Kettering MP ranked highly in Parliamentary ‘responsiveness survey’

MPs Andy Sawford, Philip Hollobone and Peter Bone

MPs Andy Sawford, Philip Hollobone and Peter Bone

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Kettering’s Philip Hollobone has been ranked as one of the top MPs in the country in responding to mail via an independent website.

WriteToThem.com, which was used to send almost 100,000 messages to MPs in 2013, has today (June 10) released its ranking table, which placed Mr Hollobone ninth of 650 MPs.

The table was sorted according to the percentage of constituents who subsequently filled in a survey on the site saying their MP had responded to their message. Mr Hollobone replied to 93 of the 102 people who went on to fill in the survey in 2013, an overall response rate of 91 per cent.

Corby and East Northants MP Andy Sawford replied to 58 of 103 constituents who completed the survey, a rate of 56 per cent, while Wellingborough and Rushden’s Peter Bone got back to 49 of 107 people, or 46 per cent.

Another county MP – Northampton North’s Michael Ellis – was ranked as the UK’s seventh best MP, with a response rate of 93 per cent.

However, messages via WriteToThem.com make up only one per cent of the total Parliamentary postbag, and Mr Bone said: “I get about 1,000 emails, phone calls and letters a week, which is an extraordinary number.

“If it’s an important local issue they will tend to be dealt with quicker. I also have a weekly surgery, so nobody has more than six days to wait to see me.”

Mr Sawford added: “I reply to every letter I get but I don’t reply via these websites, I reply directly to my constituents.”

The organisation has also pointed out that its table should not be taken as being indicative of MPs’ laziness, because of the large number of other duties performed by MPs.

Myfanwy Nixon, Marketing and Communications Manager at mySociety, the organisation that runs WriteToThem, said, “MPs are elected to represent us, help us, and listen to our problems. While they have many duties, responding to their constituents should be given high priority.

“WriteToThem has safeguards in place which ensure that duplicate or cut-and-paste messages, and messages from outside the MP’s constituency are filtered out, so the mail sent through WriteToThem represents real concerns from real citizens. They deserve a reply.”