Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Karen backs petition against post office closures

Perry Barr constituency Liberal Democrat spokeswoman Karen Hamilton has declared full support for the campaign against post office closures which will devastate Handsworth and Perry Barr.

Meanwhile Perry Barr MP Khalid Mahmood states he is opposed to post office closures - and yet that's not how he voted in Parliament.

Quoted in the Evening Mail he says: "This restructuring of the Royal Mail is an absolute nonsense."

Could he explain then why he voted AGAINST the following motion which was supported by as many as 19 rebel Labour MPs?

A few more rebels could have changed the whole situation, as it has done on other issues recently.

No wonder the Post Office proposes to slash the number of offices in his constituency by four. The proposed closures are:

  • Church Vale, 60 Robert Road, Birmingham B20 3RU, Birmingham, Perry Barr.
  • Coopers Road, 53 Coopers Road, Birmingham B20 2JU, Birmingham,Perry Barr.
  • Greenholm Road, 210 Kingstanding Road, Birmingham B44 8JP,Birmingham, Perry Barr.
  • Sandwell Road (Temporarily closed), 225 Sandwell Road, Birmingham B21 8PD, Birmingham, Perry Barr.

Constituency Lib Dem spokeswoman Karen Hamilton said: "This closure programme is indeed a nonsense and our party has consistently said so in parliament and locally over the years.

"It will devastate local communities, undermining local shopping centres.

"Our local MP says one thing in Birmingham and does something else in London. It's time he explained himself properly."

This was the motion that Khalid Mahmood voted against:

Post Office Closures — Suspend for issues to be re-assessed — rejected — 19 Mar 2008 at 18:45

* This House -
* regrets the proposal to close up to 2,500 post offices;
* recognises the vital role post offices play in local communities;
* notes the concern and unpopularity amongst the general public of closing such a large portion of the network;
* has concerns that the access criteria laid down for the closures consultation do not adequately take into account local geographical factors and public transport networks;
* is concerned that the consultation period is only for six weeks rather than three months, as recommended by Cabinet Office guidelines;
* believes that post offices must move with the times in the services they offer and that options for business expansion and developing business opportunities with local authorities should be explored further; and
* calls upon the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform to instruct Post Office Limited to suspend the compulsory closure of sub-post offices while these issues are re-assessed.

An alternative motion was proposed and voted through in the following vote.[2]

The alternative motion which Mr Mahmood and most Labour MPs backed appeared to endorse the restructuring programme. This is what it says:

The majority of MPs voted in favour of the motion:[1]

* This House
* recognises the vital social and economic role of post offices, in particular in rural and deprived urban communities;
* notes the decline in post office customer numbers in recent years and the financial losses of £174 million incurred by the network in 2007;
* further recognises the effect of changes such as direct debit facilities and increased use of the internet for payment and communication;
* commends the Government's action to support the post office network with investment of up to £1.7 billion up until 2011, including an annual subsidy of £150 million;
* further notes that this subsidy did not exist under the last government and that without it thousands more post offices would be under threat; and
* urges the Government to continue working with Post Office Limited to ensure a viable and sustainable network for the future.

You can find the Evening Mail petition forms here.

Source: publicwhip.org.uk

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is rather interesting for me to read the post. Thank you for it. I like such topics and everything that is connected to this matter. I would like to read a bit more soon.