whom I discussed the issues they’re facing and what I can do to assist from my role as Member of Parliament
  • This was followed by an interesting meeting with Nottingham Citizens this afternoon. Nottingham Citizens is an alliance made up of 36 organisations across the city, including trade unions, faith groups, charities, schools and universities, so give a truly representative view of the city’s important issues. The issues we discussed included hate crime and homelessness, the latter being particularly pressing with this weather. Leaving people on the streets as temperatures get below freezing is simply unacceptable.
  • And this afternoon I have another Christmas political social before heading to Bulwell Riverside for my final surgery of the year. As always, you can get in touch with my office on 0115  975 2377 if you’d like to talk to me about something at a surgery in the new year.

Other Parliamentary Engagements

Debates on Brexit (focused on deficiencies in retained EU law and implementing the withdrawal agreement, the key moment of which was defeating the Government to ensure that Parliament gets a meaningful vote at the end of negotiations, and thus maintaining vital Parliamentary Sovereignty on the issue) and the Finance Bill have taken up a lot of the time this week, but this is what else I got up to that I haven’t already mentioned:

  • I met with the new Vice Chancellor of the University of Nottingham, Professor Shearer West, along with my fellow Nottinghamshire MPs. This was my first chance to talk to her since she took the post, so it was great to discuss our shared priorities for the City and discuss how we can all work together in the future.
  • I attended the launch of Action Cerebral Palsy’s Identify, Intervene, Impact campaign, which is aiming to increase the focus on how we can improve outcomes for children with cerebral palsy. This was also a great opportunity to discuss the current quality of care for sufferers of Cerebral Palsy in Nottingham’s hospitals.
  • I met with Union Reps from TUC and made a commitment, by signing the TUC ‘Dying to Work charter, to support and protect any of their employees who become terminally ill. It is shocking to think that if people with terminal illnesses are dismissed or forced out of their jobs that their loved ones will lose the death in service payments that the employee has planned for and earned through a life-time of hard work. I hope local businesses will consider following suit.
  • I had my regular meeting with my fellow Co-Op MPs to discuss the work we’re doing together
  • And I met with the Kennel Club, to discuss how I can support their campaigns around irresponsible dog ownership!

Next week’s newsletter will be the last of the year – and something of a roundup of all my best work so far!

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.

Christmas Concert
A concert in Celebration of Christmas by The Nottinghamshire Band of the Royal Engineers directed by BM WO1 Simon Kerwin
St Mary the Virgin & All Souls Parish Church, Highbury Road, Bulwell
Tonight, 15th December, 7:30pm
Tickets £6.00 or pay on the door. For more information tel 01159161787

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
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: www.creativenottinghamnorth.com, @CreativeNNorth, cathy.mahmood@rebalancingouterestates.com

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: www.stmartinsbilborough.org.ukinfo@stmartinsbilborough.uk

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: www.apriltowriess.co.ukhello@apriltowriess.co.uk

 

Recently I’ve told you about the great work being done by Opportunity Nottingham, with Big Lottery Fund support, to improve the lives of people who are experiencing multiple and complex needs. Since then I’ve been informed by the Big Lottery Fund that in the last 3 months alone they’ve also funded a further 4 projects in Nottingham North, to the tune of £371,558. Most of this has gone to Next Steps, who are working with 9-13-year-olds in Bulwell to provide safe spaces in the community where they can come together and get involved in stimulating activities, discuss their anxieties, their ambitions and develop skills for living. The other three projects that have been funded are by The Learning Zone, ‘Woodpeckers’ and Broxtowe Mothers Action Group. These groups all have amazing projects planned for different groups in our community.

 

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 soundasapound@ncha.org.uk or visit their website at www.soundasapound.org.

 

You may also recall I advertised Aviva’s Community Fund recently. I’m pleased to hear that Bilborough Arts have applied to support their 2018 Festival. However, this funding depends on public votes, so please can you show your support by voting for their project here. I’m sure it will be an incredible festival, and be even better if they can receive this extra funding.

I’m delighted to hear that Bilborough Arts aren’t the only group who have applied for this funding. Nottingham Peace Project, who I talked about in the summer have been busy providing music and poetry lessons to groups of disadvantaged young people across the constituency, and have also applied to the Aviva Community Fund. They’re an amazing group and you can show your support for their project here.

 

If you would like your events advertised here, or further information on those advertised, please email me at alex.norris.mp@parliament.uk.

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,

Alex

 

 

 

How to contact me

If you would like to contact me, please email alex.norris.mp@parliament.uk 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

LABOUR PARTY

  • If you’d like to learn more about the Labour party their website is here.
  • To join the Labour Party click here.

LOCAL NEWS

LOCAL INFORMATION

  • 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.

