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MP action over PO closures

PUBLISHED: 05:01 31 January 2003 | UPDATED: 16:13 24 February 2010

A LEADING Essex MP has attempted to draw attention to the continuing closure of urban Post Offices in his constituency.

Simon Burns, Conservative MP for West Chelmsford, has tabled an early day motion at the House of Commons in an attempt to highlight what he feels is the plight of elderly and vulnerable people who will be affected by the changes.

A LEADING Essex MP has attempted to draw attention to the continuing closure of urban Post Offices in his constituency.

Simon Burns, Conservative MP for West Chelmsford, has tabled an early day motion at the House of Commons in an attempt to highlight what he feels is the plight of elderly and vulnerable people who will be affected by the changes.

The Post Office plans to close up to 3,000 of the 9,000 urban Post Offices nationally.

Mr Burns claimed the decision to close four sub-post offices, including one in the Cathedral Ward and one in the lower area of Springfield, in Chelmsford was incorrect.

He said: "I feel very strongly that the proposed closure of the four sub post offices in Chelmsford, which will adversely affect the local communities on the western side of the city, is wrong.

"It will cause particular hardship to pensioners and those without any form of transport because the shortest distance for a round trip to the nearest alternative sub-Post Office is at least one mile."

He added he was concerned about the Post Office's financial position and alleged the Government's policy on transferring pensions straight into bank accounts was "ruinous".

However, the national federation of sub-postmasters has reiterated its support of the programme which it claimed will "reinvent the post office network".

A spokesman for the federation said talk of mass closures was just "scare mongering".

He said: "It is wrong to criticise the industry for being out of date and in decline and then create panic when we are doing something about it."

Liberal Democrat MP for Colchester, Bob Russell, has said he was worried that up to eight of the town's post offices would close.

A spokeswoman for the Post Office said the move followed a lengthy consultation process.

She said: "The closures are part of an on-going three year programme which will see up to 3,000 urban offices close. We have taken into account the views of sub-post masters who have said they want to close for various reasons."

She said she was unable to comment on the specific post offices listed for closure in Chelmsford.

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