Thank you for contacting me recently about the relocation and franchising to WHSmith of 74 Crown post offices. I agree with you on this important issue. Post offices are vital services and we must end the closures.

I am concerned that the proposals the Post Office announced in October 2018 risk around 800 jobs and are yet another setback to our high streets. I also believe there are serious questions about the transparency of the plans, particularly given the significant amount of public money used to finance the closure and franchising of the Crown post office network.

The Government says it recognises the important role post offices play in communities across the country. In its manifesto for the 2017 General Election, it said it would protect the post office network. However, it is pursuing a strategy of managed decline. This means services have suffered, affecting the most vulnerable in communities who rely on their high street post office.

At the 2017 General Election, I stood on a manifesto that pledged to end the closure of Crown post office branches and to give communities more power to shape their town centres by strengthening powers to protect post offices. I can therefore assure you that I support the CWU’s Save Our Post Office campaign and will press the Government on this issue at every opportunity.

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