Arcola Street Office, Hackney

Oral Answers to Questions — Social Security – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 19th November 1990.

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Photo of Diane Abbott Diane Abbott , Hackney North and Stoke Newington 12:00 am, 19th November 1990

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security when he next plans to visit Arcola street social security office

Photo of Mr Nicholas Scott Mr Nicholas Scott , Chelsea

My right hon. Friend has no plans to do so, but my noble Friend Lord Henley visited the office on 9 November 1990

Photo of Diane Abbott Diane Abbott , Hackney North and Stoke Newington

Is the Minister aware that if he visited our Hackney social security offices he would see how London claimants continue to receive one of the worst services in the country and how Hackney residents suffer under his Poor Law regime? I draw to his attention the case of Mrs. S. Moore of 156 Evelyn Court, Amhurst road, London E8, who is disabled but was refused a grant for a pair of shoes because they were deemed to be of low priority. What sort of social security regime refuses disabled people money for shoes?

Photo of Mr Nicholas Scott Mr Nicholas Scott , Chelsea

In general, I believe that those within the area of that local office are served well by the staff there. The hon. Lady will not expect me to comment on an individual case that she presents to me across the Floor of the House. The performance targets are being met. I know that the hon. Lady has a harmonious relationship with the management of that office and that the people there do their best to meet the points that she puts to them

Photo of Mr Bernard Weatherill Mr Bernard Weatherill , Croydon North East

I hope that there is an Arcola street in Fylde

Photo of Michael Jack Michael Jack , Fylde

There is an Arcola element in my question, Mr. Speaker. Can my right hon. Friend confirm that all benefit claimants at Arcola street and other social security offices will benefit from the work carried out in my constituency by the Information Technology Services Agency, which has been working on a £1·8 billion project to computerise the social security system and thus improve benefits for claimants?

Photo of Mr Nicholas Scott Mr Nicholas Scott , Chelsea

I am sure that Arcola street, where computerisation for the pensions system will come on stream next February and for income support next April, will benefit from the efforts that we have put into operational strategy as a whole.