§ 12. Mr. Manuel
asked the Postmaster-General if he is aware of the inadequate telephone facilities in the new housing areas in the Burgh of Irvine; how many applicants are awaiting installations; what is the average waiting time for installations; and what steps he proposes to take to speed up the provision of telephones in this area.
§ Mr. Mawby
My right hon. Friend is sorry about the delays in providing telephones in new housing areas in the Burgh of Irvine, where there are 67 orders on the waiting list. In consequence of the plans announced in the recent White Paper on the Inland Telephone Service, the position is now being reviewed with a view to speeding up matters.
The composition of the waiting list is constantly changing, and I am sorry that we cannot give a reliable average waiting time.
§ Mr. Manuel
I am very pleased that the Assistant Postmaster-General is to review the position, but is he aware, and will he inform his right hon. Friend if he does not know, that the local authority in this area has undertaken an onerous financial burden in order to open up an industrial estate, and has brought many factories there? Should he not measure up to the initiative of the local authority and have his Department moving at the same speed to provide the necessary services to help industrial communications in that area?
§ Mr. Mawby
I agree completely with the hon. Gentleman. It is our aim to make certain that we can keep in line. But I would remind the House that the Question refers to two new housing estates, and that, with many thousands of new housing estates developing throughout the country, there are times when we might lag a little. Nevertheless, with the reorganisation and special attention that is being given, we hope to be a little ahead in the future.