HC Deb 22 May 1978 vol 950 c1092
3. Mr. Neubert

asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he has reached a decision on his renewal of the operating licence for the Hull telephone department; and if he will make a statement.

The Minister of State, Department of Industry (Mr. Gerald Kaufman)

Discussions have been taking place between Kingston upon Hull City Council and the Post Office on detailed matters concerning the question of a long-term licence. A decision will be taken when we have been able to consider the outcome of these discussions.

Mr. Neubert

As the continued independence of the Hull telephone department is a considerable asset as a test of efficiency and service to the public, by comparison with the nationalised monopoly, will the Minister ensure that a favourable decision is reached at the earliest opportunity to avoid further uncertainty and prejudice to forward planning?

Mr. Kaufman

I am glad that the hon. Gentleman supports the Labour-controlled council's views. We are considering these matters carefully and shall announce a decision when we are ready.