§ Mr. McGrady
To ask the President of the Board of Trade what steps are being taken to ensure that rural sub-post offices in Northern Ireland will be kept open; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. McLoughlin
Post Office Counters Ltd. is making strenuous efforts to keep rural offices open, for example through its community office programme. In our review of the Post Office we are exploring a number of ways to underpin the rural network to ensure that post office services continue to be readily accessible to all in towns and in the country, throughout Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom.