What can your MP help you with?

A brief guide to getting the best help for your problem or issue – and how to get the most effective support from your Member of Parliament.

Members of Parliament are elected to the House of Commons to represent the interests and concerns of all the people who live in their constituency, whether they voted for them at the General Election or not.

MPs can only raise concerns on the behalf of their own constituents so please make sure to include your full address in any correspondence.

If you are unsure who your MP and local Councillors are, you can find out using this site: https://www.writetothem.com/.

“I am always happy to meet with constituents at my regular surgeries in Redditch and the surrounding areas. The surgeries are appointment based and a slot can be booked by contacting the constituency office on 01527 591 334.

I run these surgeries frequently, but I appreciate that people often contact their MP because the matter is urgent. I am sometimes able to help initially without the need for a surgery appointment, or begin making representations and enquiries before the appointment.

If you are unsure whether you need an appointment or not, please do contact my office on 01527 591 334 and they will be able to advise you on the best option.”

Rachel Maclean MP
[email protected]

What can an MP help with?

MPs can help with matters for which central government is directly responsible for, so issues to do with:

  • Benefits, pensions, National Insurance, and other matters dealt with by the Department for Work and Pensions
  • Immigration and other problems dealt with by the Home Office
  • Tax issues involving HM Revenue and Customs
  • Problems with the NHS
  • Problems with the Child Maintenance Service or Child Support Agency
  • School grants and closures

What your MP cannot usually help with…

Problems with local authority services, such as waste collection, road maintenance, planning, and school and housing allocations are managed by Redditch Borough Council or Wychavon District Council (depending on which part of the constituency you live) and should be raised with your local Councillors in the first instance.

However, I am always happy to write to the Council and ask them to look into a problem or reconsider a particular issue. Owing to the Data Protection Act (2018) you will need to give me your permission to share your information with the Council if I write to the Council on your behalf.

As your MP I can provide general advice on planning issues and ask that your views are taken into account in planning decisions, but I cannot instruct or influence councillors making the decisions, as this is a local Council matter that operates under very strict rules and laws.

MPs are unable to intervene in private disputes with neighbours or employers, nor help to settle family arguments. They also cannot interfere with decisions made in court or offer legal advice.

Contacting your local Council and Councillors

The Redditch County Constituency (to use its full name) features two local councils. They are Redditch Borough Council, which covers the town of Redditch plus Astwood Bank & Feckenham, and Wychavon District Council which covers areas to the south-west of Redditch, and includes villages such as Inkberrow and Hanbury.

Worcestershire County Council covers the entire Redditch County Constituency.

Find your local Councillor

Redditch Borough Council

Town Hall
Walter Stranz Square
Redditch
B98 8AH

Redditch’s Town Hall is open from Monday to Friday 9am-5pm, except for bank holidays.

Telephone: 01527 64252.
Emergency out of hours number: 01527 67666

Wychavon District Council

Civic Centre
Queen Elizabeth Drive
Pershore
WR10 1PT

Wychavon’s Civic Centre is open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm, except for bank holidays.

Telephone: 01386 565000
Emergency our of hours number: 01562 733180

Worcestershire County Council

County Hall
Spetchley Road
Worcester
WR5 2NP

County Hall is open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm, except for bank holidays.

Telephone: 01905 765 765
Emergency our of hours number: 01905 763 763

Getting in touch with Rachel and what to expect

How your MP can help with your problem or issue

Where your problem does involve central government, your MP has a number of methods available to try to resolve the matter:

  • A letter from your MP to the relevant department or official will often provide a solution;
  • Your MP may decide to take matters a stage further by writing to the Minister involved;
  • Your MP may make an appointment to see the Minister personally.

Many constituents’ problems can be solved in this way but not all problems have an easy solution. The Minister may not be able to give you the answer you wanted to hear. However, if the decision has been made in the right way, there may be very little that can be done.

On the other hand, if there has been unnecessary delay, or if some essential procedure has been missed out, your MP may be able to take your case to the Parliamentary Ombudsman who is sometimes able to resolve such cases where there has been administrative incompetence. You can find out more at: http://www.ombudsman.org.uk

Raising matters in the House of Commons

All of the methods described above keep the problem confidential, which is often best. However, if you and Rachel working together feel there is something solid to be gained by making the problem or issue public this may be done by Rachel raising it on the floor of the House of Commons in view of the press and public.

There are a number of Parliamentary procedures and methods Rachel has at her disposal and her skill as the Member of Parliament is in choosing the method that will get the best outcome to you. Sometimes you may feel a course of action is not your preferred way of handling it, but the outcome may be better. For instance, most people would prefer their issue to be raised at Prime Minister’s Question Time, however it may produce a better outcome if the matter is raised in an adjournment debate or a Westminster Hall debate.

Various methods can produce results and sometimes these methods can be effective, though it is important to remember that even when matters are raised in the full glare of publicity you still may not get the answer you hope for.

What to expect when contacting your MP

All contacts whether by email, phone or post are handled carefully and sensitively with regular updates on progress. Every email receives a response.

Step 1: Getting in touch

When you get in touch with Rachel or her office you will be listened to and will receive guidance on the best way to achieve your desired outcome. Everyone will be working hard to help you. It is possible the issue you have raised is best handled by the council, or another body, in which case Rachel or her team will point you in the right direction.

Step 2: Getting a reply

If the issue is something Rachel can help you with a case file will be opened on your behalf and work will begin to address your issue. An initial response will be sent to you to inform you about the procedures and process. You may need to provide additional information. A substantive response usually follows within two weeks.

Step 3: Complicated issues

If your matter is more complicated and needs a response from a Government minister for instance it may take longer for a full response to come back. In these cases we will provide you with status updates as often as possible, but it can take around 30 days for a resolution to be worked out.