Government refuses to back Cambridge post offices

January 25, 2007 1:00 PM

David Howarth, MP for Cambridge, has today expressed his disappointment at the Government's failure to reassure Cambridge residents that it will not close more Cambridge post offices.

Mr. Howarth has received replies from the Department of Trade and Industry and Royal Mail which fail to give the assurances requested.

Mr. Howarth commented:

"Here in Cambridge we have already lost almost one third of our sub-post offices. In the north of the city there are no banking facilities, the local post offices provide an essential service for those who find it difficult to travel to the city centre to access banks and other services. For other people high street banks, with their financial penalties and charges, are unsuitable. We need more post offices, not fewer.

"The Post Office Minister, Jim Fitzpatrick, has written to me blaming the advent of text messages and the internet for the demise of sub-post offices. But he has failed to mention the role the Government has played in undermining the financial viability of the Post Office network by removing its role in providing many essential services. These are services that had brought business and customers to make sub Post Offices.

"This Government has done all they can to make using the Post Office's remaining services as difficult as possible. Pensioners wishing to pick up their pension from their local Post Office are forced to send off for further and more complex forms to use the Post Office rather than a high street bank. Post Offices need our support not our obstruction.

"I have launched a petition to the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Alistair Darling, to demand that he protect Cambridge's remaining Post Offices. To sign the petition, just email [email protected]."

David outside Cambridge Delivery Office

David Howarth MP outside Cambridge Delivery Office

David Howarth wrote to the Department for Trade and Industry and the Chief Executive of Royal Mail to ask their assurance that no further post offices in Cambridge would be closed.

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