Press Release

Aberavon MP Welcomes Post Office Reprieve

13th November 2008

Aberavon MP Dr Hywel Francis MP has welcomed the Government's announcement today that the Post Office will retain its £1 billion five year contract to distribute benefits to 4.3 million claimants.

Dr Francis said,

'This Labour Government decision means that 3000 post offices will be saved. I have supported the campaign by many of my constituents and by trade unions to save the post office card account because post offices play a vital social and economic role in all our communities. The new contract for the Post Office will run until March 2015 with the possibility of an extension after that.

Dr Francis added,

'I am delighted that the Government has responded positively to the 2 million people who signed the petition and the 265 backbench MPs including myself – who signed the Early Day Motion in defence of the contract remaining with the Post Office. This means that remote rural and valleys areas – despite recent closures – will continue to have their local post offices.'

'In announcing the decision the Work and Pensions Secretary, James Purnell was right to say that this was now good news for the Post Office, for sub-postmasters and above all for constituents: there are 10,520 post office card accounts holders in my Aberavon constituency and I am sure they will welcome this news.'

Dr Francis concluded,

'I am also pleased that the new Business Secretary, Lord Mandelson is suggesting that the role of post offices could be expanded into undertaking more financial services.'

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