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Alex Norris MP's Weekly Newsletter

Member of Parliament for Nottingham North
12th October 2018
Issue #66

Welcome to the latest issue of my weekly newsletter. 

This week I’ve been back in Parliament, and straight back to a very busy schedule – mostly centred around my Ten-minute Rule Bill which I introduced to Parliament this week. I’ll go into a lot more detail on that below, but it’s far from all I got up to, so read on to find out what I’ve been up to this 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 and I will include it in future issues. Please also forward it onto anyone you think may be interested. 


Assaults on Retail Workers (Offences) Bill

On Tuesday, after four lengthy bits of Government business, I introduced by Ten-Minute Rule Bill which would provide shopworkers with more legal protection from assault, by classing these assaults as aggravated and therefore increasing the maximum sentence from 6 months to a year. 

This is change that I believe is urgently needed, as according to the shop workers union USDAW, the number of assaults and threats made by customers against shop workers sharply increased in 2017, after five years of steady decline; and the terrifying experience of being violently attacked simply for doing your job now affects 265 shop workers every day. 

USDAW also found that in 2017 two thirds of retail staff were verbally abused by customers, up from half in 2016. More than four out of ten had been threatened with violence, up from less than 30 per cent the year before. Four per cent of shop workers surveyed said they had been physically assaulted by customers in 2017, the highest figure since 2012. 

Just last month, my Labour colleague Chris Bryant MP saw his Private Members Bill, the Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill, receive Royal Assent and become law. This Bill changed the law so that assaults against emergency workers doing their jobs would also be treated as aggravated, and the maximum prison term for people found guilty would increase similarly. 

I fully supported this Bill during its passage through Parliament and was pleased that colleagues from all parties agreed. Of course, it’s easy to see why Chris’s bill gained government and public backing. Who could possibly argue against better protection for police officers, for paramedics, for firefighters, for prison officers, for search and rescue personnel or for custody officers? All these brave people go to work and risk their lives to provide services we couldn’t manage without. And rightly so, they should be protected, and deserve the extra protection this new legislation affords them. 

While I strongly believe that anyone assaulted while doing their job should be afforded additional protections by the law, what it is that sets retail workers apart – like the very nature of the job sets emergency workers apart – is that they have been entrusted with an important civic responsibility that goes beyond the duties and responsibilities that any employer would give an employee. Over many years and many laws, shop workers have been made responsible, by Parliament, for effectively policing the law on the sale of alcohol, knives, glue and now acid on behalf of us all. 

Sad to say it is almost inevitable that these items will attract trouble, but enforcing the laws surrounding them is an important job that must be done. It is Parliament that has given retail workers this responsibility, so I believe Parliament should be providing them with appropriate protection. Currently I am not sure we have this balance right. Indeed, the surveys show that 80% of shop workers think a new law is needed. 

Unfortunately, this law will almost certainly not be coming through my Bill, as even though it passed on the day, it is so far down the list for its Second Reading on 23rd November that it won’t get a chance to be discussed. However, this doesn’t mean the idea is dead, and I will be continuing to campaign for greater protections and urging the Government to allow a debate about the issue on their time. 

You can watch clips of me introducing the Bill here and here, or read it in full here. 

Transport Questions

If I’m drawn for two oral questions in a week, I feel very lucky, but on Thursday I was fortunate enough to be drawn for two in one sitting, to ask questions of the Ministers at the Department for Transport. 

While previously I’ve always focused on the cancelled Electrification of the Midland Mainline, this week my focus was a little different. As the initial question provided me with an opportunity to ask a follow-up too, I had a real chance to hold the Department to account: 

  • Growth in the number of rail users has slowed significantly in the last few years, so I asked Ministers what steps are being taken in response, but of course Jo Johnson MP, the Minister responsible for rail, didn’t outline any steps, instead just reeling off some stats.
  • I used my supplementary question to highlight how rail fares have increased at a far sharper rate than wages since the Conservatives have been in Government, and asked the Ministers for assurance that people living in poorer communities, like Nottingham North, won’t be priced out further and will still be able to use rail services as much as they do now, at the very minimum. Again, I didn’t get much in the way of assurance. You can watch this here. 
  • And for my topical question, which gives a chance to ask a question on a subject that the Ministers haven’t seen in advance, I asked the Minister, what role they see for sub-national transport bodies - such as Midlands Connect in our region - when prioritising investment in our major road network. I know all about the great work Midlands Connect are doing so it is important that Government work closely with them and includes them in their investment plans. 

This week I have also been drawn out for a question to the Prime Minister, so keep an eye out next Wednesday. 

