Writing/contacting your MP Watch

Prince Rhyus
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#1
Report Thread starter 9 years ago
#1
I'm going to try and make this a "Sticky" thread to encourage all of you to keep tabs on those who were elected by us. If you don't keep tabs on them, they end up doing stupid things, like claiming for duck houses or moat cleaning, rather than holding ministers and people like me to account.

Who is my Member of Parliament?


It's all at http://www.writetothem.com/

If you want to know how your local MP is performing in Parliament, or which way they are voting, see: http://www.theyworkforyou.com/

As someone who drafts correspondence for ministers in response to MPs, what follows are some hints on how to get answers from your MPs and from the ministers they write to on your behalf.

The first thing to be aware of is the guidance that MPs are bound by - which is at http://www.parliament.uk/documents/c...snpc-02028.pdf

"The simple, general principle is that any citizen in the United Kingdom should first get in touch with his own constituency representative"


...hence why the weblinks ask for your postcode. Your local MP depends on where you are registered to vote. If you are registered to vote at your university address, the MP whose constiuency covered your uni address is your MP. If not, it's your home address.

[I]"Since MPs represent people rather than places, their inquiry should have been directed first to their own constituency Member["/I]

...i.e. if you are registered at home, you can still write to your home MP about a problem you might be having at a university that's in someone elses constituency.


What questions can I ask them?


"Many people think that their MP is there to solve all their problems for them: this is not the case. MPs are there to help only with those matters for which Parliament or central government is responsible. As stated above, for many matters, the appropriate first step would be to contact your local councillor or representative in your devolved Assembly or Parliament."


You can find who your local councillors are at http://www.writetothem.com/

If you have a problem with your local public service provider that is not directly responsible to Central Government, you should contact any one of your local councillors.
- Local public transport
- Schools
- Bins
- Leisure facilities
- Noise
- Traffic
- Pollution

If your concerns are about a public body directly funded by Central Government and/or its executive agencies, you should write to your MP.
- State benefits
- Problems with HM Revenue and Customs
- University
- NHS
- Trains
- New Government Policy that is going to have a direct or indirect impact on you - e.g. new motorway, airport, grant funding for an organisation that you work for etc.


How can I ensure I get a quick response?


By making it easy for all concerned. The people you've got to make things easy for are:
1) The MP's support staff - they will be the first people to read your letter;
2) Your MP - s/he has to decide how to respond to it. If it involves writing to a minister...
3) The Correspondence branch of the department/organisation that the letter is being sent to
4) The policy advisor (i.e. someone like me) who has to research and draft the response for
5) My director, who has to sign off the draft response before it goes to ministers
6) The minister who has to respond.

Now, that's a lot of people who have to go through the correspondence to get an answer to your letter. So, keep it concise and to the point. Please do not ramble or rant. Such letters get consigned to the wastebin of history. Departments of state get a huge amount of correspondence every day that we don't have time to respond to "I think the Government is 'orrible" sorts of rants.

If you are asking your MP to write to a minister on your behalf, it makes it easier for him/her if you can identify which one to write to. If not, don't worry. You can ask him/her to write to "the minister responsible" and Parliamentary Branch within Parliament will be able to advise your MP.

In your opening lines, you should state what you are writing about, and state:

"I would be grateful if you could forward this letter onto the [insert minister/department responsible] for a response. "


You should then set out - ideally with bullet points (it's easier for civil servants like me to pick these out and ensure that we've answered all of the questions) before completing your letter.

That way, you save a lot of time and hassle in getting your response. Poorly drafted letters can increase the amount of time it takes for a response to come back by up to six months. Crazy huh?
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Sun!
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#2
Report 9 years ago
#2
You can be registered at both home and university, therefore you can contact either.

The situation is also complicated somewhat by devolved administrations in Wales, Scotland and Northen Ireland. You should in them cases write to them (Your local and/or regional AM/MSP/MLA), if the devolved body has power over that matter. It would be wise to update this page to reflect that, the pdf you linked to has all the information on it.

