I have the great honour to present a petition from the people of north Nottinghamshire. There are 12,500 names on the petition, which calls for the retention of sub-post offices in north Nottinghamshire. I should like to thank the people who have organised the petition and the 30 sub-postmasters in the Sherwood constituency who have made this petition possible.
The petition reads:
The humble Petition of sub-post office users in Nottinghamshire sheweth that they are against the removal by the Government of the right to receive pension and benefit payments at local post offices.
Wherefore your petitioners pray that your honourable House request the Government to give people the right to choose to receive pension and benefit payments at their local Post Office, recognising the benefit of this to the individual and the community.
And your petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray.
I wish to present a petition on behalf of individuals, local post offices and community councillors within the Ross, Cromarty and Skye constituency which is signed by more than 8,000 constituents expressing alarm and concern about the continued provision of a widespread local post office network.
The petition reads:
The Humble Petition of the undersigned Residents of the Ross, Cromarty and Skye constituency sheweth that we express deep concern that the Government proposes to privatise post office services and compulsorily transfer Social Security payments from post offices to banks, and we oppose these 'measures jointly and severally as they threaten the very survival of rural post offices and deny the efficiency and convenience of the present system, especially in rural areas.
Wherefore your petitioners pray that your honourable House will do everything possible to impress upon the Secretaries of State for Trade and Industry and Social Security the need for an autonomous post office service in the public sector and to abandon plans for the compulsory transfer of Social Security payments to banks.
And your petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, etc.