You will know, Mr. Speaker, that the Post Office is talking about reducing the number of post offices to 4,000, and that at the moment there are 14,500. You will know that the Government refuse to tell us what, in their view, the number should be, even though they are the major shareholders. That impacts strongly on the Post Office card account, which everyone thought would continue almost ad nauseam, but which we are now told will continue only until 2010. There are over 4,000 petitioners, and I am delighted to present their petition to the House. It states:
To the House of Commons the petition of the residents of Northampton South declares that Britain’s Post Offices, the heart of many local communities, are under threat. The Petitioners, therefore, request that the House of Commons call upon Her Majesty’s Government to reconsider the policy of phasing out the Post Office Card Account which will deprive the sub-post office network of 40 per cent. of their income. The Petitioners remain etc.
To lie upon the Table.