You and Your MP
The UK is divided into 650 parliamentary constituencies that each elect one MP.
Nick de Bois was the MP for the constituency of Enfield North which contains around 90,000 people. He is now the Conservative candidate for May 2015.
MPs can only deal with issues raised by their own constituents. You can check who your local MP is here.
What is the role of an MP?
Many people think that their MP can solve any problem for them but unfortunately this is not the case, although Nick is always as helpful as he can be.
The role of an MP is to represent constituents in Westminster, regardless of whether or not they voted for them.
What can an MP help you with?
MPs can help you with any matter for which Parliament or central government is responsible for, such as matters relating to:
- HM Revenue and Customs (for example, issues involving tax problems)
- Department for Work and Pensions (problems to do with benefits, pensions or National
- Home Office (immigration matters)
- Department of Health (to do with hospitals and the NHS)
MPs cannot help resolve private disputes with neighbours or employers, family arguments or consumer matters. MPs cannot interfere with matters of legal process including court decisions. MPs may also not be able to support one constituent if, in doing so, they will deprive another.
The MP doesn't have any control over Enfield Council and if your problem relates to the local authority, the first contact should be with your local councillors. You can check who your ward councillors are here.
Enfield Council as the local authority has responsibility for matters such as:
- Housing – allocations, repairs, problems with landlords
- Schools – allocation of school places, complaints
- Social services – carers, Child Protection,
- Environmental health - noise nuisance, trading standards, public health
- Parking and enforcement
- Highways – potholes, road repairs, street lighting, traffic problems
- Waste Services - refuse collection/ street cleansing/flytipping
- Leisure facilities – libraries, parks, sports facilities
- Finance – Council tax, Housing and Council Tax Benefit, rent arrears
How can an MP help with a problem?
MPs can deal with problems of constituents by:
- Writing a letter to the relevant department or official
- Writing to the relevant Minister
Many problems can be solved in this way. The response from the department or Minister may not always be the answer a constituent hoped for, but if the decision has been made in the correct way there may be little than an MP can do.
As mentioned above, there are around 90,000 people living in Enfield North. As well as dealing with constituency casework, MPs have their Parliamentary duties to attend to. This means that MPs receive hundreds of e-mails, letters and telephone calls every week. Coping with this workload requires a system for prioritising the most urgent cases.
Acknowledging correspondence from constituents
Nick's constituency office will always send an acknowledgment of a letter within three days, and acknowledge an e-mail immediately. Telephone messages are picked up in the morning, midday and before the end of a working day. The aim is to reply to telephone messages before the end of the next working day.
Responding to correspondence from constituents
Constituent cases are dealt with in terms of how urgent the case is.
Urgent cases where only the MP can take action to make a difference (such as extreme financial hardship due to poor administration by a government department) will be dealt with on the same day if possible. The constituent would be updated as often as possible.
Problems that need immediate action, such as government department matters that are time sensitive, will have action taken within 5 working days.
Non-urgent cases, such as those involving government departments that are not time-sensitive or relate to the local authority, will be actioned within 10 working days.
Helping constituents with personal problems takes priority over responding to correspondence regarding political issues and policy. Responses to political enquiries can be expected to be received within 30 calendar days.