Below is the text of Mr Major’s written Parliamentary Answer on Severe Weather Payments on 15th January 1987.
Mr. Robert Hughes Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will direct local offices of his Department to publish weekly in local newspapers a notice to advise potential claimants of the additional heating allowance whether the week is a qualifying week or not a qualifying week.
Mr. Major Local offices have been directed to publish advertisements in their local newspapers this week inviting potential claimants to apply for extra help with their heating costs. The situation will be reviewed next week.
Mr. Gordon Brown Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list, for the week 5 January to 11 January, the average daily temperatures for each weather station designated for measuring temperatures for exceptionally severe weather payments; and what was the lowest recorded temperature for each station during that week.
Mr. Major I shall let the hon. Member have a reply as soon as possible.
Mr. Barry Jones Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps he intends to take to improve the arrangements for payment of severe weather assistance in Wales.
Mr. Canavan Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will now introduce emergency regulations to give additional severe weather heating allowance to the elderly and people on low incomes.
Mr. Major I refer the hon. Members to my reply to the hon. Member for Bradford, West (Mr. Madden) on 13 January, at column 132.
Mr. Meacher Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what plans he has to publicise the new severe weather payments; on what date the new leaflet will be published and where the new leaflet will be placed for public information.
Mr. Major [pursuant to his reply, 13 January 1987]: Details of the new arrangements for extra help with heating costs because of exceptionally cold weather are contained in leaflets and posters which are being distributed to the Department’s local offices this week.
In accordance with the reply which I gave to the Member for Bradford, West (Mr. Madden) on 13 January at column 132, these leaflets and posters will be made available through appropriate outlets. These may include unemployment benefit offices, job centres, health centres, GPs’ surgeries, community and religious centres, social services departments, housing benefit offices, advice bureaux, libraries, welfare organisations, gas and electricity showrooms and in more isolated areas, supermarkets and other shops. In addition, advertisements, including a claim form, will appear in national and local newspapers and freesheets and publicity will be sought on local radio and television.
Mr. Meacher Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will give a list of the weather stations not included in the list of those used for calculating severe weather payments, indicating which of them had (a) minimum night temperatures of minus 1.5 deg or below on any night, (b) daily mean temperatures of minus 1.5 deg or below and (c) weekly mean temperatures of minus 1.5 deg or below for the week 5 January to 11 January inclusive.
Mr. Major [pursuant to his reply, 13 January 1987]: The information requested is not provided to the Department. There are over 500 weather stations which supply this information to the Meteorological Office, but I understand there is often a considerable delay, up to about six weeks, in doing so.