Pensioners and Winter Fuel Payments

Part of Opposition Day — [12th Allotted Day – Second Part (Half Day)] – in the House of Commons at 5:09 pm on 22nd November 2011.

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Photo of Steve Webb Steve Webb The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions 5:09 pm, 22nd November 2011

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for raising that point. A number of Members in all parts of the House contact me about cold weather payments for which I am responsible. Mr Reid, for example, wrote to me saying that he did not think that the cold weather stations in his constituency matched the actual pattern of cold weather.

I have been very impressed by the work of my officials, who take seriously every representation received about cold weather stations. We change them every year in response to such representations. There will be stations in the hon. Gentleman’s constituency, but if he thinks that they are in the wrong place or measuring the wrong data, I can tell him that we work very closely with the Met Office, and respond thoroughly and carefully to all submissions. As far as I am aware, I have not received a submission from the hon. Gentleman, but I apologise if he has already contacted me. If he has not, I encourage him to do so.