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Post Office

Volume 406: debated on Thursday 5 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the progress of the Post Office's urban reinvention programme. [116521]

I understand from Post Office Ltd. that good progress is being made on urban reinvention. As at the end of April 2003, the company had entered into public consultation for compensated closures for a total of 417 offices and that 205 offices had closed under the terms of the programme as at that date. In addition, at the same date, Post Office Ltd. had received 149 applications for investment grants under the urban reinvention programme from offices remaining with the network, of which 36 had been approved.I am also informed by Post Office Ltd. that, to date, five post office closure proposals have been withdrawn for further evaluation in the light of representations made during the public consultation process. In addition 18 closure proposals had been withdrawn, and a further 24 modified, prior to public consultation after discussion with Postwatch.