§ Mr. Wallace
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what criteria were applied in determining that a freephone service should be available to claimants and potential claimants in the area served by his Department's Campbeltown office;
(2) what is the annual cost to his Department's budget of the freephone service operated by his Department's office in the Campbeltown area, Argyll.
(3) whether he has any proposals to extend to other parts of Scotland the freephone service currently operated by his Department in the Campbeltown area;
(4) when the freephone service operated by his Department's office in the Campbeltown area started; and how many callers per month avail themselves of the facility.
§ Mr. Whitney
The telephone service provided by the Department's Campbeltown office for the islands of Islay and Jura began on 1 August 1983. This was an initiative springing from the Department's regional organisation "service to the public" management priority in that year. The background was concern that the service offered to the public had diminished following the withdrawal of the functions formerly provided by administrative agents on the islands on the Department's behalf. An average of 160 calls are received each month at a total annual cost of £1,800. We have at present no plans to extend the service in this and other areas.