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Alex Norris MP's Weekly Newsletter

Member of Parliament for Nottingham North
21st September 2018
Issue #63

Welcome to the latest issue of my weekly newsletter. 

It’s recess again, as the Lib Dems have kicked off party conference season. The Labour Party one begins on Saturday in Liverpool and I’ll be heading up soon. This week though, I’ve been busy in the constituency, making good use of the time away from Parliament. 

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

Over the Weekend

I ended last week’s newsletter with a short preview of what I had planned for the weekend in Nottingham, and now that I’ve gone and done it I’m able to go into a little more detail! 

After some morning canvassing over in Ashfield, I got back to the constituency for a Fun Day filled day. 

First up was the Nottingham City Homes Fun Day in Bulwell, with an amazing turnout to celebrate being named Landlord of the Year 2018 at the UK Housing Awards back in May. Showing commitment to involvement from their tenants and putting customers at the heart of everything they do is what won them this award, and hosting an event like this for those very tenants shows exactly what their priority is. My personal highlight was being read to by Councillor David Mellen, as we took advantage of one of the many family-friendly activities on offer. 

Next up was Bilborough Park, as I joined Bilborough’s three councillors, Wendy Smith, Malcolm Wood and Marcia Watson, to celebrate the opening of the brand-new play area. The three of them have done a wonderful job in making this happen and the turnout in Bilborough was just as good as in Bulwell. There was plenty to do at Harvey Hadden where it took place, including a climbing wall, inflatables, various stalls, birds of pretty, and parrots. I had a great time, and sure everyone else who came along had as much fun as will be had with the new play park. 

On Sunday I was live on East Midlands Sunday Politics, where I was joined by my dogs Boomer and Corona who stole the show following their Westminster Dog of the Year win, although I think my wife was the real hero as she had to keep control of them while I was discussing more serious issues. 

As well as Brexit, which is of course unavoidable, Marie Ashby hosted me, Heather Wheeler MP and Robert Smith to talk about how our region has suffered one of the biggest falls in wages in the UK. Under this Government local people have found themselves much worse off in real-terms as prices go up and wages go down, which simply isn’t good enough. The Conservatives can point at unemployment being down all they like, but this hardly matters when millions of people are working hard and their families are still forced to live in poverty. A Labour Government would ensure that anyone working full-time is able to get by. You can watch the full episode on iPlayer here (look out for the special guest appearance at the end!), or catch some short clips here and here.

Creative Nottingham North

On Tuesday I met with Peter Knott, who is the Area Director, for the Midlands branch of Arts Council England, which is itself the body that distributes National Lottery funds to the Arts. This is of great interest to me, as a lot of the work being done by Creative Nottingham North, which works in tandem with my charity Rebalancing, was made possible thanks to such a grant which has provided almost £60,000 over the last 2 years. 

This money has enabled a vast number of things to happen. Possibly most importantly it’s made it possible to hire a dedicated Creative Coordinator in Nottingham North, Cathy Mahmood, who is part of the Rebalancing. Beyond that Creative Nottingham North has also used this money to: 
  • Work with writer Andy Barrett in Aspley 
  • Set up Bulwell Connectors, a local residents commissioning group 
  • Develop Bulwell and Bilborough Arts Festivals 
  • Strengthen connections between arts organisations in the city and community champions/local people, such as Broadway cinema, City Arts, the Theatre Royal and Concert Hall, Lakeside Arts, the Nonsuch theatre) 
  • And much, much more – see www.creativenottinghamnorth.com for more 
As this funding comes to an end early next year, Creative Nottingham North are now looking to build upon the incredible foundations that they’ve put in place. We are therefore hopeful that Arts Council England will continue to support their growth and the cultural difference it is making in our community.  
 
I was therefore keen to discuss this with Peter, given his awareness of both the regional cultural landscape and Arts Council England. As far as I’m aware there aren’t many other organisations doing similar work in engaging people in outer estates with arts and culture, and I think it is vital that this is something we continue to promote the best we can, and Lottery funding can help us achieve this. 

