News Date: Tuesday 29th January 2008
Tim 'furious' at Post Office plans to go ahead with cuts
East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton has expressed his fury at the decision by Post Office bosses to go ahead with all 7 closures of sub-Post Office branches in his constituency despite massive local opposition to the plans. He has branded the consultation exercise a farce and has called on the Government to reverse the decision.
During the so-called 'consultation' Tim worked alongside local residents and Sub-Post-Masters on his campaign to 'Save Local Post Offices'. He raised the matter in Parliament, organised marches against the cuts and public meetings for the local community to express their concerns about the proposed closures.
Tim has commented:
"This news is another bitter blow to my constituents. I am appalled that the Post Office appears to have stuck two fingers up to thousands of customers in Adur and Worthing and indeed the whole of Sussex who will now struggle even more to access dwindling post office services.
"We were assured by the Post Office and the Minister that this was a 'meaningful and genuine' consultation exercise even though it had been truncated to 6 weeks in the run up to Christmas. Yet they have clearly ignored the 6200 people who signed our petition in a very short space of time; they have ignored the hundreds who took to the streets in protest; they have ignored the worsening deprivation figures which were published during the consultation and they have completely ignored the very genuine concerns of residents, police, businesses and councillors that the increased travel distances will be unworkable and dangerous for many people, let alone adding to congestion.
"At a stroke the Post Office have halved the number of sub-post offices in my constituency without any idea of how the remaining branches will cope and once gone they are gone for good. The whole of Sompting and Lancing especially has suffered a body blow condemning a population on near 28,000 effectively to rely on one main post office which is already struggling to cope.
"This is a complete travesty and the post office has lost all credibility in terming itself 'the people's post office' and is clearly more interested in maximising profit and has lost any concept of providing a public service.
"It is shameful that the Government is standing by and letting this happen and can only result in losing even more business to the competition such that no one can be assured that we have even seen the end of the cuts.
"We will be fighting this decision all the way and I will be tackling the Minister to justify how this consultation was anything other than a sham and another cruel deceit to the people of Sussex."