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Post Offices - Djanogly Questions Bosses over rural strategy


4th December 2002

Attending the Trade and Industry Select Committee Inquiry into the Post Office yesterday, Jonathan questioned Mr Allan Leighton, Chairman of the Royal Mail Group and Mr David Mills, Chief Executive of the Post Office, with regard to the Post Office strate

Attending the Trade and Industry Select Committee Inquiry into the Post Office yesterday, the Member of Parliament for the Huntingdon Constituency, questioned Mr Allan Leighton, Chairman of the Royal Mail Group and Mr David Mills, Chief Executive of the Post Office, with regard to the Post Office strategy concerning rural sub Post Office branches.

Mr Djanogly said:

"The stated position made out by the Post Office bosses was that all rural Post Offices are to be supported, but I queried with them whether this was working in practice.

The fact remains that hundreds of rural Post Offices have been closing and continue to close around the country and several have closed in my constituency over the last year. The Post Office bosses essentially blamed these closures on the owners of sub Post Offices. However, I put it to the management that, from my constituency experience, inadequate support is being given to rural sub Post Offices and, in particular, I noted:

  • that information provided to perspective owners is insufficient and is often delayed in being sent to them;
  • once prospective owners have received the information, a lack of interest is often displayed by the Post Office in finalising arrangements, as is currently the case regarding proposals to reopen the Post Office in Upton; and
  • for existing Post Offices insufficient support is provided in relation to such things as security and the range of products which can be offered, as is currently the case with Great Staughton Post Office, where they have been told that they are not permitted to sell vehicle tax disks, which would be of help to their businesses.

At the Inquiry, the Post Office Management confirmed to me that they would look into these issues further and I have today written to them setting out the details of my complaint and I fully intend to pursue this matter as I consider that the retention of our local village Post Offices is a vital aspect of supporting village communities."



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