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Brownswood Park, Stoke Newington

Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 20 February 1952

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asked the Assistant Postmaster-General whether he is aware that, since the closing of the Brownswood Park sub-post office on 14th June, 1950, despite repeated representations, the Brownswood Park area of the Metropolitan Borough of Stoke Newington has been without suitable Post Office counter facilities; and what action he proposes to take in the matter.

I much regret the inconvenience caused by the closing of the Brownswood Park sub-post office. The intention is to re-open it as soon as a suitable candidate and premises can be found. Repeated advertisement has so far been unsuccessful. I will write to the hon. Member as soon as information is available.

Is the Minister aware that, by reason of the failure to supply these facilities, many people, including many old age pensioners, have suffered great inconvenience? Is not the last excuse given by the Department that they had the premises and the person to occupy them but that they had not got a trained assistant; and is it not rather disgraceful that, because a trained assistant is not available, the public should suffer in this way?

The hon. and learned Gentleman is misinformed. We intend to open this sub-post office as quickly as we can, and we should be grateful for any help which the hon. Gentleman can give us either in finding suitable premises or in getting someone who is prepared to do the job.

Is not the Minister aware that his own Department wrote a letter to the Town Clerk of the Borough of Stoke Newington on 7th November last, in which it was said that a suitable candidate for the vacant appointment of a sub-postmaster had been obtained but that until he was able to secure a trained assistant it would not unfortunately be possible for him to take up the appointment? In those circumstances, and as I understand that there is a pool of trained assistants, why cannot this matter go forward so that the people do not suffer?

I should be glad of any help which the hon. Gentleman could give in this matter. We are as keen as he is to put the situation right.

Does not the Minister's answer underline the fact that the remuneration offered to sub-postmasters is nothing like enough to attract people into this occupation?

Does not the Assistant Postmaster-General agree that this is just a case where conversion seems to be the only remedy if the people are not to suffer?