MPs' visit will put post office closures in the spotlight

A HOUSE of Commons Select Committee of MPs will be finding out how 15 Devon post offices were saved from closure when they visit Devon on a fact-finding mission next week. The influential All-Party Business and Enterprise Committee is holding the Post Of

A HOUSE of Commons Select Committee of MPs will be finding out how 15 Devon post offices were saved from closure when they visit Devon on a fact-finding mission next week.The influential All-Party Business and Enterprise Committee is holding the "Post Offices - Securing their future" inquiry to find out how the Post Office network can provide a good level of service that is also commercially viable in the future. The visit to Devon on Tuesday, follows Devon County Council intervention to save Post Offices including Ashwater, Bridgerule and St Giles on the Heath.The shops received a grant of �5,000 with free business advice from the council to adapt to the removal of support from Post Office LimitedThe MPs will hear a presentation at County Hall, Exeter by the Devon and Torbay Post Office Task Force, which councils across Devon formed last year to fight post office closures in the county.Following the presentation, the Select Committee will also hold a public meeting in the Council Chamber, from 4.30 to 5.45pm.MPs are keen to hear local people's views and ideas about how the post office service can meet community needs.Peter Luff MP, chairman of the Parliamentary Business and Select Committee, said the independent, all-party, nature of Select Committees means that the public could be confident their views would be taken into account.He said: "We are sure the public will engage with us in shaping the future of a network which will serve their needs."Councillor Gordon Hook, Devon County Council's Champion for Post Offices, said the visit was a vital milestone for the future of our post office network in Devon. He said: "We have a real opportunity to focus the attention of an influential body of MPs on an issue of genuine concern to communities right across our county. "They will see at first hand how innovative initiatives by Devon County Council have saved post offices from closure and will hear the important recommendations from the Devon and Torbay Post Office Task Group."The battle for our post offices is not over and I urge members of the public and interested organisations in Devon or Torbay to attend the public meeting at County Hall. "This is a unique opportunity to let MPs know our views about the post office network and to share ideas for how it can be sustained in the long term." The committee hopes to report on its findings by early summer.


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