Passport Delay "Chaos" In Wales
13 June 2014, 17:45
A Welsh MP tells Heart the UK government must apologise for the massive backlog of passport applications.
Newport East's Jessica Morden says it's been chaos for those working at passport offices and families waiting to go abroad.
Around 30 thousand passport applications are still waiting to be processed.
She said: "It's chaos at the passport offices.
"A few weeks ago we started to get cases where people had applied for passports in the normal way and instead of getting them in three weeks it was taking up to ten weeks.
"It's just getting worse and worse"
She says people are getting more and more frustrated with some waiting up to 10 weeks to get their passport.
The Newport MP says the backlog illustrates why the the UK government shouldn't have cut the service 3 years ago: "Staff in those passport offices, I've seen first hand, work really hard and provide a good service but they've been warning for years that staff cuts would lead to a cut in service and they've been proved right".
The Home Secretary, Theresa May, has announced measure to try and deal with the delays - including a free fast track service for urgent cases.
Jessica Morden says the UK government should take responsibility for what's happened: "I think they should apologise. They're obviously going to have to need to put in a lot of extra resource into it.
"I think it's a bit unfair if that's paying for private companies to come in and sort it out. Yes, in the short term, it needs to be resolved but in the long term they need to look at their staffing levels.
It's reported the Home Secretary was warned a year ago closing passport offices overseas would lead to thousands of extra applications.