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Post Office

Volume 456: debated on Wednesday 31 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he expects to make a statement giving details of post office closures following the consultation. (112502)

The Government's consultation on the Post Office network runs to 8 March 2007. Government will then consider responses with a view to making an announcement by the end of March 2007. It will then be for Post Office Ltd to develop local area implementation plans within the framework set by Government.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what criteria will be used to determine which post offices should close following the current consultation. (112503)

Government are currently seeking views on proposals which set out the broad framework for maintaining a national Post Office network. A final implementation process will not be established until the Government's public consultation has ended.

Government's proposals include the introduction of access criteria and the requirement that, in restructuring the network, Post Office Ltd takes into account local factors affecting ease of access, such as rivers, mountains, valleys and sea crossings. Following Government's decisions after national consultation, Post Office Ltd will be tasked to develop area restructuring plans which will then be put to local consultation.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what payment will be offered to postmasters where post offices will be closed following the review. (112504)

Discussions between Post Office Ltd and the National Federation of Sub-Postmasters on terms are on-going. Compensation to exiting sub-postmasters is broadly expected to be based on 28 months remuneration—matching the levels awarded under the urban reinvention programme.