§ 53. Sir Trevor Skeet
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will indicate the reasons for the change in his Department's telephone numbers; and what steps have been taken to inform hon. Members in advance of the changes.
§ Mr. Ridley
The Department of the Environment's telephone system is being modernised as part of the wider scheme to modernise the telephone network linking Government offices in the Whitehall area.
The existing large exchange which serves the Department of the Environment and others is being phased out and replaced by a number of modern digital exchanges situated in the buildings they serve.
In some cases it has been necessary to keep both the old and the new exchanges running in parallel, and when thi. has happened a new telephone number has been required for Departments.684W
The switchboard supervisor at the House was informed of new ministerial office numbers in the first week after the change. Arrangements have also been made to direct incoming calls on old numbers to the appropriate new numbers.
I regret no steps were taken to inform Members individually.