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I have received representations on the Government's policy on the future of the post office network from a range of interested organisations and individuals. We are providing £1.34 billion of funding to modernise the network and to safeguard its future.
I thank the Under-Secretary very much for that answer. Under the previous Labour regime, many post offices in Northampton North and throughout the country were forced to close. Will my hon. Friend assure me that the Government will do everything that they can to protect that vital local service and allow it to continue to provide the assistance that it obviously does to so many people?
I can certainly give my hon. Friend that assurance, not just because we are putting in £1.34 billion but because we are developing new services. I hope that I will be able to make more information on that available to the House in due course. In our policy paper last year, we talked about several pilots, which will go ahead.