West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Concerns raise over Post Office' centralisation'

Published: 14 March, 2012

Sinn Féin councillor Glenn Campbell has raised concerns over the 'centralisation' of postal services to larger post offices throughout the Omagh District. He said that whilst a £1.3 billion revamp of Post Office branches is welcome it seemed to suggest that a focus was put firmly on larger post office branches with sub stations neglected.

Additionally he claimed that 'what resembles a centralisation policy' was being rolled out by the Post Office. He said that if such a pot of money existed for a revamp then it should instead be used to ensure post offices; including many rural ones remain open for business.

Speaking on the issue Councillor Campbell said:

"This investment is a welcome one, which will see more than 6,000 branches of the Post Office revamped in the next three years. These improvements will mean longer opening hours and modern fittings for customers at the revamped branches. So it should be welcomed however I think that such a vast amount of money should be directed towards ensuring the Postal service remains in local rural areas. This includes retaining the network of rural post offices particularly in the Omagh District. Over the past decade the number of rural areas which have been stripped of this service is substantial. For example since the year 2000 6,600 post offices throughout the Post Office network had closed, this included many rural post offices in the Omagh District.

"I would have concerns regarding the 'centralisation' of postal services to bigger post offices located in towns throughout the area. People prefer the 'local touch' to such services and this has a number of benefits in terms of convenience and accessibility. I will be in contact with the Post Office in the coming days to argue that rural post offices be retained and developed so that they are not neglected in favour of the bigger Post Offices in bigger towns throughout the district.CRÍOCH