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Cold Weather Payments

Volume 465: debated on Thursday 25 October 2007

I am pleased to announce that, following advice from the Meteorological Office, the annual review of the Cold Weather Payments scheme has now been completed. Amending regulations were laid on 11 October and will come into force on 1 November, in time for the beginning of the winter period.

A number of postcode to weather station linkages have been revised following a review by the Meteorological Office of the linkages for all weather stations and their recommendation of changes where there will be significantly improved representation. Two of the weather stations used in the scheme last winter, Boltshope Park and Capel Curig, have been or are about to be closed and two others, Weybourne and St. Mawgan will no longer be primary weather stations for the scheme. Six new weather stations have been introduced at Norwich Airport, Redesdale, Filton, Trawsgoed, Shap and Charterhall to provide data for the scheme. Five new postcodes, introduced as a result of Royal Mail Postcode changes, and one business postcode which includes a residential address have been included in the scheme and 39 postcode to weather station linkages have been changed on the advice of the Meteorological Office following representations made by hon. Members.

Copies of the revised postcode to weather station linkages have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. I have also written to each of the hon. Members who have made representations since last winter.

Cold Weather Payments are separate from, and in addition to, Winter Fuel Payments which are paid to eligible people from age 60.