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Alex Norris MP's Weekly Newsletter

Member of Parliament for Nottingham North
26th October 2018
Issue #68

Welcome to the latest issue of my weekly newsletter. 

It’s been another Parliament-heavy week for me, with Questions, Committees, and a Ministerial Meeting, before spending today back in Nottingham, where I’m currently meeting 5 new mentees (more on that shortly) and gearing up to welcome Jess Phillips MP to the patch later. 

As I mentioned last week, as we approach Remembrance Day on 11th November, St Mary the Virgin and All Saints Church in Bulwell will also be running a special service to commemorate the End of World War I at 4pm on Sunday October 28th, with Bulwell Churches Together, the Royal British Legion (Bulwell Branch) and the Riverside Community Choir. 

Refreshments will follow, and after the service the Names of the Fallen will be read from the Bulwell War Memorial, and a bell tolled. You can find a poster with all the information further down. 

Read on to find out what I’ve been up to… 

As I’ve said before, I will strive to send you a newsletter like this each Friday to keep you updated on the work I’m doing in Parliament as well as in our community, and to inform you of any interesting events taking place in our area. To help me with the latter, if you are running or know of anything that you think may be of interest to others, feel free to drop me an email at and I will include it in future issues. Please also forward it onto anyone you think may be interested. 

Holding Ministers to Account

While this week wasn’t as fruitful in terms of Parliamentary Questions as other recent weeks, as I’ve been particularly lucky recently, I still had two separate opportunities in the House of Commons chamber to do my part in holding the Government to account. 

On Monday, we had Defence Questions, and I asked about the brave people who serve in our Armed Forces, following up a question on the trends of number of people serving by pointing out the disappointingly low morale of those who do serve, and asking what the Government will be doing about it. We can’t rely solely on bravery and duty for our armed forces to retain its personnel – it must be a rewarding career choice. You can watch this here.

And yesterday, I asked the Leader of the House if we could discuss the effect that fireworks have on our pets, and what we can do to help reduce it, on Parliament time. Bonfire Night is approaching, and I’m sure many of us are looking forward to enjoying the wonderful firework displays going on in Aspley or at Forest Rec (find details further down), but it’s important to remember that about two thirds of dogs fear fireworks, as do many other animals. Next week I’ll be talking about the steps we can take individually to lessen this stress, but I’d also like Parliament to help too. You can watch me ask for this here.

Slightly differently – on Wednesday morning I met privately with Rory Stewart MP, the Prisons Minister, to discuss the continuing issues (too many of which have led to inmate deaths) at HMP Nottingham. Since his appointment, I’ve been pleased with his personal commitment to the issue, as he seeks to improve Nottingham and other prisons nationwide, but we must see the change that has been promised take place. Our meeting was very positive, and I will continue to press him and his Department until things get better.


This afternoon, I am meeting with five students from the University of Nottingham at my constituency office. These are 5 emerging leaders from a diverse variety of backgrounds, who I will be mentoring through the Faith and Belief Forum’s ParliaMentors programme. 

This will involve hosting 3 meetings with this team of 5 emerging leaders (this being the first) and providing them with access to a major political event. The meetings give teams an insight into my work as an MP, and on a wider basis, Parliament and political leadership. These meetings will include at least this one meeting in the constituency office, at least one meeting in Westminster, at least one short shadowing opportunity, and access to a political function, committee, PMQs or similar.  

Over 70 MPs have done this before me and this has led to ParliaMentors winning the prestigious UN Award for Intercultural Innovation; in recognition of their part equipping the next generation of political and social leaders with the skills, experiences and networks they need to advance their leadership careers. Along with MP mentoring, participants experience expert training and create social action projects tackling a plethora of issues in their communities. 

The details of my mentees’ experience are yet to be decided but I'm sure that it will be a positive experience for both myself and the students. I will of course update readers as we progress through the programme. 

Committee Work

You may remember last week my afternoons in Parliament were torn between the Home Affairs Select Committee that I sit on permanently, and the Overseas Electors Bill Committee which I’m currently sitting on, and this week was no different, as I attended two sessions of the former and one of the latter. 

Yesterday, the Home Affairs Select Committee published its most recent report, Policing for the Future, in which we pointed out how desperately the police need more funding in the upcoming Budget & Spending Review or there will be “dire consequences” for public safety and criminal justice. Monday’s Committee session was spent finalising amendments to this report before its publication. You can find the report here. 

