Skip to main content

Post Office Closure (Kent)

Volume 497: debated on Monday 12 October 2009

Petition presented on 15 July 2009.

Declares that Sheerness main Post Office is providing an inadequate service.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to instruct Post Office Limited to re-open Queensway Post Office.

And the Petitioners remain etc,

[P000397]

Observations from the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, received 8 September 2009:

The Government recognises the important social and economic role of post offices, particularly in rural and deprived urban communities. That is why we are determined to maintain a national post office network allowing people to have reasonable access across the whole country and has put in place a new policy and financial framework to achieve this.

Under the Government’s postal sector reforms introduced in 2001, Royal Mail (which includes Post Office Ltd) has been given greater commercial freedom, as the management and unions themselves requested, and Government have assumed an arm’s length role as a shareholder in a public limited company. Subject to agreeing its strategic plan with us, the Board can structure the business as it decides best to meet the challenges of market development and changing customer needs.

The Government has introduced clearly defined national access criteria to maintain a national network and guarantee a reasonable level of access to post office services for all. Within the access criteria framework, however, the precise location of post office branches is an operational matter for Post Office Ltd.

Post Office Ltd has advised that the Queensway post office was closed in 2004 as part of the company’s urban reinvention programme and that they are not aware of any ongoing serious service issues at the main Sheerness post office.