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Post Offices: Closures

Volume 458: debated on Thursday 29 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will postpone the abolition of Postwatch until the end of the consultation on the Post Office closure process. (130367)

Discussions between Post Office Ltd and Postwatch are in progress and we expect to set out Postwatch’s role in developing local area closure proposals when our decision is announced in May.

The Government have included specific provision in the Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Bill to ensure that the new National Consumer Council has a statutory role, as Postwatch does now, in advising on the number and location of post offices and their accessibility to users. The provisions in the Bill are designed to strengthen consumer representation in the postal services sector.

We are working closely with Postwatch, Energywatch and the National Consumer Council to ensure that the new arrangements are implemented effectively and with the minimum of disruption to consumers.