At Tuesday’s session of the Home Affairs Select Committee we welcomed four excellent witnesses from whom we took evidence for our ongoing modern slavery inquiry. These were Kate Roberts, Head of Office at the Human Trafficking Foundation, Phillipa Roberts, Director of Legal Policy at Hope for Justice, Klara Skrivankova, UK and Europe Programme Manager at Anti-Slavery International; and Kevin Hyland, former Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner. As you will know, Modern Slavery is one of the issues I hold most important, and sadly it is far bigger an issue than most people perceive. I was very pleased with how this evidence session went and how the inquiry is shaping up. We can make a real difference. Keep your eyes peeled. 

Unfortunately, I had to miss Wednesday’s meeting for the Overseas Electors Bill Committee, but in my stead evidence on Counterterrorism and counter-extremism respectively was taken from AC Neil Basu and Sara Khan.  

On the Overseas Electors Bill Committee, my Labour colleagues and I continued to make our arguments for amendments that we believe would make the Bill more suitable. Take a look back at last week’s Newsletter for more detail on that. 

And More

I had a relatively quiet week in terms of other meetings, presumably down to all the time I was required sitting on Committees, but it also gave me an opportunity to fit in a bit more time at my desk than usual, which is also very important! Regardless, here is what else I did get up to: 

  • I voted in favour of Labour colleagues Stella Creasy and Conor McGinn’s successful amendment to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions) Bill, which would require our Secretary of State to provide guidance on the law regarding abortion and same-sex marriage in the current absence of their devolved Parliament. 
  • In Nottingham today, I caught up with Simon Castle to discuss the next steps of the Lung MOT Project that Rebalancing are supporting. 
  • While in Parliament, I attended an update briefing by Midland Engine, a Google reception (as Google Garage will soon be visiting Bulwell), and met with Craig Owen from Heathrow Airport. 

Looking ahead to next week

Of course, there will be more Committees next week, a lot more on fireworks, and next Saturday I’m going back to school. 

Read next week for more detail on all that and more!

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.

If you would like your events advertised here, or further information on those advertised, please email me at

That’s all for now! Details of how to get in touch or to have a look at the things I’m doing are below…

All the best,


Fireworks Events
In order to reduce anxiety for our pets, I strongly recommend heading to an organised firework event rather than hosting your own. Here are two taking place locally that I'm sure would be perfect:

4th Carlton Scouts Firework Display
Saturday, 3 November
Bonfire lit at 7.15pm, with the display beginning at 8pm
£5 (Children £3; Family £15)
King George V Playing Fields,Aspley Lane, Aspley, Nottingham, NG8 5RX

Nottingham City Council's Firework Display
Monday, 5 November
Children's display begins at 7.15pm, and the main fireworks begins at 9pm. The bonfire will be lit at 7.45pm
Forest Recreation Ground, Russell Road, Nottingham, NG7 6HB
Bulwell Forest Recreation Ground Cycle Centre is running EVERY SATURDAY in October, thanks to extra funding from Nottingham City Homes

Come down to Bulwell Forest Recreation Ground (meet near to the ‘pirate park’) each Saturday to boost your cycling skills. Best of all, it’s FREE to City residents
  • 9am for Learn to cycle and beginners
  • 10:15am for on road cycle training
  • 11:30am for a led cycle ride
Give RideWise a call on 0115 955 2288 to book a place, or simply turn up. We also have bikes that you can borrow for the session.
Bulwell Build a Bike Course
By taking part in this course you will gain the skills to strip down and rebuild a preloved bike, and then get to keep it too!

Crabtree community Centre, Bulwell
1st, 8th, 15th & 22nd Nov, 6-8pm.
All sessions to be attended.

The courses are FREE to Nottingham City Residents and suitable for people who are over 14 (children to be accompanied by an adult).

To book onto one of our courses, please send your full name, address, email address and phone number to Places are limited, so be quick!

GOSPEL STREET is a powerful mix of theatre, comedy and spoken word – a breath-taking ride through all the important issues of life, death… and miraculous street food. Good news with wisdom, laughter, energy and insight.

