§ Mr. Key
[holding answer 14 February 1991]: At present, we have no intention to do so. Local authorities' standard spending assessments include an allowance for the costs of clearing snow and gritting roads, and we would expect authorities to budget for snow clearance. However, if any authority can demonstrate an unusual financial burden in relation to snow clearance or other costs incurred as a result of the cold spell, they should let my Department have the details so that we may consider whether special financial assistance is justified.
The Government are meeting the costs of local authorities and voluntary bodies in relation to emergency shelters for 700 rough sleepers in London.
Finally, as my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced in the House on 12 February, the waiver of the 0 deg C temperature to qualify for a social fund cold weather payment has been extended for a further week in respect of the seven days ending on 14 February.