UK government must "properly fund" Post Office to protect local banking services
Post offices provide an invaluable community service and must be protected by increased investment in the upcoming UK budget.
That is the message of local parliamentarians, Amy Callaghan MP and Marie McNair MSP, who are keen to provide long-term “certainty and security” for the community that local banking services will continue in Milngavie.
The Post Office provides everyday banking services to customers of high street banks, including the ability to pay in or withdraw cash.
Access to local bank services took a hit in September when Virgin Money announced the closure of its Milngavie branch. This led to concerns that locals will have to travel to Clydebank or Glasgow to access banking services, although bank bosses are keen to stress the availability of day-to-day banking through the Post Office.
Now Amy and Marie are calling for additional funding for the local post office if it is “expected to step in where the bank has turned its back” in providing access to cash and other bank services for local residents.
Commenting, Amy Callaghan MP said:
“Banks are closing branches and telling customers to use local post offices for day-to-day banking. These are the same local post offices that are severely underfunded by the UK government, resulting in closure after closure in communities across Scotland.
“That’s why we’re calling for significant investment in the Post Office Network to give long-term security to local offices like the one in Milngavie.
“The reality is there’s very little money in running a Post Office. That’s why some of the much-needed additional funding should be used to guarantee a minimum income for every Subpostmaster so that their hard work pays off. It’s the least they deserve for providing such a valuable local service.”
Marie McNair MSP added:
“It is the elderly, the vulnerable and local businesses that rely on local banking services. When a bank decides to close a branch, these are the people who are impacted the most.
“Amy and I are meeting with Virgin Money in November to protest the branch closure, but there’s only so much us politicians can do to push a private business to make the right call.
“What we can do, though, is make sure we properly fund a publicly-owned business like the Post Office to provide local banking services. That’s why we’re calling on the UK government to end the years of managed decline and put the Post Office back on the path to success.
“This is the way we will protect local banking services in Milngavie over the long-term.”