We always welcome a Letter to the Editor to share with our readers – unsurprisingly they don’t always reflect the views of this publication. If you have something you’d like to share, get in touch and of course, your considered comments are welcome below.
This from a reader known to OnTheWight, but who would prefer to remain anonymous. Ed
Dear Mr Seely
On 26 October 2017, I spoke to you at a local council meeting regarding a suspect financial transaction and you asked me to send you details.
As requested I sent details to you that evening via email and copied in my local councillor. I gave you the reference number and the names of the people I had spoken to in the HMRC department.
HMRC warned “I was dealing with powerful men”
I had further contact with the HMRC who asked me if I was prepared to be a witness and I agreed I would be.
I was also told I was dealing with powerful men and I was to be careful.
As nothing was forthcoming from HMRC I wrote to you again on the 7 November 2018, asking you to find out why my case had not progressed.
Passed to Financial Secretary to the Treasury
You responded on 15 November 2018, by saying that you had passed my information on to Mel Stride MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury.
Considering this information was given to HMRC a few months before I gave you the details means that in approximately 18 months nothing has been forthcoming. I am still awaiting a response from Mel Stride MP.
Swift response from another MP
In contrast to the above, a few days ago I contacted Penny Mordaunt MP for North End in Portsmouth, regarding a constituency matter that involved a family member.
Within hours I had a personal response from Ms Mordaunt and a short while later an email from her team explaining what they were going to do. They had already drafted a letter and added further information supplied by me.
Why the 18 month wait?
Therefore, can you please explain why Ms Mordaunt, MP and Cabinet Member can react so quickly, personally and promptly regarding a complex matter within her constituency, whilst I have now been waiting for HMRC, you and Mel Stride MP to respond to a fairly simple financial issue for nearly eighteen months.
Is it being held up by the powerful men the HMRC warned me of?
NB: The resident told OnTheWight that they did try to make an appointment to see Mr Seely in the hope that he’d have a letter from Mel Stride MP. However, as Mr Seely’s secretary told the resident they were still waiting to hear back, the resident felt there was no point in meeting with him.
OnTheWight shared the open letter with Isle of Wight Conservative MP, Robert Seely‘s office, inviting him to respond to the items raised. Below is his response. Ed
Bob Seely said:
“Fulfilling the role of constituency MP is at the heart of everything that I try to do and my team and I take pride in working hard for the Island. Nothing pleases us more than getting thank you letters from constituents that we have helped. This month I will be responding to about 700 constituents by mail. The Island is the largest constituency in Britain and we receive no extra funding despite having 40,000 more residents than the average constituency.
“Often, when third party responses are required from Government there is a delay because it takes time for civil servants and ministers to respond. In this case, there was a delay of two or three weeks in passing a reply that I received from a minister to the lady concerned. I did ask to meet last week with the lady. She turned down the option of a meeting with me, as she is welcome to do.
“I am sorry for the delay in this instance.
“I am always looking to find ways to improve our ability to communicate with residents. We are soon to hire an additional caseworker to handle the considerable casework load that we have.”
Image: © With kind permission of Allan Marsh