HC Deb 04 June 1980 vol 985 cc1416-7
17. Mr. Andrew F. Bennett

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement about the review of the future of Ordnance Survey maps.

Mr. King

The Government are considering the report of the Ordnance Survey review committee in the light of comments received following its publication last October. I hope to make a full statement shortly on the Government's response.

Mr. Bennett

Will the Minister reconsider his answer? The remit of the review committee was to produce a plan for the 1980s. The Government seem to be promising continually to make statements but never actually produce them. Does he realise that, if they are not careful, a large period of the remit for the review will be up before any opinion has been offered?

Mr. King

I am not sure what the hon. Gentleman wants me to withdraw. Does he not wish me to make a full statement of the Government's views? This is an important report. The hon. Gentleman, I know, takes some interest in these matters. We have considered carefully the comments made to us and the consultations that have taken place since the publication of the report. We shall make a statement shortly.

Mr. Costain

Is the Minister aware of the large increase in the cost of Ordnance Survey maps? Is he satisfied that they have not been raised to a price at which people will stop buying them?

Mr. King

We are examining a whole range of aspects of the operation of the Ordnance Survey in connection with the review committee report. I would ask my hon. Friend to await the full statement that we shall make.

Mr. Nicholas Baker

Will my right hon. Friend consider whether the staff of Ordnance Survey should be carrying out their duties preparing maps or whether they should continue to compete with private surveyors in offering surveying services?

Mr. King

This is one of the matters included in the report. I would be grateful if my hon. Friend would await the full statement.