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Alex Norris MP's Weekly Newsletter

Member of Parliament for Nottingham North
14th December 2018
Issue #75

Welcome to the latest issue of my weekly newsletter. 

As you’ll know, this week has been turbulent, and then some. Nothing has gone as expected and Westminster has been a hectic place to be. Thankfully I’ve managed to escape back to Nottingham, where things are a bit more normal with the busy constituency schedule that I’m used to. 

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. 

Even More Brexit

While I intend these newsletters to focus mostly on what I’ve been doing personally, there are some bigger issues that I simply can’t ignore, and for the third week in a row, I have another Brexit update for you. 

On Monday, the Government pulled the Prime Minister’s deal off the table, cancelling the planned Parliamentary vote that would have taken place on Tuesday evening. It was destined for a crushing defeat, with my personal issues with it and others being shared across all parties. 

This move to cancel a debate and vote that had already started was unprecedented - and I took the opportunity to ask the Prime Minister if her plan is to run down the clock until all we can choose between is her poor deal and no deal. This would be utterly unacceptable. You can watch this here.



The Government have already been found in contempt of Parliament in the last couple of weeks, and removing this vote showed a similar lack of respect by a Government that thinks they can do what they want, but it is clear where the power really lies. 

This, however, wasn’t even the key talking point of the week, and on Tuesday evening, Conservative MPs had submitted enough letters of no confidence to their Party Chairman to trigger a vote of no confidence in their leader. As you’ll know, this vote took place on Wednesday. 

Of course, the Prime Minister survived this, but the unconvincing result, with 117 of the 317 MPs in her party showing their lack of confidence in her, proves she doesn’t even have the backing of her party, let alone Parliament, and is very much a lame duck. 

Her plan now is to improve her deal through further negotiations with the EU to gain assurances on the Northern Ireland backstop arrangement, but from here, it is almost impossible to guess where we are going. 

What I can be sure of though, is that this leadership is not good enough for our country, and we need a General Election so that the Labour Party can negotiate a better deal, including membership of the Customs Union, that will protect jobs and workers’ rights first and foremost. Until this happens, I fear we will be stuck in this fudge as the uncertainty and chaos continues to damage our economy and international standing.

Royal Mail

This morning I was up bright and early to visit the Nottingham North Royal Mail Delivery Office on Sir John Robinson Way to see first-hand the operation of delivering Christmas post and to pass on early Season’s Greetings to its dedicated, hardworking staff who serve our constituency in this busy period. 

I was shown around the office by the Delivery Office Manager and was introduced to the postmen and women, who will be pulling out all the stops to sort and deliver mail in our community in the forthcoming busy Christmas period. I was also pleased to be joined by representatives of the Communication Workers Union, who do a great job ensuring their members are well treated, especially in such a demanding period. 

The Festive Season is Royal Mail’s busiest period, as millions of people shop online for gifts as well as sending Christmas cards and parcels. Royal Mail also plays a key role in e-commerce for many businesses sending goods to customers throughout Christmas shopping season. 

At no other time is the hard work and dedication of postmen and women clearer than during the festive period. There is a huge amount of effort and dedication that goes into delivering a first-class Christmas all over the country. 

It was great to meet the team and thank them for the extraordinary lengths they will go to ensure Christmas parcels and cards are delivered to loved ones on time, as well as thanking them for delivering our mail services all through the year, in all weathers. 

I was also given the following helpful information to pass on, so that all your cards and presents get where they need to on time: 

The last recommend posting dates for Christmas are: 

  • Second Class – Tuesday 18 December 2018 
  • First Class – Thursday 20 December 2018 
  • Special Delivery – Saturday 22 December 2018 

Customers can also help Royal Mail ensure that all their letters, cards and parcels are delivered as quickly and efficiently as possible by taking a few easy steps: 

  • Post early – Avoid disappointment by posting your cards and parcels early.  
  • Use the postcode – A clearly addressed card or parcel, with a postcode, and return address on the back of the envelope, will ensure quick and efficient delivery. 
  • Use Special Delivery – For valuable and important packages and parcels guarantee delivery with Royal Mail’s Special Delivery, which means your gift is tracked, traced and insured against loss. 
  • Wrap parcels well and always give a return address 
  • For more information about Royal Mail’s last recommended posting dates, please visit: https://www.royalmail.com/greetings or call 03457 740 740. 

Follow all of this and there shouldn’t be any late deliveries leaving people disappointed! 

In Nottingham

My day in Nottingham of course started with that Royal Mail Delivery Office visit, and here is how I have spent the rest of the day: 

  • I met with the new Governor of HMP Nottingham to discuss the changes that have been implemented since his appointment. As we know there have been major issues of prisoner safety at the prison in the last year, sadly resulting in prisoner deaths. It is now reaching a point where changes that have been made need to begin showing results and I will be asking about the progress. Keep an eye out next week too, as I have another opportunity lined up to ask the Prisons Minister the same thing. 
  • I then headed slightly out of town to East Midlands Airport, our local international airport. While most of us will know about the budget European flights which are on offer, what’s perhaps more important is that it is the second busiest UK airport for freight traffic after London Heathrow, making it an incredibly important cog in our local economy and encouraging businesses to be nearby. I was lucky enough to be given a tour of the control tower, airfield and more as we discussed the issues and challenges facing the airport. 
  • Back into the constituency, I then headed over to Crabtree Community Centre which was hosting its annual Christmas Do for over 50s. It was great to see a good turnout for the event and meet those who organise and regularly attend the Wednesday Café at the Centre. 
  • And now I’m joining my former City Council colleague Cllr Linda Woodings and local residents to meet with Trevor Stoker and Trevor Cundy, NET’s Operations Manager and Head of Engineering respectively, to  noise in the Highbury Vale area. Hopefully some progress can be made which will suit everyone. 

And throughout the week I’ve also been working hard with Park Vale Academy to mediate ongoing planning issues, which we can hopefully resolve soon in a way that works best for the area.

In Parliament

Once again, Brexit has driven my Parliamentary schedule with far more time than usual spent sat in the Chamber, even with the main vote being cancelled, but here’s what else I got up to while in Westminster this week:  

  • The first meeting to set up the new APPG on Deliberative Democracy – supported by my predecessor in Nottingham North, Graham Allen - took place on Tuesday morning. I will be the Chair and look forward to carrying on his legacy in this area. 
  • Also on Tuesday, the Home Affairs Select Committee met in private to discuss and amend our upcoming report on Asylum Accommodation. I’ll let you know when this is published. 
  • Once again, I had my weekly meeting of the Parliamentary Constituencies Amendment Bill Committee, as we continue to meet without a money resolution having been tabled by the Government. Months later the Government is still holding this up. 
  • I met my fellow Co-Operative Party MPs for our monthly meeting, as we discussed our plans for next year’s work in support of the ever important co-operative sector. 
  • While I was unable to be there in person, I hosted the Big Lottery Fund in Parliament to educate Parliamentary researchers on what they can offer to community projects. These grants have been a great help locally and made a real difference to our area, and I’m keen to help spread this further. More information can be found here if you’re interested in making a difference yourself or have a project that needs funding.

Looking ahead to next week

It seems unlikely that the Prime Minister will return from Brussels with anything new on Brexit before Christmas, so for once next week should be quiet on that front and I don’t even have a Home Affairs Select Committee meeting either. I do have the Justice Question I mentioned earlier and will also be having a debate with Mansfield MP Ben Bradley on Notts TV. Keep an eye out!

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
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: 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

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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