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MP holds local post office summit

April 30, 2006 1:40 PM

Local MP Tim Farron is continuing his campaign to ensure the future of local sub post offices. Tim has arranged for his second meeting with sub post-office masters and mistresses to be held in May. Since the last meeting Tim has been hard at work on many of the suggestions made by attendees and hopes that this second meeting will provide a more up-to-date picture of the problems local sub post-office masters and mistresses are facing.

The most recent frustration for local post offices has been the decision by the Department for Work and Pensions not to extend its support for the Post Office Card Account beyond 2010. In addition, the DWP is closing down this service well in advance of 2010 through pilot schemes introduced as of now which will not allow people to access the Post Office Card Account who instead must use a bank account. For people in rural areas such as ours where many villages have a post office but not a bank, this means a lengthy journey to the nearest bank in order to access money. For many pensioners and people who require public transport to travel, this is an unacceptable alternative.

Tim raised this issue in a debate in the House of Commons on 22nd March and has also added his signature to the Early Day Motion, 1531, which calls on the Government to halt these pilot schemes immediately and review the DWP's proposal to abolish the Post Office Card Account by 2010.

Tim commented: "We must all be very concerned about the future of sub-post offices because they are vital for our communities. The ending of the card account will prove to be detrimental to the post office service. The Government must recognise the impact that this action will have on the future of our services and the effect it will have on people who cannot easily access a bank."