asked the Assistant Postmaster-General how many sub-post offices exist in the borough of Leyton; how many of these are likely to be closed in view of the expansion of services and transactions; and what are the requirements of his Department in respect of extended facilities in sub-post offices when this is made necessary by the increased number of persons who attend sub-post offices.
Seventeen, it is not the present intention to close any of them. Sub-postmasters are expected to provide sufficient accommodation and staff to enable the public to transact their business with reasonable despatch. If the hon. Member has any particular case of difficulty in mind and will let me have details, I shall be glad to have inquiries made.
Is any consideration given to the question of space in some of these sub-post offices? There may be certain facilities, but sometimes in some sub-post offices there is a good deal of overcrowding.
Since I replied to the hon. and gallant Member's last Question on this subject the vacancy has been advertised twice, but without success. We intend to advertise it again, and I should be grateful for any help the hon. and gallant Member can give in the matter.
Is the Assistant Postmaster-General aware that it has already proved quite impossible to find a sub-postmaster willing to undertake the job on the present inadequate scales? In those circumstances, will he consider opening a new Crown office in the Brixton Road at the interception with Stockwell Road, because the volume of postal business there would amply justify such action?
I am not quite as pessimistic as the hon. and gallant Gentleman is. I still hope that, with more advertisements and also with such help as he himself can give us, we may find someone.
My difficulty, I am afraid, is that, unless we are going to change the standard under which we open new post offices, this case does not justify our opening a new office. If we were to change the standard, the cost of postal services would without doubt rise.
I suggest that the hon. and gallant Gentleman gets in touch with my hon. Friend the Member for Ashford (Mr. Deedes) to enable them to ascertain what they can do in the matter.