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Loss of Post Offices will hit rural and disadvantaged communities hardest

17 May, 2007

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Rural Development, Mid Ulster MLA Francie Molloy has said that the loss of up to 300 Post Offices in the Six Counties will have a devastating effect on rural communities and also in areas of social disadvantage across the Six Counties.

Mr Molloy said:

"The loss of hundreds of Post Offices across the north will have a devastating impact on communities, particularly, but not only in rural areas where the Post Office plays such an important role.

"The rural Post Office is not just a central part of the community it is an essential link particularly for our older people. They provide a lifeline to thousands of older people who would otherwise be isolated.

"In many areas where there are severe problems of social disadvantage the Post Office provides an essential lifeline for people struggling to manage on benefits.

"This determination of the British government to undermine the future of our Post Office network is a disgrace. The decisions to withdraw services such as TV licences and the Post Office Card Accounts, that people used to draw down pension and other benefit payments, have had a devastating impact on the viability of the Post Office network.

"The Assembly in a previous incarnation made its support for our Post Office Network clear. I believe that there is scope for our new Executive to put in place an imaginative response to this threat that can support and enhance the Post Office Network and support of rural and disadvantaged communities." ENDS

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