§ Mr. Gordon Prentice
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what estimates he has of the numbers of(a) village stores and (b) sub-post offices in Lancashire which are likely to benefit from the 50 per cent. reduction in business rates. 
§ Mr. Raynsford
We have insufficient data on which to make a reliable estimate of the numbers of general stores and post offices in Lancashire that will benefit from the 50 per cent. mandatory rate relief under the village shop rate relief scheme. Nationally we expect about 6,000 businesses to qualify for the new mandatory relief.