§ Mr. David Stewart
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many post offices there were in each constituency in each year since 1995; and how many in each constituency in each year covered a population of 10,000 or less. 
§ Mr. Timms
[holding answer 23 May 2002]: I am advised by Post Office Ltd. that information on post office numbers has not been maintained on the basis of parliamentary constituencies as the company does not require these data for operational reasons. However, I understand from the company that it is now conducting additional work on an exercise to identify the number of post offices in each parliamentary constituency as at the end of the financial year 2001–02.
The latest constituency-based 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 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.