Could county council services be offered at Norfolk post offices?
17:11 08 May 2012
County councillors are to investigate whether post offices across Norfolk could be used to deliver council services.
With the government recently announcing it would pump £1.3bn into stabilising, improving and extending post office services, the Liberal Democrats at County Hall said it was worth exploring what options might be available for the council to offer services via Norfolk’s post offices.
At a full council meeting today (Tuesday), they put forward a motion that Norfolk County Council’s chief executive David White should investigate the issue.
Marie Strong, deputy leader of the Lib Dem group, said: “Be it a city, urban or rural we all know the importance in practical terms of a neighbourhood post office.
“And I am sure many of us have observed the social interaction which takes place – particularly regarding our mature and less able residents.
“For some it is one, even their only, opportunity to socialise – to feel part of their community – and indeed to seek advice in making transactions from people they know.” She added that, with North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb now having responsibility for post offices as part of his business minister brief, he could be approached for advice on how Norfolk might benefit from the government investment.
However, the Conservative group tabled an amendment to the motion, suggesting the issue should be investigated, but by the authority’s corporate resources overview and scrutiny panel.
Despite the Lib Dems arguing that the amendment, transferring responsibility from the chief executive to councillors, weakened the point of the motion, it was agreed by the council.