§ Mr. Wigley
asked the Secretary of State for Industry, pursuant to his reply of 4 February to the hon. Member for Sudbury and Woodbridge (Mr. Stainton), Official Report, c. 223, what progress has been made in the consultations with the National Federation of Sub-Postmasters in relation to maintaining a sub-post office network; if he will now give more details of the £2 million fund guidelines for ensuring this; whether the £2 million is an annual projected payment or a once-off fund; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Butcher
Discussions with the Post Office on the practical details of the scheme have now been concluded and a meeting with the National Federation of Sub-Postmasters is being arranged in the very near future. The fund, which is provided in support of the Government's commitment to maintain an adequate sub-post office network, is expected to be operational shortly. Full details of the guidelines for the £2 million fund, which is a once-off fund, will be made available to the House as soon as the terms are finalised with the federation.