HC Deb 30 June 1952 vol 503 cc18-9
23. Mr. Nabarro

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power the amount of the building licence granted to the Midland Electricity Board in respect of the Gloucester City Electricity Centre which was officially opened on 5th November, 1951; and what steps he has taken to assure that no excess expenditure occurred.

Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd

£15,000 was authorised in August, 1949, and I am informed by the Board that they completed the work in October, 1951, at a total cost of £17,143 6s. 10d., and that the excess was due to the rise in the price of materials and unexpected difficulties with regard to the foundations. I am having the facts examined.

Mr. Nabarro

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the Gloucester Chamber of Commerce, who are members of the Consultative Committee for this area, asked this question some months ago, and were refused the essential information? In view of the fact that the Committee was set up for the primary purpose of providing such information for the benefit of consumers, can he say why, in this case, the information was withheld by the Midland Electricity Board?

Mr. Lloyd

No, Sir; I should want to make inquiries about that, but my hon. Friend would not be correct in saying that that body was a member of the Consultative Committee. It may have been one of the bodies referred to when the Consultative Committee was appointed.

Mr. Turner-Samuels

Is it not a fact that it is not one of the functions of the Consultative Committee to ask any such questions or to receive or provide any such information?

Mr. Lloyd

That may very well be so.

Mr. Turner-Samuels

The Minister will see that it is so from Section 7 of the Electricity Act, 1947.