asked the Secretary of State for Energy what extra sums are being paid to local authorities to recompense the extra work undertaken by social service officers of the authority in dealing with persons who are directed to see them under the code of practice for fuel disconnections.
The code of practice published by the electricity and gas industries advises consumers who may suffer hardship should their fuel supply be disconnected to tell the appropriate authority, which in some cases will be the local social services authority. This should allow the authority to take early action within its area of responsibility to prevent a more serious situation arising. It is hoped that prompt action will reduce the risk of hardship and the need for crisis intervention. The question of special recompense, therefore, does not arise.