§ Brian Cotter
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when information relating to post office closures ceased to be made available on a constituency basis; and for what reason this was done. 
§ Mr. Timms
[holding answer 9 May 2002]: I am informed by Post Office Ltd. that information on the total number of post offices and a breakdown of urban and rural outlets for each Government office region is provided to Postcomm and Postwatch on a quarterly basis.
Information has not been maintained on the basis of parliamentary constituencies as the company does not require these data for operational reasons. The latest information available remains a special exercise undertaken by the Post Office in 1999 to determine the numbers of post offices in each parliamentary constituency and how many of them derive more than 1004W 40 per cent. of their income from benefits work. That information is set out in the reply given to the then hon. Member for Birmingham on 29 November 1999, Official Report, column 22W.
However, I understand from Post Office Ltd. that it is now conducting additional work on a further exercise to identify the number of post offices in each parliamentary constituency as at the end of the financial year 2001–02.