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Alex Norris MP's Weekly Newsletter

Member of Parliament for Nottingham North
23rd November 2018
Issue #72

Welcome to the latest issue of my weekly newsletter. 

My recent Parliamentary luck ran out this week, with no questions or debates being drawn in my favour, and the Speaker not looking favourably on me when I tried bobbing for questions (check out my continually changing notes), so I didn’t manage to make a speaking appearance in the House of Commons this week. Hopefully that will change next week, but it doesn’t mean I didn’t have a very busy week. 

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 alex.norris.mp@parliament.uk and I will include it in future issues. Please also forward it onto anyone you think may be interested. 

50:50 Parliament

Wednesday 21st of November marked 100 years to the day since the passing of the Qualification of Women Act, when women could legally stand for Parliament. However, in these last 100 years, only 491 women have gained seats at Westminster, compared to 4,503 men. To inspire and encourage a diverse range of women to stand for political office, 50:50 Parliament held the #AskHerToStand Day at Westminster on Wednesday, where MPs were encouraged to welcome enthusiastic women from their constituencies to Parliament for the day. I was joined in London by Sarita-Marie Rehman-Wall, who is Vice-Chair of Nottingham City Homes and Audra Wynter, a City Council Candidate, from Nottingham, where they were able to shadow parts of my day as well as attend numerous events with female MPs and organisations supporting women in politics. 

The day was too busy for Sarita-Marie and Audra to fit everything on offer in, but these events included Breaking Down the Barriers, organised by the Fawcett Society and co-hosted by Rt Hon Harriet Harman MP and Vicky Ford MP, which explored ways to overcome the hurdles women face in politics. There was also an #AskHerToStand Panel, where the great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and granddaughter of Sylvia Pankhurst, Helen Pankhurst, Rosie Duffield MP & Vicky Ford MP discussed how they make a difference at Westminster. They would also have been able to sit in on Women and Equalities Select Committee, where members discussed women's representation in the Commons and action that needs to be taken to make progress but chose to sit in on my Home Affairs Select Committee sitting instead. 

I am glad Sarita-Marie and Audra could join me for this wonderful day and am supportive of all the hard work 50:50 Parliament does to encourage and support political engagement from women. 

You can learn more about 50:50 Parliament and their mission to achieve a gender-balanced Parliament by visiting their website here. 

Home Affairs Select Committee

For what I believe to be Brexit-related reasons, since I’ve sat on the Home Affairs Select Committee, we’ve very often met twice a week. With the preparation required this takes a significant part of the week up.

This week we questioned witnesses on the far-right and asylum accommodation. 

In a multi-inquiry hearing on Tuesday, we heard from Demos, and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, on the threat from the far right as part of their hate crime inquiry; and Local Authorities in a new inquiry examining asylum accommodation contracts. And on Wednesday, we continued the discussion on asylum accommodation contracts with the Rt Hon Caroline Nokes MP, Minister of State for Immigration, and Home Office officials. 















Knowing how hard Nottingham City Council works in our area to provide accommodation to those that need it, I asked the Minister in Wednesday’s session what concrete steps she will be taking to ensure that the relationship between her Department and local authorities can be as positive and productive as possible in order to reach that goal. As I would hope, her answer included a commitment to continue regular positive liaison with local authorities, even after the contract is complete, and I will be monitoring to ensure this commitment is kept to. You can watch this question and answer here. 

Next week we’ll be welcoming the Home Secretary and the Permanent Secretary at the Home Office, so keep an eye out.

In Nottingham

Today has been a sitting Friday so my time in the constituency has been limited this week. Thankfully I was able to bring a small part of the constituency down to Westminster for the #AskHerToStand, but here’s how the rest of my week focused on Nottingham: 

  • On Monday morning I met with a constituent who has only recently moved to the area, and had residence and schooling issues to discuss. 
  • Following this I met another constituent to discuss Universal Credit. If you read last week, I recently led a Westminster Hall debate on the negative impact the roll-out is having in Nottingham, and this constituent is just one of many who have been left anxious by the Government’s insistence to press on with a system that isn’t fit for purpose. 
  • Yesterday there was a Westminster Hall debate on the equalisation of the state pension age. The decision to accelerate the rise in the women's state pension age has had a devastating impact on many women who were born in the 1950s, some of whom are now facing hardship and destitution as a result. I believe that the 2.5 million women affected did not have fair notification of the changes and they deserve recognition for this injustice and transitional protections. I was pleased to welcome a group of campaigners against this decision from Nottingham, and while I attended the debate, they campaigned outside on behalf of all the affected women.  
  • This weekend I will be attending Basford United's FA Trophy game versus Curzon Ashton. Basford have already progressed further than ever in this competition and now they take on opposition from a higher division. I will be sponsoring a player this season - so look out for details of that.

UK Parliament Week

It’s been a long week in Westminster, and between #AskHertoStand Day, the Home Affairs Select Committee and the WASPI debate, I’ve covered a lot of it already, but here’s some of what else I got up to down in London this week: 

  • I met with Lauren Keith and Rita King from Portman Group, which is the social responsibility group for the alcohol industry, to discuss my campaign with USDAW and PCS for increased protection for shopworkers.
  • Later in the week I also met with Jamie Sanders from JTI UK, part of the Tobacco Industry, to discuss the same campaign. Both groups are keen to support as laws relating to their products require shopworkers to refuse sales if necessary, thereby putting themselves at extra risk. 
  • I met with the Kennel Club. This was a great opportunity to discuss Monday’s upcoming debate on firework regulation that I will be talking in. 
  • You may be aware of my interest in the Middle East relating to human rights, workers’ rights and modern slavery, and this week I met with representatives from both the Qatari and Bahraini Embassies to discuss these issues, progress in which unfortunately still lags too far behind in these countries. 
  • I also met with Emily Kenway and Meri Ahlberg from FLEX (Focus on Labour Exploitation) to discuss similar themes, particularly human trafficking for labour exploitation. FLEX have recently published a new briefing on the issue in the shadow of Brexit, as temporary worker schemes will open new risk areas for labour abuse, so we discussed what is needed to prevent this from happening. 

Looking ahead to next week

I’ve already mentioned the debate on Fireworks, and in addition to that I’m sitting on another Bill Committee, as well as Home Affairs as usual, and will have a full day in Nottingham to end the week. Hopefully a question or two too!

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

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

Christmas Fayre
Stalls, Refreshments, Santa's Grotto, Church Open
St Mary’s the Virgin & All Souls Church, Highbury Road, Bulwell, NG6 9AD
Saturday 1st December, 11am–2pm

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

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.
https://www.theathleteaccelerator.com

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: 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 © 2018 Alex Norris MP, All rights reserved.


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