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Lib Dem takes fight against Post Office Closures to the House

February 8, 2008 2:18 PM
Post Office

Mark with local Councillors Helen Foster-Grime, Paul Porgess, and Pam King campaigning for our local post offices

Mark Hunter, local MP for Cheadle once again raised the issue of Post Office Closures in the House of Commons during Business Questions.

Today Mr Hunter asked the Leader of the House Harriet MP for an urgent debate on this important issue in light of the recent discovery that the consultation period on post office closures has been postponed by the Government to avoid the local elections.

The discovery was made late last year when local postmasters and mistresses received a letter from Royal Mail stating that they had 'been asked by Government to introduce a freeze on some element of the Network Change Programme during the run up to the elections' because 'the closure of any Post Office can be highly sensitive and can potentially become a local political issue'.

Mr Hunter is also a member of the Trade and Industry Select Committee whose report into the Post Offices Closures is due to be published later this month, and is likely to be very critical of the public consultation process on closures.

Mr Hunter, speaking on this issue said, "I have raised this issue in the house many times, calling for a debate on Government time about Post Office closures and the consultation process. I have applied for an adjournment debate to discuss this issue twice and will continue to raise it until the Government has responded to the concerns which I and many of my colleagues have.

"I was completely appalled by the Government's decision to inform the Post Office that they should postpone their consultation and decisions on closures of Post Offices in our area. Their motivations, as they themselves confess, are purely political. They are just afraid that if decisions to close Post Offices go ahead that people will show their displeasure in the ballot box.

The Government has already closed 4,000 Post Offices and plans to close another 2,500 - despite the vital role that Post Offices play in our local community. Not only that, but they want to do stop the public from having their say on this issue on local election day - it is just dishonest.

I will continue to fight for the public's right to have a local post office."