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Post Office unhelpful, claims LGA

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The Post Office is obstructing councils that are trying to save threatened branches, the Local Government Association has claimed.

Many councils have shown an interest in rescuing branches under threat, with Essex CC negotiating with the Post office to invest£1.5m in saving around half the 32 branches earmarked for closure in the county (LGC, 13 March).

LGA senior policy consultant Ian Keating revealed that the Post Office had raised objections to others following suit.

“One problem elsewhere is that the Post Office says that everything to do with branches’ performance is commercially confidential, and it is raising issues about security and opening hours,” he said.

“They are not being very helpful to councils, they seem to just choose the ones to close and that is the end of the story.”

Meanwhile, councils as diverse as Highland Council and Waltham Forest LBC have launched campaigns against closures.

Peter Cairns (SNP), Highland’s post offices spokesperson, said closures threatened the sustainability of small communities.

“The council made this very clear in our response and it is extremely disappointing that this has been ignored [by the Post Office],” he said.

A joint statement by leaders of all three main parties at Waltham Forest urged residents to lobby to save six threatened branches.

A Royal Mail group spokesman said: “We are very willing to work with local authorities and other groups who want to fund, and provide premises and staff for, additional services in their community.”

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