post offices face further uncertainty
warns that the recent changes to the benefit payments system threaten
more closures of sub-post offices in Chiswick
the closure of one Chiswick sub-post office imminent and the announcement
of the demise of another, concern is growing that further post offices
in the area will be lost.
Peter Thompson this week blamed the Government's new policy on benefits
which he says has both reduced usage of smaller post offices and
caused confusion for claimant.
has recently changed the payments system so that many
pensioners and other benefit claimants will soon be no longer able
to receive payments in cash at their post office. The alternative
system of bank accounts or the Post Office Card Accounts have left
many confused as to how to receive their regular benefit payments
according to Cllr. Thompson.
said, "The changeover has also removed up to 40 per cent of
the income of the average sub-post office, yet the Government has
failed to put in place any of the measures promised to help them
make up the income that they will lose. The consequence is that
many of Chiswick’s post offices are at risk."
Post Office on Church Street (near Fuller’s Brewery) is due to close
and the sub post office at Southfield Road will meet the same fate
in July. Cllr. Thompson urged people who use the Church Street post
office to participate in a consultation which ends on June 17th.
added, "Changes to the benefit system have created confusion
and uncertainty for the most vulnerable parts of society who rely
on the weekly cash income. A community’s post office is vital to
those who need it the most: the elderly and disadvantaged. Chiswick's
’s sub-post offices must be preserved. ”
the 17,000 Post Offices in England, the overwhelming majority of
outlets are sub-post offices run by private businessmen and women.
Benefit payments account for 35 per cent of a sub-post office’s
business. Upon the change to ACT benefit payments, this revenue
will be lost.
Hooper, Head of Area for the Post Office, said: "Proposals
to close Post Office Branches are not made without considerable
research and discussion so we are anxious that customers and all
relevant organisations understand our rationale and have the opportunity
to give us their views.''
with views should contact Mr Hooper by Tuesday June 17th in writing
to National Consultation Team, PO Box 641, St. Albans, AL1 5XN.
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