HC Deb 21 February 1966 vol 725 c18
35. Mr. Shinwell

asked the Minister of Labour what facilities are available in Wheatley Hill, County Durham, to enable persons unemployed to register, sign on and receive benefit; and whether, when they are required to travel to employment exchanges elsewhere, they will be reimbursed for expenses incurred.

Mr. Thornton

There is a part-time office in Wheatley Hill where unemployed persons in the area sign on and receive unemployment benefit. Initial and renewal applications for unemployment benefit are made at Wingate Employment Exchange. It has never been found possible to pay travelling expenses to persons attending employment exchanges to claim unemployment benefit.

Employment interviews also take place at the main office. I do not think payment of fares for all such interviews is justified, but where necessary travelling expenses are paid to disabled persons.

Mr. Shinwell

Is it not bad enough to be unemployed without having to pay bus fares from Wheatley Hill to Wingate, which is some distance away? This is the second unsatisfactory Answer I have had this afternoon. This is a small matter. I am nor asking for an aircraft carrier.

Mr. Thornton

Most of the registrants at Wheatley Hill live four miles or less from Wingate Employment Exchange and this does not seem to me to be an unreasonable distance to travel for an occasional interview.