According to reports yesterday, the Government looks set to propose the closure of around 3,000 post offices, with the vast majority being in rural areas such as Aberconwy. There are currently around 14,000 post offices currently open in the UK, although the Royal Mail has publicly stated that it can run a viable service with only 4,000 outlets.
Despite rhetoric from politicians, there is little understanding of the vital role that post offices play within our communities. For many people in Llandudno, as well as the Conwy valley, their local post office provides crucial services which many will not be able to access if these cuts go ahead. Indeed, with many high streets losing their local banks the post office is the only option left for many people, especially the elderly in our society”
Most of the problems that post offices have faced in the last few years have been because of government decisions to withdraw key services such as pensions, benefits, TV licences and passports. I therefore call upon all our Assembly members in North Wales to raise this matter urgently with the Labour Government in Cardiff Bay, and to set up a task force, in partnership with the National Federation of Subpostmasters, to examine how more local and national public services can be managed through the local post office network.
The whole point of having devolved government in Wales is that we can do things differently to England, and I would fully expect the Assembly to look carefully at how Wales can respond to this issue.