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Alex Norris MP's Weekly Newsletter

Member of Parliament for Nottingham North
2nd November 2018
Issue #69

Welcome to the latest issue of my weekly newsletter. 

This week was the Budget – so the Parliamentary week has been filled with 4 days of debate on what the Chancellor proposed. And as Bonfire Night is just around the corner and Fireworks have already begun, I’ve spent this week campaigning for more firework regulation to protect our pets from the anxiety they cause, as well as my usual Committee commitments, and more. 

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


As Bonfire Night approaches, it is important that everyone stays safe—including our beloved pets. While I’m sure you’re all looking forwards to firework displays, as I am, this can be a scary time for dogs, which is why I have teamed up with Dogs Trust to help educate dog owners and communities on the impact of fireworks on dogs’ emotional wellbeing.  

Looking after pets is a great priority to me, especially during this noisy time. My two border collies, Boomer and Corona, get very agitated by loud noises and I know that they are not alone. In fact, a Dogs Trust survey of 3,750 pet owners found that two-thirds of dogs are worried by fireworks, so it is important that we do everything we can to minimise the trauma for our pets. 

Therefore, I am also working with the Dogs Trust as we attempt to revisit fireworks legislation in order to do the best for our dogs and other animals. Fireworks can currently be sold and set off between 7am and 11pm at any time of year, instilling a constant fear in dogs that could lead to long-term vulnerability to loud noises. I’m also supporting further restrictions on fireworks legislation, granting retail licences to sell fireworks only at certain times of the year. On Tuesday I visited an event they hosted in Parliament to sign my support for this. 

Not only am I supporting this change, but throughout this week I have also posted some helpful videos on my Twitter, highlighting the importance of going to local fireworks displays, keeping your neighbours informed of your Bonfire Night plans, and distracting your dog from loud noises from inside your home. Do check them out! 

Here are two great local organised displays you can go to instead of doing your own, which will help reduce the effect it has on the animals: 

4th Carlton Scouts Firework Display 
Saturday, 3 November 
Bonfire lit at 7.15pm, with the display beginning at 8pm. 
£5 (Children £3; Family £15) 
King George V Playing Fields, Aspley Lane, Aspley, Nottingham, NG8 5RX 

Nottingham Council's Firework Display 
Monday, 5 November 
Children's display begins at 7.15pm, and the main fireworks begins at 9pm. The bonfire will be lit at 7.45pm. 
Forest Recreation Ground, Russell Road, Nottingham, NG7 6HB 

I hope that everyone has a fun and safe Bonfire Night, but please do remember to take steps to reassure your pets in this stressful time. Further information can be found here. 

Committee Work

It was a bit quieter than last week, but as usual, I had my regular Committee commitments this week, which consisted of an evidence taking session of the Home Affairs Select Committee on Tuesday and the third week of the Public Bill Committee for the Overseas Electors Bill. 

Tuesday’s session was focused on the preparations the Home Office, and other Departments who operate at the border, are making to ensure that UK border operations proceed smoothly after the UK’s withdrawal from the EU in March 2019. We were able to question the Minister of State for Immigration and officials from the Home Office and HM Revenue and Customs on preparations to ensure UK border operations run effectively and efficiently after March 2019; as well as representatives from the Metropolitan Police Service and the National Crime Agency on preparations to ensure UK policing and security operations continue effectively after March 2019.  

You may have seen that the Minister didn’t do too good a job, incorrectly telling the Committee that employers would be expected to differentiate between resident EU citizens and those arriving after exit, when in fact the Home Office has told us there will be a transition period. Unfortunately, as per usual, the Government are not on the same page. 

During this session, I was also able to receive confirmation from Jon Thompson, the Chief Executive of HMRC, that there will be no further job cuts at HMRC as a result of Brexit, which is testament to some excellent campaigning by the PCS Union. The work is far from over, but it’s a good step. You can watch that here. 

And on the Overseas Electors Bill Committee my Labour colleagues and I continued to argue in favour of our amendments to improve the Bill, but unfortunately, we are outnumbered on the Committee and have had no luck in getting any of them to stick.

