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New Money for Post Office in Deprived Urban Areas can help avoid closures

25 March, 2004

Sinn Fein Economic Spokesperson, Fermanagh South Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew MLA has welcomed the announcement of a £750,000 fund to support Post Offices in deprived urban areas and said that post offices that are earmarked for closure in deprived areas should reconsider their position. She added a similar scheme should also be developed for rural areas.

Ms Gildernew said:

"The announcement earlier this month that 21 post offices are due to close was greeted with widespread anger. This money, that is available to support Post Offices in deprived areas, should hopefully avoid the need for any of these planned closures in areas where their loss will compound disadvantage.

"Post Offices especially in deprived areas play an important role. It is vital that these resources are used to both sustain and develop these vital community resources.

"It is vital that the Post Office and Department of Social Development now turn their attention to the needs of rural communities. Financial pressures on rural Post Offices, particularly in light of the disastrous handling of the switch over to electronic benefits payments, are particularly great in rural areas. The loss of rural any post office to rural communities will be particularly devastating to both the social and economic fabric of rural life." ENDS

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