Online Archive  
Issue 8 - November 1972
Houghton S.S.
Recently Durham Claimants Union visited Houghton-le-Spring Ministry of Health and Social Security to inspect the premises and deal with a claim.

We found the place in a filthy condition. No toilets were to be seen, the cubicles were not soundproof and claimants making claims in the cubicles could be heard by us in the back of the office.

A letter stating we were giving them a five-star rating for being the lousiest SS office we had visited was sent off.

We received a reply stating that in the near future a new building was going to be built, with proper facilities. Until then a temporary building is going up which will be done out and cleaned when the building is finished. It seems to me that the SS should go ahead with the new building, and not waste money on extensions which will be of no use in the future.

It also seems that the prospects of work in the north-east are very good in the future, as this excuse for bad buildings and facilities seems to have been heard on visits to other SS officers. In fact it's beginning to seem like a very bad joke.

Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland, and Chester-le-Street Social Security will be revisited, and others in the north-east will be inspected.

The green leaves are falling
Branches grow bare
As bare as the larders
Of the old pensioners.

Who can they turn to
Which way can they go
When their larders are empty
And there's cold winter snow?

The SS do nothing
And neither do you
Nor governments in power
Whose words are untrue.

They gave them a pound
But told them to wait
So many went hungry
And died in that state.

If you want to help them
Then please write to me
I'm in the office
From ten until three.

They need every penny
That you have to give
So examine your conscience
And give give give.