Have you ever contacted your MP

  oresome 22:59 29 Aug 2006

or local councillor and did you find it worthwhile?

  namtas 23:09 29 Aug 2006

Yes to the first part, but more difficult to answer the second part, if you mean worthwhile from always being a success then no, it is not always a success. But it can be worthwhile in other ways i.e. by simply making aware of a situation or bringing something into the public domain.

  Forum Editor 23:24 29 Aug 2006

and yes.

  anskyber 23:33 29 Aug 2006

"Please note - there is a 4500 character limit for messages."

So I think I must be rather more circumspect than I would normally be!

Yes, I have, and for all my working life I worked in the environment of Councillors and MPs. Like it or not they are a vehicle for change even if it requires somes great effort to achieve any change. On the whole I suspect that most people will find the whole process a very frustrating experience, but, it is surprising how much can be achieved. Sometimes the outcome which looked for can be achieved even if the response from the Councillor or MP is not what in the first instance was looked for.

To keep this politically neutral I have worked for Councils controlled by (in no particular order) Labour, Independent, Conservative and Lib/Dem. So the anectdote which follows happens to come from one of my experiences.

Sir Leon Britten was MP for the constituency of Richmond in North Yorkshire. He moved on ( do not mention Westland helecopters) and he was replaced by a young William Hague. The constituency is based mostly in the Council that I worked for and happily so I must say. Sir Leon gave William H this advice. A constituent walked into his office and complained about a planning application. He immediately understood his complaint. The next person who walked in also complained about the same planning application. This time it was the person who made the application and was unhappy about the objections. Sir Leons advice to Mr Hague was steer clear of planning issues. So, you see lobbying is a two way process!

  Pidder 08:52 30 Aug 2006

Thanks for that link which is new to me and which I have book-marked for possible future use. However, from past letters to my M.P. etc I don't hold out a lot of hope...

  realist 10:15 30 Aug 2006

I lobbied the local Labour MP when it was proposed to turn a respectable local hotel opposite my mother's house into a hostel. I also wrote to the then immigration minister. The proposal was eventually dropped. The minister was sacked soon afterwards but has since been resurrected as the minister for something else!

  silverous 10:31 30 Aug 2006

I have, and it was partly worthwhile although I did feel that since she represents the labour party she was perhaps not particularly forcefull in taking my points forward. I was also surprised to hear her basically suggesting that she was more interested in helping people trying to commute into our town than those commuting out (even though the two aren't mutually exclusive). I can partially understand that but given it is very much in the commuter belt for London that was a surprising thing to say I think.

  silverous 10:32 30 Aug 2006

I should balance that with the fact that she did actually take a matter up with our local council and got a response. I recall being quite impressed with that and wondered how they fit what must be a lot of requests and follow-ups into their schedule (I know they have some assistance)

  sunny staines 12:05 30 Aug 2006

i have not seen any info on euro mp's in our area or from euro mp reps is it one per county or region and do the public vote for them or are they shared out between the the parties.

the only one i have heard of was mandleson and had the impression he was banised to euro because of all his dodgy dealings mentioned in the press i suppose another mp and his jags might be going that way soon.

  anskyber 12:19 30 Aug 2006

You could try this click here

  ade.h 15:00 30 Aug 2006

I recently met our local MP when she came to an FSB meeting to answer questions about government policy on small and medium businesses. Mildly interesting, though not particularly reassuring!

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