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Hull MP vows to battle on for post office services

Hull North MP Diana Johnson has described today’s announcement by Post Office Ltd that it is closing two Hull North post offices as “a serious disappointment”.

The MP also called for renewed efforts to find alternative ways of providing post office services to those who will be inconvenienced by the closure of the branches at 504 Beverley Road and 75 Princes Avenue. The two closures, expected early in 2008, will leave ten post offices remaining in the Hull North Constituency.

The news on the branch closures comes after Post Office Ltd completed consultation on its ‘Network Change Programme’, which aims to stem losses that ran at £4 million per week last year.

During the consultation period, the postal industry watchdog Postwatch expressed concern about the effects of the two branch closures in Hull North.

Diana Johnson MP said: “This news is a serious disappointment to many Hull North people who use these two post offices, although I can understand the tough decisions that Post Office Ltd faces in making its branch network sustainable.

“I argued against these Hull North branch closures in a written submission, met Post Office Ltd, organised a petition and called the only public meeting in Hull North to be attended by Post Office Ltd during the consultation period,

“For me, today’s announcement is not the end of the issue. I will continue campaigning for the Royal Mail and post offices to remain integrated in the public sector, and oppose Lib Dem plans to break up and privatise parts of this key public service.

“I also want to continue exploring with Post Office Ltd and others alternative ways of providing local access to services that have been traditionally located in post office branches, working in partnership with modern organisations such as credit unions and children’s centres.

“The Government is spending £1.7 billion to support the post office network. Without this subsidy only 4,000 branches would be viable across the country, rather than almost 12,000 that will remain after these changes. However, Post Office Ltd faces serious challenges, as greater consumer choice, EU competition rules and new technologies have eroded its traditional areas of business.”