In Parliament

While the Ten-minute Rule Bill kept me busy far beyond the ten minutes it took to introduce it this week, I still had plenty of time in Parliament beyond that and my questions. Here’s what I got up to: 

  • I had my standing Wednesday morning engagement on the Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill Committee. The Government still hasn’t laid down a money resolution and continue to waste all our time. We’ve now met 14 times with no progress. 
  • I caught up with Morgan Flynn and Mark Scott from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association to follow-up from my trip to Malawi – to talk about the project in general and discuss next steps. 
  • I also met with my Co-Chair on the APPG for Sport, Modern Slavery and Human Rights APPG, Baroness Lola Young, to discuss our respective tasks in spreading the APPG’s work. 
  • And finally, I sat on the Second Delegated Legislation Committee for the Draft Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency Trading Fund (Amendment) (EU Exit) Order 2018, part of the legislation that will ensure that our medical regulations carry on following Brexit. Safe to say this was slightly drier than most of my week, but still very important. 


This has very much been a Westminster week - as its the first week back. Nevertheless still lots of matters of local interest:

  • I met with Barry Harness and Ruth Davison from the National Housing Federation to discuss the Voluntary Right to Buy pilot in the Midlands, and housing association participation therein, as we aim to help more people own their own homes locally. 
  • Along with fellow Nottingham MPs Lilian Greenwood and Chris Leslie, I met Rishi Sunak, the Minister for Local Government, to discuss how the Government’s Troubled Families Programme is faring in Nottingham. Troubled Families is a programme of targeted intervention for families with multiple problems, including crime, anti-social behaviour, truancy, unemployment, mental health problems and domestic abuse. This is a positive initiative that we are determined to get the very best out of locally. As of 8th October 2018, the City Council have worked with 3594 families and delivered significant and sustained outcomes for 1929 families (including 570 continuous employment claims), much of which has depended on funding from this Programme. Emerging analysis recently showed that the outcomes for families supported by these early help services is promising. Of 630 families supported during Q2 of 2017/18, 82% of children have not had any further social care or early help engagement. It is important to note that the majority (68%) of those families had previously been referred to social care, so these were complex and vulnerable families. This really shows the difference that can be made, and I hope it continues and expands! 
  • I met with Alex Ball who is responsible for communications for local NHS projects. Alex and I served on the Council together but were meeting this time to talk about how best to engage with local community and politicians to make sure we are getting the best out of our Health Service.

Looking ahead to next week

Really busy constituency days from Thursday next week but prior to that Nottingham is coming to Westminster where I’ll be supporting the launch of Nottingham Citizens hate crime report. You can read all about that and more next week!

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,


Bulwell Forest Recreation Ground Cycle Centre is running EVERY SATURDAY in October, thanks to extra funding from Nottingham City Homes

Come down to Bulwell Forest Recreation Ground (meet near to the ‘pirate park’) each Saturday to boost your cycling skills. Best of all, it’s FREE to City residents
  • 9am for Learn to cycle and beginners
  • 10:15am for on road cycle training
  • 11:30am for a led cycle ride
Give RideWise a call on 0115 955 2288 to book a place, or simply turn up. We also have bikes that you can borrow for the session.
Bulwell Build a Bike Course
By taking part in this course you will gain the skills to strip down and rebuild a preloved bike, and then get to keep it too!

Crabtree community Centre, Bulwell
18th & 25th October & 1st, 8th, 15th & 22nd Nov, 6-8pm.
All sessions to be attended.

The courses are FREE to Nottingham City Residents and suitable for people who are over 14 (children to be accompanied by an adult).

To book onto one of our courses, please send your full name, address, email address and phone number to Places are limited, so be quick!

GOSPEL STREET is a powerful mix of theatre, comedy and spoken word – a breath-taking ride through all the important issues of life, death… and miraculous street food. Good news with wisdom, laughter, energy and insight.

At Bulwell United Reformed Church:
Saturday 17th November

Tickets: £5
Box Office: 01904 613000 or book online

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:

Poems in the Pub
Open Mic Night, Free Admission, Local Talent, Full Bar
The William Peverel, Bulwell
First Thursday in the month, 7 for 7:30pm start.

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:,

The Indian Army Contribution in the First World War, by Dr Irfan Malik
An illustrated presentation on 'The Indian Army Contribution in the First World War'. WW1 museum items will also be on display.
Baitul Hafeez Mosque, 308 Sneinton Dale
Thursday 11th October, 6.30-8pm
Tickets available here.

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.

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:, @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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