§ Mr. Colman
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many consultations on post office branch closures have been carried out in the 12 months to 31 January; and how many such consultations have resulted in a branch remaining open. 
§ Mr. Denham
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the closure programme for post offices in urban areas. 
§ Mr. Timms
Post Office Ltd. reports on the urban reinvention programme on a quarterly basis. As at the end of December 2003694 offices had closed under the programme;46 proposals had been withdrawn or delayed for reworking during the advance notification process agreed with Postwatch;a further 66 proposals had been withdrawn or amended as a result of public consultation.
Post Office Ltd. had approved 388 applications for investment grants to modernise remaining post offices.
On 5 February, I announced a number of changes, agreed between Post Office Ltd. and Postwatch, to the public consultation arrangements to ensure confidence in them and, by maximising the quality of judgment and transparency, to produce a fair result for customers and the company.