Fears mount for POs

PUBLISHED: 12:19 09 November 2006 | UPDATED: 11:11 06 May 2010

MP Oliver Heald (centre) and Cllr Andrew Young (second left) meet with concerned
sub postmasters

MP Oliver Heald (centre) and Cllr Andrew Young (second left) meet with concerned sub postmasters

THE elderly look set to suffer as anxiety over the possible closure of smaller post offices increases. Oliver Heald, MP for North East Herts, and Cllr Andrew Young, cabinet member for policy for North Herts District Council, met with concerned sub postmas

THE elderly look set to suffer as anxiety over the possible closure of smaller post offices increases.

Oliver Heald, MP for North East Herts, and Cllr Andrew Young, cabinet member for policy for North Herts District Council, met with concerned sub postmasters from Baldock, Weston and Ashwell recently.

They all aired their fears about Government policy towards the small post offices network and the potential imminent closure of many of our post offices and shops.

Mr Heald said: "The role of the post office in smaller communities is vital and we must do everything we can to help them succeed.

"It is a fact that without the community work put in by the local post office staff, many elderly and vulnerable people will suffer and that is not acceptable.

"A lot of the elderly absolutely rely on the post office. It's their lifeline and it's absolutely foolish to try to take it away."

Cllr Young said: "We don't know at this stage what the Government is going to do, but bear in mind the massive lobbying nationally and even then the Government refused to confirm the necessary funding.

"My confidence is not high and post office staff are very worried. They have seen an erosion of their services through Government pressure.

"It's not about the business angle. It's about the role they play in the community.

"Huge numbers of old people go to their local post office and it's their one trip of the day; their one chat.

"This Government is not interested in community life and this is the latest nail in the coffin.

"We are picking up this groundswell of anger that the Government doesn't care about the smaller community.

"If the post office in Baldock closes that's another death knell for the town."

Mr Heald has promised to take up the case strongly in the House of Commons with ministers and talk to the shadow cabinet to help formulate policies which will help local sustainability.

Cllr Young has also promised to take up the cause at local government level.

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