We had a very positive discussion about the work done by Creative Nottingham North already, the difference it has made, as well as what we have planned for the future and I hope the meeting can be one small part of ensuring this cultural change continues. 

Unions

One thing you might not know about me is that before becoming a Member of Parliament, as well as working on Nottingham City Council, I also worked for the country’s largest trade union, Unison. I’ve long been a believer in the need for unions to protect workers and ensure that their rights are honoured by their employers, whether this be private or public sector, and much of my parliamentary work to date has focused on this. 

A week in the constituency gave me an opportunity to meet up with local reps from Unison, United and GMB. As well as it always being good to catch up, it’s also good to know what each of their respective campaign priorities are at the moment, as I go into conference. 

I began the week meeting with Unite’s East Midlands Regional Secretary, Annmarie Kilcline, and Regional Co-ordinating Officer, Paresh Patel, who filled me in on the Union’s current campaigning towards fair tips for waiting staff, against racism, and in support of workers being left out to dry by Brexit. 

Next up was Richard Oliver, GMB’s East Midlands Officer. GMB are currently working on a number of campaigns, but a key focus is public sector pay, which despite some Government movement, still isn’t close to reaching acceptable levels, as staff have still suffered real-term pay cuts whether they work for the NHS, Local Government or other areas of the Public Sector. 

And later in the week I met up with Helen Black, regional secretary for Unison East Midlands, for a similar catch up. Brexit has been a key focus of Unison’s, as they campaign to ensure that UK workers (particularly EU citizens) aren’t left unemployed and penniless (or deported) as a result of negotiations, but also that vital public services aren’t affected. 

These are all important campaigns, and I’ll be going into Labour Conference with all of these ideas at the forefront of my mind, as we are the Party that can make a difference to these troubling issues. 

In Nottingham North

As well as those three meetings, I got up to plenty more in the constituency throughout the week. Here’s the highlights: 

  • I met with Nigel Turner, prominent safe standing campaigner. The Government are reviewing the law on this currently, so we discussed possible next steps for once this has completed 
  • On Tuesday I joined Cllr. Brian Grocock in meeting John Buckley, Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue Department’s Chief Fire Officer. The service do an absolutely tremendous job around the county and it’s important that our elected officials, both local and central, do what they can to support their work in any way possible. 
  • You may remember I attended a Peep class at the Southglade Access Centre recently. This week I caught up with Susannah Chambers, Peeple’s Project Manager for their Learning Together Study, to discuss how Peeple could contribute to early intervention policy as well as what more they can do in the Nottingham North 
  • Not long following one of my constituents had his taxi vandalised during the World Cup ‘celebrations’ and been left out of pocket by his insurance company, which I’ve contacted Transport Ministers about, I met with local driver representative Azeem Hanif to talk about both public and driver safety concerns at large. 
  • I caught up with Nick Hunter from Nottinghamshire Local Pharmaceutical Committee as we continue to campaign against exploitative ‘branded generic’ drugs. 
  • Yesterday I visited Masjid Al-Khazra, the Mosque on Queensberry Street, where I was shown around, treated to lunch, and given an opportunity to discuss the issues which are important to our Muslim community in Nottingham North. 
  • I also hosted a constituent surgery last night following the Mosque visit. As always, please get in touch with my Nottingham office if you’d like to discuss something with me in person at one. 
  • And today I’ve had a Rebalancing funding meeting, before meeting with Kat Osborn from Safe Families for Children, a wonderful charity who work to support families in crisis. 

Looking to Conference

As I’ve mentioned, the Labour Party Conference starts in Liverpool this weekend.  

This year's conference will be an opportunity to demonstrate the vibrancy of our half-million strong membership, our millions of affiliated members, and unity around our message of rebuilding Britain: with a focus on the economy, communities and public services. While we’re talking about the issues which matter most to people, the deeply divided Conservative Party is talking to itself. 

We will be talking about investment and industry for the 21st century, about high street and town renewal, the post-industrial areas we need to rebuild, new forms of public ownership in public services and an end to the austerity, outsourcing and privatisation which is damaging our people. We will be discussing the way forward on public investment, social security and skills, Brexit and the economy, security at home and abroad, and tackling inequalities.

