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Post Office counter services in North East Fife

Volume 701: debated on Monday 18 October 2021

The petition of residents of the constituency of North East Fife,

Declares that accessible local Post Office counter services are incredibly important; notes that many people rely on these services, particularly older residents; further that the closures of such services would cut off residents from public services; declares that Spar should engage with local and national governments and Post Office Ltd in preserving these services and ultimately reverse the proposal to close the Post Office counter services in Newport-on-Tay, Balmullo, Ladybank and Tom Morris Drive St Andrews.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to engage with Spar and advise them to reverse the proposal to close Post Office counter services in North East Fife.

And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Wendy Chamberlain, Official Report, 21 July 2021; Vol. 699, c. 1099.]

[P002678]

Observations from The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Paul Scully):

Government recognise how important post offices are to their communities, which is why Government protects both the branch network by setting minimum access criteria, as well as services by setting minimum services to be provided at post offices across the country. Through the Post Office network of 11,500 branches, these criteria ensure that 90% of the population are within one mile of the nearest post office branch and that 99% of the population are within three miles of the nearest post office branch.

While the Government set the strategic direction for the Post Office, the management of the branch network is an operational responsibility for Post Office Ltd. It would therefore not be appropriate for Government to intervene in this situation. Post Office continues to make significant progress in identifying solutions to mitigate customer impact in the areas affected by CJ Lang & Son’s commercial decision to resign from operating 31 post offices. Government will continue to monitor the situation closely to ensure the access criteria continue to be met in the affected areas.