This section is designed to clarify the role of councillors and MPs and answer any questions you may have about their responsibilities and how they can help you.
Some issues are not the direct responsibility of Parliament or government. In these instances, you should first contact either your local council or your nearest Citizens Advice Bureau before considering contacting your MP.
These are issues such as:
- Council tax.
- Private problems with neighbours, landlords, employers, family; or companies who’ve sold you faulty goods.
- Decisions made by the courts.
- Issues that are the responsibility of your Local Authority, i.e. dustbins or street repairs.
If your problem concerns the Local Authority you should contact your local Councillor. Details on all Councillors of Reading West and how to contact them are available on Reading Borough Council’s website.
What can your MP do to help you?
As the Member of Parliament for Reading West, Alok’s role is to represent his constituents at Westminster, regardless of whether or not they voted for him.
It is important to note that Members of Parliament can only deal with issues raised by their own constituents, so make sure you check you are contacting the MP who represents your constituency.
Alok 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.
- Problems dealt with by the Department for Education, such as school closures and grants.
How does your MP deal with your problem?
Alok can deal with constituents’ problems in a number of ways, some of which include:
- A letter to the relevant organisation.
- A letter to the relevant Government Minister.
- Seek clarification of the reason for decisions taken.
- Support appeals by individuals or communities.
Many problems (but not all) can be resolved in this way. Whilst an MP cannot always obtain the answer you would like he can ascertain that correct procedures have been followed.
If you feel there has been unnecessary delay or maladministration Alok may be able to take your case to the Parliamentary Ombudsman. Individuals cannot take their case direct to the Ombudsman but must do so through an MP.