At last year’s conference we established our Democracy Review to look at how our structures can better enable our hugely expanded membership to become a mass movement which can transform society. This year’s conference will also consider the recommendations of that review. 

As a Labour MP I have a vital role to play, in developing our policy, in communicating our message to a wider audience, and fighting for it in Parliament, as I stand up for the people of Nottingham North. I’ll fill you in on how it went next week.  

What's On

I want these emails to be as interesting as possible. That means there’ll be some politics – it’s important that I am held accountable. But I also want to offer information about what’s on locally. So, if you have an event you’d like me to advertise, let me know.

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

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.

Prince's Trust Team Programme Recruiting Now

Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service are now recruiting for our next Prince’s Trust Team programmes in Beeston & Basford. 

When does the next team start? - The next team starts in Beeston on Monday 17th September 2018 and Basford on 24th September 2018, and runs for 12 weeks.

Who is the programme for? - The programme is for unemployed young people between the ages of 16 and 25.

How much does it cost? - Nothing - the programme is free of charge and we can even pay for public transport costs.

What will young people gain on the programme?  - We work on skills which are useful for the workplace, including team building, problem solving, leadership skills, communication skills, and organisation skills.  We also support young people to build their confidence and self-esteem, and to overcome any problems which they may face.

How do I make a referral to the team programme? - Please contact me, Tracey Avery, Team Support Officer, on 07967 690741, or email tracey.avery@notts-fire.gov.uk, or, Pete Hales, Delivery Partner Manager, on 07967 690791, or email peter.hales@notts-fire.gov.uk.

What next?  -

Basford Team - We are holding an Open Day on Thursday 20th September at our Team Room, Prince’s Trust House, (next door to Stockhill Fire Station), Stockhill Lane, Basford, NG6 0LG.

Feel free to pop in at any time between 10am and 3pm. You can bring young people with you, or send them down on their own.

You may also like to find out more on our website: www.notts-fire.gov.uk

If you require any further information, or would like one of my colleagues to come and speak to any members of staff or interested young people, then please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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.
The next meeting will be Monday 24th September, 10.30am – 12pm
For further info: fay.goodhand@icloud.com

WAIS Paws in the Park
Bring your pooch for a 5km sponsored dog walk and help raise funds for our pet fostering project which helps pets and families to find safety from domestic abuse
Rushcliffe Country Park, Ruddington
Sunday, 23rd September, 11:30-16:30
For more info click here.

Poems in the Pub
Open Mic Night, Free Admission, Local Talent, Full Bar
The William Peverel, Bulwell
First Thursday in the month, 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: www.stmartinsbilborough.org.uk, info@stmartinsbilborough.uk



 

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.
https://www.theathleteaccelerator.com

Best Small Shops Competition
Calling all small shops in Nottingham North – what makes your shop stand out? Nominate yourself for the Best Small Shops Competition in Parliament at https://www.indieretail.uk/best-small-shops/

Women's Aid Bake a Difference
Throughout September, raise money for Women's Aid by having your own bake sale. This is an opportunity for individuals, companies, coffee shops and community groups across Nottingham and South Nottinghamshire to raise funds and awareness about their work.
For more info click here.

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, next on this Sunday, 9th September

Whiz Kids
Special breakfast, followed by stories, games, crafts & fun!
St Mary the Virgin & All Souls Parish Church, Highbury Road, Bulwell
Sundays, starting 9th September, 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: www.creativenottinghamnorth.com, @CreativeNNorth, cathy.mahmood@rebalancingouterestates.com

Crochet Clinic
Community Room at Tesco Bulwell, Jennison St, NG6 8EQ (upstairs near the cafe)
First Wednesday of every month, 6:30pm–8:30pm
£5 (covers refreshments and materials)
For further info: www.apriltowriess.co.uk, hello@apriltowriess.co.uk

 
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.
Copyright © 2018 Alex Norris MP, All rights reserved.


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