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Petitions

Volume 551: debated on Monday 22 October 2012

Petitions

Monday 22 October 2012

Observations

Business, Innovation and Skills

Post Office facilities (Bargeddie)

The Petition of residents of the Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill constituency,

Declares that the Petitioners support the continued presence of the Bargeddie post office as well as the maintenance of DVLA provision and other facilities there.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, to make provision for the Bargeddie post office to remain open and for the provision of DVLA and other connected facilities to be continued.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Mr Tom Clarke, Official Report, 11 September 2012; Vol. 550, c. 254.]

[P001116]

Observations from the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills:

The Government note the support of the residents of Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill constituency for the current provision of services at Bargeddie post office and their wish to see them maintained.

The Government note that decisions relating to the location and provision of post office services in individual cases are an operational matter for Post Office Ltd and the Government have no role in them.

The Government note that Post Office Ltd has advised that there are no plans to change the current post office service provision or range of services provided at Bargeddie post office.

Post Offices (Clifton, Bristol)

The Petition of residents of Bristol West constituency,

Declares that the Petitioners support the proposed reopening of the Clifton Mini Market post office.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, to make provision for post offices to be operated on a voluntary basis so that communities such as ours may gain an invaluable service.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Stephen Williams, Official Report, 5 September 2012; Vol. 549, c. 353.]

[P001115]

Observations from the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills:

The Government note the views of the residents of Bristol West constituency in their calling for the reopening, on a voluntary basis, of Alma Vale post office, which closed in July 2008 under the Network Change Programme of the previous Government. Under the two closure programmes of the previous Government, 12 post offices closed in the Bristol West constituency.

The Government note that the implementation of the Network Change Programme was an operational matter for Post Office Ltd, and Ministers did not, and do not, play any role in decisions relating to individual post office branches. It is noted that there are currently 13 open post offices in Bristol West constituency, and the nearest branch to the site of the former Alma Vale branch is Cotham Hill post office, approximately 0.4 miles away.

The Government note that strict access criteria are in force which includes a requirement that 95% of the total urban population across the UK is to be within one mile of a post office outlet. The Government further note that Post Office Ltd is exceeding this target, with 99.1% of the urban population nationally living within one mile of a post office.

The Government note that customers from branches which closed under the Network Change Programme will by now have migrated to a number of neighbouring branches, increasing customer sessions and making these branches more sustainable and viable for the future. Post Office Ltd must take into account the potential effect on neighbouring branches when deciding whether to open or reopen a post office branch and will not do so if this would have an unacceptably adverse effect on nearby branches. The Government note that Post Office Ltd considers that reopening a branch at Alma Vale would threaten the viability of neighbouring branches.