Post Office Debate  

18/04/00

Tories mislead public over Post Office debate

Local MP, Edward Davey, condemned the leader of the Conservative Cllr Edwards today for trying to mislead the public by misrepresenting his views on the future of the Post Office.

Commenting on Councillor Edwards' recent press release, entitled "post offices betrayed", Edward Davey said,
"Councillor Edwards should get his facts straight. The Liberal Democrats first put forward a motion in Parliament way back on 17 January to support post offices. The Conservatives abstained on this motion."

"Last week in Parliament, the Conservatives proposed a motion which praised the previous Conservative Government for their record on Post Offices.* The Liberal Democrats couldn't support that motion because during the last Conservative Government, over 2000 Post Offices were forced out of business."

He added,
"Frankly, I am disappointed that the Conservative leader of Kingston Council should try to mislead local residents in this shabby way.

"It is clear that it is simply a case of Johnny-come-lately Tories trying to trick the public into voting for them in the forthcoming Mayoral elections. Residents should be warned that only the Liberal Democrats want to save the Post Office Network whilst the Tories want to privatise it."

"Given these facts, I know residents won't be fooled by the Tories' crocodile tears."


Notes

  • Over 3000 local residents have already signed Edward Davey MP's 'Save Our Post Offices Petition.'

  • In March 1979 there were 21213 post offices in existence in the UK, by March 1997 this had fallen to 19136. (This information was supplied courtesy of the Independent House of Commons Library.)

  • * The Conservative Motion tabled by Mrs. Angela Browning (Member of Parliament for Tiverton and Honiton) included the phrase, "Applauds the determination of the last Conservative Government to maintain a national network of post offices." - It would have been hypocritical for Liberal Democrats to support this motion and would have damaged their campaign to prevent the Post Office Network from being privatised.

Post Office Services Debate.
This unedited extract has been taken from Hansard - 17/01/2000 edition Dr. Vincent Cable (Liberal Democrat MP for Twickenham):
I beg to move, "That this House deplores the continuing decline under successive governments in the sub-post office network which is contributing to growing financial exclusion especially among pensioners and other low-income groups; regrets the Government's intention to press ahead with automated credit transfer from 2003 which will lead to further large scale closures and will deny freedom of choice; and urges the Government to postpone automated credit transfer until the Post Office has developed its own automated platform and, as part of the Universal Service Obligation, require Post Office Counters to maintain a sub-post office network which satisfies broad social and economic as well as narrow financial criteria of viability."

 

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