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Farron urges 'Further protection needed for rural post offices'

March 7, 2012 9:39 AM

Tim Farron with local residents at a Post OfficeOn Monday, South Lakes MP Tim Farron pressed the Government to take more action to protect rural post offices and save vital services.

In a meeting with the new Liberal Democrat Post Offices Minister, Norman Lamb, Tim, along with Coniston Sub-postmaster, Philip Glennon, set out the plight of Cumbria's rural post offices and urged the Minister for more products to be made available to post offices and for Postmasters to receive a more stable basic salary.

Currently one of the biggest challenges rural post offices are facing stem from the loss of the ability to provide important services such as TV licenses and DVLA registration. This makes it increasingly difficult for rural post offices to generate income. Tim used the meeting to highlight the fact that these difficulties, which affect mainly rural post offices, are further compounded by the current link between the income of a Post Office to the core payments they receive from the Government.

Commenting Tim said: "One of the greatest problems our sub-postmasters must deal with is the link between the basic salary for providing post office services is currently and the income of their post office. As the post offices lose the ability to provide services that generate income, they are then clobbered again by having their salaries also reduced.

"At a time when we need to do everything we can to protect rural services, the Government's programme to protect post offices has seen some real success, with the recent reinstating of services in Levens and Hawkshead. However with the current situation it is blindingly clear that many will continue to struggle so more must be done."