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Alex Norris MP's Weekly Newsletter

Member of Parliament for Nottingham North
10th August 2018
Issue #57

Welcome to the latest issue of my weekly newsletter.  

First, some great news. As you know, one of my priority issues for my work in Parliament is tackling domestic violence. 

Last year the Government proposed changes to short-term housing benefit support. These would have significantly harmed domestic violence refuges. I’ve joined Women’s Aid in campaigning against this. 

In December I raised this with the Prime Minister. I’m really pleased to report that these plans have now been dropped. 

This is excellent news. Now we must press on to secure sustainable long-term funding for our precious national network of refuges.

As I spoke about last week, over the Summer I’m running a priorities survey to give you the chance to tell me what matters most to you. This gives you the opportunity to tell me where you think I should be putting my time and effort, and what issues specifically of those I've been focussing on are most important to you.   

You can then complete the survey by clicking the following link. I look forward to receiving all your good ideas. 

Of course, if you have other areas you'd like me to work on, you can always email me at  

This week though, I’ll be talking about some of the campaigns that the Labour Party has planned for when we return in September, and most importantly, why I think they’re important to you in Nottingham North. Please do give me your thoughts.

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.

Build it in Britain

Nottingham’s manufacturing history is long and storied - from lace to bicycles to cigarettes amongst much more. 40 years ago, there were many large places to work: Raleigh, Boots Royal Ordnance factories, and the Babbington Colliery locally. Now all of these key industries have gone from our community.  

For many of us in our part of Nottingham these changes have meant a lack of jobs available, and under this Conservative Government, things have only got worse. Across the UK, the public sector spends over £200 billion each year procuring goods and services from the private sector. Under thus Government, these contracts are going to multinational corporations or overseas, even when we have the capacity to fulfil them here. For example, in the last three years Defence contracts worth over £1.5 billion pounds have gone elsewhere, even though there’s no obligation to open them up to overseas bidders at all.  

As a Labour Party in Parliament we think things can be different. Under a Labour Government contracts will be used to provide public benefit, expand our industrial base and drive up tax revenues. This will drive an industrial renaissance and upgrade our economy to secure good jobs, compete on the international stage and promote green industries.  

We’re committed to using public procurement to drive the engine of the private sector as part of a strong industrial strategy, which also includes: a £250 billion of investment to upgrade our infrastructure through a National Transformation Fund; a National Investment Bank and network of Regional Investment Banks; and a National Education Service to improve skills and lifelong learning.  

Areas like ours, who have been the victims of change, can only benefit from this, as we can create the jobs we need to replace those that have been lost to history.  


Voter ID

You may remember back in November I secured and led a Westminster Hall debate on Voter Registration in Nottingham North, where I called for Universal Voter Registration to be implemented so that a large section of our population, in Nottingham North and nationwide, isn’t left disenfranchised.  

During that debate I mentioned a written Parliamentary Question I tabled on 3rd November, which asked for the Cabinet Office’s estimates of how short we are on the electoral register in Nottingham North. The answer I got was that the Cabinet Office does not know. That lack of knowledge is not born out of disinterestedness or discourtesy, but it is a pretty good demonstration of where we are as a nation on this issue.  

We do not know how many people are not registered; so we’re forced to draw on global estimates. It’s estimated that about 6 million people are missing from the register across the UK. On an even distribution, that would mean that more than 9,000 are missing in Nottingham North, but when it comes to those not on the register, distribution is not even. People from poorer backgrounds in a working-class community such as ours in the north and west of Nottingham are much less likely to register to vote, so it stands to reason that the number of missing voters in our area is much higher than 9,000. That is a significant proportion stacked against the 70,000 registered to vote at the latest update. That situation significantly weakens our democracy.  

But guess what?  The Government think the opposite.  

In May they piloted discriminatory voter ID requirements which denied at least 350 people their right to vote. Requiring voters to show identifying documentation could prevent or dissuade people from voting – particularly those from already marginalised groups and the 3.5 million people in the UK (7.5% of the electorate) who do not have a valid form of photographic ID.  

Electoral fraud is a serious crime and every allegation needs to be investigated fully. However, the proposals outlined by the Government are clearly disproportionate. In 2017 there were 28 allegations of impersonation out of nearly 45 million votes cast. Furthermore, the Windrush scandal has shown that it can be difficult for some communities to provide official documentation, which could prevent legitimate voters from taking part in our democratic process.  

We cannot allow the Conservative Party to undermine our democracy, which is why Labour is calling on the Government to scrap their voter ID plans as a matter of urgency. I will continue campaigning in the opposite direction to the Government so everyone who should be able to vote is able to.  

Rebuilding Youth Services

In the 2011/12 financial year, Nottingham City Council were able to spend over £7 million on local youth services. Since then it hasn’t been over £1.5 million, with the spending in 2016/17 less than half a million pounds – a 94% drop from 5 years previous.  

Having sat on the City Council, and been a Portfolio Holder myself, I know that this is due to Government cuts to local authorities, which has forced the Council Executive to make incredibly tough decisions on where to reduce spending.  

This is not good enough for our children. In our area, where education and skills levels are low and children growing up can seem destined to become another generation stuck in cyclical poverty, youth services can make an incredible difference to lives of young people, giving them somewhere to go, something to do, and someone to speak to. For many young people, their local youth club is the only safe space they have to get the support they need.   

This has a knock-on effect. With youth services targeted for budget cuts, the Tories have created the conditions in which crime can thrive, leaving young people vulnerable to violence and denied the opportunity to build a positive future.   

It doesn’t have to be this way.    

The Labour Party wants to give every young person the opportunity to succeed, which is why today we are announcing a bold new vision for youth services. We want to introduce new laws that requires every local authority across England to provide a minimum level of support for young people and provide the funding for them to be able to do so. To make this happen the next Labour government will establish a national body with dedicated ring-fenced funding to oversee youth service provision across England.   

This can make a real difference to the young people in Nottingham North who are currently without services for them, and I will be campaigning hard to make it a reality.  

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,


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.
The first meeting is on Monday 10th September 2018, 10:30am - 12pm
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, 7:30pm start.
Next one October 4th

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:,


Cream Tea for Bulwell Royal British Legion
Enjoy an afternoon cream tea consisting of sandwiches, cakes and scones to support the men and women of all armed services and their families, past and present
Bestwood Village Community Centre, Moor Road, Bestwood Village
Sunday 19th August, 1-3pm
Adults £7.50, Children £3

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

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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