Women’s refuge centres are under threat due to Government plans

Today I have spoken in Parliament to oppose the proposed changes to the way the Government is funding women’s refuge centres.

For the six years before coming to Parliament I held a number of Special Responsibilities on Nottingham City Council – one of which was the commissioning of Nottingham’s excellent, well-run domestic violence services. Whether it’s Equation and their nation-leading prevention services they offer, Women’s Aid with their advocacy and survivor support, our Sexual Violence Support Service who only ever one call away for survivors whatever the time, whatever the day or the Women’s Centre who act as a fulcrum for these critical services we have an excellent range of services. I rose today to speak up for them. I rose to speak, too, for the 15,000 domestic violence survivors Nottingham City Council believe live in my constituency.

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. Again this is completely different to the rest of the services in that local devolution plan.

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: http://bit.ly/2xMplr5

From Athens to Aspley

I have raised an important issue of voter registration in my constituency in Parliament today during a Westminster Hall debate.

Our free and fair democracy is at the very root of what has made our nation a special one. Voter registration ought to be of interest to all of us and I sought this debate for a reason. It was to publicly state a belief of mine that we should introduce a system of automatic registration.

The House of Commons Library estimates that there are about 6 million people missing from the register across the UK. However, no comparable data exists for local authorities and/or constituencies and therefore, it is not fully known the scale of the problem. Something which has been acknowledged by the Government Minister in today’s debate.

Every year local authorities write to every citizen in order to maintain their voter register. This is a lengthy process which cost around £65 million and puts a huge administrative burden on the local authority. However, only about 74.5% of people respond to Nottingham Council to confirm their address.

The annual canvass is too expensive, doesn’t produce fully accurate registers, and needs changing. I was pleased to see that the Minister agreed with me on that.

Registration rates remain particularly low amongst young people, recent homeowners and those living in privately rented accommodation. Only 76% of 18-19 year olds and 70% of 20-24 year olds are registered to vote compared with 95% of over 65s. The difference is even starker when you look at housing tenure: only 63% of private renters are registered, far from the 94% of those who own their own homes.

Automatic voter registration would make two transformative, yet simple, changes to voter registration: 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.

These two changes would create a seamless process that is more convenient and less error-prone for both voters and government 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.

The minister agreed with me that the voter registration system needs changing and that the Government will be bringing forward legislation to change it. However, he disagreed that automatic registration should be implemented. Although, he did not list a single reason against automatic registration apart from his personal belief that it shouldn’t be implemented.

You can watch the debate in full here: https://goo.gl/Aukc7x

Or you can read the transcript here: https://goo.gl/CspDY6

My Newsletter 17/11/17

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

As you’re probably aware, this week has been dominated by Brexit once again – with long Tuesday and Wednesday evenings dedicated to the Withdrawal Bill’s Committee of the Whole House Stage – where amendments to the Bill are discussed in detail. The Government has already made concessions on some of the points made in tabled amendments, to avoid defeats, but there is still a long way to go to ensure that the Brexit we get is as positive as possible – and the Government’s majority is dwindling quickly. I will update you with the progress we make next week.

It’s important that Brexit doesn’t take absolutely everything over so happily I have plenty more to tell you about below.

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.

Weekend in the East Midlands

Weekends in the constituency are usually a great opportunity for me to meet with constituents on the streets and doorsteps, but last weekend was a little different.

Before watching constituency team Basford United beat Spalding Utd to go 10 points clear in the league on Saturday, I made the short trip to Leicester for the Unite Regional Political Conference. Unite do amazing work in the East Midlands I very much enjoyed the opportunity to talk to their local members about the importance of the work the Union does in the region: campaigning for decent jobs, pay, conditions, equalities, pensions, and safe and healthy workplaces – as well as supporting community issues and defending its members against injustices. I used to work for a Union so was also able to touch on my first-hand experiences, and discuss how I’ll working in Parliament to promote our common ideas. It was a wonderful turnout with tons of energy and ideas and I can’t wait to come back again next year to talk about the progress we’re making.

Sunday was of course Remembrance Sunday and I was honoured to lay a wreath as part of the touching service at the War Memorial on Victoria Embankment. I was proud to play my small role as we remembered all those who have fallen.

Going Nuclear

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I have for the last few weeks been sitting on a Public Bill Committee as it passes through Parliament.

The Committee relates to the Nuclear Safeguards that will be needed if the UK leaves Euratom (the European Atomic Energy Community) as part of the Brexit process. The committee met for several sessions a week, where the 19 MPs, including myself, on the committee reviewed submitted written evidence, and took oral evidence before debating each clause of the Bill and making amendments as it went through. Those who submitted oral evidence included the Minister, Richard Harrington MP, and his Department, and other individuals and organisations including academics, energy companies, and unions.

Since being elected in June I’ve been busy getting involved in debates, meeting organisations both national and local, helping Nottingham North residents, doing my bit to hold the Government to account, and supporting Labour’s Health Team.

This Bill Committee is new territory and has involved me working with Ministers to try and improve their plans. I don’t believe that it’s desirable or necessary to leave Euratom as part of the Brexit process and will continue to argue for us to remain a member of it. I’ve also been arguing for a transition period if we do lose as well as amendments that give Parliament proper oversight – not just Ministers.

