HC Deb 06 February 1968 vol 758 c204
2. Mrs. Joyce Butler

asked the Minister of Power if he will give a general direction to regional electricity boards that they should not cut off supplies to consumers who are elderly or who have families with young children without notifying the local welfare authority of their intention.

Mr. Freeson

No, Sir. Electricity boards generally treat such cases sympathetically and keep in touch where appropriate with welfare organisations.

Mrs. Butler

Does my hon. Friend think it right for families in these categories to be living in unheated houses lit by candles because illness or some family misfortune has coincided with the arrival of an electricity bill, the timing and amount of which is quite unpredictable? Would he have further discussions with the boards to ensure that these cases do not occur without the welfare authorities knowing?

Mr. Freeson

With respect to my hon. Friend, as I have indicated on previous occasions, I have had considerable discussions with area boards about this matter, and I am assured and convinced that there is the closest contact between the boards and the various local welfare authorities, as has been the case in my hon. Friend's constituency recently.