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Departmental Telephone Services

Volume 486: debated on Thursday 15 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what use (a) her Department and (b) service providers under contract to her Department make of (i) 0844 and 0845 telephone numbers and (ii) revenue-sharing telephone numbers for calls from members of the public; for which services such numbers are used; what prefixes are used for revenue-sharing numbers; how much revenue has accrued from revenue-sharing numbers in each of the last five years; what consideration her Department has given to introducing 03-prefixed telephone numbers for calls to all such services; and if she will make a statement. (247337)

Communities and Local Government do not require the public to make telephone calls on numbers which charge more than the national rate. Neither Communities and Local Government or its service provider (Siemens) generate any income from calls. The only 0845 number used is the Neighbourhood Renewal helpline (0845 0828383). However, calls to this number are diverted to the main Communities and Local Government switchboard and are charged at a local rate to the caller. Later this year, CLG will introduce the new 0300 number range when it commences a new contractual telephony arrangement.