Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Local Post Offices saved by Liberal Democrats

Post Offices in Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend have been saved by Liberal Democrat Business Minister, Ed Davey.

After ending Labour’s shameful 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.

It 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.

Regional Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member, Peter Black welcomed the agreement. He said;

“After years of Post Office closures under the Labour Government, it is excellent news that Liberal Democrats are doing the right thing by ensuring that the Post Office has a sustainable future ahead of it through investment and by brokering this deal with Royal Mail.

“Post Offices are a vital part of our communities and are the lynchpin of our towns and villages. More than 20 million people visit a Post Office every week to send letters to loved ones, to manage their finances or to renew passports for holidays and hundreds of thousands of pensioners rely on them every day for their pensions.

“Labour left Royal Mail in a terrible mess and it is Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government who have stopped closures and put Royal Mail and the Post Office on a secure footing. Our plans mean that we will never see the kind of planned closures that devastated local communities under the previous Government.

“The 20 million people who use the Post Office every week don’t deserve anything less from us.”

Commenting further, Ed Davey 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.”

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