Find my representatives
In the United Kingdom, we have a myriad of democratically elected representatives. Every person has, for example, a Member of Parliament, and at least one Councillor (usually three). We also have at least three Members of the European Parliament, and if we live in Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales, a member of a National Assembly. Londoners each have 12 Members of the Greater London Assembly to represent them.
The websites below are useful in identifying, contacting and scrutinising you elected representatives. The UK Parliament website is not especially user-friendly, but it’s “Find my MP” service does let you identify not just your MP, but the other roles he or she occupies on committees and their respective party’s frontbench If you want to use the Parliament website to find transcripts of Parliamentary procedure (aka Hansard) you may also be disappointed unless you come pre-equipped with a particular date and debate in mind.
Far more useful is ‘They Work for You‘, which not only allows you to find you MP by inputting your post-code, but also provides links to their appearances in Parliament, their attendance records, their outside interests and earnings, and yes, their expenses. It also provides a link that enables you to email your MP – which you may want to do if you have a case that needs taking up, or feel strongly about a particular issue – via the ‘Write to Them’ website. This also allows you to email your other representatives at Local Authority, National Parliament or Greater London Authority level.
If you’re simply interested in working out what exactly your MPs do, the Parliament Education service could be of use, as could any number of wikipedia pages on the subject. UK Political Info has good information on elections, Members of Parliament and other representatives (though it does require a makeover). There are other interesting sites which can help interested citizens learn more about their political system. The Hansard Society, the Constitution Unit, Our Kingdom and Involve can also be a great help if you wish to read more about the kind of issues we campaign on and research.