Sunday, December 17, 2006

Battle against Post Office closures continues

Liberal Democrats in Gateshead have stepped up their campaign to save Post Offices from closure following the announcement by the Government of further massive cuts to the network.

Party campaigners launched their petition earlier this year calling on the Government to keep branches open.

The Government announced on Thursday 14th December that 2500 branches are to be closed. These are in addition to the 4000 that have already been axed since Labour came to power in 1997 and the 3000 that were closed by the previous Conservative government.

Liberal Democrat Councillor, Jonathan Wallace, who is co-ordinating the petition, said, “Though the Government has backed down on its plans to axe the Card Account, nevertheless, their attitude towards Post Offices is shocking. It appears they are washing their hands of the network.

“We have already seen the closure of six branches in Gateshead since 1999. Liberal Democrats are seriously concerned that local residents will lose more branches in coming years under Labour’s closure plans.

“We have already collected 4000 signatures on our petition calling for Post Offices to be saved from closure. Following the government’s announcement, we have stepped up our campaign and we will be looking to collect thousands more signatures over the coming weeks.”

1 comment:

pat said...

Get your voice heard - the rural post office network - www.ruralaction.org.uk

Everyone has a view on the future of the rural post office network - but will everyone's views be heard? Perhaps you have a good idea on the future of the network; perhaps your own experience shows a vital aspect has been over-looked. Now there is a simple way to get your point across quickly and easily. The recent popularity in 'blogging' - contributing to a weblog or online message board - has inspired ruralnet|uk to set up a blog for this issue: a simple technique allowing thousands to add their personal comments to the debate. Over half of all UK homes have access to an online computer - as well as libraries, youth clubs, schools, day centres, UK online centres, and even some Post Offices! Anyone with an interest can visit the blog and leave their comment on the consultation questions, and read what others are saying.

ruralnet|uk Chief Executive, Simon Berry said "Government consultations are all very well, but they are time consuming and complicated. Fine for the professionals but not for the people affected. It will take just a few moments for anyone to have their say in our collective consultation and their views will go straight to the government."

Visit www.ruralaction.org.uk, click any of the ‘Comment’ links and have your say. You can comment on as little or as much as you like. It is as simple and quick as that. There is no printing or sending to do.

At the end of the consultation period, ruralnet|uk undertakes to summarise objectively all the comments received, and feed them into the Government’s consultation procedure. Says Simon: "We were the first to use the internet to run a collective consultation on the ‘first’ rural white paper way back in the spring of 1999 when we received 1154 contributions. It was said to be "one of the most useful submissions received”. So we know that a collective view from rural people, presented by us will carry a lot of weight.

So, don't be left out: go to www.ruralaction.org.uk state your views and have an impact on the future of post office services in rural areas.