Keep Your Post Office

Published 3 November 2006

In a letter to Parish Councils, the Countryside Alliance urges local communities to recgnise the importance of the services that are provided by their Post Office. They write:

“As you will know, rural services are the lifeblood of rural communities, especially in the more remote areas of the country. This is borne out by research which has shown that 91% of people feel that Post Offices play an important role in their communities. Facts like this are particularly poignant when set against the bleak reality of our times: seven out of 10 villages in England no longer have a shop; rural Britain has lost over a quarter of bank branches since 1995 and 20 traditional pubs are closing every month across Britain.

So when the Government announced in February its decision not to renew the Post Office Card Account (POCA) beyond 2010 and failed to make a decision on the subsidy given to rural Post Offices, it became clear that these threats to the future of rural Post Offices have the potential to devastate the communities they serve.

The Government needs to understand that the real value of a Post Office cannot be measured simply by turnover, and it must recognise that the benefit to the community goes far beyond the ‘doorstep’ of the Post Office.

If you feel the same as we do about your local Post Office then please help us to help save them. We have been asking our members to write urgently to Jim Fitzpatrick MP, the minister responsible for Post Offices, to let him know what their local Post Offices mean to them and what the loss would mean to their communities. If Mr Fitzpatrick’s postbag tells him how communities feel he will hopefully recognise the importance of this issue, and if every community in the countryside is displaying cards saying ‘love the Post Office, love the countryside’, the message will be clearer still.”

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