The Government and The Post Office last year announced plans to close around 2,500 Post Offices in the UK, of which up to 169 offices in London are shortlisted. All this was announced in October last year. Now the Post Office has begun a six-week consultation on plans for the capital's post offices… not that they are making a big thing about it on the website… you'll find it in small text on the right hand side under 'network changes'… Ken wants to get the consultation period doubled up to twelve. Brent Lib Dems say that if the proposed closures go ahead Brent will be left with just 24 Post Offices, compared with 40 when Labour came to power.
The Lib Dems are campaigning – I presume that means they will be making representations to the consultation panel on behalf of the citizens of Brent – and have an e-petition that Brent residents can complete in support of local Post Offices and against the Govt. & Post Office Ltd's proposed cuts.
For Cricklewood and Mapesbury people concerned about the loss of Walm Lane Post Office – click and complete the e-petition.
Remember folks, although Dawn Butler (MP Brent South) may "call for a rethink", she "support[s] the Government's approach of allowing Royal Mail the freedom to respond to future commercial challenges and opportunities, and in particular enabling Post Office Limited to determine the future shape of the network within clear Government rules governing criteria for local access" (Opposition Day Jan 10 2007, Public Whip)
Barry Gardiner (MP Brent North) was previously Minister for Competitiveness at the Department of Trade & Industry and met with Post Watch back in 2006 to discuss Post Office closures. He also voted with the Govt for the euphemistic motion cited above.
What we will see over the coming weeks is a flood of photo opportunities in front of Post Offices… All you need to remember is that Dawn and Barry vote with the Govt on ‘national issues’ then campaign against the Govt on ‘local issues’, even when they are the same issue.