Vital local services from passport checks to driving licence renewals will be cut if the Post Office proceeds with plans to close its Neath Crown Office says local MP Peter Hain.
At a protest meeting called by the Neath Labour Party in Neath Town hall Mr Hain called on Neath residents to ‘stand up and fight to keep the Post Office’.
Managers are consulting on closing the Crown Office in Windsor Road Neath and transferring postal services into a section of an as yet unidentified local shop.
‘People may be hoodwinked into thinking that under this proposal just the office will change, so it’s no big deal. But in fact there will be a major dumbing down if that happens,’ Mr Hain claimed.
He told the meeting that amongst the services that will be lost are:
– passport checks
– ready foreign currency
– 10 year driving licence renewals
– identity checks for mortgages, border controls and Criminal Investigation Bureau investigations
‘There will also be a loss of the financial specialists for widely used services like life assurance policies which has been very popular in Neath. People worried about getting outside financial advice trust the Post Office but that too will disappear if Crown Office status is lost and the office downgraded and parked in the corner of a retail outlet,’ Mr Hain said
The nearest Crown Office to obtain these services will be Bridgend or Merthyr Tydfil because the Swansea Crown Office has closed already, Mr Hain pointed out. ‘That is totally unacceptable,’ he said.