What can your MP do?

Members of Parliament (MPs) are elected to the House of Commons to represent one of 650 constituencies. MPs are only able to deal with issues raised by people who live in their constituency, called constituents.  MPs use their position in Parliament to voice concerns and campaign on issues which affect their constituency.

MPs also consider and vote on legislation and are able to ask government ministers questions about current issues.

MPs do not have jurisdiction over local council decisions or policy. 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 should they have a query concerning a council department.

Likewise, if you object to a planning application or proposed development, then you should first lodge your objections through Cornwall Council or your local councillor. 

Planning applications can be viewed via the online planning portal here: http://planning.cornwall.gov.uk/online-applications/ 

You can find out who your local councillor is here: http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/my-area/ 

MPs cannot offer legal advice and have no jurisdiction over the police or the courts. Constituents are therefore advised to consult with a solicitor should they need professional advice for legal disputes. MPs can raise concerns with the police on behalf of a constituent, but have no role in decision making or law enforcement.

MPs split their time between working in Parliament and working in the constituency. In Parliament, MPs spend their time raising concerns on behalf of constituents, attending debates, scrutinising and voting on legislation, and attending meetings. In the constituency, MPs hold surgeries for constituents to come and talk to them about local issues and problems, attend meetings and community events, as well as visiting local organisations and businesses. Their small office of staff also address and handle concerns raised by constituents.


When a constituent writes to their MP, they can write to the relevant department, official or Minister of which the issue concerns. Members of Parliament are able to help with all matters for which Parliament or central government is responsible -

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills http://www.bis.gov.uk/ Tel: 020 7215 5000

Responsible for Government policy on business, trade, enterprise, universities, further education and science.

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 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.

Department for 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 Energy and Climate Change http://www.decc.gov.uk/ Tel: 0300 060 4000

Responsible for Government policy on energy and climate change.

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

HM 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.