asked the Minister of Health how many rural water schemes are at present in course of being carried out; and how many have been approved but are awaiting permission to proceed.
Since the end of the war, 1,730 rural water supply schemes have been authorised to proceed. I cannot state without individual inquiry how many of these schemes have been completed. In addition, to date, 199 schemes have been approved in outline. Thirty-three of these schemes have reached the stage at which the promoters have been authorised to call for tenders.
Is it not a fact that many of these schemes which have been approved by the right hon. Gentleman's Department have been waiting for months for leave to proceed with the work? Would he not give an assurance that in the cases where labour and materials are available leave to proceed with these schemes shall be given forthwith?
That is always done. I think that the evidence that we are proceeding with the utmost expedition in this matter is to be found in the fact that since 1945 schemes have been put in hand and approved equal to the numbers in 20 years before the war.
Will the right hon. Gentleman do his utmost to make available greater supplies of piping which are the big drawback to the active prosecution of these schemes? Will he see that a high priority is given for supplies of piping for this purpose?
Certainly. We are giving all the priority we can. We would not have needed to give so much priority today if it had been given previously.
Installation, Market Stainton
asked the Minister of Health why he refused to allow the Horncastle Rural District Council to purchase the Air Ministry Water Installation at Market Stainton; and whether he is aware that it was proposed to use this installation to provide a temporary water supply for the villages of Market Stainton, Sotby and Baumber.
This matter has been reopened and I am at present negotiating with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Air and the Horncastle Rural District Council to agree a basis upon which the installation can be purchased by the rural district council in order to provide a temporary supply of water to Market Stainton and certain other villages until a comprehensive scheme can be put into operation.
Will the Minister realise during these consultations that the alternative supply of water which these people have must inevitably be far worse than the temporary system which is proposed?
Ripon And Pateley Bridge
asked the Minister of Health if he has yet received the report from his Engineering Inspector who has been surveying the Ripon and Pateley Bridge rural district area with a view to providing a water supply scheme; what decision has he arrived at; and what amendments has he suggested to the former plans of the rural district council.
The report on this survey which relates to the whole of the West Riding of Yorkshire, is not yet completed.
The Minister gave that same reply three months ago. Can he now give any idea when the report will be completed?