Postmasters’ have called on communities, organisations and individuals to make their views heard in a public consultation on Post Offices which has been announced.
The Irish Postmasters’ Union (IPU) said a public consultation, on developing the future of Post Offices, will take place for the next six weeks following the launch of an Interim report of the Bobby Kerr chaired Post Office Network Business Development Group.
Consultation forms are on the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources website at www.dcenr.gov.ie (in Communications/Postal/Post Office Network Business Development Group).
However, the IPU also said that the Government needs to join up its thinking and withdraw new Social Protection Forms – issued last month – which recommend people use the commercial banks rather than Post Offices to receive their payments.
IPU Western spokesman Pádraig McNamara said “The Departments of Communications and Social Protection need to talk and take a joined up approach.
“We are calling on Minister Burton to withdraw the new forms and for her Department to stop encouraging our core customers to use banks instead of the Post Office.”
Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West Matt Carthy said that the Government must take action to ensure the future viability of the post offices.
Carthy said, “Post offices are more than just a local business - in many rural areas they are the lifeblood of the community.
“Indeed for countless districts the post office is the last remaining public service following the closure of local Garda stations and the removal of any lingering statutory agency.”