Appeal Centres, Bristol

Oral Answers to Questions — National Insurance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 25 October 1949.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Stanley Awbery Mr Stanley Awbery , Bristol Central 12:00, 25 October 1949

asked the Minister of National Insurance how many centres there are in Bristol where appeals for supplementary allowances are heard; and if he will consider establishing more of these in order to save aged people the trouble of travelling many miles across the city to state their case.

Photo of Mr Thomas Steele Mr Thomas Steele , Lanark

Appeals by applicants for assistance grants are heard in one centre at Bristol. The centre is well served by public transport, the cost of which is refunded to persons attending. As the number of appeals considered by the Tribunal during the past six months averaged less than three a week, and elderly appellants and others may, if they wish, be represented or accompanied by a friend, the National Assistance Board do not consider that the provision of other appeal centres would be justified at present.

Photo of Mr Stanley Awbery Mr Stanley Awbery , Bristol Central

Is the Minister aware that at the time of the introduction of the National Insurance scheme there were 12 centres in Bristol to which the old people could go to make their appeals? It is not a question of expense but of the difficulties of those people travelling across the city six or seven miles.

Photo of Mr Thomas Steele Mr Thomas Steele , Lanark

The matter is, of course, appreciated, but I am sure that my hon. Friend recognises that there are grave difficulties in securing premises in Bristol, and that the National Assistance Board have made what they feel are the best arrangements in the circumstances. If my hon. Friend would wish to discuss it further with me I should be only too pleased to do so.

Photo of Mr Stanley Awbery Mr Stanley Awbery , Bristol Central

Would my hon. Friend consider making it a moveable committee covering various parts of the city? That would obviate the difficulty of the old age pensioners who have to travel those long distances.

Photo of Mr Thomas Steele Mr Thomas Steele , Lanark

That would not overcome the difficulty of getting suitable premises.