Also some MPs are generally better than others and you can write to them about anything, and theyll try and help. You try to make it seem like they wont, and I can assure you they (At least my 2 local MPs) will.
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rajamohan
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#3
Report 9 years ago
#3
i am expecting that the MP is the good person and can make that the very happy and can also for the new ,, we all are waiting for the new one.. so i like to post this comments in this site,,,
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MulderMan
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#4
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(Original post by rajamohan)
i am expecting that the MP is the good person and can make that the very happy and can also for the new ,, we all are waiting for the new one.. so i like to post this comments in this site,,,
None of that makes any sense.
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Prince Rhyus
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#5
Report Thread starter 9 years ago
#5
http://www.my-mp.org.uk/ - there's even a new app for your mobile phone to keep in touch with your MP
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Prince Rhyus
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#6
Report Thread starter 9 years ago
#6
Some of you may find the post at http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=1437594 useful if you're campaigning on stuff - like the Browne Review recommendations.
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BlueEmperor
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#7
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I write to my MP semi-frequently, usually on constitutional matters, though recently wrote to him about my grandmother (she suffers from dementia and we've been having problems with local social services). In all cases, he's been marvellous. John Baron, MP for Basildon & Billericay. Good man.
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saddlers17
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#8
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I wrote to my MP before the election on things the conservatives promised and how they could promise them. He used the term "7 out of 10 people will be better off with a conservative government." Also things like how could he know problems with the area when he's only lived in South Staffordshire for 3 months. I got the reply of his manifesto which didn't answer any questions at all. When I asked again for an answer and not a copy and paste job, I got nothing.

I've written back recently to discuss some of the things he put in his leaflet to me and about the Conservative manifesto. Guess what? I have no reply.

Gavin Williamson, MP for South Staffordshire. Awful man. Just look him up, he has the face of a Conservative
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4TSR
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(Original post by saddlers17)
I wrote to my MP before the election on things the conservatives promised and how they could promise them. He used the term "7 out of 10 people will be better off with a conservative government." Also things like how could he know problems with the area when he's only lived in South Staffordshire for 3 months. I got the reply of his manifesto which didn't answer any questions at all. When I asked again for an answer and not a copy and paste job, I got nothing.

I've written back recently to discuss some of the things he put in his leaflet to me and about the Conservative manifesto. Guess what? I have no reply.

Gavin Williamson, MP for South Staffordshire. Awful man. Just look him up, he has the face of a Conservative

(Original post by lukeshore)
I write to my MP a lot. About twice a week. Hes given up replying to me now but I still write. xD

Surely there is a way we can complain when they just plain ignore us?

what do you guys write about? give me an example or two?

They are trying to shut down our local swimming pool and move it. I will have to write to my local council about that...
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Prince Rhyus
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#10
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(Original post by 4TSR)
Surely there is a way we can complain when they just plain ignore us?

what do you guys write about? give me an example or two?

They are trying to shut down our local swimming pool and move it. I will have to write to my local council about that...
You book an appointment at one of their surgeries via their constituency office. They cannot ignore you if you are sat in front of them.

Remember, you should be asking them to do something on your behalf: e.g.

- Specify government policy that is affecting you
- specify how it is affecting you
- ask MP to write to ministry on your behalf asking them to respond to any questions or concerns about gov't policy.
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BlueEmperor
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#11
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I am not a constituent in South Staffordshire but I did have occasion to write to Sir Patrick Cormack and he always replied. I have no knowledge of Mr Williamson.
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Hedger
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#12
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#12
I've heard that by contacting your local MP, you can receive a free tour of the Houses of Parliament. Is this true? How long does it usually take to get one arranged?
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Little Jules
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#13
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(Original post by _MaLc_)
I've heard that by contacting your local MP, you can receive a free tour of the Houses of Parliament. Is this true? How long does it usually take to get one arranged?
Yes, you can contact your MP and ask for a tour, and their office will try to arrange one. It could take several months though, usually depending on how busy the tour office and the MP's office are.
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thecat23
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#14
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#14
I wrote to my MP about the rising of tuition fees and she replied with a long arse letter saying why she agreed to it.

glad she replied though
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hypocriticaljap
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#15
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#15
(Original post by lukeshore)
I write to my MP a lot. About twice a week. Hes given up replying to me now but I still write. xD
Understandibly, nutjob!
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Adam K
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#16
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#16
My MP seems pretty good. I'm interviewing her this week at Westminster and I suppose that'll give me a good idea of what she's like. She's a tory but she's against health reforms so she might be OK.
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ElectricChomsky
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#17
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#17
I asked Sir Alan Hazelhurst for his signiture because I thought he was such a fantastic character as Deputy Speaker. I live far away though, so I rung up his consistuency office. I never got it. On the other hand I met Ben Bradshaw once and without any prompting whatsoever he gave me a copy of his photo and signed it. Maybe they got in touch and gave me a replacement?
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cherry-red
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#18
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#18
(Original post by Prince Rhyus)
I'm going to try and make this a "Sticky" thread to encourage all of you to keep tabs on those who were elected by us. If you don't keep tabs on them, they end up doing stupid things, like claiming for duck houses or moat cleaning, rather than holding ministers and people like me to account.

