asked the Postmaster-General what reports he has had of the quality of picture produced by the new British Broadcasting Corporation's television booster between Bideford and Barnstaple, in the Bideford area.
The B.B.C. tells me that its Barnstaple relay station, which was brought into service earlier this week, is working satisfactorily; and that in general there should be no difficulty in receiving B.B.C.1 in the Bideford area if suitable aerials are properly installed.
While welcoming this statement, which I am sure the people in this area will be very pleased to hear, may I ask the hon. Gentleman if he will turn to clearing up all the other pockets where there is very poor reception in the South-West?
According to my information, the B.B.C. has checked the reception right throughout the Bideford area and elsewhere, and is quite satisfied that the reception is adequate.
asked the Postmaster-General when the Bideford area will obtain coverage of Westward independent television programmes.
The I.T.A. tells me that it hopes to open, towards the end of 1968, a low-power relay station in the Bideford-Barnstable arca to transmit programmes provided by Westward Television Ltd.
Surely it is the duty of the I.T.A. to provide these booster stations so that people in the area can have the type of programme that they want? Will the Minister bear in mind that we do not look towards South Wales or Bristol for our programmes? We look towards Plymouth.
I appreciate the hon. Gentleman's observations. I agree that the programme construction timetable is the I.T.A.'s responsibility, but the station at Barnstaple is one of 13 new stations which the Authority is to construct in the next three years and I think the hon. Gentleman will agree that a programme of this size is bound to take some time to complete.