Jim Dowd (Lewisham, West) (Lab): I commiserate with my hon. Friend the Member for Stockton, South (Ms Taylor) on being drawn last in this long series of petitions.
The petition is on behalf of more than 500 constituents and other users of the Forest Hill, London SE23 Crown post office and concerns Post Office plans to merge with WH Smith. I am aware that the scheme is being implemented across the country, and that many other Members’ constituencies are being similarly affected.
The petition states:
The Petition of residents of the London Borough of Lewisham and others, Declares the Petitioners’ serious concerns about the future of Post Office counter services in Forest Hill following the announcement that this Post Office Branch will move to WH Smith. The closure of local Sub-Post Offices in recent years has meant a poorer service to customers, particularly for the elderly and disabled, and the petitioners are concerned that this merger may result in a deterioration in the quality of services on offer at present.
The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Secretary of State to use his powers to ensure that the Post Office does not reduce the level of services currently available to customers under its new partnership agreement with WH Smith.
To lie upon the Table.