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Alex Norris MP's Weekly Newsletter

Member of Parliament for Nottingham North
19th July 2019
Issue #105

Welcome to the latest issue of my weekly newsletter. 

We have now reached the penultimate week of Parliament before Summer Recess, so predictably, not much of substance is happening while the Government uses the opportunity to dump some of their bad news or outstanding issues during the end of their leadership contest. 

I haven’t rested though, with my roles as Shadow International Development Minister and Opposition Whip keeping me busy as Labour keeps working hard, even if the Tories aren’t.  

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

Front Bench Duties

Having two front bench roles in addition to my responsibilities as MP for Nottingham North means a lot of juggling but also a lot of variety and a lot of impact I can have in different ways. This week was a prime example. 

Part of my role as Labour's Shadow Minister for International Development requires me to respond to legislation in the form of Statutory Instruments (SIs) which have been brought forward by the government. On Monday, I responded to an important SI on how we fund international projects to tackle climate change. Labour is clear that climate finance should be delivered as locally as possible, to maximise the impact this action has.  

Given the targets we must meet as part of the Paris climate change agreement and to meet our new net zero targets by 2050, the action we take both at home and overseas must be targeted so that it delivers real results on the ground. This localism also helps to ensure climate justice, by involving national or regional stakeholders to be more involved in the decision-making process. You can watch part of my response here. 

And on Wednesday, during International Development Questions, I challenged the Government on their progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, following the recent United Nations report concerning food security and progress towards SDG 2 - Zero Hunger. 

The International Development Committee found "serious failings" in the UK's Voluntary National Review of their progress. 

The Minister's response to me today exposes a level of complacency which undermines the gravity of this issue. I hope she will listen to my call to ensure all relevant government departments work together so that we can start seeing the progress we really need on this issue. You can watch this here. 

And yesterday, I was performing my role as Opposition Whip for the Midlands, busy trying to gain as much support as possible for a move to stop any future Prime Minister from inflicting a damaging No Deal Brexit on our country by proroguing (effectively cancelling) Parliament. Whatever your views on Brexit, forcing representatives of the people to go home at such an important time simply cannot be right and Labour will continue fighting to prevent this. Ultimately this was a very successful endeavour, winning the important votes by a margin of over 40.

In Nottingham

While I didn’t actually get back to Nottingham until Thursday evening because of the above, my Nottingham-centric work started long before my train journey back. Here’s what I’ve been up to: 

  • On Tuesday I spoke with Richard Sutton from NG Chartered Surveyors about an ongoing leasing issue I’m trying to help solve for a local engineering company. 
  • On Wednesday, I welcomed representatives of EM Councils, Midlands Connect, East Midlands Chamber and more to Parliament to discuss the priorities for and challenges of the Eastern leg of HS2 at the latest meeting of the APPG for the East Midlands, which I co-chair. 
  • And yesterday I met with other Nottinghamshire MPs to discuss Notts County Football Club. Lilian Greenwood, Labour MP for Nottingham South, rightfully raised the sad situation at the club in Parliament this week, where financial troubles have led to the unacceptable situation of staff being left unpaid. We urge the FA, the National League and the Football League to intervene to save football’s oldest professional club. I’m pleased to hear that Lifeline has fundraised and donated £25,000 to help pay staff, but this should never be necessary and doesn’t resolve the club’s future.
  • From London, I also had phone calls with Meng Khaw, Public Health England’s Centre Director for the East Midlands; the Regional Schools Commissioner about Park Vale Academy; and a private probation company to discuss the Nottinghamshire Integrated Offender Management scheme, which they jointly manage. 
  • Back in Nottingham, this morning I visited Fraser Brown solicitors in the city centre, to see constituents shadowing staff at the law firm through ThinkForward’s work shadowing scheme. 
  • While in the city centre, I also popped to Old Market Square, to show my support for students protesting the Climate Emergency. 
  • Later I met with Leader of Nottingham City Council David Mellen to discuss a property issue a constituent is having, before our latest Board Meeting for Rebalancing. 
  • And now, I’m gearing up for a Meet the MP session at the Well Church on Strelley Street. I'm looking forward to a great turnout and hope we can discuss more than Brexit and the Tory leadership!

In Parliament

My front bench duties dominated my time, but here’s how I spent the rest of my time in Westminster this week: 

  • I met with James McGowan, Policy Advisor to the Shadow Transport Secretary Andy McDonald, to discuss the importance of the HS2 project to us in the Midlands. 
  • I also attended the APPG on Retail Crime. You may recall that I proposed a 10-Minute Rule Bill on this topic previously, and I’ve also recently asked Written Questions in efforts to give better protection to shop workers. 
  • I had a Ministerial meeting too, as I met with new Prisons Minister Robert Buckland to ensure he is continuing to prioritise HMP Nottingham as his predecessor did.

Looking Ahead to Next Week

Next week is our last week before Summer, so there will surely be some things being squeezed in last-minute before I’m out of Westminster for a while, and I also have plenty of meetings lined up. Back in Nottingham I’ll be hosting Treetops Hospice’s Lime Tree campaign event at Nottingham Forest.

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,


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 ( 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 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  

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.
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:

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:,

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.

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:,

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 © 2019 Alex Norris MP, All rights reserved.

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