Former Labour Councillor Ian Tucker has been banging his head against a brick wall for well over a year trying to get Bridgwater and West Somerset Tory MP Ian Liddell-Grainger to take an interest in the welfare of his vulnerable constituents. ‘Angry’ Ian says “This present government doesn’t give a toss about how their local MP’s are performing? This has been proven by the refusal of the local Conservative Association to investigate the Bridgwater and West Somerset MP continually ignoring correspondence via emails, answer phone messages and letters.” Now he has written an open letter to ‘unresponsive’ Ian in the light of the death of Tory MP David Amess saying “there are some very good MP’s who do have direct contact with the people they represent and do get involved very much with local issues.” The Bridgwater MP was very quick in saying he would not be ‘hiding himself away’ – which of course was good news to Mr Tucker who has naturally decided to put this to the test.
An open email/letter to Mr Ian Liddell-Grainger MP
It is very hard to think of anything good that can ever come out of the very tragic death of Sir David Amess. For me it has however renewed my belief that there are some very good MP’s who do have direct contact with the people they represent and do get involved very much with local issues. Our system of government is therefore one that we should all be proud of in this country, much envied by many others.
As you will know, recently the local press published an article covering your response to Sir David’s tragic death, including a front page quote ‘I will not hide’, published by the Bridgwater Mercury. The majority of your constituents may never need any help from an MP but your words must be very comforting knowing that, as was the case with Sir David and his constituents, you will always be there ready for them if needed. It is therefore very frustrating that yet again I need to make you fully aware that there are serious problems with the various means of contacting you, by no means only experienced by myself.
* When sending an email to email@example.com <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> there is no aic acknowledgement of receipt that ensures the sender has your correct email address, most if not all other MP’s provide this as not only does it verify that the correct email address is being used but it is also a means of giving update information. Some fifteen months ago I advised you that this was not the case and it is therefore very disturbing that the situation is still the same today.
* I have written some 12 emails over the past 15 months concerning very vulnerable people in your constituency but have not received an acknowledgement to any of them.
* I have left at least eight answer phone messages over the past 15 months on your Bridgwater office phone all of which have been ignored.
* The chair of the local Conservative Association has informed me that you are well aware of my correspondence to her regarding your lack of communication, and yet there has still not been any.
* I understand a Somerset County councillor approached you recently in Bridgwater’s Angel Place and mentioned my concerns but you avoided the subject.
* I have been told that as I don’t now live in your constituency I cannot make an appointment to meet you face to face. I understand this point but the issues I wanted to raise are very important, concern vulnerable
constituents and would help give you a balanced understanding of what is happening in your constituency. Therefore not being a constituent should not have prevented you from replying to my emails, answer phone messages and the letter I personally posted through your office door.
As you well know Sir David Amess was involved very much with both the local community and various charities, and from your remarks in both the County Gazette and the Bridgwater Mercury you somewhat align yourself as a person of the same ilk. I wonder therefore why you continually ignore correspondence, do you know anything about the five Syrian families that have come to Bridgwater? it would have been good to introduce them to you. Do you know about other vulnerable people in your constituency, who perhaps do not know how to navigate the rigours of trying to contact any MP let alone one that is so difficult to contact as yourself? or are you more interested in green bin collection, gun licenses and payments made to a council leader?
As this is an open email, not insulting or abusive and only stating facts I shall be sharing it with others.
Leader of Bridgwater Town Council, Brian Smedley, says he has sympathy for Mr Tuckers position “It’s good that Mr Liddell-Grainger is not going to hide himself away at a time when people have been shocked by direct attacks on elected members. I would be very happy to bring the 2 Ians together and give them a tour of our town, see how it’s changed recently and maybe ‘not hiding’ Ian could answer ‘somewhat disappointed’ Ian’ s questions and reassure him that he is willing and able to do exactly what he says.”
Read about the recent Town Council meeting with the new Tory Police and Crime Commissioner here
Read about ILG’s record in Parliament here