MIKE Weir MP remains concerned about the future of the Post Office network.
He said: “The UK Government’s statement that the Post Office and Royal Mail have entered into a 10-year contract is very welcome.
“There does, however, remain cause for concern in several areas. The Minister maintains that the number of Post Offices remains over 11,500 but the truth is that sub offices are still closing and, in many cases, being replaced by a reduced outreach service such as happened in Ferryden. This may still count within the total numbers of Post Offices, but is none the less a diminution of service.”
“The Minister states that becoming a front office for government is a key objective, but there is little evidence of progress. When the Department for Work and Pensions had the opportunity to continue services through the Post Office they put the contract elsewhere.
“It is also a concern that many rural post offices are becoming Post Office locals which offer a more restricted range of services, or are being replaced by outreach services. It is highly unlikely that many of them will offer the services mentioned by the Minister, such as identity confirmation services.”