At Bulwell United Reformed Church:
Saturday 17th November

Tickets: £5
Box Office: 01904 613000 or book online

A Service to Commemorate the End of World War I
With Bulwell Churches Together, the Royal British Legion (Bulwell Branch) and the Riverside Community Choir 
St Mary the Virgin & All Souls Church, Highbury Rd, Bulwell
Sunday October 28th, 4pm

New Wellbeing/Self-Help Group
An opportunity to meet new people, make new friends, and help you build up confidence and self-esteem.
Identify areas of your own wellbeing - physically & mentally.
Referral support to other services & support.
Friendly & comfortable environment, with no pressure to talk.
Hosted in the West Room, St Mary’s the Virgin & All Souls Church, Highbury Road, Bulwell, NG6 9AD.
For further info:

Poems in the Pub
Open Mic Night, Free Admission, Local Talent, Full Bar
The William Peverel, Bulwell
First Thursday in the month, 7 for 7:30pm start, next on 1st November

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 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

Whiz Kids Junior Church
Free breakfast, arts & crafts for children aged 5ish – 11ish
St Mary the Virgin & All Souls Parish Church, Highbury Road, Bulwell
Every Sunday, 9:30am

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:,

An Evening of 'Bogger' Talk
An event celebrating our local dialect 
There will be poetry, storytelling and a quiz (for a small donation)
The Malt Cross, 16 St James's St, Nottingham, NG1 6FG
Friday November 30th, 7.30pm
This is a charity event raising funds for the Stroke Association. Just £2!

Athlete Accelerator
Khian Mility is helping young athletes reach their potential, with the goal of obtaining US College Sports Scholarships. For further information please visit his website.

Messy Church
All welcome – food, fun, arts & crafts, & God slot
St Mary the Virgin & All Souls Parish Church, Highbury Road, Bulwell
2nd Sunday every month, 3-5pm

Whiz Kids
Special breakfast, followed by stories, games, crafts & fun!
St Mary the Virgin & All Souls Parish Church, Highbury Road, Bulwell
Sundays, 9.30-11.15am
For more info contact Kerry Palmer - 0115 953 1780 or by email.

Messy Church Bestwood/Bulwell Forest
Bestwood Park Church, Beckhampton Rd, Bestwood Park
Various Thursdays, 4:30-6pm
Church on Rise Park, Revelstoke Way, Rise Park
Various Thursdays, 5-6:30pm

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

Bulwell Connectors
Free monthly group developing opportunities for more art in public places in Bulwell. With trips to galleries and hands-on creative workshops, this group is for local people who want to be arts champions for Bulwell. Facilitated by Nottingham Contemporary associate artist Gillian Brent
Bulwell Riverside, Community Room 2 
2nd Tuesday every month, 6-8pm
For further info:, @CreativeNNorth,

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:,

How to contact me

If you would like to contact me, please email or give my Nottingham North constituency office a ring on 0115 975 2377.

If you are a constituent from Nottingham North e-mailing me regarding a casework issue you are my priority, so please ensure your message includes:
  • your full name
  • your full postal address, including postcode
  • a contact telephone number and
  • any helpful details relevant to your case such as date of birth, reference numbers etc.
Strict parliamentary protocol means I can only deal with issues on behalf of my own constituents. If you aren’t sure whether you live in Nottingham North, you can check who your local MP is by entering your postcode online here:

You may also wish to write to me with your concerns. If so please send your correspondence to Alex Norris MP, House of Commons, London, SW1A OAA. All constituents who take the time and trouble to write a personal letter will receive a reply as a matter of priority.
Other useful links
  • If you’d like to learn more about the Labour party their website is here.
  • To join the Labour Party click here.
  • Benefits Information: Here’s an excellent site that allows you to find out exactly what benefits you are eligible to claim: EntitledTo
  • Housing: please contact your City Council
  • Problems with benefits or the Child Support Agency? The Citizens Advice Bureau and the Nottingham Welfare Rights Service can give advice. Remember to have your National Insurance number handy if you make an inquiry.
  • Local schools / education matters: please contact your City Council.
  • Employment rights: see Citizens Advice Bureau or the Trades Union Congress for info.
  • Social services, environmental health, noise nuisance, parking, and Council Tax should all be addressed to the City Council.
  • Another useful website on public services is
  • For the main Parliamentary website click here and to explore the Parliamentary education site click here.
Copyright © 2018 Alex Norris MP, All rights reserved.

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