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Alex Norris MP's Weekly Newsletter

Member of Parliament for Nottingham North
28th September 2018
Issue #64

Welcome to the latest issue of my weekly newsletter.

As you’ll probably already be aware, this week was the 2018 Labour Party conference, which this year took place in Liverpool. For those who aren’t aware, party conferences are an opportunity for party members, activists, affiliates, supporters and politicians to get together and discuss and debate policy. It’s also a great opportunity for other groups to lobby and campaign to lots of influential people at once to get their issues on the agenda.

My week has been full of both of these, both of which I’ll cover, as well as I’ve what I’ve been up to in Nottingham since returning from Liverpool.

Read on to find out what I’ve been up to this 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 and I will include it in future issues. Please also forward it onto anyone you think may be interested.

The Big Speeches

The biggest and final event of any party conference is the Leader’s Speech, which Jeremy Corbyn gave on Wednesday afternoon in the main hall. These speeches are the most important part of the conference, as the leader lays out the priorities for the party for the next year and beyond.

Jeremy gave a great speech, exposing the damage that eight long years of Tory austerity and Theresa May's reckless mishandling of Brexit has caused.

I was particularly pleased to hear about the 400,000 new green jobs a Labour Government would create. So many important issues are being ignored by this government at the moment and it's great to hear how Labour would invest in our economy (including in the East Midlands) to create jobs, whilst also helping to tackle climate change - one of the biggest threats we face, globally.

What a contrast this week has shown. A Tory Party continuing with more of the same - barely even discussing Brexit during Monday's Cabinet meeting - while we've been debating the key issues which matter to our communities, including in Nottingham North.

Labour now stands ready to move forwards, united, to fight Theresa May's Brexit deal - or catastrophic 'no-deal' scenario as the case may be - and to begin investing in our economy to improve the lives of all of our communities across the UK.

It was also great to hear from Jonathan Ashworth, Labour's Shadow Health Secretary and my boss in the Labour Health team, on Wednesday morning about how our team will turn around our NHS after the Tories have pushed it to the brink.

Let's take the fight to the Tories and ensure that, when the next election comes, we can finally defeat this cruel Tory Government once and for all.

Outside of the Main Hall

In addition to Jon’s speech on how our Labour Health team would save the NHS in Government, Conference was also a great chance to talk to party members and lots of organisations with ideas which I can feed into our policies through my role on this team. Our party platform is built on democracy, and this is just one way for members to influence policy directly.

I also took advantage of this excellent opportunity to meet with third sector groups and different stakeholders about my Rebalancing Foundation and the work it does locally. I've got lots of ideas to bring back to Nottingham which I'll be able to draw on in my work with the Foundation in the future.

I also caught up with trade union colleagues from Usdaw about their campaigns to protect and extend the rights of shopworkers. I have my ten-minute rule bill coming up, and it was fantastic to be able to discuss this with them as it seeks to offer additional protection to the shopworkers they represent who are far too often assaulted while doing their job. I'll be presenting this to the House of Commons when we return to Parliament on Tuesday 9th October.

But the big highlight of the week for me has to be the work I did with East Midlands colleagues to encourage investment into our region. We're asking the government to invest in our regional economy and if they fail, we know a Labour Government will deliver this, whenever they have the bottle to call a General Election.

I can’t possibly list everyone I met with during the Conference I’m afraid, so instead I’m going to focus on a couple that I found particularly interesting and inspiring.

National Deaf Children's Society

One organisation that I met with while in Liverpool was the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS), to discuss the key issues that affect deaf children, which go far beyond what you might expect and are under threat of becoming more significant due to cuts to services.

It was a pleasure to meet 14-year old Ella, who was with the Society to share first-hand the challenges she’s had to face and the barriers that she’s overcome while growing up. She let me and my Labour colleagues know what she thinks I can do as a Member of Parliament to help make things easier for her and other deaf children who will be going through similar experiences.

There are around 200 deaf children in Nottingham, and about 45,000 in total across the UK, almost 4 in 5 of whom attend mainstream schools. Deafness is not a learning disability and given the right support, in this environment there is no good reason why deaf children should not be attaining the same as their hearing classmates.

Unfortunately, in Nottingham deaf children are currently falling a grade behind. Vital education funding is required to ensure that deaf children are afforded the support they need, and then this attainment gap can be closed.

