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Point of Order

Volume 449: debated on Monday 24 July 2006

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. On 25 July 2005, I wrote to a Minister in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs about an issue that is of great concern to a number of my constituents. Last week, on 19 July, I received a reply. The earth has done a complete orbit of the sun in the time that it has taken for my reply to arrive. I know that as the summer recess is about to begin this is a difficult time to raise this point of order, but would you, Mr. Speaker, use your good offices to explain to Departments how embarrassing it is for Members to have to write repeatedly to constituents to apologise for not having received a reply over such a long period?

The hon. Lady is very lucky that she got a reply. Many hon. Members have told me in points of order that they have not received a reply. I do not know the quality of the hon. Lady’s reply, but I hope that it was good. [Interruption.] The hon. Lady says that it was not. I can tell her that the Leader of the House and I are working closely to try to improve the time that replies to questions take so that Members receive them within a reasonable period. I hope that after the recess things will improve, and that that will help the hon. Lady’s constituents.