Threat to Post Office card account
A motion was carried unanimously by West Oxfordshire District Council calling on the government to reverse its announcement that it will end support for the Post Office card account service in 2010. The card account was introduced to allow benefit and pension payments to be made at Post Offices following the withdrawal of the benefit and pensions book in 2003.
Cllr Mary Neale and Cllr Verena Hunt brought the motion forward at the Council's Annual Meeting on Wednesday 17th May.
“Many people rely on the Post Office card account service to draw cash as and when needed. Withdrawing this service will have a devastating impact on the community and will threaten the viability of thousands of Post Offices,” said Cllr Mary Neale, Cabinet Member for Finance. “We believe the Post Office network
provides a vital service in both urban and rural areas. West Oxfordshire District Council has always supported Post Offices through our rural rates relief scheme and by funding towards the Oxfordshire Village Shops Adviser. Sadly the government doesn't share our view.”
Support was given to the motion by councillors across the chamber. Cllr Derrick Millard, who is West Oxfordshire's Postwatch representative, said it was estimated that up to two-thirds of Post Offices will close if the Post Office card account is withdrawn. It was also reported that the closure of two of Witney's sub-Post Offices has resulted in constantly long queues at the main town centre Post Office, usually out of the door.
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