Steve Denham shares advice on contacting your local MP

Steve Denham shares his advice on how local retailers can contact their local MP, and raise the issues which are affecting their business.

I was recently leafing through some past issue of Retail Express, and came across one of Gary Pilsworth's columns.

In it, he reflected on the extra costs that Government has imposed on business – for example, the National Living Wage increase. He said "I'd like to ask the people imposing these costs where they expect us to get the money."

I suspect Gary and many other independent retailers would like a heart to heart conversation with the Chancellor, but unfortunately he is well protected by the Treasury team and his civil servants. Of course, one can still write to the Chancellor or the Prime Minister and I am sure that you will get a standard reply.

The best person to contact about concerns you may have regarding the way Government policies have an effect on you and your business is your local MP. This person is your representative in Parliament. They represent you and everyone else in their constituency.

The more you connect with them the better they will be able to understand you, your business and the impact Government actions have. There are several ways to approach them, and here are the three that have worked best for me.

1. Write to them

You can do this by letter or email and you will be able to find their contact details on the They Work for You website. They will most likely reply to you by post so always include your full contact details on all your correspondence.

2. Meet your MP at one of their constituency surgeries

Meeting your MP in person will always make your concerns more personal. My experience has been that while you will be one of many constituents wanting to raise an issue with your MP, you will get personal attention and he/she can follow the issue up if needed.

3. Invite your MP to visit your business

Whilst my store was visited by the sitting MP when they were campaigning for re-election, myself and many other independent retailers, found that many MPs respond positively to an invitation to visit your business. Seeing your business gives the MP an opportunity to gain more understanding of your value to your community, who are after all, some of the people that they represent in Parliament.

If you don’t have a relationship with your MP now is the time to send them a letter and start the conversation. Do it today!


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