How your MP can help you
MPs (Members of Parliament) are representatives of political parties who have been elected by people like you to represent the area in which they live – called a constituency.
Your MP is there to help everyone in their constituency. Here are some common issues single parents face that your MP can help you with.
If you’re having problems with benefits
Your MP can write to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) on your behalf if your benefits have been miscalculated, or if you want to appeal a decision made. Similarly, if you’re confused about a decision, an MP’s caseworker can often talk you through what your options are, and sometimes point you in the direction of further assistance. MPs do not make decisions on benefits, but where a mistake has been made they can write to the relevant authorities on your behalf.
If you’re facing eviction or other housing problems
Lots of MPs are contacted by constituents who are facing housing problems. For instance, you might want to find out why you have been on a housing waiting list for such a long time, or what you can do if your landlord is increasing the rent or threatening eviction. In situations like these, an MP’s office can write on your behalf to the council or landlord, and can sometimes advise you regarding the process of eviction. Housing matters are dealt with by your local council, but your MP can help by representing you and talking to your council about your situation.
If you’re having problems with child maintenance
If you are having trouble securing timely and accurate child maintenance because of issues with the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) or with the non-resident parent, your MP should be able to write to the relevant authorities on your behalf and support you with your case.
If you’re facing employment problems
Your MP should be able to support you by giving advice, or directing you to people who can give you advice, if you’re facing employments problems. If your terms and conditions change at work and you’re unhappy with how your employer is treating you, for example, your MP might be able to apply pressure to the employer to encourage them to reconsider their decisions – and some MPs have campaigned for organisations to reverse pay cuts and redundancies, at bigger organisations.
If you’re chasing documentation or a decision from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), the Home Office or another department
Your MP might be able to help follow these up for you, and potentially speed up a decision or outcome.
If you need help navigating the NHS
MPs can often write letters to relevant departments and authorities if you are facing difficulties with the NHS.
If you need legal support
While an MP cannot provide you with legal advice as their staff are not legally trained, they can often point you in the direction of free local provision, and some can refer you on to local providers.
If you are concerned about the schools in your area
Your MP might be able to talk these issues through with you, or appeal on the behalf of constituents where a school is being set up or being closed – although it’s worth bearing in mind that education comes under the remit of your local council.
If you are organising a community event or meeting
You can always write to your MP and ask them to come along to attend or meet with you. It’s important that your MP knows what is going on in their constituency, and they will usually try and come along if time allows.
If you want your MP to support a campaign
If you’re passionate about an issue that has affected your personally, your MP can help publicise this, and possibly help you to campaign on it. Perhaps they can speak up in parliament, or set up a meeting with the relevant minister. They might also be willing to table a debate in parliament on the issue, potentially getting national coverage.