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Farron Presses Minister for Post Office decision

October 20, 2008 12:00 AM

MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, Tim Farron questioned Work and Pensions Secretary James Purnell over his reluctance to announce a decision about the future of the Post Office Card Account.

Tim spoke today in the House of Commons in support of the 6,500 people in Westmorland and Lonsdale who use the Post Office Card Account to collect their benefits or state pension.

Mr Farron asked the Minister:

"Given that 60% of rural areas have Post Offices and just 4% have banks, what reassurances can he give to the 6,500 account holders in Westmorland and Lonsdale that they will be able to easily access their money and benefits under the POCA replacement card system?"

Commenting afterwards Tim said:

"The Government has dodged questions about the future of the Post Office network for too long.

"The Post Office is a unique service and an integral part of the rural community. If POCA was removed from the post office, it is estimated that we would lose between 10 and 20 additional post office branches in our area.

"The government's refusal to give any answers shows a scandalous lack of consideration to the residents of Westmorland and Lonsdale who rely on the POCA service and on their local post offices."