This Bill is important as it makes sure that civil nuclear materials aren’t used for weapons. So our safeguards need to be really strong and we heard evidence that leaving Euratom will weaken our safeguards – that isn’t tolerable.

The Next Generation

  • I addressed East Midlands Young Labour at the regional GMB office where I discussed how I got to Parliament, the work I’m doing there and the issues that I’m facing. Hopefully some of the young activists there will have felt inspired and continue their political journey with the party.
  • I also had a very productive chat about the House of Lords with an undergraduate Politics student from Nottingham Trent University. I hope my views on the current undemocratic state of our Upper Chamber, and how we can build on the last Labour Government’s initial changes, helped him out with his dissertation!
  • I gave an assembly to the enthusiastic primary school kids at Whitemoor Academy, where I talked about how Parliament works and the role of the MP in the community. This week is UK Parliament Week so it was great to bring the week to life, and hopefully help get the pupils talking about politics, engaging in the democratic process, and becoming agents of change in their local areas.

Talking Issues

Unfortunately, due to my need to be in London most of the week, while I do my best to meet people in person, this isn’t always possible so this week I’ve had a mixture of meetings over the phone and in person:

  • A phone call with David Ralph from D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, with whom I discussed the East Midland HS2 Growth Strategy and how best I can support it
  • Phone calls with Rebalancing the Outer Estates Foundation to catch up on the work they’re doing in NN
  • A meeting with Meg Hillier MP to discuss the Local Government Transition Grant
  • A teleconference with my fellow Nottingham MPs and City Councillors to discuss how we can campaign together against the Government’s attacks on council housing
  • A meeting of the Co-Op Parliamentary Party, where my fellow Co-Operative MPs and I discussed how we can work together to achieve the party’s goals

This morning I also enjoyed joining Guide Dogs charity for a short walk and talk in the constituency. This 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.

And this evening I’m off to record the East Midlands Sunday Politics show; I’ll be talking about Brexit, the next generation of politicians, and council tax, so tune in!

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. I’m pleased to see this has taken on as I hoped, and we have a very busy Christmas lineup in Nottingham North. I hope to see some of you at some of the events! If you have an event you’d like me to advertise, let me know.

Challond Court Christmas Fair
Everyone Welcome!
Challond Court, Wendling Gardens/Chippenham Road, Bestwood Park
Tomorrow, 18th November, 11am-2pm

Christmas Craft Fair
Bulwell Arts Festival selling local and handmade gifts at affordable prices!
Tesco, Jennison St, Bulwell, NG6 8EQ
Tomorrow, 18th November, 11am-3pm

Christmas Fayre
Various stalls including Christmas stall, nearly new, gifts and fancy goods, cakes, tombola, bric-a-brac, cuddly toys, jewellery, pluck-a-duck, Christian literature. Santa’s grotto. Light refreshments available.
St Mary the Virgin and All Souls Parish Church, Highbury Road, Bulwell
25th November, 11am-2pm

Christmas Coffee Morning
Many stalls, gifts, toys, toiletries, bric-a-brac. Preserves, refreshments, cakes
Bulwell United Reform Church, Broomhill Road/Brooklyn Road, Bulwell
25th November, 10:30am

‘Songs by Candlelight’
Concert performed by Carlton Male Voice Choir
St. Martin’s Church, St. Martin’s Road, Bilborough, NG8 3BH
25th November, 7:30pm
£5 (£3 con.), for more info please email info@stmartinsbilborough.org.uk

Chit and Chatter
Come and meet old friends and make some new ones over coffee, tea and biscuits.
Emmanuel Church Hall, Church View Close, NG5 9QP
29th November, 10am-12pm

Hidden Treasures Homemade Christmas Fair
Cakes, Raffle, Crafts, Refreshments, Cards, Tombola
St. Martin’s Church, St. Martin’s Road, Bilborough, NG8 3BH
1st and 2nd December, 11am-4pm both days
For more info please email info@stmartinsbilborough.org.uk

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

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 – 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

 

Heathrow Airport are also hosting a summit in Derby next Thursday, 23rd November, titled Heathrow Business Midlands for local small and medium businesses. This is a unique opportunity for SMEs from across Nottinghamshire to connect and trade face-to-face with Heathrow’s supply chain. A breakfast will provide context for the summit in addition to providing networking opportunities.

Venue: Risley Hall, Derby Rd, Risley DE72 3SS
Breakfast launch: 08:30-10:00
Business Summit Main Event: 10:00-16:00
Speakers include:

  • Scott Knowles, CEO, East Midlands Chamber of Commerce
  • Phil Wilbraham, Expansion Programme Director, Heathrow

 

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.

I’d also like to congratulate Bulwell Forest Garden on their recent award win.  They were awarded a Michael Varnam Award in the group category for the difference they’ve made in our area, particularly recognising the hard work and commitment from residents doing an amazing job to improve and strengthen our community.

I’ve heard that many families enjoyed their annual Spooky Monday event on Monday, with 260 residents enjoying being able to carve pumpkins, take part in craft activities, bake some delicious pumpkin gingerbread in the clay oven and enjoy homemade pumpkin soup.

