§ Dr. Godman
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what priority is given to battery and mains-operated smoke detectors in relation to applications for community care grants from the social fund for the purchase of essential furnishings; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Scott
The priority given to any application will depend on the circumstances of each case. A social fund officer has to take account of the general guidance on priorities issued by the Secretary of State and the local guidance issued by the area social fund officer. The guidance helps social fund officers but is not binding; social fund officers must use their discretion and decide each case on its merits. A copy of the Secretary of State's guidance is available in the Library.
In practice, since smoke alarms are usually inexpensive, most applications would fall outside the £30 minimum award for grants.