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Cold Weather Payments Scheme 2014/15

Volume 586: debated on Monday 13 October 2014

I am pleased to announce that on 7 October 2014 regulations were laid to amend the cold weather payment scheme. The changes detailed in these regulations will come into force on 1 November this year, in time for the beginning of the winter period.

There have been no Royal Mail postcode changes affecting this year’s scheme. The Meteorological Office however has recommended that the primary station at Manston be replaced with Langdon Bay and the primary station at Lyneham will be replaced with Westonbirt. The Morpeth, Cockle Park station is proposed as a more suitable station than the primary station at Boulmer. There are no proposed changes to postcode linkages for these stations.

Also, and as a result of MPs’ representations, a few postcodes will be re-assigned to suitable weather stations.

This will ensure that the weather stations to postcode links are as representative as the current arrangement.

I am writing to each Member who made representations about the administration of the scheme last winter to make them aware of the advice from the Meteorological Office.

Cold weather payments are separate from, and in addition to, winter fuel payments.

The amendments resulted from the Department’s annual review of the cold weather payments scheme. The review drew on expert advice from the Meteorological Office and took account of representations from benefit claimants and Members of Parliament.

For winter 2014/15 the cold weather payment rate will continue to be £25 for each seven day period of very cold weather.