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Meteorological Service

Volume 986: debated on Friday 20 June 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is the current cost of the meteorological service in the United Kingdom and the comparable cost of the service three years ago; and if he will list the current uses of the service.

The estimated voted expenditure of the Meteorological Office for 1979–80 was £33·4 million. After taking receipts of £12·2 million mainly for repayment services, into account, the net expenditure was £21·2 million. The comparable figures for 1976–77 were £28·3 million and £8·6 million a net expenditure of £19·7 million, which was therefore substantially greater in real terms.The uses of the service are for defence, civil aviation, merchant and fishing shipping, North Sea offshore operations, industry, agriculture, gas, water and electricity utilities, Government Departments

[pursuant to his reply, 5 June 1980 c. 815]: The information is as follows :and local authorities, the press, television, radio and the general public. Last year office staff answered 2·19 million enquiries from industry, the public etc., issued 2·32 million forecasts for military and civil aviation, and 330·8 million calls were made on the automatic telephone weather service.The Meteorological Office plays a leading role in major international programmes such as the world weather watch, the global atmospheric research programme and the world climate programme of the World Meteorological Organisation. It is also responsible for a major part of the national effort in meteorological research and in the professional training of meteorologists from home and overseas.