Lifeline for post offices

Local post offices are the beating heart of our communities and provide a vital service for vulnerable and elderly residents across Hastings & Rye.

That is why I am delighted that Liberal Democrats have thrown a crucial lifeline to post offices that will help keep the network strong, as well as supporting the disabled and elderly people who rely on the post office network.

I know from my own work in social care, and speaking to local people with a political hat on, that many rely on the post office: from collecting pensions and other benefits, to other crucial everyday personal finance activities.

The Post Office Card Account provides simple banking services for people without a traditional bank current account and has around 2.5 million users. It was due to expire in March 2015 but a £250 million deal secured by Liberal Democrat pension minister Steve Webb means it will now last until 2022 at the latest.

I know that this news will be welcomed by readers across the constituency, and will also encourage sub-postmasters to keep post offices open. The increased footfall from providing these services helps generate income for their businesses, and I hope will help ensure that our local Post Office network stays strong for years to come.

Nick Perry

Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Hastings & Rye‎