However, the opposite is happening. Much like other important services, deaf children’s services across the country face cuts of £4 million this year due to the Government’s austerity agenda where countless local services have suffered. Bright young children like Ella are the victims of these cuts, and Labour will continue to fight for her and others to receive the support they deserve.

The Alcohol Health Alliance UK

Another group that I met was the Alcohol Health Alliance UK (AHA), and this meeting was particularly interesting as it related to a very common health issue, but one that not very many of us would consider.

At the stall, I was challenged to guess how many units of alcohol a standard drink has. You wouldn’t think this is too difficult, but it took help from well-designed labels and AHA staff for me to correctly identify the number of units in a glass of wine.

Sadly, 80% of people cannot correctly identify the Chief Medical Officers’ (CMOs) low-risk drinking guidelines and only 1 in 10 people are aware of the link between alcohol and cancer. In addition, 40% of women in the UK continue to drink during pregnancy.

These are all major worries for a variety of reasons, and evidence suggests that clear labelling of alcohol containers can increase awareness of health messages and help consumers to make healthier choices. This relies on labels being clearly legible and understandable, which is what the AHA are campaigning for.

A recent audit of 320 alcohol labels across the UK found that not a single product warned of specific health risks, and less than 10% referred to the current 14-unit CMOs’ guidelines. Whilst pregnancy warnings were voluntarily displayed on the majority of products, many of them were small and difficult to see.

It would not take much for clear information to be included on labels, yet we currently get to know more about the contents of a pint of milk than of a bottle of beer that is linked to over 200 disease and injury conditions.

While this is an issue nationwide, here in the East Midlands, 1 in 4 adults drink over the recommended units of alcohol per week and 1 in 6 binge drinks. We also have significantly higher rates of hospital admission for alcohol-related conditions when compared to England. And in more deprived areas, like Nottingham North, rates are even higher. Tackling alcohol-related harm is an important route to reducing health inequalities in general, and I will continue to support the AHA’s campaign.

Back at home

Conference ended on Wednesday, so I have had a couple of days locally since returning. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

  • On Wednesday evening I attended a Resident and Tenant Association Open Meeting, where I got to hear the issues affecting those living in the Hoewood Area. If you would like me to come please invite me!
  • On Thursday morning the National Literacy Trust hosted a breakfast meeting to discuss the challenge we see in increasing literacy in Nottingham - Nottingham North has the 8th highest level of literacy vulnerability out of the 533 constituencies in England - and the collective effort we are making to address it
  • I then met with Steve Smith of Sneinton Alchemy, a Community Interest Company run by locals that works for the benefit of its local community, to improve the neighbourhood and support local enterprise. Steve has previously worked closely with my Rebalancing charity, and we are keen to continue that relationship - watch this space...
  • Last night I was fortunate enough to be a key part of the first ever Bulwell Stars Awards ceremony, where we recognised young people and volunteers who have made a significant contribution to the community of Bulwell. The ceremony highlighted the tremendous things that volunteers have done for our local community, and I’d like to congratulate all 13 nominees, overall winner Ros Yousouf and thank the Bulwell councillors for funding the event. I know not one person involved does what they do for the praise or recognition, but it’s still wonderful to be able to appreciate the hard work that people do for their community.

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,


Oscars event to raise funding for Nottingham based charity
Disability Direct Nottingham (DDN) will be holding an Oscars themed charity fundraiser on Friday 12th October. The Compere for the evening will be Mark Dennison from BBC Radio Nottingham, a long-standing friend and supporter of Disability Direct Nottingham.

This event will combine live music with a glitzy awards ceremony and captivating entertainment. There will be holding an auction with donations from local businesses. 

This event is to highlight the good work Disability Direct Nottingham do and to shine a light on the work of their amazing team of volunteers. These volunteers are key to running many of their services and this is a wonderful opportunity to show thanks to them with the glitzy event which will include an awards ceremony.

Please click the flyer below to purchase tickets, or contact Charlotte Throssel at DDN on 0115 978 5095 for more information.
St Mary's Harvest Weekend
St Mary’s the Virgin & All Souls Church, Highbury Road, Bulwell, NG6 9AD
Harvest Tea
Pea & pie supper before fun activities
Saturday 6th October, 5-7pm
Tickets in advance from Andrew Fisher -
Harvest Festival Service
Please bring along in-date packets and tins of food to be donated to Bulwell & Bestwood Food Bank
Sunday 7th October, 10am (free breakfast for kids & families from 9.30am)

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 one October 4th

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:,


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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