The garden, located at will be open to the public 1pm-4pm, Mon/Wed/Fri/Sat until mid-December. In January, they will start planning the events and activities taking place throughout 2018. If you would like to be involved, please contact Barbara on 07890557854, and keep an eye out as I’ll be advertising the events in my newsletter once they’ve been organised.

 

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 10/11/17

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

With the Parliamentary calendar on Monday and Tuesday being quiet and the rest of the week being recess I’ve spent the whole week in Nottingham; a welcome change after a lot of time in Westminster recently. So I’ve had a full week to catch up with lots of people, whose concerns, views and ideas I’ll be bringing back to Parliament next week.

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.

Schools!

Friday is usually the only weekday I get the in the constituency, so it can be difficult to visit schools as often as I’d like, so I took full advantage of having the whole week and visited five of our local schools this week.

  • The Grand Opening of Park Vale Academy

On Wednesday morning, I was honoured to be shown around and then officially open Park Vale Academy’s terrific new campus. You may be aware that the Academy, formerly Top Valley Academy, is now part of the Redhill Academy Trust, and it was great to see the positive changes that have come because of this. The new buildings are fantastic and as we walked around the school the positive effect it was having on the pupils was evident; they were proud of their new facilities and determined to make the most of them. I look forward to seeing this be reflected in the numbers in years to come.

  • Primary Visits

As well as Park Vale Academy, I also visited Heathfield, St. Margaret Clitherow, Portland Spencer and Our Lady of Perpetual Succour primary schools. At each of these I had productive chats with the Heads, with whom I discussed their progress, successes and the issues they are facing. I also particularly enjoyed being able to talk to the Key Stage 2 students at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour about my role as their local MP and answer all the great questions they had – I just hope they enjoyed it as much as I did!

As a Chair of Governors myself, I know that the importance of education can never be understated, particularly in the earlier years, and I will continue to fight for these schools, and the others in the constituency, in Westminster so all their pupils can receive the education they deserve and not be denied the right opportunities later in life.

Supporting Local Business

I also managed to meet with some local businesses during my week in Nottingham North. My constituency is one of the most residential in the country and when people think of business they often think of the city centre. But we’ve got high-quality businesses in our community and we need more so that local people have access to good employment.

It’s my job to not only stick up for those we do have, but also to encourage more people to come and take advantage of the benefits of doing business here.

  • Chinook Sciences

Did you know that Nottingham was home to a clean tech energy firm that’s one of the fastest growing companies in Europe and exporting its revolutionary technology all over the world? Well, Chinook Science are just that. And they have grand plans for the future that might well involve our area – watch this space. I went to see them to talk about their plans and how I could help. We need skilled work in our area and I’ll chase every opportunity to secure it.

  • NISA Local Basford

I met with Kully and Sandy Sandhu who run the NISA convenience store on Arnold Road in Basford. This store (and other convenience stores elsewhere in the constituency) plays an often-underappreciated role in the community, employing local people and offering an extensive range of fresh produce, food to go, National Lottery and services such as Click and Collect. It’s also easy to overlook some of the difficulties that come with running a small store like this though, not least business rates and deposit return schemes that I discussed with the Sandhus.

When overheads greatly increase, like they have for some firms due to business rate revaluation, it has a real impact. So, I took away good ideas how I might help this store and others like it.

  • Micro-Mesh

A few weeks ago I had attended a business breakfast at Micro-Mesh in Bulwell. Having seen their facility I wanted to see more! James and Bob Underwood kindly showed me around and talked about their business. There’s is exactly the sort of business we need in Britain: high-tech, high-quality, competing globally and providing skilled work locally. I was also able to help them with an issue they were having so my visit was well timed.

Offering my support

As you’ve probably noticed by now, a lot of my time and energy is spent on the groups that I believe to be particularly important, either to Nottingham North specifically or the people of the UK as a whole. I feel the best way to be able to support the aims of these groups, whether charities, unions or other organisations is to stay as up to date with their campaigns and challenges as I can, which means meeting with them regularly. Often this will be in London, but it’s great to meet with locally based groups or branches when I’m at home, and that’s how I spent a lot of time this week.

  • Family Nurse Partnership

My predecessor, Graham Allen, worked closely to support the introduction of Family Nurse Partnership in Nottingham, and I met with Caroline Wragg and Rebekah Adgar on Monday so I can continue this. It’s now been 10 years since FNP have been present in Nottingham, and their nurses have done incredible work supporting young families with new-borns in the area over the last decade. I hope in the next 10 years I can work alongside Caroline and Rebekah to help FNP make even more of a positive impact in the area.

  • UNISON

I also met with Ash Morley, the East Midlands Regional Organised for UNISON. I used to work for UNISON, so know first-hand the amazing work they do for the workers they represent, which is 1 in 25 across the country. It was very productive to hear from Ash what work is being done locally, and more importantly, discuss what I can do as MP to defend our workers’ rights alongside him.

