Postmaster’s letter to Ireland’s 949 councillors

Postmaster’s letter to Ireland’s 949 councillors

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Photo: © Pat Flynn 2017

The Independent Post Master Group has written to Ireland’s over 940 councillors seeking their support to secure the future of the post office network.

The Group is also seeking the enactment of a Dáil motion passed four years ago calling for the establishment of a post office banking service to help secure the future of rural post offices.

The letter calls for Community Banking to be re-investigated and developed as a possible survival option in light of the global economic depression.

“This could be part of the overall recovery of small business and local communities post Covid-19,” the letter adds.

Dear Councillor,

The current pandemic crisis has brought to the fore, our core values, the essence of our community, what services the state must provide when all life is stripped back to the very basics. The Post Office network has been proven to be essential to our very existence.  During this lock-down, the post office network provided essential services. It was one of the few state-owned assets that kept money circulating and local economics going.

We can no longer ignore or pay lip service to the realities of the financial gravity our Post Offices find themselves in.  In the next 8 months, approximately 600 local offices throughout the country will face significant downward revisions of incomes that will make them unviable.

The following motion has been unanimously adopted by Clare County Council at their November 2020 meeting:

“We request that Clare County Council call upon the Minister for Climate Action, Communications Networks and Transport, Mr. Eamon Ryan, T.D, the Minister of Finance, Paschal Donoghoe T.D and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath T.D to urgently enact the private members’ motion previously passed in November 2016 by the previous Government regarding the future of the Post Office Network. This is a matter of urgency to ensure the sustainability of our existing community Post Office Network.”

I would be grateful if you would consider bringing a similar motion to your December council meeting.

The motion is asking for the implementation of Dáil Eireann motion passed in November 2016 which sets out an action plan enabling the sustainability of the network. (Attached)

It is incumbent on the current government to implement a sustainability plan.  A tight time frame for implementation is a priority.

There must be a focus on (1) new products, (2) capital investment and (3) government services for the network.

It is crucial that there is an immediate 5 year holding plan; that there will be no downward revisions of post office incomes.  Otherwise, there will be no network to salvage.

Community Banking must be re-investigated and developed as a possible survival option in light of the global economic depression. This could be part of the overall recovery of small business and local communities post Covid-19.

The community and social value of the post office network, so visibly present during the pandemic, must be recognised as a separate asset to the state, must be protected by the state and must hold a separate currency for the network when tendering for business.

Respectfully Yours

Tom O’Callaghan

Independent Post Master Group

42 Upper William St

Limerick

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