HC Deb 27 February 1989 vol 148 c13
16. Mr. Cox

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy when he last met the chairman of British Gas; and what issues were discussed.

Mr. Peter Morrison

My right hon. Friend last met the chairman of British Gas plc in November when a range of issues were discussed.

Mr. Cox

While I note that reply, will the Minister assure the House when he next meets the chairman he will raise the issue of the charges that gas boards impose on people who report a possible gas leak in their home? The Minister is no doubt aware of the urgency of checking possible leaks quickly, but often the cost of doing that is £30, £40 or £50. Does the Minister accept that that cost puts enormous numbers of people off reporting such leaks? Does he agree that there should be no charge on something so important?

Mr. Morrison

The hon. Gentleman has referred to a matter that is part of our ongoing discussions with British Gas. I know that British Gas shares the hon. Gentleman's concern on this matter, but ultimately somebody—the customer—must pay.

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