Role of your MP
Dr Lee is only an MP for people living in the Bracknell Constituency. Hence, please check that you are constituent before contacting him. There is a protocol rule in Parliament that a MP should not deal with problems of another MP’s constituents.
Is Dr.Lee your MP?
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The best way to make contact is to write to Dr Lee at the following address:
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
Contact Bracknell District Council
Bracknell Forest Council http://www.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/home
Tel: 01344 352000
Berkshire RG12 1JD
Wokingham Council - http://www.wokingham.gov.uk/
Wokingham Borough Council
Tel: 0118 974 6000
What does an MP do?
The UK public elects Members of Parliament (MPs) to represent their interests and concerns in the House of Commons.There are 651 MPs, each representing one area of the country called a constituency. MPs work in Parliament on behalf of all the people in their constituency – even those who did not vote for them. MPs are involved in considering and proposing new laws, and can use their position to ask Government Ministers questions about current issues.
In broad terms, MPs split their time between working in Parliament itself, working in the constituency that elected them and working for their political party. Duties in Parliament include participating in debates in the Chamber and Westminster Hall and voting on legislation and other matters. Many members are also involved with Select Committees.
MPs help their constituents by advising on any problems that they might have encountered when dealing with a Government Department, by representing their concerns in Parliament and by acting as a figurehead to speak up for the local area. They support their party by often voting with them in the House of Common (although where an MP strongly disagrees with their party they will obviously vote against). Some MPs from the ruling party become Government Ministers with specific responsibilities in certain areas, such as health or defence.
Is Dr.Lee your MP?
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What an MP can do for you?
The main roles of a Member of Parliament are to review legislation and to represent local interests in Parliament at Westminster. In the House of Commons, MPs scrutinise legislation, attend debates and committees, and generally protect, advocate and promote the interests of their constituency at a national level.
In the constituency, MPs support local community groups, publicise local issues and endeavour to help constituents resolve any issues that they have by making representations on their behalf and ensuring that their cases are clearly presented. In general, they can help with any issue over which Parliament, a Central Government Department or an Agency has responsibility
– including the Home Office and the UK Border Agency, the Ministry of Defence, the Foreign Office, the Department of Health, the Department of Work and Pensions and HM Revenue and Customs.
MPs are not able to solve every problem. They cannot obtain preferential treatment for you or seek to get results outside of the relevant laws or rules. Furthermore, they cannot help with private disputes with other individuals or interfere with court decisions.
MPs can help you with all matters for which Parliament or Central Government is responsible, such as:
- Tax problems involving the HM Revenue and Customs Department
- Problems dealt with by the Department for Work and Pensions such as benefits, pensions and National Insurance
- Problems dealt with by the Home Office, 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 Children, Schools and Families, such as school closures and grants
If your problem concerns the Council you should – in the first instance – contact the relevant Council Department or service directly. If this does not resolve the matter, you should then approach your local Councillor.
Berkshire is served by Unitary Authorities, two of which cover the Bracknell constituency: Bracknell Forest and Wokingham.
They manage the following services:
- Adult and Family learning
- Social services
- Strategic planning matters
- Refuse and waste disposal sites
- Museums and libraries
- Town planning
- Environmental health
- Street cleaning
- Council tax collection
- Refuse collection
- Leisure facilities
- Planning permission and disputes
There are also Parish and Town Councils, which are the most local level of Government. They are independent, but work closely with both the MP and both Borough Councils. If you are unsure of 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.
What else can your MP do for you?
MPs can raise matters in the House of Commons on behalf of their constituents. They can do this by asking parliamentary questions, participating in debates or introducing legislation.
- Asking questions
- MPs can ask Ministers questions during Question Time or send written questions to them. Question Time takes place in the first hour of business each day. The Government is required to answer parliamentary written questions. The questions and answers are published in Hansard, the official transcript of what is said in Parliament.
- Adjournment Debates
- The half-hour adjournment debate offers another opportunity for MPs to raise matters. Usually taken as the last business of the day, MPs must either win a ballot or be chosen by the Speaker to voice their concern.
- Private Members’ Bills
- An MP might introduce a Private Members’ Bill in an attempt to pass a new law. Few of these Bills are successful but they may draw public attention to the problem.
- Westminster Hall Debates
- A Westminster Hall debate is similar to an adjournment debate but takes place in a large committee room rather than in the main chamber. A Deputy Speaker presides over proceedings and no votes take place.
If you and other people feel very strongly about a certain issue you may decide to organise a petition to the House of Commons. You can obtain advice on petitions by writing to:
Clerk of Public Petitions
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
What is the difference between an MP and a Councillor?