  • NUH Trust

Part of City Hospital is in Nottingham North and of course, many of you from Nottingham North will use both this Hospital and the QMC in Lenton, so I think it’s very important I stay up to date with all aspects of the NUH Trust’s planning. This is even more the case given my role on Labour’s Health team. This week I met with Andrew Chatten, the Director of Estates and Facilities, to discuss the physical aspects of both hospitals, and primarily hear about the challenges they are facing as they look forward and plan for the future. With the number of people who use the hospitals and the high standard required of any temporary space, making any upgrades, improvements or repairs is a logistical challenge I certainly wouldn’t want to face. I was pleased to hear the work Andrew and his team are doing to look ahead, and I’ll do what I can to support the long-term strategy which I believe will be best for the patients in the long run.

  • And more to come this weekend

Tomorrow, I’ll be talking to the East Midlands Political Conference of Unite the Union. I’ll be discussing how things are in Parliament, what happens next and how working people can have a greater say in their lives.

Sunday is Remembrance Sunday. I will be at the Embankment to lay a wreath on behalf of our community as we mark those who have lost their lives in war and who dead so the we can live the free and peaceful lives we lead. We must never forget.

Alan Clark

Finally, a very happy note to end on. You’ll remember that earlier this year I wrote about Councillor Alan Clark who passed away this Summer. Well this week he won the LGiU national award for work on the environment. He has left Nottingham with a wonderful legacy from his years of tireless work.

In the photo, you can see Councillor Eunice Campbell proudly collecting the national Place-shaping and Environment award on behalf of her husband.

You can read more here.

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 Fayre
Various stalls including Christmas stall, nearly new, gifts and fancy goods, cakes, tombola, bric-a-brac, cuddly toys, jewellery, pluck-a-duck, Christian literature. Santa’s grotto. Light refreshments available.
St Mary the Virgin and All Souls Parish Church, Highbury Road, Bulwell
25th November, 11am-2pm

Christmas Coffee Morning
Many stalls, gifts, toys, toiletries, bric-a-brac. Preserves, refreshments, cakes
Bulwell United Reform Church, Broomhill Road/Brooklyn Road, Bulwell
25th November, 10:30am

Chit and Chatter
Come and meet old friends and make some new ones over coffee, tea and biscuits.
Emmanuel Church Hall, Church View Close, NG5 9QP
29th November, 10am-12pm

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 – 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

 

I’d also like to congratulate Bulwell Forest Garden on their recent award win.  They were awarded a Michael Varnam Award in the group category for the difference they’ve made in our area, particularly recognising the hard work and commitment from residents doing an amazing job to improve and strengthen our community.

I’ve heard that many families enjoyed their annual Spooky Monday event on Monday, with 260 residents enjoying being able to carve pumpkins, take part in craft activities, bake some delicious pumpkin gingerbread in the clay oven and enjoy homemade pumpkin soup.

The garden, located at will be open to the public 1pm-4pm, Mon/Wed/Fri/Sat until mid-December. In January, they will start planning the events and activities taking place throughout 2018. If you would like to be involved, please contact Barbara on 07890557854, and keep an eye out as I’ll be advertising the events in my newsletter once they’ve been organised.

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 3/11/17

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

This week has been a long Westminster one as today is a sitting Friday so I’ve needed to be in London all week so this bulletin will be a Parliament-heavy one. Happily, next week I have a full constituency week with lots on so I’ll make up for it next Friday!

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.

In Parliament

I’ve recently been appointed to the Public Bills Committee for the Nuclear Safeguards Bill – a bill which when it becomes law will provide for nuclear safeguards after the UK leaves Euratom. A Public Bill Committee’s job is to scrutinise all bills (other than Finance Bills or those scrutinised by the whole house) in detail, so I will be part of this for the next few weeks as we hear evidence and discuss changes based upon it. We go into a lot of detail as we examine the Bill and potential amendments line-by-line, so this has taken up a lot of my time this week, but I’ve still had time to question Ministers, hold usual meetings and join in debates.

Our key campaign in Parliament is to tackle tax dodging, as Jeremy Corbyn brought up in PMQs on Wednesday. The current global tax system is deeply unjust, with recent reports stating that multinational corporations avoided paying as much as £5.8 billion in UK corporate taxes last year by booking profits in overseas entities.

That’s why I voted for the ‘New Clause 2’ amendment of the Finance Bill on Tuesday, which would have required all those who make money from trading on our shores to pay their taxes here too, while raising at least £6bn to plug the growing deficit. With austerity affecting the most vulnerable in society most of all, this loophole and the loss it represents cannot be ignored any longer, and this clause could close it. Unfortunately, this amendment was defeated by the Government, but I will continue to fight for these much-needed changes.

I was fortunate to be able to question three Ministers this week, the first of which was a topical question to the Department for Communities and Local Government. This means that unlike most questions, the Minister hasn’t seen the question in advance and had a chance to prepare, much like the situation the Prime Minister faces every Wednesday. I asked the Local Government Minister about the Transition Grant, a pot of money designed to smooth over the move from central to local funding for local authorities, of which 80% of the 2016 allocation went to Tory councils. I asked the Minister whether he would pledge to make future calculations on a needs-first basis and make them public, which he avoided. You can watch this question and answer here. The lack of transparency here is outrageous. This is something that Cllr Graham Chapman has raised over recent months and I am keen to support those efforts. With Ministers being so evasive our next stop is the Public Accounts Committee.

