Plans to subsidise Post Offices fall on deaf ears

September 10, 2008 12:00 AM

Leader of Rochdale Council Alan Taylor - Fighting to Save Our Post Offices!Six of Rochdale's Post Offices are set for closure after Post Office Limited rejected Rochdale Liberal Democrat party plans to subsidise the branches so that they could stay open.

Post Offices at Bowness Road, Buersil, Caldermoor, Hopwood and Smithy Bridge will close within the next two months. Post Office Limited said they would consider a locally funded branch at Oulder Hill but early indications suggest that the amount proposed by the Lib Dems is not enough to make the branch completely cost neutral to the Post Office.

In a report to the Rochdale Township Committee, Council Executive Director Andy Zuntz said: "The remaining branches due to be closed will not be considered as it is Post Office Limited's opinion that it would adversely impact on the viability of the remaining network which is the case for Bowness Road, Buersil, Caldermoor, Hopwood and Smithy Bridge."

Rochdale Township Chairman, Councillor William Hobhouse, said he was hugely disappointed at the decision: "We were told the figures needed to fund each post office at the start of the consultation process and the funding was found by our township to cover the necessary costs for the next three years. This is a classic case of Post Office Limited moving the goal posts at the last minute."

"This decision proves what we have said all along which is that this consultation process was a sham from the start."

Leader of Rochdale Council Alan Taylor said: "We will continue to fight these claims by Post Office Limited. We have delivered a reasonable plan to cover the cost of the subsidy that the Government are refusing to pay and can see no reason why this plan can not save those post offices that want to remain open. I know the Post Watch is currently reviewing the decision for us after a complaint from Paul Rowen and we will wait to see what they decide."