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Alex Norris MP's Weekly Newsletter

Member of Parliament for Nottingham North
5th July 2019
Issue #103

Welcome to the latest issue of my weekly newsletter.

Last week I struggled to get called to speak in the House of Commons, but as is always the case around here, this week has been quite the opposite, mostly due to my International Development duties.

Read on to find out more...

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.

International Development

When it comes to International Development business in the House of Commons chamber, my colleagues in the Shadow team, the Shadow Secretary of State Dan Carden and Preet Kaur Gill share the workload, usually in relation to our own portfolios - mine being the Middle East and North Africa region as well as a number of other subject areas - or occasionally other commitments.

As it happens, this week I was fortunate enough to have the honour of responding on behalf of the Labour Party front bench twice.

On Monday, we had the Department for International Development Estimates Day debate. For those unfamiliar, which I imagine is most reading as this isn't the most reported on topic despite its importance, the Government must ask the House of Commons for the public money they want to spend, and Estimates Day debates are how this process happens. While these are important, they are usually a formality, but members can propose a reduction to the estimate should they wish

It was however, an opportunity for me to make Labour's case for the importance of the UK aid budget remaining at 0.7% of GDP, how we believe it should be spent, and highlight some of the ways we think the Government could be spending it better.

Labour is committed to addressing the root causes of poverty; rewriting trade policies; putting an end to crippling debt burdens; and clamping down on corporate tax avoidance. All of these are vital for creating a more equal global economy.

You can watch a clip from my response here.

And yesterday, I responded in Westminster Hall to a debate secured by the Chair of the International Development Committee, Stephen Twigg, on displacement in Africa.

Of approximately 70 million people displaced from their homes in the world, over 20 million are in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Responding to the debate, I praised the excellent work of the Committee, called on the Government to adopt all the recommendations it made, and extend upon all the good work in supporting refugees in Africa that it does by leading on the world stage  through the Global Compact for Refugees.

In Nottingham

The Westminster Hall debate kept me in Parliament until later than usual on Thursday, but I've been back home all day today. Here's what I've been up to:

  • I began the day with a trip to Edwards Lane, where I visited Nottingham Mencap. Mencap is a UK charity for people with a learning disability, which they approach in 3 main ways. They help fund research and campaign for a better future for people with a learning disability; they promote societal inclusion through a variety of projects and programmes; and they provide services ranging from helping someone join in with local leisure activities, to more practical advice, information and assistance with day-to-day life. However, Nottingham Mencap operates as an independent charity offering a huge range of services for local people. It was great to see the difference Mencap make first hand, and hear about the challenges faced.
  • I then introduced a roundtable of housing associations hosted by the National Housing Federation, themed around supply, which is one of the biggest issues facing tenants locally. There were a lot of positive contributions made, and hopefully we'll see a difference as a result.
  • Stuart Young from East Midlands Councils and Dr Meng Khaw, Centre Director for Public Health England East Midlands, visited my constituency office soon after, to discuss the regional health situation.
  • Janine Smith from the Crown Prosecution Service East Midlands was next to visit my office, to discuss her work and some local issues.
  • After that I got to leave the office and head to Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Catholic Primary School, for their Sports and Summer Fair. Great fun had by all!
  • I'm just about to welcome constituents to my latest surgery. As ever, if you'd like to come to one yourself, just get in touch with my office.
  • And to close the day, I'll be meeting the Bestwood councillors to discuss all things regarding their ward!
  • Tomorrow I will be attending the Family Fun Day at Bulwell Academy, which marks the start of the week-long Bulwell Arts Festival. For details of all of the events running during the festival, click here to view the programme.

In Parliament

Two long debates took up a decent amount of time, but here's how else I spent my time down in Westminster this week:
  • I was fortunate enough to be selected to ask two questions of Ministers this week. On Tuesday I was drawn for a question to Treasury Ministers, which I used to ask when the Department plans to publish the results of its consultation on corporate liability for economic crime. It's currently very difficulty to hold corporations to account for these crimes, and that needs to change. You can watch this here. On Thursday I was drawn for a question to Ministers from the Department for Culture, Media & Sport, who I asked about why funding for youth services has been cut by 70% since 2010. I received a very unsatisfactory response from the Minister. You can watch this here.
  • I met with Bond, the International Development membership body, on Monday to discuss the Government's Voluntary National Review of their progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Also on Tuesday, I was given an HS2 update, before attending a reception commemorating 100 years of council housing, hosted by National Federation of ALMOs (NFA) and the Association of Retained Council Housing (ARCH). Showing Nottingham's impact in this area was Sarita-Marie Rehman-Wall, who was there both on behalf of the NFA and Nottingham City Homes.
  • On Wednesday, Alexander Matheou briefed me on the Red Cross's work in Yemen before attending a Women's Aid event on the Domestic Abuse Bill.
  • Last week, I met the Lawn Tennis Association in Parliament ahead of the start of the Wimbledon Championships. I spoke to them about the importance of having accessible courts in our area, and I got a chance to hit a ball around too!

Looking Ahead to Next Week

Next week I've got a number of International Development meetings lined up, as well as a meeting of the APPG on Sport, Modern Slavery and Human Rights and then back in Nottingham on Friday for a number of meetings including a visit to learn more about the National Citizen Service with pupils from Bulwell Academy.

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

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.
Nottingham Credit Union in Bulwell Riverside
 
Over the summer, Nottingham Credit Union will be operating a Pop Up Credit Union at Bulwell Riverside.
 
We will be in the Bulwell Riverside every Wednesday from 10th July.
 
We know that many people in Bulwell have very little savings and often revert to High Cost Lenders when faced with an unexpected bill– hopefully by having a presence at the Riverside we will be able to speak with Bulwell residents about how the Credit Union can help with Simple Savings and Affordable Loans.
 
For more information please contact Jason Eaves Tel 0115 828 3120 Email Jasoneaves@nottinghamcu.co.uk
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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