Skip to main content


Volume 205: debated on Tuesday 3 March 1992

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

Cold Weather Payments (West Yorkshire)

11.59 pm

I have great pleasure in presenting this petition which is from the whole of the Bradford metropolitan district and contains signatures from that district. It concentrates on my part of the constituency, the wards of Wyke, Wibsey, Tong, Great Horton, Queensbury and Odsal.

The petition concerns cold weather payments and the criteria which the Government have imposed and which result in great difficulties for pensioners. They are left cold and confused and without adequate and easy means of obtaining payment for the cold weather to provide enough heating.

The petition has been organised by Age Concern and is supported by Labour-controlled Bradford council. Councillors have also expressed their concern about the district being covered by different weather centres, and payments being triggered only when seven freezing days are predicted. That criterion leaves many pensioners cold and vulnerable to hypothermia.

The petition is signed by a good friend of mine, Alice Brown, and reads as follows:
To the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled. The Humble Petition of concerned citizens of Bradford, Bingley, Ilkley, Keighley and Shipley in the County of West Yorkshire. Sheweth that great distress is being suffered by the elderly inhabitants of our area during winter months; in particular those two-thirds of our elderly population who are entirely dependent on state benefits and who through poverty cannot afford to keep themselves warm, and for whom the current means of relief such as the Cold Weather Payment scheme are both confusing and inadequate.
Wherefore your Petitioners pray that Members of your Honourable House urge Ministers: (a) to carry out an urgent review of all those current means of relief given to the elderly to help with heating costs during winter months, in particular to the cold weather payment scheme.
(b) to consider and implement new proposals which will ensure that no elderly person need suffer from the cold through poverty.
And your petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, etc.
I hope that the Government will do this before the election.

To lie upon the Table.

Education (Rochdale)

12.1 am

I wish to present a petition signed by more than 12,000 electors in the Rochdale borough, many of them constituents who are worried about the underfunding of the education service in the borough. The petition was organised by 60 head teachers who represent all 107 schools in the borough. They asked me to present the petition to the House, which I now proceed to do:

The humble petition of the people in Rochdale, showeth: that we the undersigned express our grave concern at the serious underfunding of the education service and the effects further cuts to the service will have on our children's education. Wherefore your petitioners pray that your Honourable House urge the Secretary of State for Education and Science to ensure that our children's education is fully and adequately funded. And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray.

To lie upon the Table.

Crime (New Cumnock)

12.3 am

It is my privilege to complete the worthy trio of petitions today with a petition from the citizens of New Cumnock—from 2,176 adults, representing almost the whole adult community in the town. It is one of the small but important towns in my constituency, led by former Councillor Willie Goudy, Mrs. Mary Morrison, John McWhirter and other members of an action group formed by the community following a meeting of 400 residents in New Cumnock concerned about the unacceptable level of crime and intimidation in the town. The petition is to the honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled:

The Humble Petition of the Citizens of New Cumnock sheweth That there is an unacceptable level of crime and intimidiation in their community.
Wherefore your petitioners pray that your honourable House shall address the issues contributing to this situation and take such measures as to allow the citizens of New Cumnock to enjoy peace of mind and security once again namely:
  • (i) To increase police resources in this rural area.
  • (ii) Review sentencing policies in order to create a real deterrent to crime.
  • (iii) To expedite the processing of trials.
  • (iv) To instruct the courts to exercise greater discretion in the granting of bail to persistent offenders.
  • (v) To ensure that appropriate compensation is made to victims of crime. The courts to take initial responsibility for payment of such compensation.
  • (vi) To promote greater responsibility by increasing parent liability for their children's misdeeds.
  • And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, &c.

    To lie upon the Table.