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Alex Norris MP's Weekly Newsletter

Member of Parliament for Nottingham North
1st November 2019
Issue #120
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Welcome to the latest issue of my weekly newsletter.

As you’ll know by now, a General Election has been called for December 12th. So, hopefully for now, Tuesday will be my last day as your Member of Parliament and this will be my last newsletter until after the polling date.

It’s been an absolute pleasure to serve the people of Nottingham North for the last 2 years and 3 months, and I’m incredibly proud of all the work that I’ve done in this short period of time. I will be doing everything I can to make sure I can return in December and continue what I’ve started.

I hope to build on my appearances in the House of Commons, where I can raise the issues that affect our community and hold the Government to account on how their actions affect us. According to TheyWorkForYou I’ve made an above average number of appearances in debates amongst MPs and received an above average number of responses to Written Questions – another key method of holding the Government to account.

I’m looking forward to continuing my work in the constituency, where I can champion local organisations and make a real difference to the opportunities available in Nottingham North through Rebalancing the Outer Estates.

And I’m looking forward to continuing my work as part of Labour’s Front Bench team, hopefully in Government, so we can make a positive difference to the many in Nottingham North, the UK and beyond, who are suffering due to poverty and inequality at the hands of this Government.

Read on to find out more about how we got here and my week...

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. 

General Election

So how did we get here? It has been an eventful week in Westminster.

Beginning on Monday, the 27 other EU member states approved a “flextension” on Monday that terminates on January 31st. This means the new deadline to resolve Brexit is the end of January, but we are welcome to close a deal sooner. Despite this new deadline, and Parliament voting in favour of the Second Reading of the Withdrawal Bill he had put to Parliament, the Prime Minister ditched the Bill in favour of a General Election. The PM continues to point fingers in every direction as to why Brexit hasn’t been resolved, but then pulled the plug on a potential withdrawal agreement and set his eyes on political gains instead. 

I abstained in the vote on the Prime Minister's third bid for an election while a catastrophic No-Deal Brexit remained a possibility. By Tuesday however, I had the confidence that the election would not be used as a back door for us to crash out of the EU, without any plans in place to ensure the stability and prosperity of our country as we transition out of this union. With a No-Deal Brexit finally off the table, I voted in favour of the general election, resulting in a majority and a general election set for the 12th of December. It would have been better for the Prime Minister to finish the Withdrawal Bill he had started but he was adamant he would not so an election is the only route.

I am sure many of you are wondering how the general election affects my relationship with the constituency. As I mentioned, from the moment Parliament is dissolved at midnight on Wednesday, I will no longer be your MP. I will become a Parliamentary Candidate for Nottingham North. Being your voice in Westminster is the privilege of my life and I look forward to standing on my strong local record throughout the campaign ahead. Please do not be concerned if you have an open case with my office; I will ensure that any responses I receive relating to your case(s) are sent out to you immediately during the election period. 

I am proud of the work we have accomplished in Nottingham North so far. From the privilege of meeting many of you through case work, and community events, to corresponding on local and national issues, it has been an honour to work for this constituency. 

DFID's Work on Disabilities

Yesterday afternoon, I represented the Labour International Development team in Westminster Hall, as we debated the International Development Committee (IDC)’s on mainstreaming disability inclusion in International projects.

The current chair of the Committee, my Labour colleague Stephen Twigg MP, will be standing down at this election, so I began by paying tribute to the incredible leadership he has shown in this role and beyond, and the incredible impact he has had personally on holding the Department for International Development to account.

During the debate, I also commended the work that DFID has already done in this area, which was recognised in the report, before I highlighting the importance of recognising and incorporating into all of our humanitarian efforts the impact on people living with disabilities, given that one in 8 people globally – and 1 in 5 in the world’s poorest parts - are estimated to be living with disabilities.

I also highlighted how conflict not only exacerbates the vulnerable position of people with disabilities, but is also a leading cause of disabilities, trauma and injury. I called on the Minster to develop a robust accountability mechanism around commitments made at the Global Disability Summit back in July 2018.  And I called for better oversight to ensure that foreign policy goals and business interests do not undermine humanitarian work on disability.

Finally, I also emphasised that the Government must end the policy incoherence between its international and domestic approaches toward social protection and disability. What good does our commitment to aiding people with disabilities do, if it is British-made bombs causing disabilities in times of war?

You can watch my contribution to the debate here, or clips here and here.

In Nottingham

Until after the election, today has been my last full day in the constituency as our Member of Parliament, and this is how I spent it: 

  • Early this morning I spoke Janine Smith, head of the East Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, to discuss an ongoing piece of casework I’m working on. 
  • I then made my way to HMP Nottingham to meet with the Prison Governor, Phil Novis, to discuss progress since he became Governor last July. If you’re a regular reader, you’ll probably know that the prison is one of the least safe in the country, and I’ve been working hard to change this since I was elected. We need to know that both staff and inmates are safe. 
  • I then returned to Bulwell, where I met with a couple of constituents about casework issues. While I won’t be the MP during the election period, my staff will continue to support the community on issues like these where necessary. 
  • After meeting with my staff to discuss how they’ll be able to do exactly the above during the election period, I’m now about to meet with Dr James Smith from the Aegis Trust, alongside local resident Godwin Suh, to discuss the situation in Cameroon. I’ve been working on this with Godwin extensively, as we seek to help improve the situation as much as we can from here. 

