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Evesham MP Peter Luff has warned that his faith in Post Office Ltd. is on the line this week ahead of the crucial decision on the future of Bengeworth Post Office.

Peter also chairs the Commons scrutiny committee, the Business and Enterprise Committee, that oversees postal policy.

Under the Government's shake-up of the post office network, which will see 2,500 post offices close nationwide, the Bengeworth office was earmarked to be shut. The public consultation, which ran for six weeks, is due to report back officially next week.

Questioning the Government minister responsible for the post office closure programme in the House of Commons this morning, Peter warned:

"If, in the next few days, Post Office Ltd confirms its initial proposal to close Bengeworth post office in my constituency, it will entirely forfeit my confidence in its common sense and commercial judgment."

Peter also took the opportunity to point out the huge impact that the closure of Bengeworth post office would have on the local area, asking government minister Pat McFadden MP:

"In the context of the Government's understandable concern about small businesses, may I remind the Minister of the crucial role that rural sub-post offices play for many struggling small businesses?"

Commenting afterwards Peter said:

"If Post Office Ltd. go ahead with their proposals to close Bengeworth Post Office then my very trust in them will have been shaken to the core. The case for keeping the Bengeworth branch open is overwhelming, and if it is ignored, it suggests that they either haven't listened or that the whole consultation process is a complete farce.

"If the closure goes ahead then the effect on the community will be twofold: first we will lose a really valuable public service, which is crucial to the small business in the area as well as the elderly and vulnerable who rely up them. Second it will also be an immensely demoralising blow for a part of the town that has suffered so much and is in need of economic regeneration.

"I understand that 2,500 post offices have to close - the Government has already taken that decision and made it non-negotiable. I will not, however, be able to understand any decision to close such a well-run, much-loved and sorely-needed office."


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