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Alex Norris MP's Weekly Newsletter

Member of Parliament for Nottingham North
7th June 2019
Issue #99

Welcome to the latest issue of my weekly newsletter.

As we know, yesterday was the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy in 1944. This week we have been remembering the immeasurable heroism of the soldiers who led the fight against Fascism on the beaches of France 75 years ago and renewing our commitment to standing up to oppression and protecting international cooperation and peace. 

We also had a by-election in Peterborough yesterday, and I’m proud that a strong Labour campaign effort led to us keeping the seat, despite having been written off by the media and the bookies!

I hope you enjoyed last week’s Rebalancing special, but from Tuesday we’ve been back in Parliament, where I’ve been busy asking questions of Government Ministers and in Committee, so this newsletter is a return to normal. 

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.

Parliamentary Questions

Given it was a short Parliamentary week, I was very fortunate to be drawn in two sets of questions, to Department of Justice and Cabinet Office Ministers on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively. 

At Justice Questions on Tuesday afternoon, I once again asked about HMP Nottingham, but this time there was a different Prisons Minster responding. Following Rory Stewart’s recent promotion to Secretary of State for International Development, it was Robert Buckland QC MP who took his place. 

I am pleased that the new Prisons Minister confirmed to me that improving safety at HMP Nottingham will be a personal priority and I look forward to meeting with him to ensure conditions improve for prison staff and serving prisoners. You can watch this question here. 

And on Wednesday during Cabinet Office questions I raised the Government’s recent Voter ID pilots. According to interim figures for the pilot areas in May, 800 people were denied a vote because of the ID requirements, yet last year there were only eight reported cases of impersonation fraud across the whole country.  

This shows that the scheme acts to do one thing and one thing only: cause voter suppression. It's time the government focussed on engaging people with our political system rather than disenfranchising voters. You can watch this here.

We also had International Development questions this week, and while I wasn’t involved personally on this occasion, Labour’s International Development team, which I’m a part of, did a great job holding the Government to account on their aid spending. I was pleased to hear the new Secretary of State prioritising the climate emergency and the new Minister ruling out spending aid money on building prisons we can deport foreign nationals to. Hopefully the next Tory leader will share these ideals.

In Nottingham

It was a pleasure to join the Thy Kingdom Come event in Bestwood last night. This was a prayer meeting as part of a global ten day prayer event. It was well attended and we had a good discussion about using the power of prayer to improve our community and bring people together.
Today has been a usual full constituency Friday:

  • My first trip of the day was to the Bestwood and Bulwell Foodbank, where I was proud to present Nigel Webster, who runs the foodbank, with a cheque for £1,844.54, which I raised by running the London Marathon. This will make an absolutely incredible difference to the people that they help, so thank you so much to everyone who donated and made this possible. 
  • Afterwards I welcomed Stephen Brown, who is the Regional Organiser for the Musicians Union in the Midlands area, to my office. We were able to discuss the general work of the MU, the issues their members are facing and some of their specific work in Nottingham. As you may recall from last week, one of Rebalancing’s key aims is promoting the arts here in the outer estates, and musicians are a vital part of that. 
  • A visit to Bulwell Jobcentre came next, where I met with Jane Cooper, who is the DWP Universal Credit Service Leader for the North and East Midlands Group. As you’ll probably know, I think there are many, many issues with Universal Credit and its rollout, but while its ongoing we still need to do the best we can to ensure that it is delivered as well as possible to those who rely on it, which Jane is responsible for in our area. 
  • Into the city centre next, for a meeting with the newly elected Leader of Nottingham City Council, my old colleague David Mellen. I know from personal experience working with him that David will achieve great things for Nottingham, and I’m keen to work very closely with him to ensure that our oft-forgotten area of Nottingham North is a major beneficiary of that. 
  • Back at my office in Bulwell, I’ve just met with Mike Scott from the local branch of the Keep Our NHS Public, to discuss contracting at QMC. 
  • And now, to finish the day, I’m meeting several constituents for my latest surgery to discuss how I can help with the issues affecting them. As ever, please get in touch with my office if you’d like to talk to me about anything yourself. We’ll do our very best to help. 

In Parliament

It was a short week and I was very busy with questions, but here’s what else I was up to down in Westminster:

  • Tuesday began with the latest meeting of the Joint Committee on the Draft Domestic Abuse Bill, where we were humbled to meet with survivors of domestic abuse. Survivors must be the true driving force behind what this law does, and we all listened incredibly closely to what they had to say about their horrifying experiences.
  • On Shadow DfID duties on Tuesday, I heard from Dan Dolan from Reprieve about Conflict, Stability and Security Fund spending, before meeting with the Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, Pierre Krähenbühl. On Wednesday I also met with Médecins Sans Frontières Head of Mission from Yemen, and Holly Ramsey from Interel UK to discuss human rights abuses in Oman. We were fortunate to be joined at the latter by Yousuf Al-Shehhi, a member of the Shuhuh tribe which has endured these abuses. 
  • I’ve worked extensively with my friends at Dog’s Trust on several issues since my election, from puppy smuggling to fireworks. But this week it was something different, as I met with Hannah Evans from their Public Affairs team along with representatives from their Outreach team to discuss the Draft Domestic Abuse bill. Sadly, owning pets can make it difficult for victims of domestic abuse to leave their attackers, as any loving pet owner would be reluctant to leave their furry friend behind. This is why Dogs Trust run Freedom Project, a dog fostering service for people who are fleeing domestic abuse, which offers a solution by placing dogs into the homes of volunteer foster carers for up to 6 months, until their owners are rehoused and can take them back. Dogs Trust covers all the dog’s expenses during that time, including food and veterinary costs. This is an incredible thing, but it’s tragic that it’s necessary, so we discussed how the draft Domestic Abuse Bill could make better provision for this upsetting situation. 
  • It’s rare I talk about answers I receive to Written Questions, as often the answers we receive are unhelpful, or simply a means to an end, but recently I have had some success. Once again working with the Dog’s Trust Public Affairs team, I got the Government to reveal that dog imports breached the 300,000 mark for the first time in 2018. I’ve raised previously the flaws in the Government’s Pet Travel Scheme which means that many of these dogs are likely to be underage, unvaccinated, and at severe risk, but I’ll continue campaigning to change this.
  • On Wednesday, I chaired the most recent meeting of the APPG on Deliberative Democracy, which welcomed Professor David Farrell from University College Dublin, who led the recent successful Irish deliberative assemblies on abortion. There are lots of lessons we can learn from David, and it was enlightening to hear about his experiences.
  • Ending Wednesday, I dropped in to an event run by the University of Nottingham, which highlighted Professor of Cognitive Psychology Peter Chapman’s research into road safety. Professor Chapman believes that a significant number of road accidents every year are caused by a failure to create short-term memories of motorbikes and other vehicles despite being spotted by drivers, so he is campaigning to increase awareness of this and ways to counteract it.

Looking Ahead to Next Week

Next week will be week one of the Conservative leadership contest, which will undoubtedly overshadow Parliamentary proceedings, but I will nonetheless be busy continuing my work on the Draft Domestic Abuse Bill amongst other things. I’m also looking forward to watching my ParliaMentors graduate on Wednesday. Read more about this 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

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,


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
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

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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