asked the Minister of Transport if he is satisfied that road lighting schemes affecting his Department are examined with the least possible delay; and, in view of the fact that they are drawn up by technical well-qualified officers of local authorities, why he considers it necessary to examine these schemes in detail.
I am satisfied that, having regard to the large number of schemes put forward, they are dealt with reasonably quickly. Trunk road lighting schemes, to which contributions are made from the Road Fund, must be examined in some detail. In view of the discussions on the Local Government Manpower Committee on the principles to be observed in considering applications under Defence Regulation 56A, I have recently made arrangements to speed these up.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that applications from East Cheshire have been waiting in his Ministry for months? Would he consider appointing a lighting officer at his regional offices to avoid this bottle-neck in his own Ministry?
I do not agree. Generally speaking, I have to keep a fairly tight control over this expenditure, and this examination is necessary. As I have indicated, under the new procedure we hope to speed up very considerably those matters which come directly under the local authorities.