By Walsall Advertiser | Friday, December 14, 2012, 09:20
WHEN I write to ministers, organisations and officialdom, as I do daily, on behalf of constituents, I do expect a substantive response within a reasonable time.
It is, of course, useful to get an interim note confirming that the letter or email has been duly received and stating the matter is now being looked into.
Unless there are strong reasons otherwise, it does seem to me that four or five weeks is sufficient time for most correspondence to be fully responded to, though in the main I would expect and do receive a response quicker than that.
However, when there is delay, I ensure chasing up occurs, and I work on the reasonable basis that when I am contacted by constituents on various matters, and I take the issue up accordingly, there shouldn't be too much delay in the minister or senior officials, etc, replying to me.
Indeed, in some instances, one is contacted simply because the constituent has been unable to get a proper response from the organisation, and therefore contacts a Member of Parliament.
As for my responding to correspondence, I try to do so promptly. Sometimes this may be at the expense of one or two who can write almost daily; unlike organisations, one's facilities and staff are very limited.
It was good to see some well-known multinationals being pressurised by public opinion and Parliament to pay the right amount of corporation tax, or for that matter, any tax at all.
Tax campaigners are right to draw attention to the loss of a substantial amount of revenue by tax avoidance, however legal.
Hopefully, the campaign will continue until the companies in question accept their full responsibility in this matter.