Renfrewshire South MSP Tom Arthur has backed calls from SNP MPs at Westminster for the UK Government to ensure the future of the Post Office network is secure.

The calls come as new figures reveal that Scotland is being hit hardest by post office closures. Of 1,016 temporarily closed branches in the UK, 134 are in Scotland, representing 13 per cent.

SNP MPs obtained an Adjournment Debate at Westminster this week on the matter, highlighting the rising importance of Post Offices to small towns and rural communities and renewed SNP calls for the UK Government to act to protect their future.

SNP MSP Tom Arthur said:

“Local Post Offices have become increasingly important to local communities – particularly the elderly and those with additional support needs, because of the face-to-face services that they provide.

“Our local Post Offices play a huge role in public life – they are both a symbol of the community and a lifeline on everything from pensions and benefits to vital day-to-day banking services.

“In many communities in Renfrewshire South, the local Post Office is the last place where a face-to-face service is available, making it essential for people who live here.

“The issues caused by Post Office closures have been felt most recently in Renfrewshire South following the closure of the Neilston branch, which was closed temporarily following an audit.

“The loss of this service is a real setback to the local community, and also leaves Neilston without banking facilities. An investigation is currently underway and I intend to remain in close contact with the Post Office who will keep me updated as new information arises.

“However, this drives home the fact that it is now imperative for the UK Government to step in and act to ensure that the Post Office, a publicly owned body, gets a fair deal.”

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