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Sending an email or letter to your MP: Help

What to remember when writing to your local MP

When writing to your local MP it is important to remember that they are generalists not specialists and have to deal with a myriad of topics, so it is unlikely they will have a good knowledge of the gambling industry.

The recommendations below suggest how best to engage with your local MP:

  1. Keep it simple and short.
  2. How does it affect local constituents?
  3. Provide local facts and figures.
  4. What do you want your MP to do?

 

  1. Keep it simple and short

When emailing or writing to your MP the message needs to be clear and simple: A brief introduction outlining the issue; What’s the impact of the topic in question? Conclusion.

Do not use technical terminology wherever possible, and where it is necessary explain what it is. Your email or letter should be no longer than 500-600 words.  MPs get hundreds of emails and letters each week on a range of topics, so your issue needs to be summarised concisely and succinctly.

  1. How does it affect local constituents

Whenever you write to your MP it is crucial it is written from the perspective of those it affects, i.e. punters, the police, local businesses. Providing a real life anonymous case may help to explain an issue.

  1. Provide local facts and figures

Providing evidence of how a particular bookmaker’s practice may impact on local people will resonate with your MP, e.g. how many local children may see gambling adverts whilst watching sport on TV?  How much do local people lose on FOBTs?  You should paint the local picture of the issue you are raising.

  1. What do you want your MP to do?

There is no point in sending an email or letter to your MP to simply complain about gambling.  MPs receive representations from hundreds of people and a whole host of organisations, so when writing to them you need to think about the purpose of you raising an issue with them. What do you want your MP to do?

This may be asking for the issue in question to be raised in Parliament, asking your MP to write to the relevant Minister (Sports Minister in the case of gambling) or stakeholders on your behalf, e.g. The Association of British Bookmakers (https://www.abb.uk.com/) or the SENET Group (https://senetgroup.org.uk/). Whatever it is, you should always be asking them do something. This will help build a relationship and allow MPs to take up your concerns using Parliamentary activity and the senior position they have within your local community.

 

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