Dudley MP Ian Austin has raised concerns with the Home Secretary over delays issuing passports to Dudley residents.
More constituents than ever before have contacted Austin complaining that new passports have taken longer to arrive than advertised, with some only just receiving theirs in time to catch a flight.
While it would be normal for the Passport Office to receive a rise in applications in the months leading up to the school summer holidays, Mr Austin is concerned that it does not have the resources to quickly deal with the backlog.
Mr Austin has tabled a series of Parliamentary Questions to the Home Secretary to get answers on what has gone wrong in the Passport Office, and to find out if budget cuts are making it harder for it to operate at a busy time of year.
Ian Austin said:
“People work hard all year to save up for what should be a well-earned break, but for too many local families, getting a passport seems to be turning into a stressful experience.
“I’m determined to get to the bottom of these hold-ups. I’m concerned that more resources are needed after the Government cut 6,500 jobs from the Border Agency and hundreds from the Passport Office.”
Austin has tabled the following Parliamentary Questions:
- To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the current average waiting time for a) new passport applications and b) passport renewals this in each of the last four years.
- To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she is aware of any recent increase in the backlog for processing a) new passport applications or b) passport renewals.
- To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications for a) new passports and b) passport renewals there have been in the past year, and whether this represents a rise from previous years
- To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people in the last year have waited longer than the advised waiting times for a) new passport applications, b) passport renewals
- To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many complaints the department has received in the each of the last four years regarding delays to the issuing of a passport.
- To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action is being taken to ensure that Her Majesty's Passport Office has the capacity to deal with any increase in passport applications in the months leading up to school summer holidays.