asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he is satisfied with the cost effectiveness of the low-cost automation centres.
Yes. The service makes a valuable contribution to increasing productivity in the smaller firm.
asked the Secretary of State for Industry what was the average number of inquiries received by the low-cost automation centres in each of the years 1973 and 1974; and in how many cases practical help was provided.
Many inquiries are dealt with orally and records of these are not kept. Inquiries requiring a fuller response averaged 160 per centre in both 1973 and 1974. Practical help was provided in all cases.
asked the Secretary of State for Industry what contribution was made by the Department to the maintenance of low-cost automation centres for the years 1973 and 1974.
The Department's financial contribution amounted to £51,000 in 1973–74 and £39,000 in 1974–75. In addition, the Department provided promotional and information services.
asked the Secretary of State for Industry what plans he has to expand the service provided by the low-cost automation centres in the future.
The scale and scope of the service and the level of the Department's future contribution to it are currently under review.