HC Deb 25 January 1979 vol 961 cc659-60
7. Mr. Newton

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress has been made in reducing delays in dealing with applications for private mobile radio licences.

Dr. Summerskill

In recent weeks there has been a speeding up in the frequency assignment procedure, which is an essential part of the processing of applications for private mobile radio licences. Previously, a series of technical difficulties with the computer which performs frequency assignments had resulted in a backlog. Some applications remain to be cleared, but every effort is being made to deal with them as quickly as possible.

Mr. Newton

May I tell the hon. Lady that we sympathise with her difficulties over a computer? Since the tabling of the question before Christmas my constituent who was involved has told me, too, that there has been some improvement. May I ask the hon. Lady to do everything possible to ensure that pressure for the improvement is maintained?

Dr. Summerskill

I thank the hon, Gentleman. I can assure him that everything is being done.

Mr. Robert Hughes

How quickly does my hon. Friend now expect licences to be processed?

Dr. Summerskill

Every month we are receiving about 200 to 250 applications for licences or major variations to existing licences. If it is a straightforward matter, it should in normal circumstances be proceeded to the stage of frequency assignment in three to four weeks.