A local Councillor whether town, district or county, represents a ward on their respective Council. An MP represents the whole constituency at Westminster. Councils have responsibility for areas such as education, social services, rubbish collection, and planning all at local level. An MP debates and votes at Westminster on legislation concerning national and international issues – such as climate change, defence, law and order, economic policy, and health.
Who forms a Government and how?
It takes 324 MPs to form a Government outright. If no party secures this number then the leader of the largest party is usually invited by the Monarch to attempt to form a Coalition with other parties. If no party can form a Government then the largest party can attempt to govern with a “minority government”. However, if the Government loses a vote of confidence in the House of Commons (which it is obviously easier to do if the Government relies on others for its majority) then another election must be held.
A Select Committee is a small group of MPs who are elected by all the other MPs to examine the work of either a specific Government Department or issue. Committees consider policy issues, scrutinise the work and expenditure of the Government, and examine proposals for primary and secondary legislation. They gather written and oral evidence and publish their findings. The Government then usually has 60 days to reply to the committee’s recommendations.
What are All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs)?
All-Party Groups (APPGs) are informal cross-party groups that have no official status within Parliament. They are essentially run by and for members of the Commons and Lords, although many groups involve individuals and organisations from outside Parliament in their administration and activities.
To find out more visit: http://www.parliament.uk/about/mps-and-lords/members/apg/.
How do I find out more about Parliament?
If you would like to find out more about Parliament visit http://www.parliament.uk/
How can I find out more about the Prime Minister?
If you would like to find out more about the Prime Minister and the Cabinet Office visit http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/
How do I submit a Petition?
The public can petition the House of Commons to make MPs aware of their opinion on an issue and to request action. Petitioning is a formal process involving sending a written appeal to an MP, following a set format, which is then presented to the Commons by the MP.
Who petitions Parliament?
Anyone can petition Parliament. All that’s needed is that the petition is properly set out and has the signature and address of at least one person. More Information can be found on http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/have-your-say/petitioning/
What happens when the MP gets the petition?
Generally, MPs will present all petitions they receive from their constituents. However, MPs aren’t compelled to present petitions and doing so does not imply that they support the action the petition is calling for.
Formal or informal presentation
MPs present petitions by either giving a short statement in the debating chamber of the House of Commons or by simply placing the petition in the Petition Bag (which hangs on the back of the Speaker’s Chair).
The Votes and Proceedings publication for the day the petition was presented will record:
– The petition’s subject matter.
– Description of the petitioners.
– Whether the petition was presented formally or informally.
A copy of the petition is sent to the appropriate government department, for example, a petition against smoking would be sent to the Department of Health. Government departments are expected to offer observations on all substantive petitions; The full text of the petition and the department’s response is printed in Hansard.
Petitions can be traced by consulting the Journal of the House of Commons, which can be found online or in many larger libraries. Please contact the House of Commons Information Office or the Parliamentary Archives for older petitions.
Could I Lobby an MP?
Lobbying is the practice of individuals and organisations trying to influence the opinions of MPs. Methods of lobbying vary and can range from sending letters, making presentations, providing briefing material to Members and organised rallies. If you wish to read more about how to Lobby an MP visit http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/have-your-say/lobbying/.
Anyone can lobby an MP. Examples are:
- individual members of the public
- groups of constituents
- local businesses
- organised pressure groups/campaigners
- commercial organisations
Does lobbying get results?
MPs and Lords are the target of many different lobbying interests. Often the result these lobbyists are seeking is for the MP or Lord to vote a certain way on a specific issue. However, this decision will ultimately be down to the MP or Lord’s own judgement and the influence (if any) that existing party policy will have on them.
How do I get involved?
For a review of the Party its policies and its key players see www.conservatives.com
You can also contact the Local Association to get involved in the Conservative Party locally, and to help the association get Phillip elected contact the Bracknell Conservative Association through their website: http://www.bracknellconservatives.com/
How do I apply for Work Experience/Internships?
I am very happy to host students on work experience or internships for graduates based out of my Westminster office. Through doing this, I hope to educate young people about my role as an MP and the formal processes of Parliament. This is a great opportunity for gap year students with an interest in or desire to learn more about politics.
If you are interested in applying for a placement, please send a CV and covering letter, outlining why you would like to be considered for a placement to firstname.lastname@example.org or
Dr Phillip Lee MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
Tours of the Palace of Westminster – visiting the Gallery
Your MP can issue a limited number of passes to allow constituents to tour the Houses of Parliament or visit the Public Gallery. There is a great deal of demand for these facilities and you are advised to contact his office well in advance – two or three months is not too soon – and be as flexible as possible in choice of dates. Please note that because there are 651 MPs, tickets for the gallery are extremely limited as each individual MP is only allowed 2 tickets 3 times a year for Prime Minister’s Question Time.
Please contact the MPs office if you need further advice.