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AXE HANGING OVER POST OFFICE NETWORK MUST BE LIFTED: Local residents will lose out if PayPoint get POCA contract

November 11, 2008 3:28 PM

During a debate on the future of the Post Office Card Account (POCA) in the House of Commons last night, local MP Tim Farron highlighted the potential plight of rural areas like the South Lakes if the POCA contract is not renewed in 2010.

Tim raised the concerns of one sub-postmaster in the area who believes that he will lose over 7000 customer visits a year if the POCA contract is not renewed.

It is believed that the government is considering giving the POCA contract to PayPoint from 2010, in a similar move to TV Licensing. However, PayPoint's coverage of the South Lakes is substantially worse than the Post Office's.

Speaking after the debate, Tim said: "The government simply doesn't seem to understand the importance of post offices to our rural communities, or the inconvenience that would be experienced by local residents if PayPoint were to be given the contract. Given the lack of reliable public transport in many of our communities, elderly people and those on benefits could soon find it almost impossible to access their money.

"For one, Peter Mandleson seems to be saying the right thing! The axe hanging over our post office network must be lifted immediately."