In the last general election in May 2005 I was honoured to be elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for the Sheffield Hillsborough constituency and to take a seat in the House of Commons as one of approximately 650 MPs.
This page details information on what I can, and cannot, do for you as your MP. This information is taken from the House of Commons Information Office Factsheet ‘M1’, which you can download here in full in Adobe Acrobat format.
Since election my job has been to represent my constituents in Parliament. This means that I take up issues on behalf of my constituents or point people in the right direction if their enquiry can be dealt with by another body. I ask questions and make speeches in the House of Commons, pressing government ministers for an answer or raising an issue of concern to constituents.
My role as an MP is to represent all the people in my constituency, not just those who voted for me. I am here to represent the interests of all the people of Sheffield Hillsborough, regardless of their political views, with all matters for which Parliament or central government is responsible and I will do so to the best of my ability.
Many people think that their MP is able to solve all their problems for them. Regrettably, this is simply not the case. MPs are there to help only with matters which releate to Parliament or central Government, or which fall under their responsibility. If problems arise with work carried out by central government departments I may be able to help you. These include areas such as:
My role does not allow me to help you with private disputes, for example with other individuals or with companies who have sold you faulty goods.
I also cannot interfere with decisions made by courts, nor can I get preferential treatment or bend the rules for individual cases.
Please also note that I am bound by a Parliamentary Protocol that means I can normally only help my own constituents.
If there are matters you want me to pursue on your behalf, the most effective way is usually to write to me giving all the relevant details including any reference numbers. Please bear in mind that I am likely to send a photocopy of your letter to whoever the relevant person / organisation is, together with a covering letter of my own asking them to comment or investigate.
Writing a letter about a problem, rather than telephoning, is a good idea as you can take your time to explain things clearly and I will then also have the written details of your case, which I may find useful to refer to later.
Sometimes I'm inundated with postal and email inquiries, so while it might not be possible to send an immediate reply, every effort will be made to answer urgent matters quickly.
Constituents often approach me with a problem because they do not know who else could help them. In these circumstances, I will try my best to help you. However, if your problem really concerns the local or County Council, rather than central government, then you should contact your local council or councillor first. This means my time can be better spent in dealing with problems that relate to me in my capacity as an MP, rather than diverting queries that should be taken up elsewhere in the first instance.
There is a strict convention at Westminster that Members of Parliament do not seek to intervene in matters affecting the constituents of otherMembers.
In normal circumstances, therefore, I will only be able to pursue matters raised by my own constituents. Before you contact me, it would be beneficial for both of us if you confirmed that you were a resident of the Sheffield Hillsborough Constituency.
Full details of how to Locate and Confirm your MP are detailed here.