I was then fortunate enough to get called to question the Justice Department on Tuesday. I demanded an explanation from the Prisons Minister for the shocking number of deaths recently at HMP Nottingham. In a 4-week period this year there have been 5 deaths at the prison – 4 by suicide and 1 drug-related – and last year there were 5 too. In the 10 years before that, from 2005, there were only 4 deaths at the prison in total, so something has clearly gone very wrong in the last couple of years. The Government need to explain what this is and fix it before more people become victims.

I know that in recent years the prisoner intake has increased by up to 30%, but staffing levels haven’t increased to match due to inadequate funding. I therefore urge the Government to provide the money that our prisons need, as this shortage is clearly increasing the risk to inmates, and most likely to the staff too. I’ll be staying on top of the Minister until we get to the bottom of this horrific pattern and fix it. You can watch this question and the Minister’s response here.

My third question was to the Welsh Minister. This clearly doesn’t relate directly to us in Nottingham, but not only is it important I help my Welsh Labour colleagues hold the Government to account, I was also able to take the opportunity to question the Minister on something with a strong local connection – electrification of train lines. You may know that the Government have cancelled the electrification of the Midlands Main Line, despite promising it in their election manifesto and afterwards. Well they have done this in Wales too, to the route between Cardiff and Swansea, so I used the opportunity to ask exactly what technological developments have stopped it being a good idea.

My fourth contribution this week was in a Westminster Hall debate on Puppy Smuggling – an important issue I’ve learnt a lot more about thanks to working with the Dogs Trust in the build-up to Westminster Dog of the Year last week. So many puppies, many of which are underage and unvaccinated, are smuggled into the UK each year that we aren’t even able to calculate how many. Part of the reason for this is that the penalties for doing so are insignificant compared to the potential benefits for smugglers and even in some cases, entirely avoidable, so I rose the importance of having real deterrents to put people off trying.

Despite all this I still had time for a number of meetings. You’ll likely know by now that I support the Unions in standing up for workers’ rights wholeheartedly, and met with two representatives from GMB to discuss how I can help them in this fight for the 631,000 workers they represent across the UK. They have several ongoing campaigns I support, not least of all their struggle to end the public sector pay pinch. As well as these I also met with representatives from Unison, to talk about how we can work together.

I also had two important meetings with health-related groups, Fight for Sight, who fund scientific research to reduce sight loss, and Action Cerebral Palsy, who campaign to increase awareness of cerebral palsies in both adults and children. Both groups do incredible work for the people they represent, all of whom deserve more support than they get, and it was helpful to hear about the hurdles they face, and work out what I can do to help get over them.

Another meeting I had this week was a bit more out of the ordinary. I met with a delegation of expatriate pensioners, who are in Parliament for the week to discuss their pensions. I was surprised to learn that after paying tax in the UK, the amount of state pension you receive varies depending on where you chose to retire to – based purely on arbitrary reciprocal agreements made long ago. One example is the anomaly that UK pensioners living in Canada have their pensions frozen whilst those just over the border in the US do not. There is no rhyme or reason, either, for where this does or does not apply. This of course seems entirely unfair on those who contributed their whole working lives, and I was glad to be able to discuss what can be done to fix the injustice.

I’ve been in Parliament again today, as we attempted to pass important Private Members’ Bills. The first of these which I support would require hospitals to publish data on how and when physical force is used, and improve oversight and training so that staff are aware of the risks of unconscious bias against minority groups such as young black men with mental ill-health. This was sadly prompted by the death of Olaseni Lewis after he voluntarily admitted himself into Bethlem Royal Hospital in August 2010.

Another Bill we discussed today aimed to reduce the voting age to 16. As we know, you currently must be 18 or older to vote in all elections in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, but notably not Scotland. When I was in Scotland campaigning before the Independence referendum in 2014, I was blown away by the enthusiasm of the young people who had finally been given an opportunity to get involved as 16- and 17- year olds could vote. In fact, 89% of all 16 and 17 year olds registered to vote – clearly defying the far-too-common expectation that they wouldn’t be interested in engaging anyway.

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.

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

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 – November 4th, December 2nd, 10:30am

Christmas Coffee Morning
Many stalls, gifts, toys, toiletries, bric-a-brac. Preserves, refreshments, cakes
Bulwell United Reform Church, Broomhill Road/Brooklyn Road, Bulwell
Saturday November 25th, 10:30am

I’d also like to congratulate Bulwell Forest Garden on their recent award win.  They were awarded a Michael Varnam Award in the group category for the difference they’ve made in our area, particularly recognising the hard work and commitment from residents doing an amazing job to improve and strengthen our community.

I’ve heard that many families enjoyed their annual Spooky Monday event on Monday, with 260 residents enjoying being able to carve pumpkins, take part in craft activities, bake some delicious pumpkin gingerbread in the clay oven and enjoy homemade pumpkin soup.

The garden, located at will be open to the public 1pm-4pm, Mon/Wed/Fri/Sat until mid-December. In January, they will start planning the events and activities taking place throughout 2018. If you would like to be involved, please contact Barbara on 07890557854, and keep an eye out as I’ll be advertising the events in my newsletter once they’ve been organised.

