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Volume 403: debated on Monday 14 April 2003

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To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many telephone helplines are sponsored by his Department; and which of these helplines are charged at (a) national rate, (b) premium rate and (c) local rate. [95718]

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has 43 helplines, switchboards and contact points, of which none are charged at the national rate, none at the premium rate and four at the local rate. The details are in the following table.

Helpline nameNumberRate
Public Fire Information Line0845 0800 723Local
Emergency Information Cell (Fire)0845 0800 716Local
Local Government Ombudsman—England0845 602 1983Local
The Standards Board for England0845 0788 181Local
Of the remaining 39 helplines within the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, two are free and the other 37 are charged at the normal geographic rate which is dependent on where the caller is ringing from.