HC Deb 09 January 2003 vol 397 cc298-9W
Mr. Andrew Turner

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate she has made of(a) the savings to be achieved and (b) the number of sub post offices to be closed under the Post Office's network reinvention. [87340]

Mr. Timms

[holding answer 16 December 2002]: Post Office Ltd. estimate that collectively savings from the urban reinvention programme together with savings from other measures and initiatives including reductions in administrative costs and overheads should make a substantial contribution to restoring the network business to profitability. The Network business made an operating loss of £82 million in the financial year 2000–01.

Post Office Ltd. does not have a predetermined list of offices which will close under their urban reinvention programme, nor is there any arithmetical formula which will determine the number of closures in any given area.

Dr. Cable

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many post offices there are in each parliamentary constituency; how many of them transacted more than 40 per cent. of their work volumes on behalf of the Benefits Agency in the last 12 months; and if she will make a statement. [87865]

Mr. Timms

[holding answer 18 December 2002]: A special exercise was 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, Erdington on 29 November 1999, Official Report, column 22W, and remains the latest information available in that form.

Post Office Ltd. also compiled a list of post offices by Parliamentary constituency as of 20 April 2002 showing their classification as urban or rural offices. This exercise did not include information on percentage income derived from benefits payments. A copy of this list is held in the Libraries of the House.

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