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Alex Norris MP's Weekly Newsletter

Member of Parliament for Nottingham North
7th December 2018
Issue #74

Welcome to the latest issue of my weekly newsletter. 

It’s now December and I hope everyone is starting to look forward to the Holiday period. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make the Bulwell Christmas Festival on Monday due to being in London, but the lights are now up and it sounds like everyone had a great time. 

In Parliament we’re of course very focused on Brexit still, with the Government having a very tumultuous time. We’ve had the first three days of five 8-hour sessions on the Prime Minister’s deal now. I’ll be looking to speak on Monday, so keep an eye out. I’ll fill you in next week though of course. 

Read on to find out what I’ve been up to… 

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. 

Brexit This Week

If you read last week, you’ll know I’ve already set out my own view on the Prime Minister’s deal, so I won’t repeat myself here, but if you missed it, you can read here. 

While we’ve now had the first three days of debate on the deal, as I mentioned, something much more important happened on Tuesday, as Parliament found the Government to be in contempt of Parliament, after they refused to follow a passed motion to release in full the legal advice received regarding the Northern Ireland backstop. 

This is entirely unacceptable and this step, while unprecedented, was entirely warranted. In such a polarised time, all sides of Parliament need to be able to work together in the sovereign democratic way they’re supposed to, and the Government’s contemptuous actions only serve to prevent this. I made this argument to the Attorney General in Parliament on Monday, which you can watch here. 

Having been found in contempt of Parliament, the Government has now finally published the Attorney General’s legal advice. 

It takes the form of a 6-page letter from the Attorney General to the Prime Minister dated 13 November (one day before the Government announced a deal had been reached) and focuses only on the Northern Ireland backstop. 

However, it far more revealing and a substantially different document to the “legal position paper” provided by the Government on 3rd December 

As Labour have always argued, there is nothing disclosed in the Attorney General’s advice that harms the national interest – although there is plenty that is embarrassing to the Government. The letter lays bare two areas of central weaknesses in the Government’: 

  1. the differences between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom under the backstop; and 
  2. the difficulties of terminating the backstop. 

While I am pleased that this has now been resolved, this information is available, and we are able to move on to debating the deal at hand, it should never have happened in the first place.

In Parliament

Of course, Brexit has taken up most of my time this week, but here’s what else I’ve been up to in Westminster this week when I had the chance: 

  • I visited a safehouse run by the Salvation Army. Centuries after slavery was officially abolished, thousands of people are still being exploited and sold as slaves across the UK. Since 2011, The Salvation Army has had a Government contract to provide vital specialist support for all adult victims of modern slavery in England and Wales. While this visit was not a pleasant one by any means, being able to see one of these houses and talk to survivors first-hand was very important. You can find out more here.
  • I met with Róisín McDermott from Unite to catch up on an important Brexit-related meeting I couldn’t make. 
  • I attended the APPG on Domestic Violence and Abuse’s latest meeting, where we discussed the health aspect (which is often neglected) of this horrible phenomenon. 78% of women living in refuges in England on one day in 2017 had health needs - such as needing help with physical, mental or sexual health issues and long-term illnesses and disabilities. Despite the huge health impacts of domestic abuse, it is not a health or social care priority at a national or local level. We heard from a selection of experts on the matter, and I’ll of course be taking back what was discussed to my colleagues on the Labour Health Team. 
  • I met Sir Tom Phillips, Director of the Centre for the Study of Modern Slavery at St Mary’s University. This centre is relatively new, but already shedding more light on the prevalence and severity of modern slavery worldwide.  

 

Aspley Lung Scans

You may know that for the last couple of years, my charity Rebalancing the Outer Estates has worked the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation to bring Lung Scan MOTs to Bulwell so we can catch lung cancer and other lung diseases early. I'm incredibly proud of Rebalancing’s contribution to this, as the scans have now come to Aspley too. 

Catching lung diseases early can add years onto your life, and this work is already doing just that in our high-risk areas. 

The BBC ran a story about the scans on East Midlands Today this week, some of which you can watch here, and you can also read more about the lives that have already been extended here. 

I’m certain that this latest expansion won’t be the last and look forward to Rebalancing’s efforts making even more difference. 

Looking ahead to next week

Next week we’ll undoubtedly have lots more Brexit, and I’ll also have more Committee commitments and campaign related meetings, as well as an important visit on Wednesday morning.The biggest event in the calendar next week is of course Tuesday’s vote on the Brexit deal, which I’ll be speaking in advance of on Monday, and I’ll also be busy in Nottingham, joining a local Royal Mail Delivery team as their busiest time of year starts and sitting down with the Governor of HMP Nottingham, amongst other things. Keep an eye out 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

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.
 
And
 
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
Christmas Fayre
Stalls, Refreshments, Santa's Grotto, Church Open
St Mary’s the Virgin & All Souls Church, Highbury Road, Bulwell, NG6 9AD
Saturday 1st December, 11am–2pm

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: fay.goodhand@icloud.com

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

An Evening of 'Bogger' Talk
An event celebrating our local dialect 
There will be poetry, storytelling and a quiz (for a small donation)
The Malt Cross, 16 St James's St, Nottingham, NG1 6FG
Friday November 30th, 7.30pm
This is a charity event raising funds for the Stroke Association. Just £2!

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

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: 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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