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 27/10/17

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

After the breaks for the summer and party conferences Parliament is now truly back in the swing of things and I’ve been busy as usual, with a lot of work to keep you up to date on.

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.

In Parliament

So there’s been a lot happening in Parliament this week, with important debates on Universal Credit, Social Care, Supported Housing and Modern Slavery amongst others, alongside the usual Ministerial Questions, and as always I had several meetings filling my schedule.

My major engagement in the chamber was my contribution to the debate on Modern Slavery which was led by my Labour colleague, Vernon Coaker MP. One of the biggest issues with Modern Slavery is awareness, with 1 of 10 not knowing that it refers to the forced labour, trafficking and exploitation of workers, and 2 in 3 not knowing how to recognise it, so I talked about this and what we can do to improve the situation, and allow the Act to make the difference it intended. You can watch my contribution here.

You’ll see that I and others raise a series of practical requests for to how to improve the legislation. Happily the minister agreed to lots of these – a rarity! – so we made a real difference. There’s much more to do but I’m delighted we’re making headway.

On Monday I was drawn to ask a Parliamentary Question of Michael Fallon, the Secretary of State for Defence, and took my opportunity to hold the Government to account on the progress they are making on the implementation of their 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), and find out whether they are on track to meet their 2020 targets. You can watch the Minister’s response to that question here.

I used my given Supplementary Question to ask specifically about one element of the SDSR which I believe to be very important: diversity. SDSR 2015 aimed for at least 10% of Armed Forces personnel to be BAME yet currently only 2.4% of Regular Officers are from a BAME background, and none of these are of two- star rank or above. This is clearly not good enough, and certainly not in line with the target, so I asked the Minister to tell me when the Ministry of Defence will publish a new diversity strategy to get to grips with this challenge? You can watch me asking this, and the Minister’s response here.

Last week I told you all about the Opposition victory on pausing the disastrous Universal Credit rollout after the Opposition Day Debate, where the Government refused to vote in order to avoid being beaten, but a forced vote led to a 299-0 result backing the pause. This week we had a similar situation in both Opposition Day Debates, as the Government abstained from motions on Social Care and Supported Housing so that there wouldn’t be a vote in which they could be embarrassed and shown that the will of the people opposes their policy agenda. This is not how a democracy should operate, with the Government acting like dictators, which is especially remarkable with a minority Government.

As well as these involvements in the chamber, I had plenty going on. I attended a briefing hosted by Barrister Sultan Mahmood Chaudhrythe former Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir and President of PTI Kashmir, who explained the current security and human rights situation in South Asia, with special reference to Kashmir. I know we have a number of Indian and Pakistani members of our community whose views on this conflict are borne from personal experiences, so I think it’s vital that I stay briefed on the situation as a resolution continues to be sought.

I also joined a number of my Labour colleagues to meet Unison, where we discussed how we can work in tandem with the Union to represent workers and protect their rights as efficiently as possible. There were also meetings with Ferrero Rocher, to discuss the impact of Brexit on British business, and Later Life Ambitions, who enlightened me on all the excellent work they do to ensure that opportunities stay open for pensioners.

Rounding off my week in Westminster were two meetings of All Party Parliamentary Groups (APPG) which I attended. These are cross-party groups dedicated to specific subjects of all natures, who often work in collaboration with outside organisations to address the issues surrounding their subjects of choice.

Being a big fan of Bulwell Market on a Saturday morning, as it truly is the best place to pick up a bargain and meet as many people as possible, but in the modern age of globalisation local markets are certainly under threat, so I attended the All Party Parliamentary Market Group meeting to support the protection of our markets. The other APPG was of a more personal note, which was the APPG for American Football, a sport I’m a big fan of and hope to help develop more in the UK.

In the Constituency

I’m back home today and have a full day’s work in the constituency. I was pleased to visit the CHDA Assessment Centre on Stoney Street in the City Centre, so I could see first-hand exactly what happens when people are being assessed for benefits. This can be a very controversial topic and I’ve heard many stories from those who have had to undertake unnecessary or unsuitable assessments, but it’s also important to know for myself exactly what this entails for those people, as well as those where an assessment is necessary, and see what needs to be improved upon.

I’ve also today met with Katie Whittam, Unite’s Regional and Political Officer for the East Midlands, to discuss the issues that workers in our region specifically are facing, and how I can work with her and her team to protect their rights and improve the situation.

As you’re reading this I’ll likely be on my way back to Bulwell for my latest surgery. We have another full schedule and I’m keen to see what I can do to help people out. Please get in touch with my office if you’d like to see me next time. As for the rest of the weekend, I’ll be out on doorsteps as usual, and I look forward to seeing some of you there!

And finally…

You’ll have seen in recent weeks that I’ve been promoting the Westminster Dog of the Year competition. Of course that’s been a celebration of dogs, which I enjoy. But it’s had a serious message too. It’s been about promoting good socialisation and training of dogs as well as highlighting key issues such as puppy smuggling.

