About Chris our Member of Parliament for Daventry:
Chris Heaton-Harris was re-elected as the Member of Parliament for Daventry in 2015. He has served Daventry since first being elected in 2010. Chris was Conservative MEP for the East Midlands Region of the UK from June 1999 – June 2009. He held various positions in the European Parliament including that of Chief Whip of the British Conservatives from 2001-2004.
In the 2009 European Elections, he was named by the “Taxpayers’ Alliance” as being the MEP on mainland UK that was the most “hard-working, committed to transparency and accountability” - http://www.taxpayersalliance.com/campaign/2009/06/new-research-best-and-worst-meps-revealed.html
He made his name in the European Parliament trying to clean up the European Commission’s accounts and had many well-reported battles with then European Commissioner Neil Kinnock. He became an expert on the European Union Budget process and has written extensively on this subject and you can find an example of his work in this area here:
He started his national political career by standing in the 1997 General Election in Leicester South. He also stood there, unsuccessfully again, in the 2004 by-election caused by the untimely death of Jim Marshall MP.
Chris is an active and qualified football referee and has been officiating the game at different levels for nearly 30 years. He currently referees on the Northamptonshire Combination League most Saturday afternoons. He is also President of Earls Barton Football Club.
Before entering politics he joined and eventually ran his family’s business – a wholesale fruit and vegetable company based in New Covent Garden Market for eleven years (working nights all that time!)
Until his election, Chris was Chairman of the EU Sports Platform, which provides a voice for dozens of natioanl and international sports governing bodies and individual teams and clubs in Brussels - http://www.eusportsplatform.eu/default.asp. In his time out of politics he has worked a couple of days a week in Public Affairs for Fleishman Hillard in London (July 2009 - Feb 2010) and helps manage the football arm of an exciting new business called "PlayUp" - http://www.iplayup.com/
Chris lives in Pitsford, in the Constituency. He became Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Daventry back in June 2006.
As PPC he has been involved and led many local campaigns. He started the “Save Northants Police” campaign when cuts in front line policing looked likely, he has helped many anti-wind farm campaigns organize and find their voice and also been involved with the campaign against unwanted development based on plans issued by the “Joint Planning Unit” – a quango he looks forward to getting rid of.
Chris is an advocate of smaller government and responsible public spending. A fierce Eurosceptic, he hopes his experience in Brussels will be useful to any future Conservative government. He was one of the authors of "Direct Democracy" and is a passionate "localist". He currently sits on two Select Committees in the House of Commons: the Public Accounts Committee and the European Scrutiny Committee.
For more information about Chris visit: www.heatonharris.com
What does an MP do?
The UK public elects Members of Parliament (MPs) to represent their interests and concerns in the House of Commons.There are 650 MPs, each representing one area of the country called a constituency. MPs work in Parliament on behalf of all the people in their constituency – even those who did not vote for them. MPs are involved in considering and proposing new laws and can use their position to ask Government Ministers questions about current issues.
In broad terms, MPs split their time between working in Parliament itself, working in the constituency that elected them and working for their political party. Duties in Parliament include participating in debates in the Chamber and Westminster Hall and voting on legislation and other matters. Many members are also involved with Select Committees.
Is Chris your MP?
Find out if Chris is your MP at www.parliament.uk.
What an MP can do for you?
The main roles of a Member of Parliament are to review legislation and to represent local interests in Parliament at Westminster. In the House of Commons, MPs scrutinise legislation, attend debates and committees, and generally protect, advocate and promote the interests of their constituency at a national level.
In the constituency, MPs support local community groups, publicise local issues and endeavour to help constituents resolve any issues that they have by making representations on their behalf and ensuring that their cases are clearly presented. In general, they can help with any issue over which Parliament, a Central Government Department or an Agency has responsibility – including the Home Office and the UK Border Agency, the Ministry of Defence, the Foreign Office, the Department of Health, the Department of Work and Pensions and HM Revenue and Customs.
MPs are not able to solve every problem. They cannot obtain preferential treatment for you or seek to get results outside of the relevant laws or rules. Furthermore, they cannot help with private disputes with other individuals or interfere with court decisions.
MPs can help you with all matters for which Parliament or Central Government is responsible, such as:
- Tax problems involving the HM Revenue and Customs Department
- Problems dealt with by the Department for Work and Pensions such as benefits, pensions and National Insurance
- Problems dealt with by the Home Office, such as immigration
- Problems dealt with by the Department of Health, such as hospitals and the National Health Service (NHS)
- Problems dealt with by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, such as school closures and grants
If your problem concerns the Council you should – in the first instance – contact the relevant Council department or service directly. If this does not resolve the matter, you should then approach your local District & County Councillor.
They manage the following services:
- Adult and Family learning
- Social services
- Strategic planning matters
- Refuse and waste disposal sites
- Museums and libraries
- Town planning
- Environmental health
- Street cleaning
- Council tax collection
- Refuse collection
- Leisure facilities
- Planning permission and disputes
There are also Parish and Town Councils, which are the most local level of Government. They are independent but work closely with both the MP and District & Borough Councils. If you are unsure of who to go to or you have a problem of a more general nature then your nearest Citizens’ Advice Bureau will be able to guide you.
What is the difference between an MP and a Councillor?
A local Councillor whether town, district or county, represents a ward on their respective Council. An MP represents the whole constituency at Westminster. Councils have responsibility for areas such as education, social services, rubbish collection, and planning all at a local level. An MP debates and votes at Westminster on legislation concerning national and international issues – such as climate change, defence, law and order, economic policy, and health.
Who forms a Government and how?
It takes 326 MPs to form a Government outright. If no party secures this number then the leader of the largest party is usually invited by the Monarch to attempt to form a Coalition with other parties. If no party can form a Government then the largest party can attempt to govern with a “minority government”. However, if the Government loses a vote of confidence in the House of Commons (which it is obviously easier to do if the Government relies on others for its majority) then another election must be held.
A Select Committee is a small group of MPs who are elected by all the other MPs to examine the work of either a specific Government Department or issue. Committees consider policy issues, scrutinise the work and expenditure of the Government, and examine proposals for primary and secondary legislation. They gather written and oral evidence and publish their findings. The Government then usually has 60 days to reply to the committee’s recommendations.
What are All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs)?
All-Party Groups (APPGs) are informal cross-party groups that have no official status within Parliament. They are essentially run by and for members of the Commons and Lords, although many groups involve individuals and organisations from outside Parliament in their administration and activities.
To find out more visit: http://www.parliament.uk/about/mps-and-lords/members/apg/.
How do I find out more about Parliament?
If you would like to find out more about Parliament visit http://www.parliament.uk/