asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will take steps to launch a campaign to provide basic insulation and draught proofing to the homes of retirement pensioners by means of the job creation and community industry schemes.
The Department of Energy wrote to all local authorities last summer suggesting that they take advantage of the job creation programme to sponsor schemes for the insulation of their property. The coverage of schemes is primarily a matter for the sponsor, but in the consideration of schemes by area action committees of the job creation programme projects for the elderly have received priority. Up to 31st March 1977, 117 applications had been received, mainly from local authorities, of these 68 were approved, providing insulation for approximately 68,000 houses, and a further 26 applications were outstanding at that date. I am now considering possible ways of extending the operation to produce a more comprehensive scheme. This could involve the job creation programme, the community industry scheme or any other scheme that is appropriate.