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Post Office Closures

Volume 475: debated on Tuesday 29 April 2008

I rise to present a petition of no fewer than 1,725 signatures of the constituents of Romford, who are appalled at the prospect that the Gobions Avenue post office is to be closed under the current review of sub-post offices. As the Member of Parliament for Romford, I urge the Government to consider this petition, because the Gobions Avenue post office covers a large area of north Romford, including Collier Row, Chase Cross, Rise Park and Havering-atte-Bower. The people of that community will be adversely affected if the post office closes. I would like to thank Councillor Sandra Binion, Councillor Geoff Stearns and the campaign co-ordinator, Billy Taylor, and I would like to present the petition as follows:

The Petition of residents of Romford and surrounding areas,

Declares the Petitioners' belief that the threatened closure of the much valued Gobions Post Office in Collier Row, Romford will have a detrimental effect on the lives of the people who live in Havering-atte-Bower, Chase Cross and Collier Row, if it is closed.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to reverse the policy of closing sub Post Offices, notably Gobions Post Office, which provide local communities with their only source of accessing vital services.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.

[P000183]

I rise again to present a petition to save a second post office within the London borough of Havering—the Hylands post office, which serves the community of Hornchurch and parts of the Romford constituency. The petition has been signed by no fewer than 2,580 local residents of both the Romford and Hornchurch constituencies. The Hylands post office serves a wide area. Many elderly people live in the community and they will be badly affected if local services provided by the post office are closed under the current review. I would like to put on record my thanks to local councillor and mayor of the London borough of Havering, Councillor Georgina Galpin, who has been active in the campaign, and to the campaign co-ordinator, Mr. Osman Dervish. The petition states:

The Petition of residents of Hornchurch and the surrounding areas,

Declares the Petitioners’ belief that the threatened closure of the much valued Hylands Post Office in Hornchurch will have a detrimental effect on the lives of the people who live in Hornchurch and Hylands if it is closed.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to reverse the policy of closing sub Post Offices, notably Hylands Post Office, which provide local communities with their only source of accessing vital services.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.

[P000182]

I have two petitions to present on the same subject of post office closures. The first is signed by 2,595 of my constituents in Shepherd’s Bush and it is about the proposed closure of four adjacent branches in the area. The petition

Declares that we cannot afford to lose four Post Office branches

and asks the House of Commons to urge

the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform to ask Post Office Limited to reconsider their plans to close so many branches in our area.

That is put very reasonably, given the significant number of post offices proposed for closure—four branches in just one small area of my constituency.

Following is the full text of the petition:

[The Petition of the people of Shepherd's Bush and Hammersmith,

Declares that we cannot afford to lose four Post Office branches.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform to ask Post Office Limited to reconsider their plans to close so many branches in our area

And the Petitioners remain, etc.]

[P000184]

My second petition is signed by nearly 1,400 people living in the Acton part of my constituency. It reads as follows:

The Petition of the People of Acton,

Declares that we the undersigned strongly object to the planned closure of our local Post Office at Churchfield Road, Action W3.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform to ask Post Office Limited to reconsider their plans to force the Petitioners to use the inadequate facilities in the Main Post Office on King Street, W3.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.

What both those petitions have in common is the very reasonable terms in which they are put, asking for adequate facilities to be provided in both parts of my constituency. Given how those petitions are put and the number of signatures on them, I hope that even this close to the decision of Post Office Ltd—expected as early as next week—my constituents’ complaints will be listened to.

[P000185]