Tim receives several hundred emails each working day. Increasingly these are identical circulars prompted by lobbying groups encouraging their supporters to forward an email to their MPs. In most cases it involves no more effort than pressing the forward button. In some cases people neglect even to insert their name and he has received many addressed to ‘Dear (insert name of MP). The most notorious of these groups is 38 Degrees which has thousands of supporters who are urged to flood their MPs with identical emails.
This is not the best use of an MPs time and is proving increasingly counter-productive. That is why along with many other MPs Tim’s normal practice is to publish a generic reply on his website rather than writing to constituents individually. As with all other correspondence by post or email Tim can only respond to his own constituents and a full name and home address should be provided as prompted by the auto-response which responds to every email sent to the right address. Otherwise we are afraid that no reply will be forthcoming. There is a link on Tim’s website home page to check if you are actually in his constituency.
Tim much prefers constituents to write to him with their views on a piece of legislation or Government action etc. which has personal examples of why the issue is important to them and why it will make a difference. It can make an MP’s case much powerful if he or she can then get up in Parliament and say he or she has received dozens of letters from constituents expressing their opposition to a Bill because of reasons A, B or C rather than they have several dozen identical letters simply forwarded from a lobby group. If someone feels strongly enough about a subject to write to their MP surely this is not too much to ask?
A few years ago Parliament instituted a new system to enable more people to have their views registered by Parliament which in some cases can lead to a particular issue being debated in the Commons.
Any citizen of the UK can now create or sign a petition that asks for a change to the law or to government policy.
After 10,000 signatures, petitions get a response from the government.
After 100,000 signatures, petitions are referred to the Business Committee and considered for debate in Parliament.
You can read more here: https://www.gov.uk/petition-government