3. Mr. Bob Brown
asked the Minister of Technology when he estimates that Tyneside will be converted to natural gas supplies.
§ The Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Technology (Mr. Nicholas Ridley)
The Northern Gas Board is planning to complete conversion of its whole area, including Tyneside, by 1976. Details of the programme for particular districts are announced by the board when they are sufficiently firm.
Would the hon. Gentleman give a general direction to the Northern Gas Board to exercise much greater care than hitherto when conversions are being carried out, and would he not agree that it would be of benefit to the industry and, indeed, the consumer if the boards themselves were to do the conversions rather than the fly-by-night private enterprises now doing the job?
§ Mr. Ridley
No, I will not give a general direction, but if the hon. Member has any complaints about conversions I suggest he writes to the boards.
§ Mr. Ramsden
In the matter of gas supplies to the North-East, would my hon. Friend have a look at what happens when a pipe goes through a moor and the moor goes on fire down to a depth of several feet?