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WE MUST FIGHT LATEST THREAT TO OUR LOCAL POST OFFICES

Suggestions that up to 3000 local post offices across the UK could close are a disdainful attack on small communities. Between 2,500 and 3,000 post offices, mostly in rural areas, face phased closure after a government announcement due on Thursday. The decline in the number of Post Offices under both Conservative and Labour Governments has provoked a national petition with over four million signatures. Now more than one in five is under the direst threat and this is without the effect of the Government’s review of its £150m annual subsidy. Post Offices are essential to many people in small communities. Often they are a vital component to the viability of local shops. Yet different government departments and quangoes are taking business away, death by many cuts, where is the joined up thinking? These cuts include the BBC’s withdrawal of its TV licence sales, the planned scrapping of the Post Office card, the pressure to renew car tax on line and the introduction of on line stamps. Choice is important, it’s an attractive idea, but, all too often, it’s only available to those with means and ability. The local post office is simply not a commercial operation, it’s a public service. The financial crisis in the Post Office network needs a solution not just opposition, at the moment only the Liberal Democrats have a way forward that does not involve further closures.