Guidelines for letter writers
With the compliments of British Age Pensioner Alliance

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Also see:  Letter writing guide - Position papers

Writing to MPs

Finding an MP

To find email addresses for MPs, search on UK MPs.

If you cannot remember the name of your old MP or your constituency, you can use this rather cumbersome procedure.

First, log on to http://www.royalmail.com/postcode-finder and enter your UK address. The site will then tell you the postcode for that address.

You can then try http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/   which will accept the postcode.

Or use http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-your-mp/ and enter the postcode to find the name of the MP.

Lastly use our file UK MPs to find the MP's email address.

To send email, just click on the email address. This will call your email program and set up a blank form ready for you to compose your message. This will not work if you only use email on the web, so in that case just copy and paste the email address into the email you wish to compose.

If you don't know the name of the MP for the constituency where you used to live, there are several ways of solving this problem, apart from the procedure laid out above.. A friend or relative living close to your old home may know. Or see if one of the constituency names looks like it might describe your old stamping ground.

Pick an MP whose constituency is nearest to your old one, or whose name is closest to your own, or one whose name has featured in recent news items.

Some MPs, or rather their "minders", will ask you for your home address. This is a standard response, because they are not permitted to handle a case for someone resident in another constituency.

Actually it may not matter very much if you pick the wrong one, or even just pick one at random. MPs are supposed to avoid meddling in the constituency affairs of another member. But this convention strictly applies only to residents of the UK. Since you are no longer a resident (and that's why your pension is frozen) the MP is free to deal with your question.

Besides, this is a national matter, not a local matter.

Probably it would be best to give the MP your Australian address in your email, then the question of "not in my patch" simply does not arise.

If you would like to know a bit more about your chosen MP, do a Google or other search for them by name. But be sure to use MP in your search. for example, David Cameron MP. You don't want to find every David Cameron in the world. You can find good information on Wiki, and also find the member's own web page. Then you can find out more about their personal life, or write to their constituency office.

Please do not give the impression that you are writing officially on behalf of BAPA or any other alliance. It is important that the campaign should not give the appearance of being coordinated. You are writing as an individual, one of many who are furious about the freezing policy, and the Carson judgment, and  ..... and  ...

Use email and fax and plain old post. You might even try to use two or three of these methods at the same time. E.g. send a fax of the letter you are sending by post. Consider handwriting your letter.

Airmail from Australia costs $2.60, for a standard letter size. A one page fax from a private fax machine costs about 50c to UK. An email costs hardly anything. You have to weigh up whether the communication is getting through or being ignored. Some letters are intercepted by "minders", particularly those sent to current ministers. But that does not matter, so long as the minder replies.

Actually it does not matter if nobody replies, so long as they receive the mail. So don't be discouraged if your efforts do not seem to be rewarded with a reply. It is more important that they see your mail than that you see their reply.

The constituency office is probably more vulnerable than the office at the House, so consider whether to send your mail there instead of the House. Be aware that if you send a letter to the constituency office of a Minister, it is likely to be forwarded to his "minder" for attention, particularly if it is on a matter within his own portfolio.

Don't forget the opposition, especially the opposition front bench, particularly those ghosting Treasury and Pensions. For some ideas on what to say, see specimen letters and change them to suit your style and the target audience. Alternatively you can find useful material in Frozen Pension Myths. Just use one or more of the "myths" and express it in your own words.

If you are not sure which myth to use just pick one at random.

Letters to Ministers will be handled by minders, but that gives us the chance to deal with the current crop of "myths", as we like to call the government excuses.

 

Please will you send a copy of all replies to Letter Writers

Other Suggestions on what you can do

 

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