§ 39. Mr. Chapman
asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that long queues of pensioners have to wait at Weoley Castle sub-post office on Tuesdays in order to draw their pensions; how many pensions are paid out weekly at this office; and what further improvement in service he will provide to reduce this waiting which causes hardship in winter weather.
§ Miss Pike
About 2,600 pensions and allowances are paid weekly at the Weoley Castle sub-post office. When a lot of people arrive at the office together, as happens at certain periods on Tuesday, it has been difficult to avoid some waiting. The sub-postmaster has now engaged a third assistant to help speed the work; and this, together with the recent removal of the office to larger premises, will mean better facilities all round for the sub-office's customers.
§ Mr. Chapman
I am much obliged to the hon. Lady, but may I ask whether she is aware that, with the present miserable level of old-age pensions, many people must get hold of them as soon as possible? Is it not adding insult to injury to make them queue in the rain in areas like this waiting for their pensions to be paid over?
§ Miss Pike
I am advised that the difficulty arises largely because 40 per cent, of the payments are made on Tuesdays and these are mostly children's allowances. The mothers call for the children's allowances either at nine o'clock when they have taken the child to school or at 11.45 when they are calling for the child at lunch time. The difficulty is usually caused by as many as thirty mothers arriving together at the Post Office. We have taken every step that we can to improve the position.