Seagulls, bearskins, dried glue and the chuckle brothers - Sussex constituents' pressing concerns revealed

The Chuckle Brothers

A bearskin rug. Picture by bmann on Flickr

First published in News by , Business editor

Constituency casework can be serious stuff including tackling issues about housing woes and debt disputes.

But one Member of Parliament has been tasked to deal with an altogether less sticky situation.

Crawley MP Henry Smith told Facebook friends: “Seriously, I have just had a constituent call to complain that their glue stick has dried up!

“Should I go round and offer to moisten it? VOTE!”

It is not the first time the Conservative MP has suggested taking matters into his own hands to help constituents.

Last year when a resident's grass verges were being repeatedly driven over the MP bought with a packet of seeds and replenished the grass himself, rather than wait for West Sussex County Council to act.

Mr Smith said: “It's one the great things about being an MP - one day you can be dealing with a heart-breaking incident, another you have requests bordering on the ridiculous.”

Simon Kirby, MP for Brighton Kemptown, was asked to compel the BBC to commission a new series of a constituent's favourite show - The Chuckle Brothers.

And the office of Lewes MP Norman Baker fielded a call from a shocked woman asking what to do after a seagull landed on her roof.

A spokesman for the MP said: “It was quite hard to establish why having a seagull on the roof was such a problem in the first place!”

Tim Loughton, MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, was once asked by a love-sick woman how to win back the man who had dumped her for someone else.

Stranger still was the case of a constituent asking Mr Loughton to help retrieve a bearskin rug impounded by customs.

The angry owner threatened to shoot more bears in Canada unless his rug was released, which it eventually was.

Meanwhile Mike Weatherley, MP for Hove, was once ambushed by affectionate life-sized animals grateful for his support of the hunting ban.

According to a survey of MPs, constituency casework is the single most time-consuming part of the job with some receiving up to 500 requests a month.

Problems with asylum, immigration, welfare, debt, education, family and housing are the most common subject raised by constituents to MPs.


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