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Severe Weather Payments

Volume 109: debated on Saturday 2 May 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he has any plans to extend eligibility for severe weather payments to people receiving mobility allowance.

Single payments towards extra heating costs during a period of exceptionally cold weather are already available to supplementary benefit households containing anyone who is chronically sick or disabled, subject to the normal £500 capital rule. The definition of chronically sick or disabled includes people in receipt of a mobility allowance.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make arrangements to ensure that his Department publicises in the local press the occasions when the previous full week recorded average temperature in the relevant areas of - 1·5°C, so triggering exceptionally severe weather payments.

I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Meacher) on 15 January at columns 297–298 in which I gave details of the widespread advertising including publicity in the local press undertaken during the exceptionally cold spell last month. Arrangements exist to ensure that whenever the new trigger (a weekly average of 0°C) is reached in any local office area publicity will appear in local newspapers.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list, for each of the relevant weather reporting stations, the number of times the average temperature has fallen to - 1·5°C or below for a seven-day period from a Monday to Sunday over the last five years.

I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley (Mr. Foulkes) on 28 January at columns 284–287.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list in the Official Report the names and locations of the weather stations in Scotland and the parliamentary constituencies for which each provide information for the award of severe weather payments.

Weather station and Parliamentary constituency

  • Aberdeen airport
  • Aberdeen, North; Aberdeen, South; Angus, East1; Banff and Buchan1; Gordon; Kincardine and Deeside; Moray1; Tayside, North1.

Dumfries

  • Clydesdale1; Dumfries; Galloway and Upper Nithsdale1.

Edinburgh airport

  • Clackmannan; Dunfermline, East; Dunfermline, West; East Lothian; Edinburgh, Central; Edinburgh, East; Edinburgh, Leith; Edinburgh, Pentlands; Edinburgh, South; Edinburgh, West; Falkirk, East; Falkirk, West; Fife, Central1; Linlithgow; Livingston; Midlothian; Motherwell, North1; Stirling.

Eskdalemuir

  • Roxburgh and Berwickshire; Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale.

Fort William

  • Inverness, Nairn and Lochaber1; Ross, Cromarty and Skye1.

Glasgow airport

  • Argyll and Bute1; Clydebank and Milngavie; Clydesdale1; Cumbernauld and Kilsyth; Cunninghame North1; Dumbarton; East Kilbride; Eastwood; Glasgow, Cathcart; Glasgow, Central; Glasgow Garscadden; Glasgow Govan; Glasgow, Hillhead; Glasgow, Maryhill; Glasgow, Pollok; Glagow Provan; Glasgow Rutherglen; Glasgow, Shettleston; Glasgow Springburn; Greenock and Port Glasgow; Hamilton; Monklands, East; Monklands, West; Motherwell North1; Motherwell South; Paisley, North; Paisley, South; Renfrew West and Inverclyde; Strathkelvin and Bearsden.

Kinloss

  • Banff and Buchan1; Caithness and Sutherland1; Inverness, Nairn and Lochaber1; Moray1; Ross, Cromarty and Skye1.

Kirkwall

  • Orkney and Shetland1.

Lerwick

  • Orkney and Shetland1.

Leuchars

  • Angus, East1; Dundee, East; Dundee, West; Fife, Central1; Fife, North-East; Kirkcaldy; Perth and Kinross; Tayside, North1.

Machriphanish

  • Argyll and Bute1.

Prestwick

  • Ayr; Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley; Clydesdale1; Cunninghame, North1; Cunninghame, South; Kilmarnock and Loudon.

Stornaway

  • Western Isles.

Whithorn

  • Galloway and Upper Nithsdale1.

Wick

  • Caithness and Sutherland1.

1 Parliamentary constituency divided between two or more weather stations.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list in the Official Report the weather stations situated in Strathclyde which recorded the severe weather payments trigger temperature of minus 1·5 deg C in the weeks 5 to 11 January and 12 to 18 January.

None for the week 5 to 11 January. Prestwick for the week 12 to 18 January.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many persons received a severe weather payment in each week from 1 January to 31 March in 1985, 1986 and so far in 1987.

Information is not available in the form requested. However, the number of exceptionally severe weather payments made for the 1985 and 1986 winter periods were as follows:

YearPayments
1985170,000
1986456,026
Information for 1987 is not yet available but will be published in due course.