To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Glasgow, Maryhill (Mrs. Fyfe) of 2 December, Official Report, column 626, how soon after 31 January 1988 he will be able to meet the claims for special assistance from local authorities for financial help to meet damage from the storm on 15 October.
The Department will deal with claims as quickly as possible. We would expect grant normally to be paid within a few weeks of receipt of the claim, subject to the resolution with the authority of any queries on it. In appropriate cases, payment could be prior to the deadline for receipt of claims which has now been extended to 1 March 1988.