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House of Commons Hansard
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27 February 2019
Volume 655

Closure of Oldham Post Office

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On behalf of myself, my hon. Friend the Member for Oldham East and Saddleworth (Debbie Abrahams) and my hon. Friend the Member for Ashton-under-Lyne (Angela Rayner), I present the petition of the residents of Oldham. Over 3,100 people object to the proposed closure of Oldham Crown post office and its relocation to WH Smith. Oldham post office is the borough’s last remaining Crown post office, serving a population of 235,000 people and over 6,000 businesses, and its current location is vital for the vibrancy of the market hall and the surviving businesses, as well as being easily accessible for those who use public transport and those with limited mobility.

The petition states:

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Post Office Ltd to think again about the decision to close Oldham Post Office and to ensure that the consultation is genuine with the real concerns we have fully taken on board.

Following is the full text of the Petition:

[The petition of residents of Oldham,

Declares that we object to the proposal by Post Office Ltd to close our main Crown post office in Oldham town centre and relocate it to WH Smith; further that the proposed closure from its High Street location and relocation to WH Smith in Spindles/Town Square shopping centre is a nonsense as evident to anyone who uses the post office; further that the post office is a busy branch and well used; further that there is no public interest in closing it; further that even if some services will be relocated, services, staff and our high street will be compromised; further that not only will we lose a visible institution on our high street, the experience of post office services in WH Smiths tells us that it will be smaller, queues will be longer and services will be reduced.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Post Office Ltd to think again about the decision to close Oldham Post Office and to ensure that the consultation is genuine with the real concerns we have fully taken on board.

And the petitioners remain, etc.]

[P002430]

Gibraltar representation in the Houses of Parliament, Westminster

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I am greatly obliged to you, Mr Speaker, for calling me to present my first petition this evening, which was given to me today by the Representation in Westminster group from the British overseas territory of Gibraltar.

As you will know, Mr Speaker, the people of Gibraltar are proudly British, and they would like to be represented in this place as all British citizens expect to be. They have collected this chunky petition, which bears no fewer than 14,000 signatures, 11,200 of which are those of Gibraltarian citizens. That represents 68% of the electorate of Gibraltar. They will be losing their representation by Members of the European Parliament, so they feel that the time has come for them to have their own Member of Parliament here in the sovereign Parliament of our United Kingdom. The petition is supported by the Chief Minister of Gibraltar, Fabian Picardo, and the Deputy Chief Minister, Joseph Garcia. It reads as follows:

The petition of British Citizens of Gibraltar,

Declares that it is a fundamental right of ours to representation in the Houses of Parliament, Westminster.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to grant Gibraltar representation in the Houses of Parliament, Gibraltar.

And the petitioners remain, etc.

[P002427]

Havering, and leaving the European Union

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A further petition has been handed to me by the residents of the London borough of Havering. It relates to Britain’s departure from the European Union. You will know, Mr Speaker, that 70% of Havering residents voted to leave the EU, and that that was one of the largest votes to leave in the country. The petition, which is addressed to the honourable Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Parliament assembled, reads as follows:

The Humble Petition of Lawrence Webb and the citizens of the London Borough of Havering,

Sheweth,

That in 1975 the British people, in a referendum, agreed to remain members of a Common Market, a group of equal and free European Nations trading together without barriers and tariffs. By default, the British people have, without their consent, become citizens of a European State run by a non-elected bureaucratic Commission in Brussels. This foreign power has suborned our legal system and the authority of our Parliament.

Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your Honourable House do all in its power to re-establish our sovereign right to rule ourselves in accordance with the freedoms, liberties and rights granted to us and our heirs forever under Magna Carta 1215 and the Bill of Rights 1689, and that we leave the European Union, the Customs Union, the Single Market and that we end Free Movement of People on 29th March, 2019 as set out in law under the European Withdrawal Act 2018.

And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, &c.

[P002429]