§ Mr. Stott
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) if he will discuss the status of Bootle as the major operations centre of Girobank with the Post Office board;
(2) who is to determine the value of Girobank before it is sold to the private sector;
(3) if, during his discussions with the chairman of the Post Office board, he will make it his policy to seek to ensure that the contingency centre for Girobank is sited in close proximity to the Bootle centre;
(4) if he will discuss with the chairman of the Post Office board the protection of conditions of service, pension rights and continued trade union recognition before Girobank is privatised.
§ Mr. Butcher
Girobank belongs to the Post Office, with whose chairman and board I am in frequent touch, and the Post Office is managing the sale. The Post Office has already said that an important issue in discussions with potential purchasers is to pay proper regard to the interests of Girobank's staff at Bootle and elsewhere. The price offered will of course also be a major consideration. The siting of a contingency centre is a matter for the Post Office and for Girobank.