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THE ROLE OF AN MP

What does an MP do?

MPs are elected to Parliament by the residents of a constituency who are over 18 years old and register to vote. Following the 2019 General Election there are 650 constituencies in the UK.

In Parliament, MPs participate in debates, vote on proposed laws and discuss other matters. Some MPs are also members of parliamentary committees that examine proposed laws or the work of individual government departments. Some will also have a role as a government minister or as an opposition spokesperson. Most MPs also take on roles in cross party working groups on a particular policy topic, called All Party Parliamentary Groups - or APPGs for short.

MPs can help their constituents by taking up issues with Government departments, asking questions and by representing local concerns in Parliament.

Is Sarah your MP?

Please note that Parliament was dissolved on 30th May 2024 for the 4th July General Election, so for that time there will be no sitting MPs. However, Sarah is campaigning for re-election. The Chesham & Amersham constituency covers Chesham, Amersham, Seer Green and Jordans, Penn Wood, and the Chalfonts.​ At the 2024 General Election the boundary was changed to also include Hazlemere and Gerrards Cross. You can easily check if you are in the Chesham & Amersham constituency via the Parliamentary website. All you need to do is to type your postcode into the box.

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Can Sarah help even if I live outside the constituency?

Sadly not. There is a strict Parliamentary rule that MPs can only offer assistance to people who live in the constituency they represent. The link above will provide details for your own MP and you should make contact with them. If you're contacting Sarah to ask for help for a friend or relative who does live in Chesham & Amersham constituency, please supply their details to us as well as your own. We will need their consent for GDPR reasons, and we will explain how that works when you contact us.

How I can help

I can offer assistance with matters that Parliament and Central Government are responsible for, such as Government Departments or raising issues with Ministers. I can write to senior officials or Ministers in Government Departments and Agencies. 

My staff often telephone Government Agencies like the UK Immigration and Visa Service or the DWP on behalf of constituents, and I also do so when this is necessary. I may lobby a Minister personally when appropriate. I can ask Parliamentary Questions of Ministers, which they are obliged to reply to (this does not guarantee that their answer will be useful!). I can apply for a debate in the House of Commons or in Westminster Hall if the issue is one that needs to be raised more widely – this does not guarantee that I will be successful in the ballot.

I will also try to help when a private company has caused problems to you.

I am not elected to Buckinghamshire Council. I have no direct control over the issues for which the local authority has responsibility – such as housing, roads, schools, public transport, refuse collection, and planning. However, I will try to assist wherever I can by contacting the Council to ask them to look into your situation, particularly if you have been in contact with them multiple times and they have not yet resolved the issue.

Unfortunately, I cannot help you with filling in application forms for benefits or housing, or with legal problems. I cannot write to private individuals (for example, your neighbours) on your behalf. I cannot undertake research on your behalf for projects or study that you are undertaking.

How long will I take to reply to you?

I receive thousands of requests for help, assistance and information, and I try, along with my caseworkers, to ensure that all work is dealt with as quickly as possible. All requests for help are looked at on receipt and urgent cases are prioritised as quickly as possible. I’m sorry that this sometimes means that you have to wait for a reply.

Please note that we prioritise personal cases and the response time for policy enquiries and mass email campaigns may take longer.

I would also ask that you are mindful of my Safe Contacts Policy, which can be read here. Emails that are in breach of that policy will not be acknowledged.

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How to find out how I voted or what I’ve said

The Parliament website shows progress for all bills before Parliament at the link below. However it is not particularly easy to navigate from there to finding the votes. You can put my name and the subject of the bill into the search box and it will bring up votes.

If you want to find out what I’ve said the search function on TheyWorkForYou is also good – you can enter an MP’s name along with a topic.

What is the best way to invite me to an event?

The best way to invite me to an event is to email me at sarah.green.mp@parliament.uk

When sending an invite, please be as clear as possible about what the event is, where it will be, the date and time it will run to and from. If you want me to do anything at the event – e.g. make a speech – please say.

I receive over a hundred invitations a month, and sadly I am not able to make more than a very small minority. I will prioritise those within the constituency and those involving ordinary constituents or on the major issues within the constituency.

Finding out about my expenses

My first priority is to ensure that I serve my constituents properly. The majority of my office and staffing costs have been used to fund the setting up and running costs of my constituency office and the staff team based there.

All MPs’ expenses are strictly controlled by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA). Full details are on their website.

My role as International Trade and Wales Spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats

I am the Liberal Democrat Spokesperson on two topics; International Trade and Wales. You are welcome to contact me about portfolio matters, but I do not have secretarial support to reply to the many good ideas that I am sent so I’m afraid that I may not be able to reply individually. However, I do read all the emails and pass them on as appropriate.

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Finding out more about how Parliament works

There are many resources available on the internet and in books. Parliament’s own website has much information on it. A good source of information for younger readers is the website of Parliament’s Education Service.

Booking tours and tickets

My Westminster office is always happy to try and help to arrange a tour of Parliament for my constituents. These tours are free of charge when the House is sitting. Tours are very popular and are booked up many months in advance. Further information on MP booked tours of Parliament is here. If you would like my office to arrange a tour of Parliament, please contact me via email.

Commercial tours of Parliament are also run at weekends and when Parliament is in recess. The commercial tours can be personally guided as part of a group or with an audio headset. You can also book a commercial tour that includes an afternoon tea. Further details can be found here.

MPs can often arrange for you to watch a debate in the House of Commons. Please contact my office directly with details of your requirements. Further information on watching debates can be found here. 

You can often get tickets just by queuing on the day, but not for popular sessions such as Prime Minister’s Question Time.

You can also watch Select committees.

 

To get tickets for Prime Minister’s Question Time

The Public Gallery for the House of Commons is very small. MPs receive two PMQs tickets for their constituents in each calendar month. To be added to the waiting list, please contact my office by email, but please bear in mind that the wait is likely to be several months.

Find out more about Prime Minister’s Questions.

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