Who is my Member of Parliament?


It's all at http://www.writetothem.com/

If you want to know how your local MP is performing in Parliament, or which way they are voting, see: http://www.theyworkforyou.com/

As someone who drafts correspondence for ministers in response to MPs, what follows are some hints on how to get answers from your MPs and from the ministers they write to on your behalf.

The first thing to be aware of is the guidance that MPs are bound by - which is at http://www.parliament.uk/documents/c...snpc-02028.pdf

"The simple, general principle is that any citizen in the United Kingdom should first get in touch with his own constituency representative"


...hence why the weblinks ask for your postcode. Your local MP depends on where you are registered to vote. If you are registered to vote at your university address, the MP whose constiuency covered your uni address is your MP. If not, it's your home address.

[I]"Since MPs represent people rather than places, their inquiry should have been directed first to their own constituency Member["/I]

...i.e. if you are registered at home, you can still write to your home MP about a problem you might be having at a university that's in someone elses constituency.


What questions can I ask them?


"Many people think that their MP is there to solve all their problems for them: this is not the case. MPs are there to help only with those matters for which Parliament or central government is responsible. As stated above, for many matters, the appropriate first step would be to contact your local councillor or representative in your devolved Assembly or Parliament."


You can find who your local councillors are at http://www.writetothem.com/

If you have a problem with your local public service provider that is not directly responsible to Central Government, you should contact any one of your local councillors.
- Local public transport
- Schools
- Bins
- Leisure facilities
- Noise
- Traffic
- Pollution

If your concerns are about a public body directly funded by Central Government and/or its executive agencies, you should write to your MP.
- State benefits
- Problems with HM Revenue and Customs
- University
- NHS
- Trains
- New Government Policy that is going to have a direct or indirect impact on you - e.g. new motorway, airport, grant funding for an organisation that you work for etc.


How can I ensure I get a quick response?


By making it easy for all concerned. The people you've got to make things easy for are:
1) The MP's support staff - they will be the first people to read your letter;
2) Your MP - s/he has to decide how to respond to it. If it involves writing to a minister...
3) The Correspondence branch of the department/organisation that the letter is being sent to
4) The policy advisor (i.e. someone like me) who has to research and draft the response for
5) My director, who has to sign off the draft response before it goes to ministers
6) The minister who has to respond.

Now, that's a lot of people who have to go through the correspondence to get an answer to your letter. So, keep it concise and to the point. Please do not ramble or rant. Such letters get consigned to the wastebin of history. Departments of state get a huge amount of correspondence every day that we don't have time to respond to "I think the Government is 'orrible" sorts of rants.

If you are asking your MP to write to a minister on your behalf, it makes it easier for him/her if you can identify which one to write to. If not, don't worry. You can ask him/her to write to "the minister responsible" and Parliamentary Branch within Parliament will be able to advise your MP.

In your opening lines, you should state what you are writing about, and state:

"I would be grateful if you could forward this letter onto the [insert minister/department responsible] for a response. "


You should then set out - ideally with bullet points (it's easier for civil servants like me to pick these out and ensure that we've answered all of the questions) before completing your letter.

That way, you save a lot of time and hassle in getting your response. Poorly drafted letters can increase the amount of time it takes for a response to come back by up to six months. Crazy huh?
This is really great info! thanks very much for this
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Naami
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#19
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#19
How do I write to Boris Johnson? Or does he not deal with that sort of stuff? :confused: Do I have to go through talking to an MP first?
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obstupefacere
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#20
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(Original post by Naami)
How do I write to Boris Johnson? Or does he not deal with that sort of stuff? :confused: Do I have to go through talking to an MP first?

Send him an email at [email protected]

What's the issue, it might be more appropriate to contact your MP.
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