If you're new to campaigning, we've added some frequently asked questions; however, if you have other questions then please use the contact details on the left to get in touch with us, we are happy to help.
Chemistry does not seem very ‘local’ to my constituency, so what can my MP actually do to help?
Your MP can help support the chemical sciences through increasing public awareness (in the media and social media), asking questions or speaking in Parliament, raising the issues with the relevant government ministers and, on occasion, by the way they vote in Parliament. MPs with a lot of local employment in the chemical sciences are likely to be easier to engage with, but if that does not include your MP then they still have a key role to play so please try and get them on board.
If I just send a template email, will my MP just ignore it?
MPs receive a large quantity of correspondence, by email and post, so it helps to make sure what you send them stands out. The more you personalise a template, to show your experience and your own feelings about the subject, the better. If your email is identical to others your MP receives then they may not give it as much priority (although they should still respond), but if that is all you have time to do then even several identical emails help to show the MP this is an issue which their constituents care about.
A lot of different people represent me, so who should I contact?
All your elected representatives can help raise your issue, even if they do not have direct responsibility for decision making. Your MP will usually take an interest in all issues, even if the direct responsibility lies with devolved government or the European Union. If you are not sure exactly where your concerns should go, contacting your MP is usually a good start.
What should I expect if I meet my MP in person?
Often MPs will only allocate 10 minutes or so per meeting, so do not be disappointed if your meeting is short, just try to get your points across succinctly. Due to the busy schedules of MPs, it is not unusual for meetings to get shortened or changed at the last minute, so do not be discouraged. You can always ask to meet again, or follow up any unfinished points in writing. Your MP may have one or more members of staff, or volunteers, with them at the meeting. They could be observing, taking notes or playing an active part in the meeting.
Where will my MP want to meet me?
Usually MPs have advice surgeries in their local office or public buildings around the constituency and their office will tell you what options there are. If you live in (or near to) London, then some MPs will also hold meetings with their constituents in Parliament, although most prefer to meet in the constituency. If you live close enough to Westminster and would be happy to meet your MP there, you can tell them you are happy to meet locally or in Parliament, whichever is easiest for them.
My MP is a government minister, they will follow the government line so what is the point in contacting them?
While MPs do not often vote against their own party, a government minister will have good opportunities to influence their colleagues behind the scenes - and the same goes for the government’s backbenchers. Whatever their role in government, your MP remains the MP for your constituency and you can raise any issue with them. The way they help you may be less public than an opposition MP, but they can still help and may actually have great influence.
My MP is an opposition backbencher, so they have no power – what is the point in contacting them?
All MPs have influence, even if their party is not currently in power. They can put pressure on the government, and their own party leadership, to raise the profile of your issue and help get policy changes enacted by government.
I am not happy with my MP’s response, what do I do now?
If your MP’s response does not fully answer your questions then following up with another email or asking to meet your MP is a good idea. Even a less than perfect response from your MP is still useful as you know you have successfully put the issue on their radar. If you are unsure of what to do next we can offer advice on what your next steps could be.