Post Office Network consultation...
have your say!
The deadline for responses to the Governments
consultation on changes to the Post Office Network is 8 March 2007. I urge you to contribute your views by completing
the consultation document and sending your response to the address at the
bottom of this page. You do not
need to answer all of the questions so every response counts on this issue, however small!
You can access a copy of the consultation paper by clicking
It is vital that we retain a thriving Post Office Network and
this will only be possible if their social role is recognised and more services,
particularly Government services, are made available through post offices. I am pleased that the Government is to continue
with some form of post office card account and am pressing for the range of services made
available through these accounts to be increased. However,
I deplore the decision of the BBC to withdraw TV licence payment arrangements from post
Sadly, over the past five years 1000 post offices have had to
close. This has been due to falling revenues
largely as result of the loss of business due to fewer benefit payments being made through
post offices. It is true that the Government
changed the way it paid benefits but this was inevitable as more and more people were
opting to have benefits paid direct into their bank accounts. However, these closures have adversely affected
vulnerable groups, such as elderly people, who may not be able to travel very easily to
the high street or nearest town.
The Governments consultation document contains some good
ideas, such as the proposed introduction of 500 new outreach services which
could include mobile post offices that can go to areas of need. However, there are also proposals that could mean a
further 2,500 post offices close. One reason
for this is the proposed new rules for how close a post office should be to communities. At present, in deprived urban areas, the rule is
that 99% of the population should be within half a mile of a post office. The consultation document recommends a reduction in
the standard to 99% of people being within 1 mile of a post office. I am concerned that these new proposals will mean
the Post Office Network is stretched too thinly across the population.
I believe that the Post Office Network should be preserved and
funded so that it continues to ensure all members of our society can easily access the
services they need. Rather than just maintain
the services we have already, I think more
local and central government services, as well as private initiatives, such as cash
machines, should be channelled through the Network.
To publicise my views, I have signed Early Day Motion (EDM) 660,
a kind of parliamentary petition. Click here to read the full text of the Motion. I have also signed EDM 902 and you can read the
Motion by clicking here.
I have also tabled two parliamentary
questions regarding these issues. Please click here
to go to the published answers from the Government.
Should you decide to contribute to the consultation, please send
your response to::
Department of Trade and Industry
1 Victoria Street
I should also be grateful if you would send me a copy of your
reply so that I am aware of your views.
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