MP condemns final decision to close post offices

September 24, 2008 2:19 PM

A final decision to close three Cambridge post offices after months of speculation has been condemned by the city's MP David Howarth.

He is adamant that the branches at Regent Street and Trumpington Street and the St. John's Post Office in Hills Road should be saved.

"The government has contributed to the creation of the financial difficulties facing post offices by taking away from them the payment of pensions and benefits," he said.

"I know these closures could have been prevented and that there is a real alternative. The Liberal Democrats have put forward a plan to invest another £2 billion in the Post Office network nationally."

The closures are part of a plan to shut down 2,500 branches across the country, including 64 in Cambridgeshire.

Mr Howarth had argued that the three Cambridge post offices served mixed communities of old and vulnerable people and students and staff of the University.

He condemned the Post Office's consultation period which had taken place in the summer when the university was closed and staff and students were away from the city.

In making its final decision, the Post Office remarked that there had been a "relatively small number of responses" to the Regent Street branch consultation.

It was satisfied that, in all three cases, a good level of post office service could be maintained by branches nearby and a bus service was available for people affected by the Regent Street closure.

But Mr Howarth said: "Post offices are important to the survival of local communities. These three are high volume post offices. There is no way the decision to close them has been made on financial grounds."

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