I am only able to assist those who live within my constituency.
As MP for Dartford my role is to represent constituents in Westminster. I cannot represent anyone who does not live in my constituency. Even if your enquiry relates to an issue within Dartford, such as a question about the Dartford Crossing, your enquiry must be directed to your own Member of Parliament.
To check if I am your MP enter your postcode on the Parliament UK site here.
I need help with an issue – do I need to make an appointment see Gareth in his surgery or can he help me straight away?
I am always happy to meet with constituents in my regular surgeries. I offer surgeries by appointment and also have ‘open surgeries’ which are a chance to come and speak with me in an informal environment. I run these frequently but I appreciate that people often contact their MP because the matter is urgent. Sometimes I can help people initially without the need for a surgery appointment or, if possible, get my enquires underway before the appointment date. Please contact my office on 0207 219 7047 if there is an issue you need help with and you are not sure if you need an appointment. Often they will be able to let you know straight away if your concerns can be addressed quickly and make you a surgery appointment where needed. You can also contact me by email email@example.com or via the contact page on this website.
I have prepared some information on this page about the kind of issues I can help with and information as to where to find further assistance. When I am assisting constituents, it is often necessary for me to contact third parties for information and in order to do this I need your consent to do so. A copy of my casework referral form is provided below which my office may ask you to complete. If you would prefer one to be sent to you please ask.
To download Gareth Johnson’s Casework Referral Form: CLICK HERE
Due to social-distancing measures, I am unable to offer face-to-face surgery appointments at present. Should you need to discuss a matter with me, please contact my office, who will be happy to discuss alternative arrangements with you.
What type of issues can Gareth help me with and what will he do to help?
People contact me about many different matters and I will always do my best to help.
Often people write to me because they want my opinion on something, such as how I feel about a forthcoming vote. They may want to know what is happening in relation to something like the Dartford Crossing, or my opinion on a particular aspect of Government policy. I am always happy to answer any questions that constituents have but I update this website regularly and many of the issues I am asked about will appear on here. All my recent press releases or comments on issues affecting Dartford are contained in the News section of this website.
I am often contacted by people about forthcoming votes because they want me to vote in a certain way. I also often receive emails asking me to sign a particular Early Day Motion (EDM). I am always happy to hear constituents’ views on an issue but I do not sign EDMs as I do not believe they have any effect as a campaign tool.
I can help with many different kinds of issues, particularly those relating to central Government such as benefits and taxation.
In the event you are having problems with matters overseen by local councils i.e. school allocation, housing allocation, waste collection or road safety, your local Borough or County Councillor can often also be of assistance to you if the Council have been unable to resolve the matter for you.
You can check who your Kent County Councillor is at: FIND YOUR KENT COUNTY COUNCILLOR and enter in your postcode. Kent County Council have responsibility for Social Services, Education, Strategic Planning matters, Highways, Refuse and Waste Disposal Sites, Museums and Libraries.
You can check who your Dartford Borough Councillor is at: FIND YOUR DARTFORD BOROUGH COUNCILLOR and enter in your postcode. Dartford Borough Council has responsibility for Town Planning, Environmental Health, Housing Benefit, Council Tax collection, Refuse collection and Leisure facilities. For Hartley and Hodsoll Street residents this responsibility lies with Sevenoaks District Council and your local Sevenoaks District Councillor can be found from this link: http://cds.sevenoaks.gov.uk/mgMemberIndex.aspx?bcr=1 .
- Tax Problems - I am able to assist individuals or businesses based in my constituency with difficulties in relation to tax isssues. This includes any issues regarding personal or business liability, time to pay arrangements, Inheritance Tax etc. Please ensure that as much detail as possible is included in your initial enquiry including your National Insurance number. I am able to make representations on your behalf to HMRC where necessary.
- Housing Problems – I am able to assist with problems both with private landlords and council properties. This includes any problems with the condition of, or repair of properties, rent arrears, overcrowding, waiting lists etc. I am able to make enquiries of both the Council and Private landlords where necessary. It is helpful to contact your local Borough Councillor over such issues as they are often able to assist with these matters. Details of your local Councillor can be found using the link above. In respect of privately owned accommodation, I am able to assist in relation to difficulties with Home Guarantee Schemes, developers and issues affecting the safety of your property. However, I am unable to intervene in legal disputes or repossession proceedings.
- Benefits and Pensions – I can raise any issues relating to benefits directly with the Job Centre or Department of Work and Pensions. If you are having problems, for example because your benefit has been stopped, I can often make urgent enquiries to assist you. I can also make enquiries in relation to medical assessments. In respect of Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit, I can raise these issues with the Council. In respect of problems with National Insurance contributions or State Pensions, again I am happy to raise these matters with the relevant department or Minister.
- Child Support Agency – I can assist with queries and payment concerns by contacting the CSA on your behalf if your own efforts to resolve matters have been unsuccessful.
- Health, Social Care and Education placements and funding – I am able to offer guidance and support in the event you are struggling to get the right support or placement for yourself or a family member. I am able to make representations to the appropriate authorities on your behalf.
- Border and Passport Issues- I am able to make enquiries regarding immigration matters directly with the UK Border Agency. I can do so quickly and can assist constituents with information about how applications are progressing. If your enquiry relates to an application for a family member or spouse to visit the UK, I will need their permission, in addition to yours, to make enquiries on the matter. I also will need any reference number that you or they have been provided with by the Home Office.
The problem I want help with is not listed above, does that mean Gareth can’t help me?
I will always try to help constituents with issues they raise and there is no definitive list of issues which I can assist with, although in general terms, I cannot assist with the following kinds of matters:
- I cannot give legal advice or a legal opinion and I cannot intervene with matters relating to a Court case or other legal proceedings - For example if you are being taken to Court by your landlord, who is seeking eviction through the Court, I cannot intervene. The reason for this is that the constitution of the United Kingdom involves the separation of powers between the Monarchy, Parliament and the Judiciary. As a member of Parliament I cannot seek to influence the decision of the Court.
- Planning issues – As a general rule I do not intervene in planning issues unless it is an issue which is likely to have a considerable impact on the local environment or impact upon a substantial number of residents or businesses.
- Employment disputes - I cannot intervene in matters relating to employment, such as disputes over conditions, contracts or disciplinary issues. This is due to the fact that any such intervention would verge on giving legal advice or assistance.
- Neighbour disputes – I am not able to get involved in the mediation of disputes between neighbours.
I want Gareth to write to a Minister or the Prime Minister on my behalf and make them aware of my views, can he do this?
Yes, I am always happy to do this. Ordinarily I will receive a reply directly from the Minister involved and will forward the response to you. I am unable to make arrangements for constituents to meet Ministers or the Prime Minister. The system of Parliamentary Protocol which exists, means that issues must be raised with me, rather than directly with the Minister involved.
I have a petition about a particular issue can I send it to Gareth?
I welcome petitions from constituents on any issues which they feel strongly about.