Gerry Steinberg MPWhat does an MP do?

Sometimes people ask that question, and of course they are entitled to know. The most prominent activity of an MP is speaking in debates in the chamber of the House of Commons and questioning Ministers. But this is only a small part of an MP's work. Support for issues can be registered through Early Day Motions but much serious and time consuming work is done in Committee.

Gerry Steinberg was a member of the Public Accounts Committee which is one of the most important Select Committees surveying a wide range of government and other public activities.

But an MP also works on behalf of the electorate in the home constituency. He can lend his support, send out press releases and therefore generate publicity for local issues. Gerry held regular "surgeries" and did a considerable amount of casework on behalf of individual constituents. On average, there were sixty new cases a month, and each takes an average of two to three months to resolve, some take much longer, depending on the case and complexity. At any one time, there were between 250 and 300 ongoing cases! Obviously, this work is almost all completely confidential, so details cannot be given.

Your Member of Parliament can investigate matters relating to Parliament or Central Government.

They include:

*Inland Revenue
*Customs and Excise
*Department of National Savings
*The Land Registry
*Immigration and Nationality
*Post Office
*Passport Offices
*Health - including hospitals and the NHS
(but not complaints about individual doctors)
*Social Security - including pensions and National Insurance
*Education - including school closures and grants
(but not day to day running of schools)
*Employment Service - including Job Centres and unemployment office
*Training and Enterprise Councils
*Department of Transport
and related organisations such as DVLC and Traffic Area Offices.
In certain cases your M.P. can refer your complaint to government ministers or to the Parliamentary Ombudsman. Your M.P. will try to give advice on any problem you have but there are some problems that he cannot investigate.

They include:

*Private disputes between individuals
*Decisions made by the Courts
*Local Authority - dustbins, street cleaning, housing repairs, tenancy matters, playing fields, social services (you must refer such complaints to your local city or county councillor or the Local Ombudsman.)

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