§ Pete Wishart
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations she will make to the Postal Services Commission in order to ensure the continued availability of postal services in rural areas. 
§ Mr. Alexander
[holding answer 28 February 2002]: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry is in regular contact with the Postal Services Commission. The Government have enshrined the universal postal service in legislation. The Postal Services Commission therefore has a primary statutory duty to ensure provision of a universal postal service. It also has a duty to have regard to the interests of individuals residing in rural areas. In exercising its functions Postcomm must act in accordance with all its statutory duties. These duties provide for continued provision of postal services in rural areas.