Labour’s MP for Maghull Bill Esterson has accused a Lib Dem minister of ignoring the fact that Deyes Lane Post Office is closing.
Deyes Lane Post Office is being shut in the next few months and Maghull’s Labour MP Bill Esterson asked Lib Dem minister Jo Swinson what she was doing to reduce the effect of Post Office Closures on local communities.
In her reply, the minister claimed there was no Post Office closure programme. But Bill has hit back saying that the Lib Dems are ignoring the fact that Post Offices are closing including the one in Maghull.
Bill Esterson said: "The closure of the Post Office in Deyes Lane is bad enough but for the Lib Dems to claim Post Offices are not closing is absurd. The Lib Dems are clearly trying to ignore what is really going on but people in Maghull know what is really happening and are far from happy at the prospect of losing such an important public service and at the impact this closure will have on the other shops in Deyes Lane.
"Lib Dem minister Jo Swinson told me that there is no closure programme, but there clearly is. Deyes Lane Post Office is being closed, and while the Lib Dem minister may say a new service is being made available at Moss Lane, this is just a bolt-on to an existing shop, which is nearly half-a-mile from the existing service, with no public transport links for the existing customer and with no support for the other shop keepers in Deyes Lane.
"On top of the privatisation of the Royal Mail, again by a Lib Dem minister, Vince Cable, the closure at Deyes Lane Post Office is a reminder that the Lib Dems are fully signed up to what this government is doing. They are at the heart of a devastating assault on services which are at the heart of the community in Maghull and elsewhere."
Bill Esterson dismissed suggestions that the Post Office was just being moved to another location.
He said: "It is clear from listening to residents and from what shopkeepers are saying in Deyes Lane that this closure will really make life difficult for traders and for many older residents.
"People don’t want to have to go to the other end of Moss Lane where parking will be a problem. They won’t go to Moss Lane and still shop in Deyes Lane, so this will hit shopkeepers.
"The Lib Dems say this is not a closure but the reality is that they should have made sure the post office stayed in Deyes Lane. Residents and shopkeepers are very clear about that. And the new service is not a like for like replacement as it is both in a different place and also a different type of service as it is part of another shop. This may help make the shop viable but it does change the type of service, which the existing Post Office branch delivers. The point is that the existing Post Office is at the heart of the community where the shop at the other end of Moss Lane is well away from where many people like to go.
"I am afraid that for many older people, the loss of the Deyes Lane Post Office will be a real blow and will make life more difficult for them. Many people do not have a car and I am afraid the bus is not going to be a practical alternative as there are so few buses each day.
"We have a Lib Dem minister privatising the Royal Mail, now a Lib Dem minister is ignoring the fact that they are closing Deyes Lane Post Office. Then we had Lib Dem energy minister, Ed Davey telling people to ask their Post Office for advice on cutting their energy bills. It seems that his colleagues, Ms Swinson and Mr Cable forgot to tell him what they were doing to the Post Office, including the one in Deyes Lane.
"Post Offices should be a community service. They have always been a vital part of the local community especially for older people. It seems that we have three Lib Dem ministers who have lost sight of the fact that people elected them to look after their local communities.
"You expect the Tories to do this sort of thing but for the Lib Dems to close post offices like Deyes Lane and then ignore the impact of such closures, is just unbelievable.
"Residents want to keep the Deyes Lane Post Office. They don’t want to go to Moss Lane. I am afraid the community in Maghull has been badly let down again by the Lib Dems."