HARROW faces a second wave of post office cuts.

A further one in four post offices could close down, on top of existing plans to close Headstone Gardens, Headstone Road, and Harrow-on-the-Hill in my constituency alone.

The National Federation of SubPostmasters has stated that 3,000 post offices will be forced to close if Post Office Ltd loses its contract for the Post Office card account.

The card account is used by four million people each week to access pensions and benefits.

Card account transactions bring in 12 per cent of sub-post offices' income, and one in four of all visits made to post offices each week are by card account customers.

The federation has estimated that another 3,000 post offices will go out of business - on top of the current round of 2,500 cuts nationwide - if they lose the right to handle state pension and benefit payments.

The current Post Office card account contract ends in 2010. Gordon Brown's government is replacing it with a new contract (the so-called POCA2), but because of EU rules, it has to put the new contract out to competitive tender.

Conservatives have repeatedly called on the Government to continue the card account beyond 2010.

I am very concerned about Gordon Brown's plans for a second wave of post office cuts. A cloud of uncertainty now hangs over our vital community services.

The future of Saturday deliveries is in doubt and local post offices are closing by the week across the country. Our postal service faces death by a thousand cuts, thanks to this government. Many post offices are running petition cards against the loss of the post office card and future closures.

I urge all who care about local post offices to sign these.


Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate

Harrow West