§ Mr. Silvester
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he is satisfied with the present arrangements for helping the elderly and sick during bad weather conditions.
§ Mr. Ennals
It is for local and health authorities to deal with local emergencies, including those arising from bad weather 835W conditions, and I have no doubt that they are fully aware of the need to help elderly and other vulnerable people. English local authorities have been given general advice on emergencies by the Secretary of State for the Environment, and my Department supplemented this in 1975 with an aide-memoire to directors of social services. I have arranged for a copy of this to be placed in the Library of the House. In the current emergency in the South-West my right hon. Friend the Minister of State for the Environment has been given responsibility for co-ordinating assistance to the affected counties, and my right hon. Friend expressed his appreciation in his statement to the House yesterday with the way that social services are coping with the current emergency.