Half of Manchester residents ignored by their local MP

Blackley and Broughton MP Graham Stringer comes in worst responding to just 45% of residents.

Half of Manchester residents are ignored by their local MP new statistics have revealed. Of the five Manchester MPs Graham Stringer, for Blackley and Broughton, comes in the worst responding to just 45% of residents.

Stringer is yet to respond to a request for comment.

Graham Stringer MP

Graham Stringer MP

He is closely followed by Manchester Central MP Lucy Powell who currently sits at just 47%. Powell was elected in 2012 in a by-election with the lowest turnout since WWII – just 18% – but took a decisive 69% of the vote with Liberal Democrats coming second.

Powell’s office gave us this comment: “We don’t recognise the figures that you quote… We reply to all correspondence through a combination of email through our system and letter in the post. The feedback I get from constituents on both the quality and the quality and speed of responses and casework is extremely good.”

Lucy Powell MP

Lucy Powell MP

Manchester Withington’s MP Jeff Smith only just beats Powell and Stringer with a response rate that sees just over half of his constituents getting a reply.

Smith, whose constituency takes in Withington village, Old Moat, parts of Fallowfield, Burnage and Ladybarn, is the city’s newest intake elected in last year’s general election.

Smith, on the other hand, was very prompt in getting back to us with a comment. His speedy and thorough response read: “I respond to all my constituents’ written representations, even when they are Liberal Democrat [Smith’s nearest opposition] activists”

Jeff Smith MP

In stark contrast to Smith, Withington’s former MP from 2005-2015, John Leech – now the city’s sole opposition councillor – had an impressive response rate of 81%, despite being renown for having dealt with more than 111,000 pieces of casework – seven times the average.

Leech said: “Replying to and communicating with constituents is one of the most important parts of a being a local MP or councillor. I always have and still send regular letters letting local residents know what I’m up to, and would always respond to emails and letters. Constituents need to know that they can turn to you in their hour of need and I think local residents in south Manchester feel like they can turn to me both when I was an MP, and now that I’m a councillor.”

Mike Kane, for Wythenshawe and Sale East, placed slightly higher with 56% and Gorton’s MP Gerald Kaufman ranks top out of current MPs in the city with 79%.