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Paul Maynard
Blackpool North
& Cleveleys
 

Since becoming MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys, I have dealt with hundreds of cases on behalf of my constituents. 

These cover a whole range of issues including health, housing, benefit queries, problems with
student grants and loans, local authority matters and many more.  If you need advice or assistance on any government-related matter then please contact me and I will do all I can to help. 

You must live in the constituency for me to be able to get involved and please bear in mind that
the information you provide to me may need to be passed on to another organisation in order to seek a resolution to your case.  If your query is benefit related you will also need to provide me with your National Insurance number.

If it is not possible to help you, I may be able to refer you to another organisation or charity
who have expertise in the area you need.  There are many such organisations in and around the constituency who can offer good advice and support so please contact me even if you are not
certain whether or not I can help.  More often than not I can put you in touch with people who can.

Trading Standards

If you think a trader has broken the law or acted unfairly, you may be able to report them to Trading Standards.  Trading Standards is responsible for protecting both you and your community against rogue traders and traders who have acted unfairly by:

  • Misleading you into buying something you wouldn’t have bought if you had been given all the information beforehand.
  • The trader has made false claims about goods or services which you have found out not to be true.
  • The trader has not carried out their job to the standards that was expected, or agreed prior to undertaking the job.

The Energy Ombudsman Service

The Energy Ombudsman is an independent body which helps to resolve outstanding disputes between the consumer and the supplier in a fair and partial manner.

The Energy Ombudsman

If your complaint has not been satisfactorily resolved within eight weeks you should report your supplier to the Ombudsman. In most cases, if your supplier is unable to resolve your complaint you will be issued with a ‘deadlock letter’ which gives you the right to take your complaint up with the Ombudsman.  The Ombudsman will seek to:

  • Provide advice or practical action that will benefit you.
  • Ask your supplier to issue an apology or provide an explanation.
  • Request your supplier to issue you with a financial award should it be deemed acceptable to do so in the individual circumstances of your case.

After a judgement is reached by the Ombudsman, your supplier has 28 days to implement the remedy suggested by the Ombudsman. You can contact the Ombudsman by writing to The Energy Ombudsman. PO Box 966, Warrington, WA4 9DF. You can call the Ombudsman on: 0330 440 1624 or email: [email protected]   For more information about the Ombudsman and its role visit:
www.ombudsman-services.org.

The Energy Saving Trust

The Energy Saving Trust is a non-profit organisation which can provide helpful tips to reduce your energy bills and can provide advice on any Government grants and schemes you may be eligible for such as the Green Deal or the Energy Company Obligation scheme. For more information about the Energy Saving Trust visit: www.energysavingtrust.org.uk

What can Trading Standards do?

  • Pursue legal action if a trader has broken the law.
  • Provide advice on how to take action against the trader.

You can contact your Local Trading Standards in Blackpool by writing to them at: Trading Standards Public Protection Division, Progress House, Clifton Road, Blackpool, FY4 4US. Alternatively you can contact them on 01253 478375 or email them at: [email protected].

If you are a Wyre resident you may come within the jurisdiction of Lancashire County Council.  You can contact Lancashire County Council Trading Standards by writing to them at:

Trading Standards,
Room D21,
County Hall,
Pitt Street,
Preston,
Lancashire,
PR1 0LD.

or by emailing them at: [email protected]

The Financial Ombudsman Service

Like the Energy Ombudsman; the Financial Ombudsman is an independent body which investigates disputes between businesses providing financial services and their customers.  If you have a complaint against your bank, insurance provider, or finance firm, and are not satisfied with the remedy provided or your complaint still remains unresolved, you can ask the Financial Ombudsman to investigate your dispute.  The Ombudsman can investigate disputes regarding: mortgages, loans & credit cards, insurance, saving & investments and payday lending and debt collecting to name a few.

The Ombudsman will provide advice and establish how you can take your complaint forward.  However, depending on the nature of the disputed financial product, there are strict-time limits which apply to bringing your complaint to the Ombudsman. You can contact the Financial Ombudsman by writing to: The Financial Ombudsman Service, South Quay Plaza, 183 Marsh Wall, London, E14 9SR.  You can call the Ombudsman on 0800 0234 567 or email:  [email protected]. For more information about the Ombudsman visit http://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/.

Legal Matters

As a Member of Parliament I cannot investigate any concern that is of a legal nature; whether it relates to criminal or civil matters, or benefit tribunals & appeals.  I have no jurisdiction or authority to intervene in court proceedings, and I hope you will appreciate I am not a solicitor and I am therefore not best placed to advise you.  What I can do, however, is provide you with a list of free legal clinics so you can get the legal advice you need.

ESA failed capability assessments

If after your assessment it is decided you are capable of work, you may lose your entitlement to ESA benefit. If you disagree with this, you can contact your local JobCentre to ask for a 'Mandatory Reconsideration' this is a period of time where a Decision Maker will review your case and any extra evidence you supply to make a new decision on your claim. Whilst this is on-going you can make a claim for Jobseeker's Allowance or ask for support from your local Council Discretionary Support Team.  After the outcome of the reconsideration, your money may be re-instated, or if the decision does not fall in your favour, you can ask for a full appeal tribunal hearing. During this time you will be paid ESA at the appeal rate until the date of your hearing. Evidence you supply for reconsideration and or an appeal should have a focus on why your health affects your ability to work.

Jobseeker's Allowance / Employment Support Allowance Sanctions:

A sanction may be applied to your account if you do not comply with your Claimant Commitment (initial agreement) as you signed up for your benefit.  This may mean that you lose your benefit temporarily.

You can ask for the decision to be reconsidered by by writing to the JobCentre.  You would need to supply evidence of the work finding tasks you carried out in the weeks prior to the sanction or why you did not attend your expected appointment.

A Decision Maker would then look at your case and make a new decision. If this is in your favour you would receive back-payments, if not the sanction would remain in place and you may choose to appeal the matter further. 

If you are struggling for money whilst being sanctioned you can apply at the JobCentre for a hardship fund (40% of your allowance throughout your sanction) or approach the local Council for Discretionary Support.

No/low award following a PIP medical

In a similar fashion to the above if you disagree with the decision made on your claim - you will need to ask for Mandatory Reconsideration and perhaps a further appeal.  Focus on supplying evidence related to the help and care you need in the home and outside of the home.  You should also focus on your mobility - walking distances, aids used, ability to find your way etc...If in the meantime you feel you do need care in the home which you can no longer afford, approach your local Council social-care team to see what assistance is available.

Long wait until ATOS assessment: If the DWP has passed your claim on to ATOS for an assessment but you have not heard for quite some time, you can follow the matter up directly with ATOS by telephoning the below numbers.

PIP Claims: 0300 3300 120
ESA Claims: 0800 2888 777

Housing Benefit not paid as expected: It is important in this instance to contact the Housing Benefit team at the Council AND your landlord.  The Housing Benefit team can be contacted using the below telephone numbers. Both Councils have discretionary schemes that you can be referred on to in order to assist with any rent shortfalls.

Blackpool: 01253 478847
Wyre: 01253 891 000