Frequently Asked Questions
MPs are only permitted to offer advice and handle correspondence from their own constituents – please could you therefore include your full address and postcode in all correspondence.
Many people think that their MP can solve all their concerns, but unfortunately this is not the case and there are instances where contacting an MP may result in a query taking longer to resolve if the issue in question is not their responsibility.
MPs can only help with those matters for which Parliament or central government are responsible.
These include issues relating to the Department for Work and Pensions (e.g. benefits, pensions and National Insurance), the Home Office (e.g. immigration), the Department of Health (e.g. hospitals and the NHS), and the Department for Education (e.g. academy status and educational grants).
MPs are unable to settle private disputes with neighbours or employers, nor can they help in family arguments. Nor can an MP interfere with decisions made in court or offer legal advice.
For many matters, (for example if it is connected with local planning, the day to day running of schools, refuse collection, housing repairs, anti-social behaviour or public lavatories) the appropriate first step is to contact your local councillor.
Services in Halesowen and Rowley Regis are divided between Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council and Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council. They both manage services including schools, social services, strategic planning matters, highways, refuse and waste disposal sites, museums and libraries, town planning, environmental health, housing, benefits, council tax collection, refuse collection and leisure facilities.
If you are unsure of who to go to or you have a problem of a more general nature then your nearest Citizens' Advice Bureau will be able to guide you.
Dudley District (Halesowen) Citizens Advice Bureau
49 Summer Hill, Halesowen, B63 3BU
Telephone: 01384 816222
Fax: 01384 816191
Map: Link to map
Dudley Citizens Advice Bureau
Marlborough House, 11 St James's Road, Dudley, DY1 1JG
Telephone: 01384 816 222
Fax: 01384 816069
Map: Link to map
DirectGov provide a variety of Government services and offer advice on a range of issues on their website. These include: housing, support for disabled and unemployed people, help for carers, advice for victims of crime and a wide variety of other assistance.
Counselling Directory are a huge counselling support network, enabling those in distress to find a counsellor close to them and appropriate for their needs. They offer a free, confidential service for anyone in distress to seek help. http://www.counselling-directory.org.uk/
The ways James could deal with your concerns are as follows:
- Writing a letter to the relevant department or official.
- Writing a letter to the Minister involved.
- Attempt to ascertain the reason behind decisions.
- Appeal on behalf of an individual or community.
- Speak to relevant authorities on your behalf.
Many problems (but not all) can be solved in this way. In some instances, the Minister may not be able to give the answer that you want to hear. They should still be able to clarify the situation and confirm that the correct procedure was used when making any decision.
If you feel there has been unnecessary delay or maladministration James may be able to take your case to the Parliamentary Ombudsman. The Ombudsman can only be approached through James; you cannot approach that office directly. The Health Service Ombudsman can provide similar help where the problem involves the NHS.
To find out more about how Parliament operates, the upcoming schedule, and for a variety of other useful information, please visit the below links: