What can an MP do?

Members of Parliament are elected to the House of Commons to represent the interests and concerns of all the people who live in their constituency, whether they voted for them at the General Election or not. MPs can only raise concerns on the behalf of their own constituents so please make sure to include your full address in any correspondence. If you are unsure who your MP and local Councillors are, you can find out using this site: https://www.writetothem.com/.

I am always happy to meet with constituents at my regular surgeries in Bournemouth. The surgeries are appointment based and a slot can be booked by contacting the constituency office on 01202 801990. I run these surgeries frequently, but I appreciate that people often contact their MP because the matter is urgent. I am sometimes able to help initially without the need for a surgery appointment, or begin making representations and enquiries before the appointment. If you are unsure whether you need an appointment or not, please do contact my office on 020 7219 4349 and they will be able to advise you on the best option.

You can also contact me by email at tobias.ellwood.mp@parliament.uk or via the contact page on this website, or in writing to House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA.


What can an MP help with?

MPs can help with matters for which central government is directly responsible for, so issues to do with:

  • Benefits, pensions, National Insurance, and other matters dealt with by the Department for Work and Pensions
  • Immigration and other problems dealt with by the Home Office
  • Tax issues involving HM Revenue and Customs
  • Problems with the NHS
  • Problems with the Child Maintenance Service or Child Support Agency
  • School grants and closures


Problems with local authority services, such as waste collection, road maintenance, planning, and school and housing allocation are managed by the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council and should be raised with your local Councillors in the first instance. However, I am always happy to write to the Council and ask them to look into a problem or reconsider a particular issue.

As your MP I can provide general advice on planning issues and ask that your views are taken into account in planning decisions, but I cannot instruct or influence councillors making the decisions, as this is a council matter.

You can find a list of Bournemouth Councillors here: https://democracy.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/mgMemberIndex.aspx?bcr=1

MPs are unable to intervene in private disputes with neighbours or employers, nor help to settle family arguments. They also cannot interfere with decisions made in court or offer legal advice.



Members of Parliament can present a petition to Parliament on behalf of their constituents. The format and wording of the petition need to be in a particular way. For more information or guidance, please contact:

Clerk of Public Petitions, Journal Office, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA



List of Government Departments


Department for Culture, Media and Sport http://www.culture.gov.uk/ Tel: 020 7211 6000

Responsible for Government policy on culture, the arts, media, gambling, the national lottery, sport and the Olympics.

Foreign Office http://www.fco.gov.uk/ Tel: 020 7008 1500

Responsible for Government policy on foreign affairs and diplomacy. The Foreign Office is also responsible for Consular services, travel advice and sanctions implemented by the UK.

Home Office http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/ Tel: 020 7035 4848

Responsible for Government policy on crime, the police, counter terrorism, alcohol, drugs, immigration and passports.

Department for Defence http://www.mod.uk/ Tel: 020 7218 9000

Responsible for Government policy on all defence issues.

Department for Education http://www.education.gov.uk/ Tel: 0370 000 2288 

Responsible for Government policy on schools in England, children, young people, families, education and training for 16 to 19 year olds, school standards and teacher training.

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-business-energy-and-industrial-strategyTel: 020 7215 5000​​​​​​​

Responsible for Government policy on business, industrial strategy, science, innovation, energy, and climate change.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs http://www.defra.gov.uk/ Tel: 03459 33 55 77​​​​​​​

Responsible for Government policy on the natural environment, food, farming, fisheries, animal health and welfare, rural communities and environmental protection.

Department of Health http://www.dh.gov.uk/ Tel: 020 7210 4850

Responsible for Government policy on Health and provides strategic leadership for public health, the NHS and social care in England.

Department for International Development http://www.dfid.gov.uk/ Tel: 020 7023 0000​​​​​​​

Responsible for Government policy on international development and foreign aid.

Ministry of Justice http://www.justice.gov.uk/ Tel: 020 3334 3555

Responsible for Government policy on the Courts, the Probation Service and Prisons.

Department for Transport http://www.dft.gov.uk/ Tel: 0300 330 3000

Responsible for Government policy on aviation, roads, rail and shipping

HM Treasury http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/ Tel: 020 7270 5000

Responsible for Government policy on economics, finance and taxation

Department for Work and Pensions http://www.dwp.gov.uk/

Responsible for Government policy on welfare and pension policy, including pensions, the child support agency and job centres.

Department for Communities and Local Government http://www.communities.gov.uk Tel: 0303 444 0000

Responsible for building regulations, community cohesion, decentralisation, fire services and resilience, housing, local government, planning, race equality, the Thames Gateway and urban regeneration.