Members of Parliament regularly hold surgeries, and no, we’re not talking about medical procedures! Attending surgeries is a great method for conveying that an issue is important to you to your MP in a 1-1 setting.
What are surgeries?
MPs usually hold surgeries once or twice a week, often on a Friday or Saturday, where constituents (people who live in the area they represent) are invited to make appointments to discuss issues affecting them or problems they are facing. These issues could be in regards to benefits or immigration status, a concern about the local area or even a national policy.
Usually, appointments are back-to-back so the MP can meet with as many constituents as possible. The MP will listen to your concerns, may make some suggestions of what you can do or will offer to take your case away and get back to you with a solution or follow up.
Surgeries are often held at a public building (usually a village hall, school or library). Some MPs even hold surgeries in the local supermarket! Others choose to use their office if they have one. Most Members change the location of their surgeries each week, moving around different areas of their constituency to help them reach more constituents.
How can I attend?
Each MP has a different way of operating their surgeries. They might just be a simple drop-in session or MPs may allocate appointment times for each constituent. Sometimes, the MP pitches a stall in public and invites you to speak to them as you’re going about your weekly shop!
Surgeries are usually advertised on your MPs social media, however, to be sure you get the right information, we recommend calling or emailing the Constituency Office of your local MP (find their details here). Just ask when and where the next surgery is!
Note: If your MP does not hold surgeries or surgery times do not work for you, it is your responsibility to schedule a separate meeting with your MP to discuss global poverty reduction.
Good conversation starters for surgeries
- The UK is one of the top five countries that provides aid to low-income countries. The world counts on the UK for championing global poverty reduction efforts. When the UK leads, other countries will follow. What are you going to do to uphold UK leadership on this issue?”
- By reducing global poverty, the UK is also strengthening global resilience in responding to crises. The war in Ukraine has taken an incredible toll on areas that receive grain and wheat from the country. For the first time in decades, the world is seeing an increase in the number of people experiencing hunger. The war has also greatly impacted the UK. This is evident by the cost of living crisis. Further, the COVID-19 pandemic shows just how interconnected we all are. Pandemics have no borders, and if low-income countries do not have the infrastructure and necessary resources needed to tackle the disease, the consequences of new strains and increased hospitalisations can be seen right here in the UK. Wealthy nations, such as the UK, have the responsibility to help tackle these issues which both directly and indirectly impact the country as well. What are you doing to increase the ODA?
- “Soft power is vital to a country’s security and prosperity, playing a crucial role in, for example, international trade and influence.” Poverty reduction impacts the UK’s national security strategy. By improving living conditions for the most vulnerable, engagement in extremist activity decreases worldwide. In what ways are you supporting the UK’s soft power in order to solidify our security and prosperity globally?