HC Deb 03 November 1954 vol 532 cc354-6
5. Mr. H. Wilson

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General if he is aware of the need for telephone kiosks on the St. John's Housing Estate, Huyton, Lancashire, which has been before the Post Office authorities for over two years; and whether he will now take steps to make the necessary installations.

Mr. Gammans

There are two kiosks on the borders of this estate and three more are planned. Negotiations for two sites are in hand and work will be started as soon as the necessary consents are received. The other kiosk will be installed in Tennyson Road when the houses in that area have been built.

Mr. Wilson

Will the hon. Gentleman say why there has been all this delay, and whether the fault lies with the Post Office or with some earlier delays on the part of the local council? He said that consents have to be obtained, but from whom, and what has caused the delay?

Mr. Gammans

Consents have to be obtained for wayleaves. So far as I am aware, there has been no undue delay on the part of the Post Office.

15. Mr. J. R. H. Hutchison

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General what progress is being made in installing telephone kiosks in the new housing scheme in the Drumchapel area of Scotstoun.

Mr. Gammans

Five kiosks are working on the new estate and four more will be provided within the next three months. A further five, making 14 in all, will be added as building progresses.

20. Mr. John MacLeod

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General if he is aware that the sums of money which have been allocated in the current year to the county of Ross and Cromarty to meet the cost of installing telephone kiosks are inadequate; and whether he will increase the present allocation.

Mr. Gammans

Three kiosks are being provided this year, of which one alone will cost £1,200: we are also replacing 23 telephones inside post offices by outside kiosks, in order to give a 24-hour service. We are already spending more than the allocation for Ross and Cromarty, and I regret that it cannot be further increased this year.

Mr. MacLeod

Whilst thanking the Minister for that reply, may I ask if he realises that it is the cumulative effect of the lack of such amenities which is causing a very serious depopulation of the Highlands at present; and that if we encourage more people to go there it will not cost so much to put telephone kiosks there? Will he do all in his power to see that these provisions, which have been increased, are given to the people of the Highlands?

Mr. Gammans

I fully appreciate the point made by my hon. Friend, but I have to remind him that we have to take costs into consideration and, whereas in this particular case a single kiosk costs £1,200, the average for rural kiosks in the country is only £210.

Mr. W. R. Williams

If the allocation is being exceeded in that part of the country, why cannot the allocation for Anglesey be exceeded?

Mr. Gammans

It so happened that the amount of money spent in Ross and Cromarty slightly exceeded the allocation, but I was trying to impress on my hon. Friend that the district is not being badly treated.

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