In Parliament

This week was quite a chaotic one, but here’s how I spent the rest of the week in Parliament: 

  • Before the election had the go ahead, I had been appointed to the Domestic Abuse Bill Public Bill Committee, to follow on from my work on the Draft Bill Committee. This Bill will now be halted, but we had two evidence sessions on Tuesday. Hopefully whatever the next Government is, will bring the Bill back, as it can make a tremendous difference to survivors of domestic abuse. 
  • I also caught up with Leonie Mathers, the University of Nottingham’s Head of Public Affairs. 
  • I also spoke with Steve Lack of Rebalancing, about our work with the Crabtree Community Management Group. 
  • And I met with Sophie Francis-Cansfield of Women’s Aid, to discuss the Domestic Abuse Bill, even though it has been halted.

Looking Ahead to Next Week

On Monday I’ll be in Parliament for the election of the new Speaker of the House, and then I’ll be in campaign mode. As mentioned, I won’t be allowed to send any more newsletters for a while, but keep an eye on my social media if you’re keen to follow how my campaign is going or pop by the office to say hello.

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
Fundraising for Nottinghamshire Hospice

I was recently contacted by Kiran Lucas, who on 17th November will be running a 5k in support of Nottinghamshire Hospice. This is an obviously great cause, and any donations would be much appreciated by both Kiran and the hospice.

You can donate here.
Stockhill and Ladbroke Tenants and Resident (SALTAR) Autumn Acitivites
 
Saturdays on Stockhill Park
  • Football Training 10.45am to 12noon, boys and girls, 5 to 15 years.              
  • Goalkeeping Training 12.15pm to 1.15pm, boys and girls, 6 to 16 years
Mondays at Scout HQ. Lincoln St. Basford, 
  • 44th Nottingham Beavers and Cubs 6.30pm to 8pm. Beavers 6 to 8 years, Cubs 8 to 10.5 years (Actively recruiting volunteers over 18 for these sessions.)
Wednesdays in Stockhill Pavilion
  • Termtime Afterschool Sessions 3.30pm to 5.30 pm, 5 to 13 years
And:
  • Wednesday 23rd October
    Play Day in Stockhill Pavilion, 1pm to 3pm, for children 3 to 13 years accompanied by an adult
  • Wednesday 30th October
    Play Day in Stockhill Pavilion, 1pm to 3pm, for children 3 to 13 years accompanied by an adult
  • Wednesday 30th October
    SALTAR Meeting followed by AGM in Stockhill Pavilion, 6.30pm
  • Friday 13th December
    Christmas Celebrations in Stockhill Pavilion - Details to follow
For more information, please contact Sur Sylvester, SALTAR Secretary, at saltar99@gmail.com.
BMX champion brothers from Bilborough looking for sponsorship

I've recently been contacted by Ella Jamera, a constituent from Bilborough. Her two sons Elisha and Itai are champion BMX racers - both coming first for their age category at the recent British Championships. Next year, Elisha will be old enough to compete at the World Championships, but there is a lack of funding available to allow competitors to travel to compete at the event.

You can read more about the brothers here: https://www.nottinghampost.com/news/local-news/meet-champion-brothers-bilborough-making-3295971

If you know of any local funding or sponsorship opportunities that might help Elisha to travel to compete, please get in touch with Ella on ellajamera@yahoo.com


[Image: Joseph Raynor/Nottingham Post]
Fundraising for PASIC

I've recently been contacted by an NCS group, based in Hucknall, who are currently raising money and awareness for a charity called PASIC. This is a charity which deal with young children who have been diagnosed with cancer. They are partaking in a bag pack and a sponsored cycle to raise awareness and money. It would be very much appreciated if you could either donate or help raise awareness for this useful charity.

You can find the fundraising page here. Please do support them if you can.
Nottingham Mencap

I recently received the following email from John Ballard of Nottingham Mencap with some good news and a request. Please read and support them if you can, their volunteers do tremendous work supporting those with learning disabilities and autism to live as independently as possible:

Dear Alex Norris MP,

I am thrilled to inform you that Nottingham Mencap has finally found a new home! 

Working closely with Nottingham City Council, we are in the process of agreeing to a long lease on the Edwards Lane Community Centre.  We desperately need to move from Harpenden House on Edwards Lane where we have been for nearly 70 Years.  Based on City Hospital land, our current building is beyond repair and the Hospital is seeking a massive hike in ground rent.

We have been raising funds to purchase, renovate and extend the Community Centre.  Working with Richardson Hall Construction Ltd we plan to design and deliver ample, high-quality space, for our Charity and local residents.   By undertaking this venture we aim to secure the long term future of the new Centre as a vibrant hub for the local community and a place our members can proudly call their new base.

Our members are so pleased to have the chance to move such a short distance.  Furthermore, we recognise that by sharing our building with local residents we can help catalyse tangible and enduring community integration.  

You will appreciate that as a charity we understand the importance of making every penny count. Which means that we frugally balance our income from grants and allowances with our expenses, without detriment to the services we provide or cutbacks to staff.  Our fundraising methods, as outlined on our website (www.nottinghammencap.org.uk see ‘Support Our Work’) your generosity will enable us to undertake the requisite works renovating our new premises and address the more pressing issues impacting our service users.

I do hope you will support us in our ongoing adventure!

Please do not hesitate to contact us (at info@n-mencap.org or by phoning 0115 920 9524) if you require any clarification on the points raised here or have any further queries.

Kind Regards,

John Ballard
Nottingham Mencap Fundraiser
www.nottinghammencap.org.uk  

Basford United U16 Amber Sponsorship Opportunities Available

Playing kit sponsor – squad of 15 logo on shirt  ~£450
Drill Top sponsor – squad of 15 logo on shirt ~£450
An alternative is a food sponsor – we provide chip cobs to all travelling players after each home game – last season we entertained teams from Wellingborough, Coventry, Birmingham etc so any contribution towards this would be gratefully received

Basford are hoping that anyone who does sponsor the team will get a banner on the side of the pitch, as well as on their logo on the kit and hopefully on the Basford website this year.

For further information, please contact Lisa Fox on 07921361555.
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
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

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

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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