HC Deb 01 May 1958 vol 587 cc64-5W
Mr. Remnant

asked the Paymaster-General what progress has been made in bringing main electricity supplies to farms and village communities in each year since 1951.

Sir I. Horobin

The number of farms and other rural premises connected in England and Wales in each year since 1951 was:—

Year ended 31st March Farms Other Rural Premises
1952 9,129 *
1953 9,702 *
1954 11,945 63,000
1955 13,840 57,000
1956 14,666 55,000
1957 13,135 45,000
1958 12,000 *
* Not available.

In 1953 the electricity boards undertook a ten-year programme of rural electrification, with the object of connecting 85 per cent. of the farms in England and Wales and a higher proportion of other rural premises by 1963.

The programme is already six months ahead of schedule and should be completed as originally planned by 1963. The contribution of individual area boards towards the national total will, of course, depend upon the circumstances of their respective areas.

The fall in the total number of connections in the last two years was to be expected because the most accessible farms had been connected first and, as the distance of the remaining farms from the supply mains increases, the difficulty and cost of each connection becomes greater.