HC Deb 02 April 1987 vol 113 cc619-21W
Mr. Redmond

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many people claimed supplementary benefit in the Don Valley constituency in 1986–87; what percentage change that represents from 1985–86; and what was the percentage change in (i) staff handling supplementary benefit and (ii) all staff at his Department's local offices for the same period.

Mr. Lyell

Don Valley constituency is covered by four of the Department's local offices, Doncaster East, Doncaster West, Wath on Dearne and Mexborough. The latter is a national insurance office and does not deal with supplementary benefit. The boundaries of the offices are not conterminous with those of the constituency.

The latest available information on claims relates to 10 March 1987. The comparison has therefore been based on the weekly average number of claims received in the two periods.

Doncaster East Doncaster West Wath on Dearne
Numbers of claims (52 weeks) 13,703 17,650 9,393

Doncaster East Doncaster West Wath on Dearne
Weekly average 264 339 181
1986–87 (to 10 Match 1987)
Number of claims (48 weeks) 12,321 14,562 8,410
Weekly average 257 303 175
Percentage change in the weekly average —3 —11 —3

The percentage changes in staffing between 1985–86 and 1986–87 are:

All Staff Supplementary Benefit Staff
Doncaster East + 4 per cent. + 4 per cent.
Doncaster West + 6 per cent. + 10 per cent.
Wath on Dearne + 6 per cent. + 6 per cent.

Mr. Corbyn

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the number of people in (a) the north-west, (b) Greater Manchester county, (c) Oldham, (d) Rochdale and (e) for each of his Department's offices covering Littleborough and Saddleworth constituency, currently in receipt of supplementary benefit; how many of the claimants are retirement pensioners; how many are unemployed persons; and what were the corresponding figures for May 1979.

Mr. Lyell

[pursuant to his reply, 5 March 1987, c. 675–76]: Information is not available precisely in the form requested. The available information for parts (a) to (d) is as follows:

Numbers in receipt of supplementary benefit (thousands)
Total Over pension age 5 Unemployed
(a) DHSS North-West Region1
May 1979 418 242 93
February 19862 735 230 336
(b) Greater Manchester County3
19814 212 102 72
19852 278 97 118
(c) Oldham Metropolitan Borough3
19814 15 9 4
19852 21 8 9
(d) Rochdale Metropolitan Borough3
19814 17 8 6
19852 21 7 9
1 The figures for May 1979 are in respect of the Department's two former regions, North-West (Manchester) and North-West (Merseyside) which were subsequently merged, together with 5 offices from the Northern Region, to form the present North-West Region.
2 Latest date for which the information is available.
3 Because the boundaries of Greater Manchester county and Oldham and Rochdale metropolitan boroughs are not conterminous with those of the Department's local offices, information in respect of those areas is available only as average figures for each year.
4 Earliest date for which the information is available.
5 The number of unemployed people in the standard north-west

region (Department of Employment) which is not conterminous with the DHSS region increased from 167,300 in May 1979 to 430,900 in February 1986.

Source: Quarterly statistical inquiries.

The available information for part (e) is as follows:

Numbers of cases in action (thousand)
Total Over pension age Unemployed
(e) Oldham local office1
May 1979 10 7 2
February 19872 18 6 6
Rochdale local office
May 1979 7 4 1
February 19872 13 4 5
1 The parliamentary constituency of Littleborough and Saddleworth is covered by the Department's local offices at Oldham and Rochdale, but their boundaries are not conterminous with the boundary of the constituency. The figures do not relate to the number of persons in receipt of benefit and are not compatible with those provided for (a) to (d).
2 Latest date for which the information is available.

Source: 100 per cent. count of all cases in action in the local offices.