§ Mr. Kirkwood
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list, by region, the number of sub-post offices which have(a) opened and (b) closed since 1979.
§ Mr. Leigh
Decisions on the provision of post office services in particular areas are an operational matter for the Post Office. As the hon. Gentleman will be aware, the period mentioned has seen considerable organisational change in the Post Office and I understand that the information is not available in the form requested.
The Post Office has, however, told me that the overall number of post offices has fallen from 22,639 in 1979 to 20,401 in 1991. Within this total the number of agency 138W offices—which includes both rural and sub-post offices, community offices and restricted hours offices—has fallen from 21,056 to 19,160 over the same period.