In Nottingham

Budget debate meant I was held in Westminster until Thursday evening, so I’ve only had today in the constituency this week, but the mini-recess next week will allow me time to catch up with Wednesday onwards in Nottingham. Here’s what I’ve been up to today: 

  • This morning, I met with Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero, City Council leader Jon Collins and Broxtowe Councillor Richard Robinson to discuss the potential extend the Nottingham Tram 
  • Following that, I spoke this afternoon at an event for retired GMB members, who worked across nearly all industrial sectors, in retail, security, schools, distribution and the utilities, social care, the NHS and ambulance service and local government 
  • I spoke with a constituent individually about a housing issue. If you’d like to speak to me similarly, please get in touch 
  • This evening I’m off to support a local amateur boxing event in Arnold – should be good fun and a chance to meet some local boxers and discuss the issues surrounding amateur sport locally. I think boxing is a really good outlet for young boys and teaches lots about discipline. 
  • And tomorrow I’m speaking at ASLEF, the train driver’s union’s school for their representatives and organisers – looking forward to passing on some tips to those who want to get even more involved politically and discuss the issues that their industry is currently facing

The Budget

I couldn’t finish this newsletter without mentioning the Budget, which the Chancellor presented on Monday.  

As we’ve come to expect from this Government, this was a Broken Promise Budget. Austerity is not over. Cuts to social security will continue, and there are no guarantees that departments won’t face further cuts. The Tories have presided over eight years of economic failure. Austerity has damaged our economy, delayed and weakened our recovery and endlessly postponed fixing the deficit. 

Here are a few “highlights”: 

  • There’s not a penny for the day to day costs of our schools even though school funding has been cut by 8%. “Little extras” won’t stop schools having to send begging letters to parents to cover basic expenses. 
  • The £20bn promised for the NHS is “simply not enough” according to the Health Foundation. 
  • Local councils face a funding gap of £7.8bn by 2025 and are being cut by £1.3bn next year – the Government are giving with one hand and taking away with the other.  
  • There’s not a penny for regular policing even though 21,000 police have been cut and violent crime is on the rise.  
  • Police, teachers, nurses and doctors have had no reassurances that the public sector pay squeeze will end this year.  
  • And despite all the fuss, this budget raises less from internet giants than it does from the self-employed, and the Digital Services Tax will do little to stop tax avoidance because it relies on self-assessment. 

I supported the Labour Leadership’s amendment to the Budget resolution, which was unfortunately voted down last night. We won’t stop fighting though until all these Departments get the funding they need under a Labour Government.  

Looking ahead to next week

I’m in Westminster on Tuesday for a Home Affairs Select Committee meeting on Modern Slavery, before a busy three days in Nottingham North. Read next week to find out exactly what I get up to.

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,


Fireworks Events
In order to reduce anxiety for our pets, I strongly recommend heading to an organised firework event rather than hosting your own. Here are two taking place locally that I'm sure would be perfect:

4th Carlton Scouts Firework Display
Saturday, 3 November
Bonfire lit at 7.15pm, with the display beginning at 8pm
£5 (Children £3; Family £15)
King George V Playing Fields,Aspley Lane, Aspley, Nottingham, NG8 5RX

Nottingham City Council's Firework Display
Monday, 5 November
Children's display begins at 7.15pm, and the main fireworks begins at 9pm. The bonfire will be lit at 7.45pm
Forest Recreation Ground, Russell Road, Nottingham, NG7 6HB
Bulwell Build a Bike Course
By taking part in this course you will gain the skills to strip down and rebuild a preloved bike, and then get to keep it too!

Crabtree community Centre, Bulwell
1st, 8th, 15th & 22nd Nov, 6-8pm.
All sessions to be attended.

The courses are FREE to Nottingham City Residents and suitable for people who are over 14 (children to be accompanied by an adult).

To book onto one of our courses, please send your full name, address, email address and phone number to Places are limited, so be quick!

GOSPEL STREET is a powerful mix of theatre, comedy and spoken word – a breath-taking ride through all the important issues of life, death… and miraculous street food. Good news with wisdom, laughter, energy and insight.

At Bulwell United Reformed Church:
Saturday 17th November

Tickets: £5
Box Office: 01904 613000 or book online

Joint Christmas Fayre and Open Day
Bric-a-brac stall, a candle, Christmas decoration and a stall selling paintings as well as a tombola, raffle, refreshments and lots of games to play; as well as an opportunity to talk about moving into retirement housing
Saturday, 24th November, 10.30am-2.30pm
Lilian Hind Court, Cheviot Drive, NG6 7FX  

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:

Poems in the Pub
Open Mic Night, Free Admission, Local Talent, Full Bar
The William Peverel, Bulwell
First Thursday in the month, 7 for 7:30pm start, next on 1st November

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:,

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.

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:, @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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