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Post Office closures lacking ‘commonsense’

14 April, 2008

Sinn Féin MLA Willie Clarke, who has been appointed coordinator of the party's response to the British government's proposed Post Office Network cuts, has said that the programme of cuts lack commonsense.

He was speaking after discussions with Postmasters and mistresses across the North who said that cuts were not based on numbers using local Post Offices but by a scattergun approach based on geography.

Mr Clarke said:

"The fact is that the British government's proposals for closing Post Offices here are not based on how many people use any given office but on a scattergun approach based on geography.

"This means that the proposals threaten some of our busiest and most successful Post Offices, where their numbers demonstrate their importance to the local community.

"The fact is that we also have a very low density of Post Office service provision with something like just 3.5% of the total network in the north.

"These proposed cuts are also likely to be a precursor to much more far reaching cuts in 2011 when the provision of the mobile or shared option currently being put on the table by Royal Mail also comes to an end.

"It is time for our politicians to come together to look at how we can guarantee long-term retention of the Post Office network, particularly in rural areas and poorer urban areas where fewer people have easy access to bank accounts." ENDS

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