HC Deb 09 March 1966 vol 725 cc552-3W
104. Dame Irene Ward

asked the Postmaster-General why the tables and chairs until recently provided at the Newcastle-upon-Tyne general post office, suitable for retirement pensioners, the disabled and expectant mothers, for transacting post office business have been removed and replaced by high tables and no chairs, thus making the elderly stand for filling in documents and waiting for service.

Mr. Joseph Slater

The public office at Newcastle-upon-Tyne has recently been altered, and the low writing tables have been replaced by tables of standing height so as to make more effective use of the circulation space available to customers. Our general policy is to provide seating in public offices for the elderly or otherwise disabled. I am sorry that the chairs provided for this purpose at Newcastle-upon-Tyne were inadvertently removed; they have now been replaced.

Dame Irene Ward

asked the Postmaster-General whether alteration of the facilities provided for transacting business for the elderly, disabled and expectant mothers applies to all post offices; and what the cost of replacement of tables and chairs has been.

Mr. Joseph Slater

No general alteration is being made. In all new or reconstructed public offices our policy is to provide seating for the elderly or disabled. The writing shelves or tables are of standing height and no seats are provided for use with them. In some of the larger offices low tables have been provided in the past, but no separate record is kept of the cost of replacing them when they have been rebuilt or altered.