Thousands Say Save our Post Offices

March 12, 2008 5:37 PM
PO petition

Mark with other Lib Dems presenting their petition to the Prime Minister at 10, Downing Street

Liberal Democrat MPs, including Cheadle MP Mark Hunter, this week presented a petition of over 50,000 signatures calling for the Prime Minister to reverse his Government's savage Post Office closure programme.

Labour plans to close 2500 Post Offices will hit communities hard across Britain. The closures come on top of a further 7500 already closed by Labour and Conservative Governments.

In response to the closure plans the prestigious Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Select Committee (formally Trade and Industry Select Committee) - of which Mr Hunter is a member- produced a hard hitting report investigating the consultation process and Post office closure plans. The highly critical report severely criticised the haphazard nature of the consultation and lack of transparency in the process.

Speaking outside 10 Downing Street, Mr Hunter said: "We are still waiting to hear which Post Offices are to close in our local area, because the Government has shamefully postponed their consultation process until after the local elections in May.

"Postponing this process won't help the Government - this petition shows that thousands of people from all across the country, including many hundreds from Cheadle, really care about their local Post Office. The Government ignore these voices at their peril.

Post Offices are at the heart of our local community. Closing them would see many, often the most vulnerable facing long journeys and even longer queues to use the many services that Post Offices provide. Closures could also cause nearby shops and businesses having to close because of lack of business, irreparably damaging our local economy and community.

"The public deserves a clear and open consultation process over the future of the network. The Government's purely political decision to postpone the consultation process until after local elections is indicative of their disregard for the opinions of local people. We need a real policy that seeks to save Post Offices not looking to close them - that is what the people want."

The Liberal Democrats are the only party with a plan to protect and improve Britain's Post Office network.

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