MP joins call for new Upton Post Office

Margaret Greenwood, MP for Wirral West, has written to the Post Office minister calling on the government and the Post Office to work with the local community to reopen a post office in Upton .

Upton has been without a post office since the autumn of 2019 when the post office in Ford Road closed (pictured, lead image).

The Post Office has not been able to find anybody willing to reopen it, despite repeated advertising, and the difficulty in recruiting a new sub-postmaster may have been due in part to the Horizon scandal. The only bank branch in Upton, Barclays, closed in 2018.

Margaret Greenwood MP said, “Post offices provide a vital public service, whether to renew road tax, take out cash, or post and collect parcels: shops and local organisations can be badly affected when people have to travel to find one, often facing long queues when they do.

“In a place where there are few or no applicants to take over a post office, the government and the post office should work with local communities like Upton to find a solution.

“Post offices should be at the heart of a community and easy for people in the local area to access; the post office should take into account the needs of people who are less mobile in particular.

“Upton is a vibrant community, but has now been without a post office since 2019. It’s time the government and the Post Office acted to put that right.”

The Upton Village Community Group had previously written to the then Chief Executive of the Post Office as far back as 2020 calling on him to reopen the former post office in Ford Road or a new one elsewhere in the village.

Surveys of the public found that the proportion of people in the UK saying that they visit a post office at least once a week remained at a similar level between 2015 and 2022 at just under a fifth of those who responded. That suggests that there is a significant group who rely on the services that post offices provide.

There has been a long-term decline in the number of local post offices. The number of post offices of all types fell by around 48% between 1980 and 2015.

The number of sub-post offices of the kind involved in the Horizon affair where the sub-postmaster/mistress or a partner such as WHSmith owns and manages the branch fell by just over half (51%) over the same period.

Since 2015 the number of post offices has remained broadly stable up to now, although there has been a 3% fall in the North West.

Image: The site of the former Upton Post Office. Credit: GOOGLE

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