Saturday, March 22, 2008

Sharon Hodgson MP votes for post office closures

LIBERAL Democrats in Gateshead have accused Sharon Hodgson MP of failing to support local services after she voted to support the Government's massive post office closure programme.

The Government has ordered that one in five branches be closed. Opposition MPs tried to stop the closure programme on 19th March when a motion was proposed in the House of Commons demanding the Government halt their plans to make 2500 branches shut up shop.

But enough Labour MPs rallied around the Government’s closure plans to reject the motion and ensure the closure programme can continue unhindered. One of those voting to close post offices was Gateshead East and Washington West MP Sharon Hodgson.

Disappointed local Liberal Democrat campaigners are calling on Mrs Hodgson to explain why she voted to close post offices.

“Sharon Hodgson has let down people in Gateshead and Washington by voting to allow the closures to continue,” said Councillor Frank Hindle who represents Low Fell.

“In June, the announcement will be made as to which branches here will be put forward for closure. This was an opportunity for Mrs Hodgson to make a stand on behalf of residents. I am disappointed she has backed the Government rather than local people.

“The loss of post offices will hit communities hard in Gateshead. They are vital assets for many local people and closing them will cause many difficulties for older people and others with mobility problems, in particular.

“Despite the decision of Mrs Hodgson to help the Government press ahead with closure, Liberal Democrats are continuing to fight the demolition of the post office network.”

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