Our team of experienced caseworkers are here to help you. You can get support by phoning, emailing, sending a letter or attending an advice surgery with me or a casework in my team.
We support constituents on matters we can practically assist with, and when it’s appropriate for an MP to be involved. Where we are able to assist we do so without fear or favour.
We will ensure you are treated fairly, and by the rules set out for the issue you are seeking support for.
What is casework and how do we deal with it?
Casework covers a range of issues or complaints we may take up on your behalf.
We know the issues you need help with might be sensitive or causing you distress. My casework staff aim to deal with you in a fair and understanding way. After reviewing your case we may ask to meet with you in to my constituency office at Chadderton Town Hall, or online on a video call.
Like all MP’s my time is usually spent in parliament and on meetings, visits and engagements in the constituency.
As such the vast majority of individual casework is supported by my constituency support team, with cases escalated for my personal attention if they require raising in parliament.
How do we prioritise casework?
Urgent casework (Dealt with as soon as practically possible). We define ‘Urgent casework’ which is time critical. An example of this would include impending homelessness cases.
Standard casework (around 5 working days). We define ‘Standard casework’ as important casework which isn’t time sensitive. An example of this could be a longstanding housing complaint.
Lobbies and campaigns (around 10 working days). We define ‘Lobbies and campaigns as issues and events which are important to you, but which are not casework specific to you. An example would be showing support for a Bill going through parliament, or raising a issue such as international relations and national charity campaigns.
We support around thousands of individual casework and lobby requests each year on a wide range of issues ranging from welfare, crime, housing and other local services, to legislation passing through parliament, as well as national and international issues.
Who can we help?
We only accept casework from verified constituents living in Oldham West & Royton. If you send emails or letters and do not provide a confirmation address initially or when asked, or it you do not live in the constituency you would usually not receive a response.
If you have been asked to provide confirmation that you are a constituent, in the form of a full name and address and have failed to do so, you will not receive a further reply. This is to allow us to concentrate our limited resources on assisting constituents.
My office will deal with cases from all residents in the constituency regardless of how you voted, if you didn’t vote at all, and even if you are not on the electoral register.
If you or the person you are acting on behalf of does not reside in another constituency, for instance if they are of no fixed abode but with clear links to the constituency (as the last formal address or parents still living in the area) or if the person is currently in prison but lived in the constituency immediately before being sentenced we aim to apply common sense.
- DWP (Department for Work and Pensions)
- HMRC (Her Majesties Revenue and Customs)
- Home Office and Department of Justice
- Foreign Office
- Department of Health and Social Care
- Department for Education
- Department for Transport
- Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
- Department for Digital, Creative, Media and Sports (DCMS)
- Cabinet Office
We can also accept casework for devolved matters in Greater Manchester including Greater Manchester Police, local probation services, local health services and coroner services.
What issues can’t we usually deal with?
You should always raise your issue with the most appropriate representative. If you have a problem which isn’t the responsibility of central government, such as your local council you should contact the local councillor elected to that body.
There are some things my office cannot do, these include;
- Give legal advice or interfere with ongoing legal proceedings
- Offer debt advice or advice on financial services
- Offer consumer or contract advice
- Become involved in disputes with other individuals
- Become involved in any commercial disputes, or to carry out advocacy where you would usually expect a professional to act on your behalf
We will not assist in securing an unfair advantage, to frustrate normal public administration or enforcement, nor will we support unreasonable or vexatious requests.
We may not be able to accept casework where doing so would place my office in conflict with another constituent, for instance child custody cases with domestic violence involved where we are acting in support of the victim.
Please note that my office does not, under any circumstances, offer personal or character references.
Campaigns and lobbying requests
MP’s are often lobbied to support campaigns or contribute to surveys and events. We aim to respond to these within 10 days if you live in the Oldham West & Royton constituency. If you do not live in the constituency you are unlikely to receive a reply.
Campaign and lobbying requests include requests to;
- contribute to a debate in Parliament (including committee debates) giving at least a weeks notice
- sign petitions*
- sign an EDM (Early Day Motion)*
- become a member of a APPG (All Party Parliamentary Group)
- attend an event or reception
- meet a delegation in parliament
- take part in a relevant survey
*Please note that currently I am a member of the Shadow Cabinet/Frontbench and as such restricted in signing EDMs and petitions.
I do not usually agree to general requests to support campaigns or causes unless there is a direct link to my constituency or my area of expertise. This is because I like to fully research and understand the issue before committing, and to do this properly can be time consuming. When I do commit to support a campaign you are assured of a meaningful commitment from me.
Outside of general requests I have areas of interests where I invest time to support campaigning. These currently include;
- Economic development, transport, skills and job creation in Oldham and Greater Manchester
- Devolution of power and resources away from Whitehall to local communities
- Local government finance and fair funding
- Support for Co-operatives and Mutuals
- Fair pay and workers’ rights
Freedom of Information requests (FOI)
Members of Parliament are not organisations and therefore not covered by the Freedom of Information Act.
Data Protection Act Subject Data Access
Members of Parliament are Data Managers under the Data Protection Act and you have a right to access information we hold about you. Where some Data Managers may charge we will not levy a fee.
Tips to help us help you quicker
- If you seeking public information or are seeking to access government services for the first time (such as advice on applying for a passport or visa) you can find a lot of information on www.gov.uk
- Only send the email once in the first instance. You should receive an automated response on the same day. If you have not received a personal response within 10 workings days please resend your email or a copy of your letter.
- We deal with all casework in the order it arrives regardless of how it arrives. We accept letters, direct emails and emails from third party sites such as Writetothem.com
- Make sure you have provided your full home address, we cannot progress your case without it.
- If you are acting on behalf of someone else, we need their permission to discuss the case with you. If you already have this in writing please provide it.
- If you are seeking interventions in parliamentary debates please give as much notice as possible.
- Don’t be tempted to send a campaign or lobbying template letter. If you care enough about the issue to write in then please tell us how it affects you personally. In return you’ll get a personalised response.
- If you do use template letters we will usually have a template reply we will send back to you. This is to help administer the large volume of correspondence and allows more time to be spent on casework or correspondence requiring a personalised reply.
- We do not accept casework through social media. This is to protect your privacy and to ensure we keep proper records of all communication.
- Please don’t be rude or abusive. Treat me and my office as you would expect to be treated yourself.