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Contacting a councillor, MSP, MP or MEP

If you're not happy with something that's happened to you, you might be able to get a politician to agree with what you're saying and speak on your behalf if the issue is high profile or of importance to the public. However, it's important to realise that, although it might get publicity for your cause, it won't necessarily solve your problem.

Is it appropriate for me to contact a politician?

First of all, you should always complain directly to the organisation or person you've got the problem with before you even think about contacting a politician. The other pages in this section have information on how to complain about lots of different organisations and professionals, including:

  • your local council
  • housing associations
  • solicitors
  • estate agents
  • letting agencies.

However, if you've exhausted all the usual complaints procedures and you feel very strongly about something, or want to get more publicity, you could consider writing to your local councillor, MSP (Member of Scottish Parliament), MP (Member of Parliament) or MEP (Member of European Parliament) to try and get support.

Will it solve my problem?

Not necessarily. It's very important to realise that, even if they agree with what you're saying, politicians won't necessarily be able to resolve your problem for you and you'll probably still have to go down other complaints channels (see other pages in this section for more information on complaining about specific organisations and professionals).

Will I get any publicity?

It really depends on what your issue is, which politician you contact and whether the issue is of interest to the general public.

You should also think very carefully about the type of publicity you might get if you go down this road.

On the one hand, getting a politician to raise your issue publicly may raise the profile of your problem. However, remember that it may also attract some unwanted attention from the press and, at the end of the day, you won't necessarily find a solution.

On the other hand, if you can get a politician on your side, it might help to put some pressure on a particular organisation (for example, your local council) to do something about your problem. It's likely that the organisation you're complaining about won't welcome publicity or pressure from politicians so it might help your cause. However, it doesn't necessarily mean that you'll get what you want.

What steps should I take?

If you want to contact a politician, think about it very carefully first and get advice before you do anything. If you do contact someone, keep your letter brief and to the point and stick to the facts. No matter how angry or upset you are about your problem, don't launch into a personal attack on anyone because it won't get you anywhere.

How can I get in touch with a politician?

You can find out who your local councillor, MSP, MP and MEP is by visiting the Write To Them website. The site also gives you tips on what to say and allows you to contact politicians by submitting an online form.

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