Future of post offices secure

A GOVERNMENT move that could help safeguard the future of dozens of post offices in Norfolk has been met with jubilation. MPs cheered as work and pensions secretary James Purnell announced last Thursday the government was awarding a new contract to the Post Office for a card account used by millions of people to receive benefits and pensions.

A GOVERNMENT move that could help safeguard the future of dozens of post offices in Norfolk has been met with jubilation.

MPs cheered as work and pensions secretary James Purnell announced last Thursday the government was awarding a new contract to the Post Office for a card account used by millions of people to receive benefits and pensions.

The National Federation of Sub-Postmasters said the decision would help save 3,000 post offices across the country from closure.

Yarmouth MP Tony Wright said: “I am absolutely delighted that the Post Office has been awarded the right to continue to provide this service to thousands of my constituents. Not only is it good news for them but also for the future of the Post Office network.”

But the announcement came too late to save the 50 branches in Norfolk and west Suffolk that were among 2,500 outlets nationwide closed this year as part of the Post Office's controversial Network Change programme.

All eight post offices in the Yarmouth area singled out for closure earlier this year have shut despite strong campaigns mounted by local communities to save them.