NATIONAL LINKS

  • For the main Parliamentary website click here and to explore the Parliamentary education site click here.

My Newsletter 08/12/17

Welcome to my latest newsletter as Member of Parliament of Nottingham North.

Another week in Parliament has been centred around Brexit, with long sessions discussing the Withdrawal Bill on both Monday and Wednesday, but that left time to get back to Nottingham from yesterday to move on with local matters. Read on to find out what I’ve been up to this week.

PS. If you read on to the bottom – there’s a good surprise waiting!

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 alex.norris.mp@parliament.uk and I will include it in future issues. Please also forward it onto anyone you think may be interested.

Parliamentary Questions

You’ll recall two weeks ago I criticised the lack of investment into Transport in the region in the Chancellor’s budget, and since I was elected I’ve been campaigning for the Electrification of the Midlands Mainline, which has currently been shelved by the Government, but that doesn’t mean we’re giving up on something we know would be great for the region, the taxpayer and the environment. I have been questioning Ministers from the Department of Transport on this decision, which they’ve made based on the intention to use bi-mode trains. One of the answers I received stood out:

  • I asked:
    What assessment has been made of the (a) cost and (b) effect on the environment of the development of bi-modal trains?
  • And was told:
    Rolling Stock is procured through a competitive process to achieve best value for money. The Government has been clear that bi-modes are likely to be more expensive than electric only trains, but do provide valuable flexibility. New diesels deliver an overall better environmental performance than existing diesel trains because they are subject to the latest emission standards but also offer the flexibility to operate in electric mode where there are electric wires.

My response to this is, if we accept that bi-mode trains are more expensive, less reliable and worse for the environment, why are we choosing them over electric trains? I will be continuing to press the Government on this and hopefully change their minds.

As well as these written questions, I also got the chance to question Justice Ministers in the House of Commons Chamber this week. Over a month ago I asked what the Justice Department was doing about the rate of deaths in HMP Nottingham this year, and was told I’d receive a letter. As this letter never came, I asked again what they were doing, and when I’d get the explanation I asked for. You can watch my question and the rather disappointing answer here.

Rebalancing the Outer Estates

Today I’ve been at a long meeting of Rebalancing the Outer Estates Charity whose board I am Chair of. Being an Opposition Backbench MP it can be difficult to bring about change. But this charity is making a direct difference in our area and I am proud to lead it. This gave us an opportunity to recap everything that the charity has done during the last year, but more importantly to plan its activities for the next year. I expect I’ll have some of these to tell you about soon, but for now here are just some of the great things the Charity has achieved this year:

  • Together with Teeth Team they are now working with 10 primary schools in the constituency ensuring that all their pupils have a dental check.
  • They organised lung health checks in the constituency. The Roy Castle Foundation believe these have saved 5 lives already this year in Bilborough and Bulwell – with Aspley to come.
  • They organised Nottingham North Jobs and Apprentice Fair which helped many people to get into work. The next jobs fair will be on 9th March 2018 in Bulwell Riverside.
  • Together with ThinkForward they worked to put skills coaches in four Nottingham North secondary schools: Bulwell Academy, Ellis Guilford, Bluecoat Beechdale and Nottingham University Samworth Academy, to help pupils from these constituency schools succeed in education and progress into employment.
  • They helped to install Bulwell Welcome Archway.

As I said there has been many more things we have achieved, and you can find more by visiting the website: http://www.rebalancenn.com/.

Events and Meetings in Parliament

As I mentioned before, Brexit was a big time-consumer this week with us working into the early hours of Tuesday morning, but that didn’t stop me from meeting with several different people and organisations in Westminster to discuss some very important issues and great work being done that we can build upon:

  • I met with Vernon Coaker, Lilian Greenwood and Chris Leslie, 3 other MPs for Nottinghamshire to discuss the Council’s latest assessment of increasing the Metropolitan collaboration between Derby and Nottingham centres. We’re still in the very early days of a very interesting idea with plentiful opportunities but of course there are challenges too. We’ll of course be working closely together and with the Councils to make the best of it as the idea develops and I’ll keep you informed.
  • I met with Paula Chadwick from the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, a charity that has worked with Rebalancing the Outer Estates in Nottingham to provide the lung screenings I mentioned earlier. It was great to meet with Paula and I look forward to us continuing to collaborate to aid those who might need it.
  • I attended a Reception hosted by the Dog’s Trust to highlight Puppy Smuggling, where I was very happy to hear that Neil Parish, the MP who chairs the EFRA (Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs) Committee has committed to an inquiry into the issue.
  • I also met with representatives from CAABU (Council for Arab-British Understanding) to discuss ongoing issues with human rights and modern slavery in Qatar which I’m looking into.

