Parliament is an essential part of UK politics from scrutinising the work of government, to debating and passing all laws, to enabling the government to raise taxes.
Parliament is made up of 646 members elected from each constituency across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Peter was first elected MP for the Neath constituency in 1991.
MPs have a responsibility to three groups: their constituents, Parliament and their political party. MPs are elected by constituents to represent them and their interests in Parliament. Once in Parliament an MPs duties include participating in debates and voting on legislation and other matters. They may also be members of committees examining new laws or the work of Government departments. Some may have a role as a minister in government or spokesperson in opposition.
How Peter Can Help
MPs can help their constituents by advising on problems, making representations on their behalf, representing constituents concerns in Parliament and acting as a figure head for the local area.
Peter generally tries to assist his constituents with a wide range of problems but he is more likely to be able to help with problems concerning central government such as benefits, pensions, national insurance, tax and the Child Support Agency.
In Wales matters such as health, education and transport are a devolved issue and it may be better to contact your Assembly Member. Similarly problems with local authority services can be raised with your local councillor. However this should not put you off contacting Peter over these issues if you feel he can help.
MPs can only act on behalf of their constituents. To check you are Peter’s constituent please click here
Most MPs split their time between working in Parliament and working in constituency. When Parliament is sitting Peter usually spends Monday to Thursday in Parliament and Friday to Sunday in the Neath constituency.
When in the constituency Peter often holds surgeries where people can come along to discuss matters that concern them. Peter holds 42 surgeries a year in his office and at various locations throughout the constituency. Peter also attends functions, visits schools and businesses and generally tries to meet as many people as possible.
To see when Peter’s next surgery is click here
Peter Working For You
Peter can assist constituents in a number of ways. Peter can write on your behalf to the relevant department or official, send a letter to the appropriate Minister or make a personal appointment to discuss the issue. These steps go a long way to providing a solution to most problems.
Peter in Parliament
In Parliament Peter can raise issues that are concerning his constituents. Peter can also ask questions to the relevant minister in the chamber or send written question. The government is required to answer parliamentary questions. The half hour adjournment debate offers another opportunity to raise matters but MPs must either win a ballot or be chosen by the Speaker to voice their concern. MPs may also introduce a Private Members Bill in an attempt to pass a new law but few of these bills are successful.
To read Peter’s recent questions and speeches in the House click on the relevant link on the left.