Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Gateshead Liberal Democrats hand over Post Office petition

Liberal Democrats in Gateshead have handed over a petition of over 3000 signatures to the Party’s Shadow Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Susan Kramer MP, calling on the Government to save Post Offices from closure.

The petition will be handed in to the Government along with thousands of other signatures collected by Liberal Democrats throughout the country.

Members from Gateshead travelled to the Party’s spring conference in Harrogate to meet Susan Kramer and tell her about how well the campaign to save Post Offices from closure is running in the borough.

The Government recently announced a minimum of a further 2500 Post Office branch closures. Consultation on the closure plans is due to finish during March.

Gateshead Liberal Democrats have submitted the petition as part of the consultation to show how strongly people feel about Labour’s closure plans.

“There has been a great response to the petition from residents of Gateshead,” said Councillor Jonathan Wallace who organised the petition. “Post Offices are seen as vital community assets and people are genuinely worried about the way the Government has treated the network.

“In the past four years, five Post Office branches have closed in Gateshead.”

Susan Kramer MP said, “I was very pleased to meet Councillors Jonathan Wallace and Peter Maughan from Gateshead and to discuss concerns about Post Office closures.

“The Government’s handling of the network shows they are really just wanting to wash their hands of Post Offices. They have stripped away business such as pensions, road tax, tv licences and passports.

“The crisis is the fault of Ministers, not technology or customers as the Government claims. The Liberal Democrats believe it is possible to save our Post Offices.

“We are calling for £2 billion to be invested in Post Office branches, money which will be raised by a partial sale of Royal Mail; opening of new branches where there is a need; retaining Post Office Card Accounts for benefit payments and freeing the Post Office from Royal Mail restrictions to let it develop new business.”

Photo of Susan Kramer MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary of State for Trade and Industry with Councillor Peter Maughan, left and Councillor Jonathan Wallace handing over the petitions they have collected against the plans to close Post Offices.

No comments: