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Petitions

Volume 229: debated on Friday 23 July 1993

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Sub-Post Offices

9.42 am

Rarely will there have been so many hon. Members present to hear a petition.

The petition comes from the residents of Elsecar. It is addressed to "The honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled." It says:

The humble petitioners of the sub-post office users in Elsecar, South Yorkshire…are against the removal by the Government of the right to receive pensions and benefit payments at local post offices.

Wherefore your petitioners pray that your honourable House request the Government to give people the right to choose to receive pensions and benefits payments at their local post office, recognising the benefits of this to individual and community.

And your petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray.

Elsecar is a rural village in some ways typical, and in others not so typical, of the 16 others in my constituency. Any decision to remove from the sub-post office the opportunity to pay benefits over the counter would substantially affect its viability.

To lie upon the Table.

I have the honour to present a petition bearing the signatures of 4,895 residents of Caithness and Sutherland.—[Interruption.]

Order. If hon. Members were quieter, we could hear the hon. Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Mr. Maclennan).

I have the honour to present a petition bearing the signatures of 4,895 residents of Caithness and Sutherland who express their

deep concern that the Government propose to privatise post offices and compulsorily transfer social security payments from post offices to banks, and we oppose these measures … as they threaten the very survival of rural post offices and deny the efficiency and convenience of the present system, especially in rural areas.

The petition goes on to state:

Wherefore your petitioners pray that your honourable House will do everything possible to impress on the Secretaries of State for Trade and Industry and for Social Security the need for an autonomous post office service in the public sector and to abandon plans for the compulsory transfer of social security payments to the banks.

And your petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray.

To lie upon the Table.