The event was yesterday where I was joined by Boomer and Corona just outside Parliament for a couple of hours, where we had a great time at the event which was run by The Kennel Cluband Dog’s Trust. My two boys, and 9 other dogs and MPs took part in the day, which involved playing with some agility equipment, humans and hounds socialising with each other, being quizzed by a small panel of judges, and posing for countless photographs.

Unfortunately, Boomer and Corona didn’t make it into the top 3 as chosen by the judges, but I think we did one better, by winning the ‘pawblic’ vote! I’m very proud of both Boomer and Corona for being incredibly well behaved on the day, and incredibly grateful to everyone who helped us achieve this on our first (but surely not last) attempt. I hope everyone involved enjoyed the morning as much as we did, and even more importantly, hope that it helps bring attention to the problems affecting dogs nationwide.

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.

‘Curating Gibbs’, Annual Evelyn Gibbs Talk
Colette Griffin, assistant curator at Nottingham Castle Museum and Gallery discusses 2016 exhibition, Evelyn Gibbs in Peace and Wartime
St. Martin’s Church, St. Martin’s Road Bilborough, NG8 3BH
Tonight, Friday 27th October, 7.30pm, £5 (£3 con.)

Bestwood Park Church’s Bestop Kitchen
Social Eating Event, Donations Welcome
Bestwood Park Church, Beckhampton Road, NG5 5NG
Every Tuesday, 12-3pm

Poems in the Pub
Poetry Open Mic Night
The William Peverel, Bulwell
Thursday 2nd November, 7pm

Notts Gets 2 Work Summer/Autumn Programme
Programme of free Dr Bike events (bike servicing) and bike maintenance sessions
Various Nottingham Locations
For further info visit http://www.nottmgets2work.org.uk/programme2017

Free Community Cinema
Free screenings of films, everyone welcome!
St John’s Church, Key’s Close, Bulwell
2nd Friday every month, 7pm

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 –November 4th, December 2nd, 10:30am

Christmas Coffee Morning
Many stalls, gifts, toys, toiletries, bric-a-brac. Preserves, refreshments, cakes
Bulwell United Reform Church, Broomhill Road/Brooklyn Road, Bulwell
Saturday November 25th, 10:30am

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.

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 20/10/17

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

As always, it’s been another busy week, particularly with by-elections yesterday in Nottingham North, with three new councillors elected to the City Council. Congratulations to Nick Raine, who has been elected to my old seat in Basford. Similar congratulations to Georgia Power and Cheryl Weston, elected in Bestwood and Bulwell Forest respectively. They were all elected as party politicians but I know they will work to get the best for everyone in their ward. Having seen how hard they worked on the campaign trail I know they will all make excellent Councillors.

Before going over what I’ve been up to this week, I’d like to talk about a vote we had in Parliament on Wednesday afternoon on a matter which I, and I’m sure many of you, consider to be incredibly important: Universal Credit.

During an Opposition Day Debate, Labour called for the full rollout to be paused as the current state of it has been shown to not be fit for purpose. I touched on the impact of Universal Credit last week during my Westminster Hall debate, but this debate and vote was an opportunity for the Government to be told with complete clarity that Universal Credit, as is being rolled out, with a mandatory 6-week delay affecting those already in abject poverty, is unacceptable, and we did just that.

By the time the full rollout is complete in 2023 there are estimated to be 23,000 families in the constituency who will be on Universal Credit, all of whom will have to wait 6 weeks to receive anything, for no good reason, and 1 in 4 would be left without enough money to get by. I don’t think I need to point out the effect that this is going to have on these families who are clearly already struggling to get by. It will mean hunger, rent arrears, arrears on bills, stress, anxiety and many more problems that we wouldn’t wish on anyone, yet the Government seem content to let this happen, as it won’t be them that it’s happening to.

Unfortunately, the vote is non-binding as we voted 299 to 0 in favour of pausing the rollout, but the Conservatives decision to abstain rather than be beaten in a proper vote does not hide the fact that the House has deemed Universal Credit not good enough. The Government has lost the argument and lost the vote. The will of the people is clear and I will continue to urge the Government to fix this fatal flaw, so that less vulnerable people must suffer because of it, ensure that anyone who needs a payment gets one within 2 weeks, with no requirement to pay it back, and provide access to a minimum standard of support to help people adapt to Universal Credit.

For the final time as the event is next week, voting for Westminster Dog of the Year is still open. Get your friends and family to vote if they haven’t already! We’ve had wonderful support so far and my two wonderful border collies, Boomer and Corona, are desperate to win the competition (you can read their canine CV here). Part of it is a public vote, so if as many as possible of you could support them by voting here I’d really appreciate it. There will be a related event next Thursday which I’ll fill you in on in next week’s newsletter. Thanks a lot!

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.

In Parliament

As well as the vote on Universal Credit on Wednesday, there’s been another debate which I consider particularly important this week.

Fridays are normally for constituency work but today is a Parliamentary sitting day, as we debate Chris Bryant MP’s Private Members Bill, the Crime (Assault on Emergency Workers) Bill which would mean that assaults on emergency workers, whether police constables, firefighters, ambulance workers, prison officers, or otherwise, would be treated as aggravated if carried out while those people were carrying out their duties, and therefore double the potential prison sentence.

