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Farron presses Minister on post office closures

November 29, 2006 3:29 PM

Local MP Tim Farron met with the Employment Minister Jim Fitzpatrick today to discuss the issue of post office closures in the constituency.

Having held open meeting with local postmasters recently Tim decided that it was necessary to go directly to the Minister to gain assurances that efforts would be made to prevent closures.

Local post offices such as the one in Witherslack which closed recently, were brought to the attention of the Minister along with the plight of Burton-in-Kendal post office, which has recently been told it may lose its cash point - the only cash point for miles around.

The Minister assured Tim that the Department of Trade and Industry would produce a successor to the post office card account and that the rural post offices grant would be reinstated.

After the meeting Tim Farron said:

"I was pleased to meet with the Minister, who has agreed that there is a need for a successor scheme to the post office card account. Without such a scheme, many of the most vulnerable in our society will suffer.

"I was also happy to hear the Minister commit to reinstating the rural post offices grant. In many small rural communities the post office is a central feature, and it is important that we do all we can to maintain them.

"I made it clear to the Minister that the current rural post offices grant of £150 million must not be reduced and I am afraid I have had no such confirmation. I await the Minister's announcement with anticipation."