Council to fight post office closures

February 26, 2007 1:43 PM

Lib Dem City Councillors have urged Cambridge City Council to fight Government plans to cut post offices around the country.

The Liberal Democrats proposed a motion, which was passed by the full meeting of the City Council on Thursday, agreeing to respond to the Government consultation on post office closures.

Councillor Amanda Taylor, who proposed the motion, commented:

"I am very worried by the Government's plans to close a further 2500 post offices. The loss of a post office has a huge effect on the surrounding shops and facilities. They are often the centre of local communities, when the post offices closes the community often never recovers.

"For the least mobile people in Cambridge, post offices provide a crucial service. The more vulnerable in our communities are often the least likely to be able to access their pensions or benefits online, use email for communication or open a bank account. For these people, post offices are invaluable.

"But these post offices must remain local. The Government must remember that remoteness is relative, not everyone can take two buses or walk a mile to reach their nearest post office. The demographics of an area need to be taken into account when post office closures are considered. An area with unusually high proportions of elderly people could need a post office within quarter of a mile for most people, rather than within the mile the Government propose nationally.

"With the continuing growth of the city, protecting post offices is becoming ever more important. We must ensure that future residents of the city are not left without vital services."

The opposition Labour group abstained from the final vote.

In December the Department of Trade and Industry announced plans to close 2500 post offices across the UK. The consultation on these plans closures on the 8 th March.

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