Local Conservative candidate leads strong show of support at Middlebrook Street branch.
Speaking at a rally in Winchester (on Friday 23rd February), marking National Post Office Week, and opposing the planned closure of 2,500 Post Offices in the next two years, Steve Brine said:
"I know how important the Post Office network is to local people, often the most vulnerable in our communities.
"Ministers have to realise that when the Post Office closes, very often the last shop in the villages closes too. Elderly people, disabled people and families with young children don't want to have to head into town to buy a pint of milk or a stamp".
Last year 4 million people signed a petition calling on the Government to save Post Offices; despite this the Government announced that a further 2,500 would be closed over the next two years.
Steve adds; "I am in constant contact with sub-postmasters in the area, many of whom I know personally because I rely on their services like everyone else. They are desperately worried about the uncertainty they currently face and I don't blame them.
"While this Government closes Post Offices, the Conservatives are getting on with working out how to save them. Last October we published our Post Office Action Plan, which laid out our ideas for ensuring that as many Post Offices as possible have a secure future. We called for a successor to the Post Office card account; we argued for sub-Postmasters to be given greater freedom to find new business opportunities and we called on local councils to see what services they can provide through Post Offices."
The aim of the National Post Office Week is to raise the profile of the Government consultation on the future of the Post Office Network. One of the main proposals which they are consulting on, is a plan to close 2500 Post Offices which they class as ‘economically unviable’. The consultation closes on March 8th 2007.
Steve Brine is pictured above with Ray Pearce of the Communication Workers Union and television's Clarissa Dickson-Wright at Winchester's Central Post Office.
The rally, and Steve's comment on the closure threat, was featured on WIN FM and Meridian TV on Friday 23rd February 2007.