HC Deb 23 March 2004 vol 419 c734W
Annabelle Ewing

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what the cost of Postwatch has been in each year since its creation; [161455]

(2) how many staff are employed by Postwatch; [161456]

(3) what the budget of Postwatch Scotland is in 2003–04; [161457]

(4) how many staff are employed by Postwatch Scotland. [161458]

Mr. Timms

The Postal Services Act provided for the establishment of Consumer Council for Postal Services also known as Postwatch to promote the interests of consumers. Postwatch was set up on 1 January 2001; it is made up of a National Council with four national members and representatives from Scotland, Wales Northern Ireland and six English regions each with its own Chair and Regional Committee.

Its budget in the three years since it was set up has been:

2001–02 7.89
2002–03 8.19
2003–04 9.904

Postwatch currently has 101 posts in its central office and regions. In some regions rather than employ its own staff, Postwatch outsources to external contractors; this is the case in Scotland where there are five contracted staff. Information on Postwatch budget and staff is published in its Annual Report, copies are made available in the Libraries of the House.