What is an MP?

The House of Commons is made up of around 650 Members of Parliament (MPs), each representing one constituency.

The Member of Parliament for Fylde can help you in the following ways:

What is the role of an MP?

The role of an MP is to represent his constituents at Westminster, regardless of whether or not they voted for him.

Parliamentary protocol dictates that Members of Parliament can only deal with issues raised by their own constituents.

Therefore, when writing to an MP, either via email or by letter, a full address is provided in order to verify you are indeed a constituent of Fylde.

What can my MP do to help me?

An MP can help you with all matters for which Parliament or central government is responsible, such as

  • Tax problems involving HMRC.
  • Problems dealt with by the DWP such as benefits, pensions and National Insurance.
  • Problems dealt with by the Home Office and UK Border Agency such as immigration.
  • Problems dealt with by the Department of Health such as hospitals and the National Health Service (NHS).
  • Problems dealt with by the Department for Education such as school closures and grants.

The MP is unable to settle private disputes with neighbours or employers, nor can he help in family arguments or consumer matters.

He cannot interfere with decisions made by the courts.

If your problem concerns the Local Authority (for example it is connected with services such as refuse collection, housing repairs or public lavatories), you should first contact your local Council or Councillor. Where possible, however, the MP will endeavour to help.

Your MP can help you to get in contact with your local councillor at your request.

Local government can be either unitary or two-tier. Unitary Councils manage all local authority services in their area. Lancashire is two-tier therefore the delivery of services is split between Lancashire County Council and Fylde Borough Council.

The county council manages services including schools, social services, strategic planning matters, highways, refuse and waste disposal sites, museums and libraries.

The borough council manages services including town planning, environmental health, housing, benefits, council tax collection, refuse collection and leisure facilities.

There are also parish and town councils. They are the most local level of government. They are independent but work closely with both us and district councils.

How does my MP deal with my problem?

Ways your MP could deal with problems of constituents would be:

  • A letter to the relevant department or official.
  • A letter to the Minister involved.

Many problems (but not all) can be solved in this way. The Minister may not be able to give the answer you want to hear but if the decision has been made in the correct way there may be little that he can do. If you feel there has been unnecessary delay or maladministration your MP 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.

What else can my MP do?

An MP can speak in or stage debates in the House of Commons, he can table both oral and written questions or present Private Member’s Bills or petitions.

Some MPs do not sign Early Day Motions because they are concerned about the cost involved in their production, despite them having no legislative effect.

MPs also attend events and undertake visits of a non-party political character throughout the constituency.

Visiting schools, health services, local authorities, charities, voluntary groups and community gatherings represents the overwhelming proportion of an MPs constituency work.