Following recent Post Office Closures on the Isle of Wight and widespread concern about the process, The Island’s MP Andrew Turner MP took the opportunity to raise the issue during a Commons debate.
Following the announcement that ten sub-post office branches will close on the Island, and a further fifty others in Hampshire the whole issue of consultation has been called into question.
Mr Turner said:
“I and many other MPs now believe the whole consultation process on post office closures is nothing more than a complete sham. It appears as though our evidence given during the consultation was completely ignored, and when I asked for documentary evidence from The Post Office that the evidence from the Rural Community Council, the Chamber of Commerce and myself had been taken into account, none was forthcoming, as I said in the House of Commons – I do not believe any exists!”
Mr Turner also used the debate to highlight the fact that the recent round of post office closures may not be the last.
Mr Turner said:
“In answer to a Parliamentary question I have been told that in order to meet the minimum access criteria as set down by Government, only 7,500 post office branches are required. After the current closure programme it is envisaged there will be 11,500 branches nationwide, so I fear that in another couple of years the Government could once again look at the Post Office network here on the Island and elsewhere, and attempt to close further branches.”
“Post Office Ltd management and the Government have let Post Office users down very badly here on the Island. We will need to be vigilant, and keep supporting our sub-post office branches in order to retain the vital service they offer to the communities they continue to serve.”