HC Deb 27 October 2003 vol 412 cc2-3WS
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Mr. Chris Pond)

I am pleased to announce that, following advice from the Meteorological Office, the annual review of the cold weather payments scheme has now been completed. Amending regulations were laid on 10 October and will come into force on 1 November, in time for the beginning of the winter period.

Six of the weather stations used in the scheme last winter, Bracknell, Dumfries, Dyce, Leeds, Ringway and Redhill are closing and six new weather stations are being introduced at South Farnborough, High Wycombe, Dundrennan, Craibstone, Woodford and Charlwood to provide data for the scheme. In addition to changing two weather station linkages to more representative links, eight postcode to weather station linkages have been changed on the advice of the Meteorological Office following representations made by hon. Members.

Cold weather payments are separate from, and in addition to, winter fuel payments, which are paid to eligible people from age 60.

I have written to each of the hon. Members affected by the changes.