Scottish Liberal Democrats are putting pressure on the Government to safeguard the future of rural Post Offices
Ten Scottish Liberal Democrat MPs today met with DTI Minister Jim Fitzpatrick to express their concerns over the future of the rural Post Office network. The meeting comes ahead of Alistair Darling’s statement on the future of the post offices, which is due in December.
Commenting after the meeting, Jo Swinson, Liberal Democrat Shadow Scottish Secretary said:
“It has been clear for some time that some rural post offices will be closed. What is not clear, however, is the scale of the closures.
“We impressed upon the Minister the importance of clarity on this issue. Currently, sub-postmasters face considerable uncertainty over their future, leaving them unable to plan effectively.
“Scottish Liberal Democrats made a very strong case for rural post offices, and I hope this is reflected in Alistair Darling’s statement before Christmas.”
Commenting further, Gordon MP Malcolm Bruce said:
“Following this meeting the Minister must surely understand the importance of Post Offices to rural communities.
“We made it clear that the Government must ensure there is a fair process when a decision is made on which post offices to close.
“We also emphasised the uncertainty sub-postmasters are currently facing. The Government has announced the end of the Post Office Card Account in 2009 without announcing an alternative, which places sub-postmasters in a deeply uncertain position.
“The Government must guarantee that there will be a viable network in the future.”
Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey MP, Danny Alexander added:
“In the meeting the extent of the Treasury’s role in determining if, and how many, post offices to close was made clear.
“If the axe is to fall on rural post offices, which seems to be the Government’s intention, a large portion of the blame will fall at Gordon Brown’s door.
“Scottish Liberal Democrats will continue to campaign vociferously for rural post offices because of their vital importance to the communities they serve”