MPs are there to help only with those matters for which Parliament or central government is responsible.
Many people think that their MP can solve all their problems: this is sadly not the case and there are many examples where contacting an MP may result in a problem taking longer to resolve if the issue in question is not their responsibility.
For many matters, (for example if it is connected with local planning, the day to day running of schools, refuse collection, housing repairs, anti-social behaviour or public lavatories) the appropriate first step is to contact your local councillor.
The County Council manages services including schools, social services, strategic planning matters, highways, refuse and waste disposal sites, museums and libraries. The District Council manages services including town planning, environmental health, housing, benefits, council tax collection, refuse collection and leisure facilities.
You can find the contact details for your local elected representatives by entering your postcode here:
An MP is unable to settle private disputes with neighbours or employers, nor can he help in family arguments. Nor can an MP interfere with decisions made in court or offer legal advice.
If you are unsure who to go to or you have a problem of a more general nature then your nearest Citizens' Advice Bureau will be able to guide you.
Citizens Advice Leicestershire (Coalville branch)
Monday: 9:30 – 3.30
Tuesday: 9.30 – 3.30
Thursday: 9.30 – 3.30
You can also call 0300 330 1025 to get information or make an appointment for advice.
South Derbyshire (Swadlincote) Citizens Advice Bureau
114 Church Street
Telephone (Enquiries): 01283 210108
Telephone (Advice): 01283 210107
If your concern is not local in nature and concerns central government policies (such as the National Health Service, HM Revenue and Customs - who collect the bulk of tax and pay child benefit and tax credits, and the Department of Work and Pensions who deal with issues such as benefits, pensions and national insurance) then you should contact your MP.
Your MP can help you with all matters for which Parliament or central government is responsible, such as:
- Tax queries involving the HM Revenue and Customs Department.
- Issues dealt with by the Department for Work and Pensions such as benefits, pensions and National Insurance.
- Issues dealt with by the Home Office, such as immigration.
- Issues dealt with by the Department of Health, such as hospitals and the National Health Service (NHS).
- Issues dealt with by the Department for Education, such as academy status and educational grants.
How does my MP deal with my problem?
The ways Andrew could deal with your concerns are as follows:
- Writing a letter to the relevant department or official.
- Writing a letter to the Minister involved.
- Attempt to ascertain the reason behind decisions.
- Appeal on behalf of an individual or community.
- Speak to relevant authorities on your behalf.
Many problems (but not all) can be solved in this way. In some instances, the Minister may not be able to give the answer that you want to hear. They should still be able to clarify the situation and confirm that the correct procedure was used when making any decision.
If you feel there has been unnecessary delay or maladministration Andrew may be able to take your case to the Parliamentary Ombudsman. The Ombudsman can only be approached through your MP; you cannot approach that office directly. The Health Service Ombudsman can provide similar help where the problem involves the NHS.