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Points Of Order

Volume 405: debated on Tuesday 13 May 2003

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12.31 pm

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. You will know that in the past two or three weeks a deadline has been set for posting letters to our constituents. If they are not posted by 6 o'clock, they will not be delivered the following day. I was involved in last night's debate and signed letters at about 9.30 pm. It used to be the case that the service would deliver letters that were sent at 8 or 9 pm to all parts of the United Kingdom. I see no reason why the new ruling has been introduced.

I make no criticism of the Post Office authorities here. Like all Members, I have always found them to be supportive in every possible way. The national organisation set the deadline, which should be unacceptable to the House. I wonder whether you, Mr. Speaker, and the Leader of the House can use whatever influence possible to reverse that decision.

I have sympathy with the hon. Gentleman. For that reason, I have decided that the Administration Committee will look into the matter. I am awaiting advice from it.

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. That information is most helpful to the House, but should not the Administration Committee also bear it in mind that when we changed to the new supposedly modern hours, the Leader of the House assured us that the facilities available to Members would remain available? As the hon. Member for Walsall, North (David Winnick) said, one of the facilities that is most valued is that of being able to communicate with our constituents.

I will not be drawn into that argument. I am sure that the Chairman of the Administration Committee, the hon. Member for Broxbourne (Mrs. Roe), will note the hon. Gentleman's comments.