Below is the text of Mr Major’s written Parliamentary Answer on Bloomsbury Local Office on 23rd June 1986.
Mr. Chris Smith Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many items of outstanding post are awaiting action at the Bloomsbury local Department of Health and Social Security office, Tavistock Square; how long on average they have been outstanding; and how many of the items of unlinked post outstanding at 11 March have now been dealt with.
Mr. Major The Department’s Bloomsbury local office had 1,090 items of post awaiting action on 17 June, of which 798 were more than two days old. Records are not kept of how long on average post is outstanding. There are no items of post from claimants still outstanding from 11 March.
Mr. Chris Smith Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what are the detailed arrangements for processing urgent needs claims at the Bloomsbury local Department of Health and Social Security Office, Tavistock Square; what particular arrangements are made for urgent needs claims when the office is shut (a) before its usual time, and (b) in any event; and how information about those proceedings is made available to claimants.
Mr. Major Urgent needs claims at Bloomsbury local office are given priority and payment is normally made the same day, in accordance with the “S Manual” – paragraphs 8001-8651. If the office is forced to close early, eg because of industrial action, callers are invited to come back the next day, and claimants who cannot wait this long are advised of the Department’s London emergency office. The London Emergency Office is open each evening and during the day at weekends. The local office also has an arrangement with the local authority Social Services Department to provide emergency payments on its behalf.