HC Deb 29 November 1972 vol 847 cc404-5
9. Mr. Dormand

asked the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications whether he will take steps to improve the operation of the Post Office National Users' Council.

Sir J. Eden

The Select Committee on Nationalised Industries reported favourably last year on the way the council now works, and I see no reason at present to make any changes.

Mr. Dormand

Although I believe that the Post Office generally gives a good service to the public, there are bound to be some genuine complaints. Is there not a need to strengthen the users' council by making it more independent, and making it seem to be more independent, and a need also to strengthen the machinery at local level? The right hon. Gentleman must have misread the report of the Select Committee on Nationalised Industries not to reach that conclusion. Will he give an assurance that the Select Committee's recommendations will be implemented soon?

Sir J. Eden

The Select Committee only recently examined the whole question of users' councils and in its report it specifically singled out the Post Office Users' National Council for commendation and suggested that it should serve as the model for any new councils that come into being.

Mr. Madel

My right hon. Friend will be aware of the regrettable decision of the Post Office to close the Downs sub-post office in Dunstable, in my constituency. Is he satisfied that those who have an interest in and are dependent on sub-post offices have an adequate opportunity through the users' council to make their representations and views known to the Post Office hierarchy in London?

Sir J. Eden

My hon. Friend can make direct representations to the users' council on this very point.