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Alex Norris MP's Weekly Newsletter

Member of Parliament for Nottingham North
25th May 2018
Issue #46
Welcome to the latest issue of my weekly newsletter.

First, thank you for choosing to continue receiving my newsletters by email. You’ll notice this week’s newsletter is in a new format – as I thought I’d use my reduced recipient list as an opportunity to improve. Please do share your thoughts on the new design.

I’ve had another very busy week, with a lot of Parliamentary business to tell you about, including committees and questions, before coming up to Nottingham last night for a few busy days here.

Read on to find out how what my week’s involved…

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 and I will include it in future issues. Please also forward it onto anyone you think may be interested.

Questioning the Government

I was fortunate enough this week to be drawn to question Ministers twice, on both Wednesday and Thursday. There have been times when I’ve gone weeks without a question (and believe me, it seems like months at the time), so having two in a row is a wonderful opportunity.

On Wednesday was questions to the Department for International Development, and for the first time I was first up.

As you’ll probably know, I am a strong supporter of the co-operative model of ownership for businesses, where those who have an interest in how an organisation is run, not just in making money, co-own it and are therefore just as important in decision making. That’s why as well as being a Labour Party member I’m also a member of the Co-Operative Party.
This model of business is sustainable, accountable and helps lift people out of poverty, which is why I think we should encourage its use abroad, where there is a lot of potential for it to have a transformative effect as countries develop. Co-ops should be championed as the ownership model of choice, and this is what I asked the Ministers about.

The Secretary of State told me about the work the Government has done with co-ops in several countries, but even better, when I asked whether her Department would reinstate a £5 million fund for co-operative development that was cut in 2011, she committed to go beyond that and support co-operative models. If the Government sticks to this commitment, this is great news, so I’ll make sure they do. You can watch this exchange here.

And yesterday I was drawn for a Topical Transport question, which I used to ask about the East Midlands franchise.

The tender document for this franchise was expected this week, so I asked when we can expect it, and whether it will promote needed investment in the service, especially in improving weekend and evening services. The Minister said we’ll have the tender document shortly. You can watch this question and his answer here.

Bill Committees

I mentioned last week how I found myself on the Bill Committee for a Private Members Bill,, the Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill, for which the Government hadn’t tabled a money resolution, so we were meeting pointlessly without being able to do our jobs.

This is unfortunately yet to change, but I did get a chance to outline my disdain at how the Bill is trapped in Parliamentary purgatory during a debate on the matter in the House of Commons on Monday, when I highlighted all the different ways this weak Executive have desperately acted to maintain a level of control over Parliament that their electoral performance doesn’t warrant.

Fortunately, though, the other Bill Committee that I sat on this week, for the Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Bill, first tabled in the House of Lords, had no such issues, and we could complete the Committee stage in a single day on Tuesday, as there was nothing that needed to be voted upon.

This Bill has two purposes: creating the architecture for a range of Brexit scenarios on the UK haulage industry by creating an international road haulage permit scheme; and dealing with the consequences of the UK ratifying the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, by providing the Secretary of State with powers to make a trailer registration scheme. I imagine this doesn’t mean a lot to most people, but it’s important for the very large haulage industry and is something that needs to be considered as we leave the European Union.

All-Party Parliamentary Groups

I asked two questions, sat on two bill committees, and also chaired two All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) this week.

The APPG for the East Midlands met on Wednesday, and we welcomed Stagecoach, the current operator of the East Midlands rail franchise, and one of the bidders for the next tender, along with Arriva and Abellio. This was a great opportunity for a structured discussion the future of the region’s rail services, including the Franchise Tender competition and Electrification of the Midland Mainline, which was very productive. Arriva and Abellio will of course be invited to future meetings for a similar discussion.

The second APPG I chaired was one a bit more personally motivated – the APPG for Baseball, which I’ve set up alongside my Labour colleague Alex Sobel MP. We are both big baseball fans, and very pleased that the Mayor of London has announced a Major League game will soon be coming to London. We felt this is the perfect opportunity to set up a Parliamentary group to support British interest in the sport, and had our inaugural meeting this week to put the group in place.

In Nottingham

What I’ve talked about so far has been very Parliament heavy, albeit with a lot of focus on Nottingham and the East Midlands, but I’ve also been busy locally. Here’s what I’ve been up to:
  • I joined the Patient Participation Group (PPG) at Parkside Medical Practice in Bulwell to discuss the pressures currently facing general practice and what possible solutions there are.  Like all GP surgeries they are facing increasing demand, a squeeze on funding and a shortage in the GP workforce, all of which I’ll be continuing to campaign against back in Westminster.
  • The City Council will soon be opening a new Children’s Residential Home in Bestwood Park, and I was delighted to attend their Open Day for a look around beforehand – it looks great and will be an incredibly important addition to the area.  I met with the home’s future Service Manager for Residential Development and Unit Manager to discuss how the home will operate once opened, and look forward to hearing of the positive impact it has on many lives.
  • I met with Dr. Marcus Bicknell, local GP, to discuss the future of Strelley Health Centre.
  • The Interim CEO of D2N2, the Local Enterprise Partnership for Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, Matthew Wheatley and I had a quick meeting to discuss how Nottingham North fits into the work D2N2 is doing in the area.
  • And I’m currently preparing for my latest surgery – if you’d like to meet me at one, just get in touch with my office!
And tomorrow I’ll be heading to another Open Day, this one hosted by Disability Direct – I’ll tell you about that next week!

In Parliament

I’ve already covered most of what I got up to down in London this week, but here’s some more:
  • I met Jonathan Douglas and Emily Landsborough from the National Literacy Trust, an independent charity that works in schools and communities to give disadvantaged children the literacy skills to succeed in life, as they’ll soon be focussing their efforts on Aspley and Bulwell. It’s an incredible cause that I fully support and I can’t wait to see what difference can be made.
  • I also met Tim Harper of Harper Performance – a sports analysis professional who has extended his work into underdeveloped parts of the world. He’s doing some incredible stuff and will soon be joining a meeting of the APPG for Sport, Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking to discuss the issues he encounters with the group.
  • I spoke with Jay McKenna from Spirit of Shankly, a Liverpool Supporters Group, to discuss safe standing.
That’s all for this week, see you next time!

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,


Curry Night
Alternative menu available
St Mary’s Church, Bulwell, NG6 9AD
Saturday 26th May, tickets £7 for a 3-course meal, proceeds for Christian Aid
For more information or to book a meal, tel Father Andrew Fisher 0115 975 5358 or email

Free Bike Health Check
If you’re aged 16-29, not in employment or education, and a Nottingham city resident, come along (with proof of age, address, and benefits) for a free bike health check and minor repairs
Bulwell Market Place, NG6 8HD
Friday 1st June, 12-2pm

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, next on 7th June

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; Tuesday 26th June is the Kitchen’s 1st birthday

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:,

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:,


Three Doors Down
Over the next 6 months, Andy Barrett from Excavate Theatre Company is working with local people who live in and around Minver Crescent in Aspley, to uncover the stories of life in the area over the last 80 years. A series of events are being planned from theatre in living rooms and front gardens, to storytelling, filmmaking and photography to engage as many residents as possible. Contact Cathy Mahmood on 07808 165209 or Andy Barrett for further information. Dates for your diary include:

  • Sat 26th May, 6-8pm, The Minver Crescent Nosh Up
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 on June 10th

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,
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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