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Counter Staff

Volume 524: debated on Wednesday 3 March 1954

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asked the Assistant Postmaster-General whether he is satisfied that the Post Office counter staff is generally large enough to ensure the prompt payment of pensions and allowances without the recipients having to form long queues.

We aim to provide adequate staff for the transaction of counter business but, at some offices, a certain amount of queuing at peak periods is unavoidable. If my hon. Friend will let me have details of any case of difficulty he may have in mind, I shall be glad to make inquiry.

Where my hon. Friend receives complaints about inadequate staffing—I am sure he must receive some—is he satisfied that the work is evenly distributed throughout the week and not so arranged that there are peaks on some days and a great deal less work to be done on others?

It is not possible to make such an arrangement. There are some days in the week, especially Friday and Saturday, when a disproportionate number of old-age pensioners and other pensioners visit post offices.

When the hon. Gentleman is considering the matter and, possibly, also the question of increasing the number of staff serving at the counters, will he bear in mind that many counters are not large enough to take more staff and that he might have to attend to that matter before increasing staff?

I am very painfully aware of that fact. The difficulty is that the volume of post office business has increased enormously during recent years.