HC Deb 07 March 1968 vol 760 cc633-4
29. Sir R. Russell

asked the Postmaster-General what success has resulted from his efforts to provide alternative arrangements for the payment of pensions to pensioner, who would otherwise have suffered inconvenience, following the closing down of the sub-post office in High Road, Wembley.

Mr. Joseph Slater

I am happy to say that, as a temporary arrangement, pensions are now paid on Fridays between 9.15 a.m. and 12.45 p.m. in the British Red Cross Society's premises which are at 563 High Road, Wembley and opposite the former sub-post office. We are continuing our efforts to open a new sub-office in the area.

Sir R. Russell

May I thank the Minister and his Department for their efforts on behalf of pensioners? Will he also try the side roads as well as the High Road to see if he can find premises for the post office?

Mr. Slater

I will take note of that.

32. Mr. Marks

asked the Postmaster-General whether, in view of the increasing number of retirement pensioners, he will consider an increase in the number of sub-post offices or alternative arrangements for the payment of retirement pensions.

39. Mr. Miscampbell

asked the Postmaster-General whether, in areas such as Blackpool with a high proportion of retirement pensioners, he will review the facilities available through the Post Office for payment of such pensions; and, if necessary, if he will consider alternative arrangements.

Mr. Joseph Slater

There are currently about 25,000 post offices. Pensions are paid at all of them and hte needs of pensioners are taken into account in deciding where and when to open new offices.

Mr. Marks

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that reply and I am glad to note from his Answer to Question No. 29 that he is taking care of this problem. I hope it is realised that many pensioners in cities have to cross busy roads. I hope that he will discuss the matter with his right hon. Friend the Minister of Social Security.

Mr. Slater

I agree with everything that my hon. Friend has said about this, but every new Post Office that we open means an increase in our costs, without any corresponding increase in revenue. We therefore try to strike a balance between the reasonable needs of the public, and the costs of providing the service.