I always want to hear what people in my constituency are interested in and concerned about, and to try and help them any issues they may be experiencing with Government Agencies or (where I can) other organisations.
When getting in touch – If you can, you should put your complaint or problem in writing as this helps comply with GDPR for authorisation purposes and helps to avoid any misinterpretation on our part.
Under GDPR, Government Departments such as HMRC will insist on written authorisation for us to correspond on behalf of a constituent.
If you have exhausted your complaint with a Central Government Agency, you can apply for the Parliamentary Ombudsman (PHSO) to investigate your complaint. You will need to fill in this form here, which is known as the MP’s filter.
NB – They will insist that you have exhausted all avenues of complaint first, before they will make any investigation. The decision on whether to investigate any complaint is entirely that of the PHSO, and your choice to use them is entirely your own. The Ombudsman’s decision is final.
As your MP, I can try and help you get some advice with problems you may be experiencing with Central Government or take up correspondence with Central National Government Departments and Agencies, such as the Passport Office, HMRC, DWP, Jobcentre Plus or the Child Support Agency (CSA).
Wherever possible, I will try and help you to get some answers from private companies. While they are not obliged to respond to me, I have found that most genuine, responsible and customer-friendly companies will always try and address and rectify the issues for their customers.
For help with energy companies or mobile phone providers, please find a link here with advice for using Ombudsman Services: Consumer Group Which? advice on using Ombudsman Services
Local issues and local government issues
MPs are elected to represent their constituents in Parliament on national Government matters. Your local councillors are elected to represent you in local government matters – including planning. MPs are not in charge of the Council or councillors.
When it comes to local issues, such as: litter; bin collections; planning; anti-social behaviour; local social services provision or housing – contacting your local Councillors is generally your best route to try first, although I am happy to try and help you and your Local Councillors with these issues as well, if I can.
If you are a tenant of a Registered Social Landlord (RSL), you can contact the Housing Ombudsman on their website > or call: 0300 111 3000 – Lines are open Monday to Friday from 9:15am to 5:15pm (except public holidays), or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
They will insist that you have exhausted all avenues of complaint first before they will make any investigation on your behalf. If you have made a complaint against your social landlord, they should respond to you within eight weeks.
Legal and financial
Please note that neither I, nor my staff are able to provide financial or legal advice.
The Citizens’ Advice Bureau (CAB) may be better-placed to help you on these issues, and you can find your local bureau here.
Tel: 0800 023 4567
Contacting me about a national Labour Party policy matter
Please e-mail me using the details below. Please specify this in your correspondence.
To get in touch you can fill in the form below, or use the other methods listed below.
Please don’t forget to include your full contact details (name, address and postcode), as this allows us to verify that you are a constituent. Failure to do this will severely hamper any response that we are able to give to you.
Please remember, there is a very strictly-adhered-to convention at Westminster that Members of Parliament don’t intervene in matters affecting the constituents of other MPs; if you’re unsure who your MP is, you can check here.
Before you get in touch, you might also like to have a look at the Gov.UK website, which may be able to point you in the direction of the most appropriate service to address the issue you wish to raise.
Mrs Emma Lewell-Buck MP
19 Westoe Road, South Shields, Tyne and Wear, NE33 4LS