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Over 2,000 in Audlem sign Post Office petition

19th October 2006 @ 11:11am – by Audlem Webteam
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When a petition to save Britain's Post Office network was handed in yesterday at 10 Downing Street, over 2,000 of the names were from the Audlem area. Andrew Smith, of Audlem Post Office, would like to say a big thank you to everyone who supported the petition.

Rural post offices have come under increasing pressure in recent years, particularly because of the Government's decision to pay benefits electronically into bank accounts and the impending end of funding in 2010 of the Post Office card account. In addition the BBC's TV license payments can no longer be made at post offices as the organisation went for what they considered a cheaper option to collect viewers' money.

Andrew Smith says that the best ways to help Audlem's Post Office are to use the banking services now available at the Post Office in association with a wide range of Britain's banks and to pay utility and other bills over the counter. These moves are very convenient for anyone in the village and save on postage costs or travelling to nearby towns.

The arguments for using the Post Office are in many of today's newspapers as a result of the petition. They are vital for strong communities, especially for old and disabled people. Demand for their service in rural communities could increase as more people move from urban areas to the countryside. And they also bridge the digital divide. While those reading this will be on-line, many people aren't and many of those need access to financial services through their local post office.

The Secretary of State for Trade & Industry, and the Prime Minister yesterday refused to guarantee future subsidies although Alistair Darling did say it was "inconceivable" the Government would not pay any subsidy to maintain branches. The statement from the national Post Office Limited was a model of communications. They said the state of the network is "a matter for the Government."

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