News Date: Tuesday 13th November 2007
Tim launches campaign to save local post offices
East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton has condemned outright Government plans announced today to close another 7 sub-post offices across East Worthing and Shoreham.
Post Office Ltd (POL) has today announced the names of the seven post offices which are under the threat of closure and has begun a six week public consultation to take the views of local people into account before any final decisions on closures are made.
Post offices earmarked for closure in East Worthing and Shoreham are as follows:
- Bowness Avenue on Seadown Parade, Sompting
- The Parade on Broadwater Road Worthing
- Downlands on Upper Brighton Road, Worthing
- Old Shoreham on Upper Shoreham Road
- North Lancing on Mill Road. Lancing
- South Lancing on South Street, Lancing
- West Beach on Beach Green, Shoreham by Sea
Tim has launched a petition to protest at the threatened closure of the local post offices and is encouraging all local residents to sign up to it. He has already visited North Lancing Post Office to lend them his support and plans to visit every other post office under threat in his constituency by the end of the week.
This Friday at 12.30pm Tim and local Peverel councillors Brian Boggis and Carson Albury will join campaigns and local customers at Bowness Avenue Post Office who will march to the nearest alterative post office branch in Lancing to highlight the local access problems which will arise if Bowness Post Office is closed. Photographers and media are welcome.
In October last year the Conservative Party produced an Action Plan to save local post offices which would involve giving Sub-Post Offices greater freedoms to offer a wider range of commercial products, pushing for more Post Offices to be 'one stop shops' for central government services, campaigning to save the Post Office Card Account from being axed and encouraging local councils to consider opening 'council counters' in local branches.
This Action Plan would have saved many local post offices from closure and yet the Government ignored it. Instead of providing an alternative route for sub-post offices to flourish by allowing them to diversify their businesses, the Government has seen fit to simply manage their decline by closing a huge swathe of them.
"Just when you thought it was safe to lay down your KWASH protest banners the post office turns up to try and close our local branches.
"Post Office services in East Worthing and Shoreham have already been cut to the bone and further cuts are complete madness. Our post offices are an essential community service but it seems that the Government will not be satisfied until they have closed every last one.
"We have a large elderly population and Post Offices are particularly valuable to them. It is simply unrealistic to think that a situation where people have to walk a mile to a post office or reply on inadequate public transport is acceptable.
"In the last round of sub post office cuts we lost nine branches and I often see queues which stretch through the doors and into the street in the remaining branches. If the Government go ahead with these changes they will not only be undermining a vital lifeline to many of my constituents but they will also be handing a death sentence to small shops who rely on post offices to bring business to their parade of shops."
"I would urge everyone to lodge their objections and concerns with the Post Office in the next few weeks and to sign out petition to save our local branches. I have already had a heated meeting in Westminster with post office mangers to express my alarm at the proposed cuts. I will be working in conjunction with local councillors to organise public meetings and street surgeries. These proposed cuts are totally unacceptable and we must fight their implementation all the way."
Note to Editor:
1) For further information on the Post Office Ltd's consultation please visit www.dti.gov.uk/consultations/page36024.html
2) Bowness Avenue Post Office is located on 8 Seadown Parade, Bowness Avenue, Sompting, Lancing, BN15 9TP