Government should learn from Bishopbriggs Post Office example


Jo worked with the community and local businesspeople to secure the opening of a new Post Office in Bishopbriggs

Jo Swinson has called on the UK Government to learn lessons from the successful campaign to save Bishopbriggs Post Office.

Jo today submitted a response to the consultation on the future of the Post Office network that the Government has been running over the past 3 months. The response sets out concerns over how Government policy on Post Offices will affect local services in East Dunbartonshire.

Areas addressed by the submission are:

• Access to Post Offices and potential problems in rural parts of East Dunbartonshire

• Avoiding further Post Office closures by involving the local community, drawing on the experience of Bishopbriggs Post Office

• Damage done to the Post Office network through withdrawal of Government business such as sale of TV licences

• Requirements of the new Post Office card account when the current POCA contract expires in 2010

Commenting on the submission, Jo said:

“There are a number of areas in which the Government needs to improve its approach to maintaining the Post Office network. The systematic withdrawal of Government business from the Post Office has been damaging and has sent out a negative signal to the market over the network’s viability.

“There is also a concern over people in rural areas missing out because of a lack of clarity in the Government’s criteria over access to Post Offices.

“The main point stressed in the response is that we cannot afford any further Post Office closures in East Dunbartonshire. 4 Post Offices have closed in the constituency in the past 3 years, reducing the total number by 30%, and there would have been an additional closure in Bishopbriggs if not for the determined opposition of the local community.

“It is vital to share the Bishopbriggs experience as a model of how solutions can be found when local Post Offices face the threat of closure, by getting community support and involving local businesspeople.”

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