Crown Post Offices

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Industry – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 5th April 1995.

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Photo of Mrs Barbara Roche Mrs Barbara Roche , Hornsey and Wood Green 2:30 pm, 5th April 1995

To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many letters his Department has had, including those forwarded by hon. Members, in favour of transferring Crown post offices to agency status, and how many opposing this change; and if he will make a statement. [16434]

Photo of Mr Timothy Eggar Mr Timothy Eggar , Enfield North

Since Post Office Counters Ltd. started its Crown post office conversion programme in 1989, my Department has received a wide range of correspondence commenting on the programme, most commonly on proposals for individual offices. However, summary records of the numbers of letters received and the views expressed in them are not maintained.

Photo of Mrs Barbara Roche Mrs Barbara Roche , Hornsey and Wood Green

I am interested to hear the Minister's reply. I hope that he will listen to the more than 3,000 people in my constituency who have written to me protesting about the change in Muswell Hill post office from a Crown post office to an agency one. I hope that he will take into account that people in my constituency do not want their post office, which they very much value, located in a butcher's shop or a greengrocer's, which are currently among the proposals. I hope that he will take that into account and instruct the Post Office accordingly. If the Post Office proceeds with that proposal, in the words of one of my constituents who formerly voted for the Conservatives, it will lose the support of all those who voted Tory at the last election.

Photo of Mr Timothy Eggar Mr Timothy Eggar , Enfield North

I know that the hon. Lady has had a chance to discuss the matter with the Post Office as part of the consultation. It is, of course, a matter for the Post Office. I can assure the hon. Lady that the Post Office is aware of her strong views. I understand that it has been in correspondence with her in addition to the meeting and that it is looking at possible sites for an agency office.

Photo of Michael Fabricant Michael Fabricant , Staffordshire Mid

Are not many of the people who are concerned that some of the best post offices may become non-Crown post offices in fact referring to sub-post offices which are not Crown post offices, and does not some of the best service come from the sub-post offices, which are already in the private sector?

Photo of Mr Timothy Eggar Mr Timothy Eggar , Enfield North

The sub-post offices are extremely efficient and highly regarded by almost all their customers and are an absolutely critical part of the post office network. When surveys have been done after conversions to the private sector, a very high level of customer satisfaction has been revealed.