HC Deb 31 March 1994 vol 240 cc909-10W
Mr. Donohoe

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the use of freephone and freepost facilities currently being operated by his Department; how much these facilities are costing; for what purposes these facilities are being used; and how much his Department has spent on operating freephone and freepost facilities in each financial year since 1979.

Mr. Baldry

My Department operates a freephone information service which gives information on current air pollution levels. The telephone number is 0800 556677.

Costs for £
1992–93 29,629
19931 38,588
1 To date.

A freephone inquiry service was operated for the duration of the rent to mortgage advertising campaign, from October 1993. The purpose of the service was to assist the public in obtaining a leaflet giving further information about the scheme. The costs of the freephone service were £16,036. A freepost facility for the same purpose cost an additional £1,995.

A freepost reply service was used for the questionnaires enclosed in the document "London: Making the Best Better" at a cost of £2,750.

My Department also operates a general freepost service which can be used for inquiries and replies to major publicity campaigns. In the financial year 1993–94 the cost of this service has been approximately £4,950.

There were no costs for freepost or freephone services in 1992–93 except for the air quality line above.

Information on the years prior to 1992–93 could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.