Rallying to save rural post offices

PUBLISHED: 11:31 19 October 2006 | UPDATED: 13:33 04 May 2010

POSTMASTERS from East Cambridgeshire joined a rally in London (yesterday) to fight for the future of their post offices. They gave their support to the protest organised by the National Federation of Sub-postmasters following the closure of 10 post offic

POSTMASTERS from East Cambridgeshire joined a rally in

London (yesterday) to fight for the future of their post offices.

They gave their support to the protest organised by the National Federation of Sub-postmasters following the closure of 10 post offices in south east Cambridgeshire in the last seven years.

Haddenham postmaster, Steve Edwards, briefed MP Jim Paice during the rally.

He said: "With hundreds of post office closures, the loss of services such as the Post Office Card Account and the uncertainty surrounding the Government's commitment to the network, the nation's post offices face a very challenging future."

Mr Paice, who represents South East Cambridgeshire, said: "Sub-post offices are the lifeblood of many local communities but they are closing at an alarming rate. Two post offices have shut every working day under Labour, yet the Government still does not have a coherent strategy for promoting the future success of the network.

"This is a serious blow to all those people who rely on the post office for a range of services, but particularly the elderly and those with mobility problems who may be unable to access alternatives.

"By withdrawing business from post offices such as television licences, benefit payments and pensions, and abolishing the Post Office Card Account, the Government has seriously undermined the network.

"The Government needs to understand the importance of the social role played by sub-post offices and look to increase the number of services available from them so as to increase their long-term viability."

The NSFP was set to deliver a petition to Downing Street calling on the Government to reverse its decision to withdraw the Post Office Card Account and to take action to safeguard the future of the network.

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