Figures from the NHS and the Home Office show that ambulance workers and police constables alone suffered around 2000 assaults in Nottinghamshire in a single year between 2015/16. This number of people being attacked just for doing their jobs, and noble jobs at that, is shocking, especially when we consider that the true number is likely significantly higher.

All of these workers provide an valuable public service, and knowingly put themselves at risk while doing it, so I believe it is only right that we properly protect them by ensuring proper punishment for perpetrators who would not only assault someone, but assault someone who is trying to help either them or someone else. This Bill would make such an act an aggravated offence.

I showed my support for the Bill in the House of Commons this morning, by intervening on Chris Bryant’s speech, as well as telling a short tale of my own personal experience with the fire service just this Wednesday. You can watch the intervention and Chris’s response to it here. I’m very pleased that the Government have chosen to support my Labour colleague’s Bill and that soon the these invaluable members of our society will be better protected by the law.

Outside the Chamber I had a number of meetings, as I continue to meet as many of the amazing groups and people who work to improve society, whether locally or nationally, as I can, and see what I can do to help their myriad of important causes.

One key meeting I had was with Dan Gray from ThinkForward, a charity which places skills coaches in schools to help young people with restricted opportunities achieve their goals. Dan is the Service Delivery Manager in Nottingham, one of the three areas where the charity operates, and is responsible for the five skills coaches that ThinkForward currently has offering their services in our secondary schools. In a deprived area like Nottingham North, I can’t stress enough how important support like this can be to making the difference for young people, and am looking forward to working more with Dan to improve the impact this can have in our area.

Something of great interest to people living in Nottingham North will be the announcement of the next proposal of the new boundaries for our constituency. If implemented it would mean that at the next General Election after 2018 Sherwood and Berridge Wards of Nottingham City would move into our constituency with Bilborough moving out into a Nottingham South and Beeston seat. I had hoped we would be able to keep Bilborough in our constituency, as it is very similar in challenges and outlay to Aspley, but I know that Bilboroughians will be at least relieved to be staying with a city seat – this was not the original proposal. Nevertheless, we still have real concerns with these new boundaries. The formula used does not take any reference of the number of people not registered and is based around mathematical simplicity rather than natural constituencies. I also don’t believe that reducing the number of MPs from 650 to 600 at a time when we’re taking thousands of regulations from the EU back in UK law makes sense at all. We will suffer locally as a result of these boundaries – unless there is significant chance I will not be supporting them when we vote on the final version next year.

As a former UNISON member of staff I am a member of the UNISON Group of MPs. We met to discuss the anti-low pay campaign that they and other unions ae running. I have supported this in the House and will continue to do so.

Each month Labour MPs from the East Midlands get together to make sure we are working collectively to get the best for our region. This week we were joined by Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Opposition. This was a really useful session, talking about what the region needs from a future Labour Government. I raised two important things: firstly, the need for proper regional investment into the East Midlands and, secondly, the importance of supporting Co-ops as a means to economic development.

Finally, an issue you can expect to hear much more about from me – modern slavery. This is migrant labour being trafficked into this country, forced to work, and not getting the money the earn. All the while living in dreadful conditions. It’s awful and often unseen. This is an issue that I am raising in Parliament. I met with Vernon Coaker, neighbouring MP for Gedling and Chair of the Parliamentary Group on Human Trafficking, to discuss the debate taking place in Parliament next Thursday.

Other than all this there’s been lots and lots of knocking on doors – in the hammering rain!

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.

Singin’ in the Rain
An age friendly screening of the musical classic starring Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor and Debbie Reynolds
Bulwell Riverside, Main Street, Bulwell, NG6 8QJ
Tuesday 24th October, 3pm, £2 including tea & biscuit

‘Curating Gibbs’, Annual Evelyn Gibbs Talk
Colette Griffin, assistant curator at Nottingham Castle Museum and Gallery discusses 2016 exhibition, Evelyn Gibbs in Peace and Wartime
St. Martin’s Church, St. Martin’s Road Bilborough, NG8 3BH
Friday 27th October, 7.30pm, £5 (£3 con.)

Bestwood Park Church’s Bestop Kitchen
Social Eating Event, Donations Welcome
Bestwood Park Church, Beckhampton Road, NG5 5NG
Every Tuesday, 12-3pm

Poems in the Pub
Poetry Open Mic Night
The William Peverel, Bulwell
Thursday 2nd November, 7pm

Notts Gets 2 Work Summer/Autumn Programme
Programme of free Dr Bike events (bike servicing) and bike maintenance sessions
Various Nottingham Locations
For further info visit http://www.nottmgets2work.org.uk/programme2017

Free Community Cinema
Free screenings of films, everyone welcome!
St John’s Church, Key’s Close, Bulwell
2nd Friday every month, 7pm

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 – October 21st, November 4th, December 2nd, 10:30am

Christmas Coffee Morning
Many stalls, gifts, toys, toiletries, bric-a-brac. Preserves, refreshments, cakes
Bulwell United Reform Church, Broomhill Road/Brooklyn Road, Bulwell
Saturday November 25th, 10:30am

 

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.

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