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Politics / Isles MP calls for Post Office contract debate

The post office on Commercial Street. Photo: Shetland News

A DEBATE will be held in the House of Commons tomorrow (Tuesday) to discuss contracts and pay for local post offices.

Alistair Carmichael, MP for Shetland and Orkney, secured the debate after raising concerns in March.

Many sub-post offices (small offices that provide some Post Office services) face the threat of closure all over the country.

Carmichael said: “Local branch post offices site at the heart of our communities in the isles but it is more and more difficult for sub-postmasters and sub-postmistresses to keep these services going.

“The number of people visiting post offices may be smaller than in the past but they remain essential services for those who use them – the government cannot allow the network to wither away through inaction.”

Last year Citizens Advice found that on average, two offices close each week.

“Ministers like to pretend that this is simply an operational matter for the Post Office but this is a publicly owned company – ultimately the government holds the pen and the purse strings,” Carmichael continued.

“When other avenues to get a fair deal for local post offices are not working the government has got to step up.

“I said in March that I would be pressing for parliamentary time on this issue and now we have secured a debate and a chance to air the issues fully.

“I will be reaching out to local sub-postmasters and sub-postmistresses to discuss their concerns – anyone with an interest is welcome to get in touch.”

The debate is scheduled to begin at 4pm tomorrow, Tuesday 23 May.

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