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Benefit Offices (Co-Ordination Of Services)

Volume 986: debated on Thursday 19 June 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will institute an investigation into the failure of his central benefit office at Newcastle upon Tyne to reply to two urgent telephone requests from his Department's local office at Leamington Spa for permission to make emergency payments to a widow whose pension and child benefit books had been stolen during May, resulting in the office having, contrary to the usual procedures, to make emergency payments on its own responsibility.

I am looking into the matter and will reply to my hon. Friend shortly.