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Dundee councillor's concern about the future of Dundee's Post Offices

January 26, 2006 9:57 PM
Dundee LibDem councillor highlights Post Office fears

Dundee LibDem councillor highlights Post Office fears

Dundee City Council's Liberal Democrat Finance Convener, Cllr Fraser Macpherson, has launched an attack on the UK government, accusing it of presiding over the demise of local Post Offices.

The Department for Work and Pensions has decided not to extend the contract for the Post Office card account used by millions to collect benefits and pensions - beyond 2010.

Cllr Macpherson said he believes that the government's refusal to renew this contract, worth £1 billion in income to the Post Office, could throw the future of some of Dundee's branches into doubt.

Cllr Macpherson said, "The decision not to renew the contract is a hammer-blow for post office services. There is clearly concern about this amongst postmasters. The irony is that it was the government that insisted on the introduction of the Post Office card accounts - against the wishes of many postmasters and customers - yet now they are bailing out, potentially leaving the Post Offices high and dry.

"Parliamentary answers show that each post office branch has an average of up to 355 customers a week collecting their benefits through their Post Office Card account - across Britain, millions of people are using the Post Office Card account system. The government's failure to renew this contract will threaten the future of many of those Post Offices which provide vital services to local communities.

"I would urge the government to reconsider this decision. Since coming to power the Labour government has presided over the demise of our local Post Office network through needless reforms, closures and reduction of services. By renewing this contract it has the opportunity to turn this abysmal record around and ensure the long term viability of our Post Offices in Dundee and beyond."

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