§ Mr. Tony Banks
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement about the ministerial visit to his Department's office at Woodgrange Park House on 4 July.
§ Mr. Whitney
As part of a programme of visits by Ministers to local social security offices throughout the country, I went to the Woodgrange Park office on 4 July. I had useful discussions with many of the staff working in the office. I take this opportunity to record my appreciation of the dedication of these staff and of the staff of our other offices. I regret that because a minority of the staff decided to strike and join a demonstration outside the office, in which the hon. Member for Newham North West (Mr. Banks) also participated, the office was closed to the public until midday and claimants were inconvenienced. I spoke to the strikers at the end of my visit.