HC Deb 16 October 1996 vol 282 c1052W
Mr. Meacher

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what has been the change in the time taken to reply to letters from hon. Members in each of the last three years; and what are the reasons for this change. [40659]

Mr. Gummer

The percentage of letters from honourable and right hon. Members replied to within the 15 days deadline in the last three years is as follows:

  • 1995: 52 per cent.
  • 1994: 57 per cent.
  • 1993: 56 per cent.

The slower performance in 1995 resulted from the high pressures on the Department's resources. I am concerned about delays in replying to any letters and a recent departmental review has identified various ways in which performance can be improved.