FAQS

How do I contact Rory?

Please write to Rory, or email, and we’ll aim to get back as quickly as possible, dependent upon the complexity and urgency of your enquiry. Contact details can be found here. If you would prefer a personal meeting, to share a problem or concern, Rory holds regular surgeries, and further details about upcoming surgeries can be found here.

How do I book a surgery appointment? 

The easiest way to arrange a visit to see Rory at one of his regular drop-in surgeries, held across the constituency, is to email Christian at: [email protected]uk .

Please note that drop-in surgeries can be very busy and we cannot guarantee how long you will have with Rory. Surgeries work on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you are intending to visit a surgery please e-mail Christian with as much information regarding your issue as possible.

Am I a constituent?

Rory is parliamentary candidate for Penrith and The Border. This includes the towns of Penrith, Appleby, Kirkby Stephen, Longtown, Brampton, Alston and Wigton. A map showing the full scale of Penrith and the Border can be found here. Parliamentary protocol prevents MPs from representing individuals outside of their own constituency, and whilst Rory will be happy to put you in touch with your own MP, he will be unable to deal personally with your issue if you are not a constituent.  If you are unsure if Rory is standing as your MP, you can check by entering your post code on: findyourmp.parliament.uk/

How can Rory help?

Rory is willing to listen and help constituents on any matter. An MP can help on issues for which Parliament and central Government are primarily responsible, and this includes:

–       Tax
–       Hospitals and the NHS
–       Benefits, pensions, and national insurance
–       Immigration
–       School closures and grants

For many local issues however, it may be more appropriate to first contact your local councillor or Citizens Advice Bureau. If you are unsure if Rory is the right person to help, his constituency office would be happy to clarify this, and can be contacted on: 01768 484 114.

When should I contact someone else first?

For the below, you should first contact either your local council or your nearest Citizens Advice Bureau:

–       Council tax
–       Social services
–       Private problems, including problems with neighbours, landlords, employers, family, or companies who’ve sold you faulty goods
–       Decisions made by the courts
–       Day-to-day school problems
–       Dustbins or street repairs

District councillors are responsible for council housing, planning, rubbish collection, the local environment, and the administration of elections.

County councillors are responsible for education, transport and roads, fire, social services, and libraries.

You can find your local councillors, by entering your postcode on: www.writetothem.com/

You can find your nearest Citizens Advice Bureau on: www.citizensadvice.org.uk/ . The Citizens Advice Bureau provides free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities.

I want Rory to take up an issue on my behalf. How do I go about doing this?

The best way is to contact Rory is here, or to book a surgery here. Please ensure that in both cases, you have (or have attached) all relevant paperwork, briefly outlined what the problem is, what you would like Rory to do, and have provided clear written authority for Rory to act on your behalf.

What exactly does an MP do?

A member of parliament is a member of the national legislature, whose primary constitutional function is to vote on legislation. (Laws are passed if, and only if, a majority of MPs vote for them). Rory is therefore generally in Westminster when parliament is sitting. Rory is a member of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, where his responsibility is to scrutinise the Government’s foreign policy, on behalf of parliament. He also serves on delegated legislation committees, examining EU proposals, and Bill Committees (he was for example a member of the 2013 Finance Bill Committee, which scrutinised the budget). He chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on Local Democracy and Mountain Rescue, and is an officer of the All Party Parliamentary Groups on upland farming, and rural services. As the Member of parliament for Penrith and the Border, he represents the interests of his Cumbrian constituency in parliament, and to the national government. As a constituency MP he runs regular constituency advice surgeries in Cumbria, visits and supports Cumbrian businesses, charities, schools, community initiatives, and government services. He brings investment such as broadband, mobile, and infrastructure investment to his constituency. He runs pilot programs in Penrith and the Border on issues from neighbourhood planning to smart energy.

Is it possible to get a tour of Westminster?

Yes, and we are always very pleased to arrange for constituents who are visiting London to have a free tour. Priority is given to schools and community groups, but any constituent can apply. To arrange a free tour please contact Rory’s Westminster office on 020 7219 7127. Capacity is limited and it is useful to have as much notice as possible. The most up-to-date information on tour dates can be found on the Parliament website: www.parliament.uk/directories/hcio/tours.cfm.

Is it possible to watch a debate in the House of Commons?

Yes, but it is advisable to apply for tickets in advance as otherwise it can often involve a long wait (often 1 or 2 hours). Details of how to apply for tickets are given on the Houses of Parliament web site: www.parliament.uk/about/visiting/debates.cfm.

Or alternatively you can also watch or listen to debates in the House of Commons and in Committees via the internet at: www.parliamentlive.tv/.