Member of Parliament for Clacton

Douglas Carswell

11 OCT 2007

Post Office closures - its stinks, says MP

Douglas tells government Ministers just how angry local people are over proposals to shut local Post Offices.

Local MP Douglas Carswell told government Ministers just how angry local people are over proposals to shut local Post Offices.

In a fierce exchange on the floor of the House of Commons this morning, Douglas questioned the logic of closing local Post Offices that do pay their way - and on which many local older folk depend.

Douglas says "The government wants to shut our local Post Offices in Walton, Kirby, Clacton, Harwich, Dovercourt - in fact right across Tendring.

This proposal stinks. Post Offices that pay their way - and on which many older folk depend - could be closed down. This defies economic sense, and is grossly unfair. Post Masters have been gagged from speaking up. The so-called proposals seem to be presented to us as a done deal - despite that fact that I had written to the Minister on several occasions asking him to tell us what was going on"

"Here we have yet another consultation leading to yet another local service closure."

"Post Offices in Walton, Clacton and Kirby are under threat because of the government's decision to axe 2,500 Post Offices nation-wide - after an entirely bogus consultation."

Meeting with Post Office officials yesterday at the House of Commons to express his anger, Douglas demanded to know if any of the currently announced closures involved shutting a Post Office in the consituency of a Cabinet member. "How many Post Offices are being shut in Gordon Brown's constituency?".

"This decision cannot be seen as a rational economic one. First, the Post Office has admitted to me that Post Offices that pay their way could well face the axe. Second, Post Masters have been threatened with a gagging order if they speak out. Third, if you look at where these cut backs are happening, there seems to be a blatant partisan bias. I was shocked to learn from Post Office officials that if an election had been called last week, these closures would not have been unveiled. The implications of this are so cynical that it is shocking".

Douglas will be addressing a public meeting on October 26th in Walton called to organise opposition to the proposals by local Cllr Mick Page.

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