Friday, 27 January 2012

Cornish Post Offices saved from further closures by the Liberal Democrats

The future of Post Offices in Cornwall has been secured by Liberal Democrat Business Minister, Ed Davey.

After ending Labour’s Post Office closure programme, which saw more than 7100 Post Offices disappear in their 13 years in office, Ed Davey has announced that a ten-year deal between the Post Office and the Royal Mail has been reached. The deal gives additional certainty to subpostmasters across the UK and covers the full range of Royal Mail products available at post offices such as first and second class post, parcels, air mail, recorded and special deliveries. Before Labour came to power, the Conservatives had a closure programme of their own and many thousands of branches were closed under their rule.

The deal adds to other recent progress for the Post Office, with extra Government cash kicking in, new national and local government contracts won, successful piloting of new models to transform many local post offices and improvements in financial services offered.

Labour left Royal Mail in a terrible mess and it is Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government who have finally put Royal Mail and the Post Office on a secure footing that mean that we will never see a repeat of the devastating closures that happened under the last government such as Newport in Launceston.

Local MP Dan Rogerson said:

"Post Offices are a vital part of our communities and are the lynchpin of our towns and villages. I’ve been campaigning with residents over the last few years to keep local post offices open and to re-instate branches such as the newly re-opened post office in Port Isaac."

“More than 20 million people visit a Post Office every week to manage their finances, renew passports for holidays or to send letters to loved ones, and hundreds of thousands of pensioners rely on them every day for their pensions.”

Commenting further, Business Minister Ed Davey MP said:

“A year ago I set out a radical plan to transform Post Office’s future, with £1.34bn of Government support and investment but without any closure programmes. Since then the Post Office has made good progress to become more competitive, building on its strengths.

“While it will take several years to turn round the Post Office’s finances, it’s increasingly clear the reforms are beginning to work. The 10-year deal struck between Royal Mail and the Post Office will give subpostmasters and others greater confidence. The signs are extremely encouraging for the future of the Post Office.”

Under the Labour Government, Post Office numbers fell by more than 7100, or 38%. In March 2010, there were 11,905 post offices in the UK. Post Office Ltd remains in 100% public ownership. A new Board has been appointed to oversee the Post Office as an independent business with certainty about its future.

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