asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if flats and bungalows built specifically for the elderly, and which are connected to a central alarm system for mobile wardens, are eligible for the 5p television licence scheme.
To qualify for the concessionary accommodation for residential care television licence elderly persons' dwellings must be provided specially for retired persons of pensionable age by a local authority under part V of the Housing Act 1957 or by a housing association and must have some communal accommodation or facility provided in association with them. A warden service can generally be accepted as a communal facility for qualifying purposes, but each application for the concessionary licence must be dealt with on its merits, taking account of all relevant factors. There is no precise definition of what constitutes a warden service for the purpose of the regulations governing entitlement to the concessionary licence, but to be acceptable a warden would be expected to make regular visits to the people under his or her care and to provide appropriate services in response to their needs. A warden service under which a mobile warden responded only to emergency calls from elderly residents over a central alarm system would not fulfil these criteria.