How we use Cookies

Relief as Post Office keeps key contract

FEARS that more local Post Offices might be facing the axe have been put to rest following a Government announcement yesterday.

FEARS that more local Post Offices might be facing the axe have been put to rest following a Government announcement yesterday.

A quarter of Solihull branches might have been forced to close if the organisation had lost a £200million contract.

But despite competition from a private company, the Post Office will continue to run the Post Office Card Account (POCA) which makes up 25 per cent of its business.

Lorely Burt, MP for Solihull, said the announcement was fantastic news and would end a lot of uncertainty among local people.

"I feared the worst," she said. "I think that the pressure that was put on the Government by the other parties and backbenchers and everyone else must have had an impact. It's a great result for Solihull and the country as a whole.

"If the contract had been lost then I think it would have been the end of the Post Office as we know it. We would have seen a change in the face of the high streets and all the little parades of shops nationwide."

Branches in Olton, Catherine-de-Barnes, Shirley and Berkswell were earmarked for closure in the most recent round of cuts -although Berkswell parish council are still fighting to save their local premises.

The chance that the organisation might lose a highly lucrative contract to a rival bidder sparked fears that 3000 more offices would be closing across the country.

James Purnell, Work and Pensions Secretary, said: "I firmly believe that this is the right decision for our customers, the Post Office and subpostmasters. The Post Office is a cherished institution at the heart of many communities.

"The card account is an important source of income, and brings customers through the doors."

But Mrs Burt has warned that more business needs to be sent the way of Post Offices if they are to continue.

 

Journalists

Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
Full newsroom contact details
Tell us what's happening in your area.