§ 63. Mr. Kennedy
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will give the number of claims for single payments outstanding at his Department's offices in Scotland on 11 April, broken down by region; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Portillo
The boundaries of the Department's local office areas and the Scottish regions are not conterminous. The numbers of claims for single payments outstanding at close of business on 8 April 1988 in each of the Department's offices in Scotland which handles supplementary benefit claims are as follows. (The figures are provisional and subject to revision).
Claims Aberdeen North 386 Aberdeen South 1,816 Airdrie 3,571 Arbroath 278 Ayr 4,937 Bellshill 3,103 Bathgate 809 Campbeltown 4 Clydebank 2,337 Coatbridge 2,517 Cowdenbeath 943 Cumbernauld 2,803 Dumbarton 1,807 Dumfries 471 Dundee East 1,059 Dundee West 624 Dunfermline 1,599 East Kilbride 145 Edinburgh City 2,141 Edinburgh East 2,942 Edinburgh North 311
Claims Edinburgh South 695 Edinburgh West 318 Elgin 314 Falkirk 3,268 Fort William 117 Galashiels 68 Glasgow Anniesland 4,250 Glasgow Bridgeton 575 Glasgow City 3,400 Glasgow Craigton 5,335 Glasgow Cranstonhill 56 Glasgow Laurieston 959 Glasgow Maryhill 4,302 Glasgow Parkhead 829 Glasgow Partick 666 Glasgow Provan 1,400 Glasgow Rutherglen 495 Glasgow Southside 1,064 Glasgow Springburn 6,358 Greenock 599 Hamilton 1,100 Inverness 1,105 Irvine 3,467 Johnstone 95 Kilmarnock 859 Kirkcaldy 434 Lerwick 3 Leven 352 Motherwell 3,841 Oban 12 Paisley 416 Perth 1,958 Peterhead 513 Port Glasgow 2,875 Stirling 808 Stornoway 130 Stranraer 168 Wick 130 TOTAL 87,937
Those offices having the largest numbers of single payment claims outstanding are generally in areas where take-up campaigns have been organised by local and regional councils. In response, central management in Scotland has deployed teams of experienced officers in those offices which have been most heavily affected. Claims have been sifted in order to identify those which are most urgent and these have been given priority. In addition consideration is being given to the possibility of additional overtime working to clear the backlog. At the current rate of progress it is hoped that the bulk of the outstanding claims will have been cleared by the end of June.