Residents in Burton & Uttoxeter face the prospect of a second wave of post office cuts, as new warnings emerged of more closures thanks to Gordon Brown’s government. Under the current closures, Burton will have lost half of its post offices since 1997. However, fresh news from the Federation of Sub-Postmasters means that a further 1 in 4 post offices now face being shut forever, meaning that Burton constituency could lose another 5 branches.
The National Federation of Sub-Postmasters has warned this week that 3,000 post offices will forced to close if the Post Office Ltd loses its contract for the Post Office Card Account. The Card Account is used by 4 million people each week to access pensions and benefits.
Card Account transactions bring in 12 per cent of sub-post offices’ income, and 1 in 4 of all visits made to post offices each week are by Card Account customers. The Post Office already admit that in 1997, 90% of it’s income came from the government, but today it is just 10%. The Federation has estimated that another 3,000 post offices will go out of business – on top of the current round of 2,500 cuts – if they lose the right to handle state pension and benefit payments.
In 1999, there were 36 local post offices in the Burton constituency. but today there are just 23, and 5 of those are earmarked for closure.
The closure of 3,000 more post offices across the country would be equivalent to Burton & Uttoxeter losing 5 more, leaving just 13 left. This would mean that almost two-thirds of the constituency’s post offices would have closed under Labour. The constituency has already lost more post offices than the average for other parts of the country.
Andrew Griffiths, the local Conservative Candidate for Burton & Uttoxeter, commented:
“We are currently battling to save five post offices in Burton, but I am flabbergasted to learn of Gordon Brown’s plans for a second wave of post office cuts. This puts a fresh cloud of uncertainty over these vital community services, and leaves us asking “where is next for the axe?”
“This shows that the current round of post office cuts is not the end of the matter. On top of the prospect of the end of Saturday deliveries and local branches closing by the week, the nation’s postal service faces a death by a thousand cuts thanks to Gordon Brown.”