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Alex Norris MP's Weekly Newsletter

Member of Parliament for Nottingham North
11th January 2019
Issue #78
Welcome to the latest issue of my weekly newsletter.

Parliament returned on Monday, and it has returned at a canter. The Government has been defeated twice on important votes, and it has become even more clear than ever that they are unable to govern. 

Outside of this I’ve been busy around Parliament, with Committees, Questions and more on the agenda, and today my day in Nottingham has been nice and full.
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 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

Another week, another Brexit update.

As I mentioned, this week can be summed up by the Government’s two losing votes. The first came on Tuesday when Parliament voted in support of Yvette Cooper MP’s amendment to the Finance Bill, that will curb some of the government’s tax administration powers in the event of no deal. This defeat makes a no-deal Brexit unworkable and it should now be explicitly ruled out, as it would be catastrophic for jobs and the economy, and for the border in Northern Ireland. I don’t believe that is what people voted for, and it is now explicitly clear there is no mandate in Parliament for such an outcome.

The next day, we then voted in favour of Dominic Grieve’s amendment to the Business Motion (which sets out the House of Commons’ schedule of business) for Theresa May’s ‘Plan B’ should her deal be voted down on Tuesday, as is widely expected. In such a situation, the Prime Minister will now be obliged to present us with a new plan within three days. This victory shows very clearly that we are now fed up of the pointless time-wasting that the Government has forced upon us, as it has been very clear ever since the Chequers Deal was established in the Summer that it was going to fail. Changes now need to come fast, else we risk reaching March 29th without a deal.

With the big vote next Tuesday there will certainly be even more to talk about next Friday – expect another hectic Brexit week.

Raising Nottingham in Parliament

Being an MP is a difficult balancing act, especially while in Westminster, as I have to balance my time and effort between national (and even international) campaigns that affect us all, my work as part of Labour’s Health Team, my work on the Home Affairs Select Committee, and campaigning on issues which directly affect the East Midlands, Nottingham and Nottingham North. All of these are very important and it’s vital that I balance them well, as my priority is to give our community a strong voice in Parliament.

This week I was fortunate enough to have two great opportunities to both stand up for the people of Nottingham while also promoting some excellent work done by local groups.

You may recall back in October I highlighted Nottingham Citizens’ eye-opening Hate Crime in Schools report directly to the Prime Minister, who suggested a delegation from Nottingham Citizens and I meet with the Home Secretary to discuss the content of this report. While I haven’t yet been able to secure this meeting (the Home Secretary is both busy and elusive), I was able to meet with him one-on-one on Tuesday evening to both discuss the report’s content and continue to press for this meeting. You can read the report here.

And yesterday I highlighted the content of a more recent report. Advice Nottingham only released their latest report on Tuesday, but I was able to bring Parliament’s attention to one shocking element of it during Business Questions on Thursday. Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is a benefit provided to low-income families to allow them to rent privately, which has the dual effects of providing them with somewhere affordable to live while also reducing the burden on the public housing supply. However, as the report points out, there are only 23 properties in the whole city with rents which are affordable at LHA rates, and only 6 of these have 2 bedrooms or more. I asked the Leader of the House for a debate on this local housing crisis, so I can argue for the need for higher rates in more depth. You can watch this question here and read the report here.

In Nottingham

The question I mentioned above kept me in London until Thursday, but here’s what I’ve been up to today in Nottingham:
  • I began the day with a team meeting of Rebalancing, as we map out our priorities for 2019, and plan how we can make them happen, to continue the great work in bringing opportunities to the outer estates of Nottingham North.
  • I then spoke with Adela Appleby from Treetops Hospice Care about a proposed new Hospice which would service Nottingham North.
  • To end the morning, I was welcomed to Jubilee LEAD Academy by Headteacher Nicole McIntyre, who gave me a tour of the school, showing the vast improvements that have been made to the provision for all pupils at the Academy in Bilborough. The school is making rapid progress and is now at the heart of the community. They also have a new nursery provider on site, that is providing outstanding provision for the youngest of pupils within the local area, which is particularly welcome given the closure of the nursery at Basford Hall.
  • In the afternoon I joined Cllr Toby Neal in a visit to the Rights Lab at the University of Nottingham. Their academic work on Modern Slavery will be very important in the ongoing fight against this outdated practice (which the Lab and I are hoping to end by 2030!) and it’s great having it so local so the City Council and I can support their work wholeheartedly.
  • This evening I have a meeting with Nottingham Express Transit (NET), with local Councillors and residents, to discuss some issues with the trams around Highbury Vale.

In Parliament

Here’s what my week in Parliament involved aside from that I’ve already mentioned:
  • I met with Dan Eyre from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (who organised my Modern Slavery Bill related trip to Malawi last year) to discuss their new programme of Legislative Drafting Seminars.
  • The Home Affairs Select Committee met on Tuesday afternoon to discuss our plans for future business and inquiries. This was obviously not quite as interesting as our usual meetings, but it needs to be done!
  • Next week I’m on another Bill Committee, so had a briefing regarding that.
  • I met with a couple of colleagues to discuss the upcoming Domestic Abuse Bill, and what we can do to ensure it does what it needs to.
  • I caught up with Jon French, Director of Operations at Park Vale Academy, for an update on the ongoing planning issues at the school

Looking ahead to next week

Everyone’s eyes will be on the vote on the Brexit deal next week, but we can expect much more than just that. I’ll also be sat on a Bill Committee and visiting an interesting Google workshop in the constituency. See you 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


Arts Partnership Lab 
Wednesday 13 February 2019, 10am-3pm 
The Space, Nottingham Contemporary 

Is it important to you that more people have opportunities, throughout their life, to enjoy arts and culture and take advantage of what Nottingham's arts organisations have to offer? 
Book your place via eventbrite for this inspiring day, combining creativity, curiosity and community! Artists and community groups will be sharing their needs and requests, with a mixture of short presentations and practical activities. Join us on the final day of UK Young Artists City Takeover and the first day of Nottingham's Festival of Science and Curiosity! Book now here: Arts Partnership Lab

More info: Cathy Mahmood, Creative Nottingham North Coordinator, 07808 165209 
cathy.mahmood@rebalancingouterestates.com
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

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 this Sunday

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

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 © 2019 Alex Norris MP, All rights reserved.


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