What your MP can do for you?

What your MP can do for you?

As a Member of Parliament, it is my role to represent all of my constituents, regardless of whether they voted for me or didn’t vote at all. I am very much the MP for everyone who lives in Adur and the four eastern wards of Worthing (Broadwater, Gaisford, Offington and Selden) and that includes everyone under the age of 18 too. As the former Minister for Children and Young People, I particularly value engagement with young people and promoting their voice and role in the local community . If you are a constituent of East Worthing & Shoreham, I can help you in a number of ways from making representations on your behalf, writing to local councils and other agencies, as well as relevant government ministers, or raising matters publicly and locally.

As with all MPs, I am approached for help on a very wide range of issues and so I have a team of caseworkers, who help me to take up problems for you and for specialist advice can call on the considerable expertise of the House of Commons Library. Where there are matters which potentially affect national legislation, I can often raise this with colleagues, ministers and in debates in the House of Commons. MPs do not have any jurisdiction over local council decisions, but I am happy to assist in raising local matters with local councils. Many of the cases that come to me, such as housing and roads, are primarily the responsibility of local councils, so you should exhaust their referral processes first and where appropriate seek the help of your ward councillor before bringing it to me. 

Please note that Members of Parliament are not permitted to intervene in any matters of a legal nature and cannot offer legal advice. In any case, I have no legal training or background


Government Departments

Members of Parliament are able to help with all matters for which Parliament or central government is responsible. When a constituent writes to their MP, they will write to the relevant department or official or the minister involved. Many problems are solved in this way. I am able to help constituents to pursue all matters for which Parliament or central government is responsible. Information on the scope of these is provided below:

Department for Culture, Media and Sport - http://www.culture.gov.uk/ - Tel: 020 7211 6000

Responsible for Government policy on culture, the arts, media, gambling, the national lottery, sport and the Olympics.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office - http: //www.fco.gov.uk/ - Tel: 020 7008 1500

Responsible for Government policy on foreign affairs and diplomacy. The Foreign Office is also responsible for Consular services, travel advice and sanctions implemented by the UK.

Home Office - http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/ - Tel: 020 7035 4745

Responsible for Government policy on crime, the police, counter terrorism, alcohol, drugs, immigration and passports.

Ministry of Defence - http://www.mod.uk/ - Tel: 020 7218 9000

Responsible for Government policy on all defence issues.

Department for Education - http://www.education.gov.uk/ - Tel: 0370 000 2288

Responsible for Government policy on schools in England, children, young people, families, education and training for 16 to 19 year olds, school standards and teacher training.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs - http://www.defra.gov.uk/ - Tel: 08459 33 55 77

Responsible for Government policy on the natural environment, food, farming, fisheries, animal health and welfare, rural communities and environmental protection.

Department of Health - http://www.dh.gov.uk/ - Tel: 020 7210 4850

Responsible for Government policy on Health and provides strategic leadership for public health, the NHS and social care in England.

Department for International Development - http://www.dfid.gov.uk/ - Tel: 0845 300 4100

Responsible for Government policy on international development and foreign aid.

Ministry of Justice - http://www.justice.gov.uk/ - Tel: 020 3334 3555

Responsible for Government policy on the Courts, the Probation Service and Prisons.

Department for Transport - http://www.dft.gov.uk/ - Tel: 0300 330 3000

Responsible for Government policy on aviation, roads, rail and shipping

Her Majesty's Treasury - http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/ - Tel: 020 7270 5000

Responsible for Government policy on economics, finance and taxation

Department for Work and Pensions - http://www.dwp.gov.uk/

Responsible for Government policy on welfare and pension policy, including pensions, the child support agency and job centres.

Department for Communities and Local Government - http://www.communities.gov.uk/ - Tel: 0303 444 0000

Responsible for building regulations, community cohesion, decentralisation, fire services and resilience, housing, local government, planning, race equality, the Thames Gateway and urban regeneration.

Department for Exiting the European Union - https://www.gov.uk/dexeu - 0207 276 0432

Responsible for overseeing negotiations to leave the EU and establishing the future relationship between the UK and the EU. 

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy - https://www.gov.uk/beis - 0207 215 5000

Responsible for developing and delivering a comprehensive industrial strategy and leading the government's relationship with business, ensuring the country has secure energy supplies that are reliable, affordable and clean. 

Oral or written questions

Alternatively, if a constituent is happy for the issue to be made public, an MP can ask an oral or written question, secure a debate or petition Parliament.

Once a month each minister from each government department answer questions from MPs at the Dispatch Box. There is a limit to the number of questions that can be asked. MPs can also table a written question to the relevant Government department, which are published in Hansard. http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/hansard/


Adjournment Debate and Westminster Hall Debates

MPs may be able to raise a constituent's issue in a short debate ranging from half an hour  to an hour and a half either in the main chamber or in the secondary debating chamber Westminster Hall. These are often referred to as Adjournment Debates. To get an adjournment debate, MPs must be successful in a ballot of Members of Parliament or have the subject chosen by the Speaker. The debates are usually the last business of the day in the main chamber or on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in Westminster Hall and a government minister responds at the end of the debate.

Please note that there are literally dozens of debates on all sorts of subjects, local, national and international each week. Only a few of these will necessarily be relevant to Tim’s particular interests or to his constituents and there will always be a lot of competition to speak from Parliament’s 650 MPs so speaking time is usually ‘rationed.’ The Commons sometimes sits on Fridays usually to debate Private Member’s Bills which rarely make it into legislation and in any case having spent Mondays to Thursdays in Westminster most MPs will be in their constituencies and at weekend to carry out constituency visits, surgeries and other duties. To fit in all Tim’s other responsibilities he will have to prioritise his workload which is why spending time participating in debates forms only a small part of his weekly schedule so. Often there can be mischief on social media about why there are not more MPs in a debate but there will usually be good reasons for that and most of the heavy-duty work in committees, working on legislation etc. goes on unrecorded by the media even though much of it is broadcast.



Members of Parliament can present a petition to Parliament on behalf of their constituents. The format and wording of the petition need to be in a particular way. For more information or guidance, please contact -

Clerk of Public Petitions Journal Office House of Commons London SW1A 0AA


MPs do not have any jurisdiction over local Council decisions. However, they can write to a local Council and ask them to look into a problem or to reconsider an issue. In the first instance, constituents should contact their local Council or Councillor.