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Post Offices: Closures

Volume 474: debated on Tuesday 1 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what his most recent estimate is of the number of post offices which will close under the Network Change Programme; and if he will make a statement. (191912)

The Government's response in May 2007 to the national public consultation on the post office network committed funding support for strategic changes to the network with up to 2,500 compensated closures nationally. Closures under the network change programme began in January and the programme is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many post offices are planned to be closed in each constituency under the Network Change Programme; and if he will make a statement. (192147)

Proposals for post office closures by parliamentary constituency are published on an area plan basis at the start of local public consultations. Details of area plans published to date are available on Post Office Ltd.'s website:

www.postoffice.co.uk/networkchange

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what discussions he has had with Post Office Ltd on the formula to be used to (a) earmark and (b) determine post offices for closure. (193903)

In identifying post offices proposed for closure and subsequent final decisions, Post Office Ltd is required to comply with the access criteria set by Government, to take account of local geography and to consider local demographic and economic factors as set out in the Government's response to the national public consultation on the post office network. Ministers do not play any role in identifying which individual post office branches should close.

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (1) how much subsidy has been paid to those post offices proposed for closure in (a) Cumbria and (b) Copeland in the last 10 years; (198148)

(2) how many customers have used each of the post office branches proposed for closure in (a) Cumbria and (b) Copeland over the last 10 years;

(3) what estimate he has made of the number of Post Office customers in (a) Cumbria and (b) Copeland who access and receive Post Office services on-line or remotely outside of Post Office opening hours;

(4) what recent assessment criteria the Post Office has made of any over-provision of Post Office branches in urban areas;

(5) what consideration the Post Office has given to (a) deprivation indicators, (b) rurality, (c) public transport links and (d) wider socio-economic issues in producing its Post Office branch closure proposals in Copeland.

These are operational matters for Post Office Ltd. (POL). I have therefore asked Alan Cook, Managing Director of POL, to reply direct to the hon. Member.

Copies of the letter will be placed in the Libraries of the House.