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Alex Norris MP's Weekly Newsletter

Member of Parliament for Nottingham North
25th January 2019
Issue #80
Welcome to the latest issue of my weekly newsletter. 

For the first time in a long time, I’ve had a pretty Brexit-free week, as we await next Tuesday’s votes on Theresa May’s ‘Plan B’ Withdrawal Bill and the amendments that have been put forward to accompany it. The amendments which are selected and voted for are likely to be very important in how Brexit proceeds, so expect a lot more on that next week. As for this week, I’ve had a chance to talk about some other important issues in both the House and Committee. 

Read on to find out more... 

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.

In the House of Commons

While I haven’t had much recent luck in terms of being drawn for questions, my luck in being picked out by the Speaker (which feels like it has been dreadful ever since I was elected!) picked up this week, and I was given two opportunities to speak after some relentless bobbing. 

During questions to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on Tuesday, I raised the dreadful ongoing situation in southern Cameroon, which I was visited by Bestwood residents about last year. The ongoing Anglophone crisis has led to violence and disruption for many people, with hundreds of thousands having to leave their homes, and I am very concerned by reports of human rights violations. I’ve raised this multiple times now, and was very pleased to secure a meeting with the Minister for Africa to discuss further with my constituents what the FCO is doing to help. You can watch the question here. 

You may remember last Friday I was at Ellis Guilford School with Google and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue. Yesterday I got a chance to pass on the important messages being taught to students there. I raised in the House of Commons the need to help educate children of the dangers, both on- and off-line that they face, and asked for the opportunity to debate what we can do from Parliament to encourage this. The Leader of the House’s response was very positive, and I hope we can see some great work being done by all parties towards this end. You can watch this here.

I also continued (and finished) my work on the Bill Committee for the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill this week. Unfortunately, the Bill still contains worrying aspects. This Bill seeks to amend the Mental Capacity Act 2005 in relation to deprivation of liberty where a person lacks the capacity to consent. Throughout the process I tabled and argued for amendments which would make it fit for purpose so that it protects the human rights of many thousands of vulnerable people in our society. My concerns are shared by 14 prominent charities, including Mind, Liberty and the British Institute of Human Rights, which I raised during the Committee proceedings. Unfortunately, the Government voted down my amendments, but we will keep fighting during the remaining stages of the Bill. You can watch one of my contributions here.

In Nottingham

After my question on Thursday, I was on my way back to Nottingham for the weekend. Here’s what I’ve been up to since getting home: 

  • This morning I visited the Lynam Court in Bulwell for a coffee morning organised by the residents, which was a great opportunity to talk about the issues they find important and affect their day-to-day lives. If you’d like me to come to a coffee morning you’re organising please let me know. 
  • I then spoke to Dr Peter Eckersley from Nottingham Trent University. He’s currently researching different city approaches to air pollution and was keen to discuss with me the positive steps being taken in Nottingham which meant we didn’t need to implement a ‘Clean Air Zone’ last year. 
  • Following this chat, I welcomed Sarah-Marie Taylor, the founder of Green Scene Education, to my office. Her not-for-profit works with schools to improve the level of food knowledge and food security in low income communities across Nottingham. Food poverty is a very important issue in deprived communities such as ours, and we’ve been seeing new food banks recently to try and assist those struggling to cope. It is always more effective to attack problems at the source though, so I’m very keen to support the great work being done by Sarah-Marie's organisation in any way that I can. 
  • Ron Hickling and Greg Brabender from the Royal British Legion were the next to visit my office, to discuss how former servicemen and women are treated after leaving the forces. It was a positive chat, and I’ll be visiting a local branch meeting as soon as I can make one! 
  • And shortly I’ll be welcoming constituents to the office for my latest surgery, to talk about a wide range of issues. I’m happy to talk about anything that’s important to you, so if you’d like to discuss and see what I can do to help, just get in touch with my office and we’ll arrange something.

In Parliament

My Committee responsibilities took up a fair bit of my time, as did bobbing in the Chamber, but without long Brexit debates, here’s how else I used my time in Westminster this week: 
  • I spoke with Simon Castle from Greater Nottingham CCGs regarding the Lung MOT Scans which have recently rolled out in Aspley, Bilborough and Strelley after a life-saving start in Bulwell. They’re finding cancers already, and we’re keen to extend this even further. 
  • I attended the latest meeting of the APPG for Deliberative Democracy – recently set up by my predecessor Graham Allen. Pleased to see a great turnout in such early days. 
  • Next on the APPG agenda was Retail Crime, following on from my Ten-minute Rule Bill designed to offer shopworkers more protections. It didn’t become law, but the campaign continues to give these workers the legal protections they deserve. 
  • I attended a Roundtable discussion hosted by the Labour Transport team on Bus services, to share best practice between different operating arrangements. In Nottingham as you know, we have a mix of municipal and franchised operation, which leads to a wide range of options, good prices, and good quality services. It’s not perfect and we’re always looking to improve, but I was keen to share what we do well and learn what we can do better. 
  • And finishing the week off on the same Transport theme, yesterday I attended Midlands Connect’s HS2 reception, which included a panel chaired by my Nottingham Labour colleague and Transport Select Committee Chair, Lilian Greenwood. The Government’s handling of HS2 has been far from perfect, to put it lightly, but it offers incredible potential for Nottingham and the East Midlands.

Looking ahead to next week

Next week we’ll be back to Brexit, as we vote on the PM’s ‘Plan B’ and its amendments, as I mentioned earlier. I’ll also be doing some work with the Co-Operative Party Parliamentary Group and have a very important Home Affairs Select Committee meeting lined up. Read next week to find out 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,


Arts Partnership Lab 
Wednesday 13 February 2019, 10am-3pm 
The Space, Nottingham Contemporary 

Is it important to you that more people have opportunities, throughout their life, to enjoy arts and culture and take advantage of what Nottingham's arts organisations have to offer? 
Book your place via eventbrite for this inspiring day, combining creativity, curiosity and community! Artists and community groups will be sharing their needs and requests, with a mixture of short presentations and practical activities. Join us on the final day of UK Young Artists City Takeover and the first day of Nottingham's Festival of Science and Curiosity! Book now here: Arts Partnership Lab

More info: Cathy Mahmood, Creative Nottingham North Coordinator, 07808 165209
Joining Blind Veterans
Have you served in the Armed Forces? In the UK Regular Armed Forces, including National Service.
Or UK Reserved Armed Forces. Reservists must have completed one year’s satisfactory service following training (or qualified for Bounty) or a lesser period if blinded on duty.
Or Polish/Indian Forces under British Command or Merchant Navy deployed within a combat zone in direct support of UK military forces.
You have significant sight loss- visual acuities worse than 6/60  in both eyes or struggle to see top letter of the eye chart. Optician or eye clinic to confirm.
If you meet our criteria for sight loss you can get free support. Help in the form, of Rehabilitation, training, peer support, grants, Sports and recreation.
We also run local social groups in Nottingham.
Please contact 0800 389 7979 for an application form. We can complete the form by telephone too, you will need your service record details. If you want to discuss further ring Mary James, Community Team Leader on 0114 2127612
University of Nottingham Winter Community Newsletter
Click here.

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:

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:,

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

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.

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 © 2019 Alex Norris MP, All rights reserved.

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