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Alex Norris MP's Weekly Newsletter

Member of Parliament for Nottingham North
27th July 2018
Issue #55
Welcome to the latest issue of my weekly newsletter.

The summer recess began on Wednesday, so I won’t be in Westminster again until September. This means I’ll have less to tell you about in terms of national politics – although still everything I’m up to in the constituency - so I’m going to be focusing in a bit more depth on some of the organisations that I’ve worked with in the last year. If you would like a group you’re associated with to be included in this at all, just drop me an email and I’d be happy to share.

Read on to find out what else 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.

Once Upon a Time Nursery

Last week I mentioned that our ongoing campaign to save the Once Upon a Time nursery at Basford Hall campus had led to the college governors agreeing to vote once again on the decision, but I hadn’t been updated on the result.

In keeping with a pattern of poor communication I wasn’t informed directly by the college but we now know that unfortunately the vote didn’t change and the decision to close the nursery remains. Over the last weeks I’ve repeated constantly what a mistake I think this is, and the closure of the nursery will be a real loss for our community in Basford.

I am very disappointed by this decision, and the manner in which the college have made it, without consulting parents or the local community before making the initial decision, and without listening and engaging with all those who campaigned since then.

Even though the result hasn’t been what we hoped, everyone who has campaigned can be proud of their efforts in fighting for the nursery. We’re contonuing our campaign and I’m also now looking at how we can make sure we’ve got a proper community College.

Rail Investment in the East Midlands

The last thing I did before Parliament rose for the summer was host a Westminster Hall debate, this one on rail investment in the East Midlands. I’ve been trying to secure for months, so it was really exciting to get it under the wire before the recess.

The East Midlands is at the heart of the country’s strategic transport network; it is literally the crossroads of England. Given our growth potential and our good record delivering big projects, people might think that we would be a prime target for rail investment. However, the latest Treasury statistics—indeed, pretty much everything in the Government’s data — show that we are way behind where we ought to be.

Numbers don’t always tell the whole story, but in this case I think they’re very revealing. The East Midlands has the lowest level of public expenditure on transport, in total and per head. It has the lowest level of public expenditure on rail of anywhere in the country, at just £70 per head, which is £703 per head less than London and £180 per head less than the national average. For rail investment and transport investment more generally, the East Midlands is not only the lowest funded region, but it has actually seen a reduction in funding in recent years. And furthermore, the East Midlands has the lowest level of public expenditure on infrastructure projects, at £230 per head less than the national average and £350 per head less than the north-west.

Those figures are not a one-year blip; this is a trend over a series of years. In fact, the East Midlands has actually experienced a steady downward slide to the bottom of the league. I used the debate to highlight exactly this, as well as suggesting how we could invest smartly. You can read the full debate here, or watch it here, for more detail on the areas I suggested for investment, which included HS2, the Midland Mainline, east-west connections, and light rail.

In Nottingham

  • Last Sunday, I represented Labour on the Sunday Politics show on BBC. This was the last ever episode of the current format. I discussed Brexit, Nottingham Prison and Arts funding locally. You can find this here for another few weeks.
  • I attended the coffee morning at Bulwell URC on Broomhill Road where I talked to Rev Colin Bones and other residents about local matters. I also met Joseph Zola whose congregation meet there on Sunday afternoons and I hope to join them soon. 
  • As you know I am a keen runner and I strayed just over the constituency boundary to the Forest to help Junior Parkrun. This is a 2k run at 9am each Sunday for runners aged 4 -14. I helped with stewarding this event as it is put on by a team of volunteers. 
  • I was very grateful to join an excellent Open Day at the Mosque in Southwark St. I met with the local headteacher, the Chair of the Muslim Women’s Network and the Imam to discuss issues about Islam, Islamaphobia and our community and I look forward to working with them. 

In Parliament

Of course, I didn’t have much time down in Westminster, but here’s how I spent the rest of my time this week:
  • I once again asked Housing Ministers about the borrowing cap for building more homes. I was told back in March that if Nottingham City Council put a bid together for extra borrowing they’d be looked upon favourably, but this hasn’t been the case, so I asked why not. You can watch this here.
  • The Amir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, visited London this week to meet with the Prime Minister, and I was invited to a private briefing in Parliament with him. As you may know I’ve been working on a number of issues to do with Qatar, primarily around worker’s rights and modern slavery, including hosting a Westminster Hall debate on their labour reforms so this was a good opportunity for me to press him about the current situation for workers there. 
  • I met with Sara and Annie from Best for Britain to discuss their new report entitled "Bringing Britain Back Together", which calls for a people's vote on the government's Brexit deal. This is not something I support as I believe we need to respect the initial referendum result, but I share their dismay with how the Government are handling negotiations, and am always keen to listen to the arguments of those I disagree with.
  • The last oral questions of the session were Health, so I took up my role as PPS to the Shadow Secretary of State in our first chance to hold the new Secretary of State to account, and indeed the last chance to hold the Government to account in this area for a few months.
  • And before the Westminster Hall debate I attended a parliamentary reception hosted by GMB on the health risks of cleaning products. It's a matter which is of particular concern to occupational cleaners, and something I’m very happy to support.

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,


FREE bike maintenance course!
Want to learn to fix a puncture? Sort out squeaky breaks? And get your gears running smoothly?
RideWise are running a FREE bicycle maintenance course for Nottingham City Residents who are 14+.
Bulwell Forest Recreation Ground
Saturday 4th August from 12:30-4:30pm.
Please get in touch to book on, or for more information. Call us on 0115 955 2288, or email

Poems in the Pub
Open Mic Night, Free Admission, Local Talent, Full Bar
The William Peverel, Bulwell
Once a month, 7pm for 7:30pm start
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:,


Cream Tea for Bulwell Royal British Legion
Enjoy an afternoon cream tea consisting of sandwiches, cakes and scones to support the men and women of all armed services and their families, past and present
Bestwood Village Community Centre, Moor Road, Bestwood Village
Sunday 19th August, 1-3pm
Adults £7.50, Children £3

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

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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