When you write to local politicians… they do something

I had a bit of a rant last week (surprise!).

To cut a long story short, one of the less fun things about where I live is that on a Friday or Saturday night, some local thrill-seekers like to liven up their walk home from the pub by breaking off car wing mirrors. What fun(!)

I’ve lost count of the number of Saturday mornings where I’ve come out of the house and looked down the street to see a line of cars, each with their wing mirrors either hanging off or broken off entirely.

So when it happened again last week, and I found myself with my PDA and some time to kill, I wrote an email to my local MP and councillor. It was rambling, it was whingy, and it was a little bit ranty. It was a chance to vent.

More constructively though, it was out of curiosity for the sort of response it would get. How politely can a politician say “so what do you expect me to do about it?” 🙂 I am interested in politics, and in the (often overlooked) role that our local policitians have. So I wanted to see what happens when someone actually raises a concern with their local representatives.

I sent the mail over the weekend, sending it to my MP, Chris Huhne and cc’ing it to my councillors, Wayne Irish and Deepak Gupta.

On Monday, I got an email from one of Chris’ members of staff thanking me for my email and telling me that a letter is in the post to me. (A letter that I think might be being delivered by a bewildered carrier pigeon because four days later there is still no sign of it.).

On Tuesday, I got an email from Wayne saying that he would look into whether Police Community Support Officers can increase their presence in our area on Friday and Saturday nights to try and help.

On Wednesday, I got a phone call from a Sergeant at my local police station, talking about “my concerns” and outlining how they planned to address them in future. This was later followed up with an email, which invited me to reply if I had any further concerns. (Also, brilliantly, reminding me that I could still dial 999 if something is happening at the time, as it may take a day or two for them to reply to emails. I hope that was sarcasm. 🙂 )

Wow… I’m impressed.

Nothing has really happened or changed yet, but in a way that doesn’t even matter. They listened to me, took my issue (perhaps way too) seriously, and offered to try and do something about it. Looking at it objectively, perhaps we should expect nothing less – that is the idea of what they are there for, I suppose. But hey, I’m still impressed. 🙂


Disclosure: Perhaps worth pointing out that you might not consider me a “typical constituent”. I used to be a member of the political party that my MP and councillors are affiliated with, even stood for council myself a couple of times and used to be a volunteer for Chris back before he became an MP. This was all a long while ago though, and I’m not in touch with any of them any more, so I’ve got no reason to believe that anyone else would have got a different response.

One Response to “When you write to local politicians… they do something”

  1. […] mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I was impressed with the response I got to my ranty email about one of the more annoying local […]