Sub-post Offices

Part of Opposition Day – in the House of Commons at 4:09 pm on 12th April 2000.

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Photo of Stephen Byers Stephen Byers Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry 4:09 pm, 12th April 2000

The right hon. Gentleman raises an important point. Post office closures have nothing to do with the move to ACT in 2003. However, changes to the network have continued for decades. Over the years, some post offices close and others open.

The hon. Member for Tiverton and Honiton made great play of the fact the number of sub-post office closures last year doubled compared with the year before. The figures show that closures have not doubled, although 383 sub-post offices closed last year. If she looks at the record, she will realise that the highest number of closures in the past 20 years was back in 1984–85, under a Conservative Government. Closures happen because sub-post offices are businesses and people have to take business decisions. It is only right and appropriate that they do so. Any closures that happen today are not because of ACT, as that will not happen until 2003. In the period leading up to 2003, the Government intend to identify a new way forward for the network.