New threat

PUBLISHED: 11:48 03 July 2008 | UPDATED: 13:25 06 May 2010

SIR, -— Over four million people across the UK, including thousands here in Harpenden, choose to receive their state pension and benefits at the Post Office using the Post Office Card Account (POCA). However this service is now under threat. The Governme

SIR, -- Over four million people across the UK, including thousands here in Harpenden, choose to receive their state pension and benefits at the Post Office using the Post Office Card Account (POCA).

However this service is now under threat. The Government is currently considering bids to run a new POCA from 2010 and we have serious concerns that it may decide to award the contract to another bidder.

I believe that the Post Office is best placed to continue to provide this service. They offer local, convenient access for customers who trust the staff and the Post Office brand. It also means we the customers will not have to fill out more forms, be forced to open bank accounts or travel long distances to inconvenient and unfamiliar locations.

Without the POCA, I fear that my post office and more than 3,000 others across the country, will be forced to close. This will further reduce the number of local post offices leading to more difficulties for local residents and businesses.

That is why I have written to my MP, Peter Lilley, asking him to write to the Prime Minister to urge that the Government awards the contract to the Post Office. If it fails to do so, the consequences for the local post offices will be devastating.

Mr B. H. POBJOY,

Kinsbourne Green Post Office, Harpenden.

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