Back Home

The Rebalancing Away Day wasn’t all I managed in Nottingham this week. Here’s a selection of my other engagements today and yesterday:

  • By far the highlight of my week was yesterday afternoon when I visited Whitemoor Academy to announce the winner of my 2017 Christmas Card Competition. 6-year old Chiamaka Okpara put together the winning design of a Christmas Cat, and I was able to surprise her in her afternoon assembly with her prize for winning: a House of Commons Teddy Bear named Pugin.
  • This afternoon, I met with Steve from the Bulwell Community Toy Library, our great local organisation offering chances 0-13 year olds to play, learn and develop in a great environment. They do some amazing things that I’m only too happy to support.
  • During a tour of Nottingham College’s Basford Campus, I had a great discussion with the college’s Vice Principal of Curriculum and Head of Construction about the campus itself and more importantly, how we can work together to promote the constituency and the College’s presence here.
  • And I’m currently on my way to meet with Anne Darby and Jon Giles, the CEO, from Nottingham Deaf Society at the Deaf Centre. They do some tremendous work for the deaf community in our city and I’m looking forward to working with them after what I’m sure will be a very positive discussion.

And now as the weekend approaches I’m looking forward to getting to Festive Firbeck on Sunday for some Christmas fun – find the details below if you want to join me!

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.

Festive Firbeck
Christmas carols, activities for young children, Firbeck school choir, traditional stalls including crafts, tombola, mulled apple and mince pies, and much more!
Firbeck Road park area, NG8 2FB
10th December, 2-3:30pm

Songs for a Winter Evening
Christmas carols and popular songs performed by Bulwell Riverside Community Choir with special guests.
Ravensworth Road Methodist Church, Bulwell, NG6 8FN
14th December, 7pm
Tickets £3 (including refreshments) available from choir members or on the door

Christmas Concert
A concert in Celebration of Christmas by The Nottinghamshire Band of the Royal Engineers directed by BM WO1 Simon Kerwin
St Mary the Virgin & All Souls Parish Church, Highbury Road, Bulwell
15th December, 7:30pm
Tickets £6.00 or pay on the door. For more information tel 01159161787

Messy Church
Drinks, crafts, activities, bible stories and a meal for all ages and interests
Bulwell United Reform Church, Broomhill Road/Brooklyn Road, Bulwell
Saturdays – Next is 2nd December, 10:30am

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: www.creativenottinghamnorth.com, @CreativeNNorth, cathy.mahmood@rebalancingouterestates.com

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: www.stmartinsbilborough.org.ukinfo@stmartinsbilborough.uk

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: www.apriltowriess.co.ukhello@apriltowriess.co.uk

 

Last week I told you about the great work being done by Opportunity Nottingham, with Big Lottery Fund support, to improve the lives of people who are experiencing multiple and complex needs. Since then I’ve been informed by the Big Lottery Fund that in the last 3 months alone they’ve also funded a further 4 projects in Nottingham North, to the tune of £371,558. Most of this has gone to Next Steps, who are working with 9-13-year-olds in Bulwell to provide safe spaces in the community where they can come together and get involved in stimulating activities, discuss their anxieties, their ambitions and develop skills for living. The other three projects that have been funded are by The Learning Zone, ‘Woodpeckers’ and Broxtowe Mothers Action Group. These groups all have amazing projects planned for different groups in our community.

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 soundasapound@ncha.org.uk or visit their website at www.soundasapound.org.

You may also recall I advertised Aviva’s Community Fund recently. I’m pleased to hear that Bilborough Arts have applied to support their 2018 Festival. However, this funding depends on public votes, so please can you show your support by voting for their project here. I’m sure it will be an incredible festival, and be even better if they can receive this extra funding.

I’m delighted to hear that Bilborough Arts aren’t the only group who have applied for this funding. Nottingham Peace Project, who I talked about in the summer have been busy providing music and poetry lessons to groups of disadvantaged young people across the constituency, and have also applied to the Aviva Community Fund. They’re an amazing group and you can show your support for their project here.

If you would like your events advertised here, or further information on those advertised, please email me at alex.norris.mp@parliament.uk.

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,

Alex

P.S. I’ve been drawn for a Prime Minister’s Question on Wednesday, so keep an eye out for that at noon. I’ll fill you in next week.

 

 

 

How to contact me

If you would like to contact me, please email alex.norris.mp@parliament.uk 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

LABOUR PARTY

  • If you’d like to learn more about the Labour party their website is here.
  • To join the Labour Party click here.

LOCAL NEWS

LOCAL INFORMATION

  • 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.

NATIONAL LINKS

  • For the main Parliamentary website click here and to explore the Parliamentary education site click here.
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