Mayor has previously highlighted the disproportionate
effect of previous post office closures
on the capital, the vital role of post offices
for Londons local economy and communities
and the real impact of cuts on local communities
and millions Londoners. Ken Livingstone
said, "I have taken legal advice on
the feasibility of a legal challenge to
today's announcement that 171 Post Offices
will be closing in London and the Post Offices
Post Office have said they will consult
for just six weeks over the closure proposals
rather than the normal 12 weeks which the
Government recommends as a minimum.
Post Offices provide vital support for those
who are most in need, particularly the elderly,
disabled and those with young children.
For many Londoners who do not have access
to a bank account, the Post Office is an
amenity they cannot do without.
believe we need more, not fewer, Post Offices
in London. I will be writing to the Post
Office informing them of my intention to
launch a legal challenge to their decision.
The closure plans include 171 Post Offices
- 169 branches and 2 main offices at Essex
Road and at Ludgate Circus. The number of
Post Offices in London has fallen by over
a quarter in just three years. Many of Londons
poorest do not have access to a current
account via a bank and are financially excluded.
Research by the New Economics Foundation
suggests 35% of those living in urban deprived
areas lack access to basic bank accounts.
Provision for post offices is supported
by various London Plan policies relating
to the provision and protection of social
infrastructure and community facilities,
as well as policies designed to maintain
retail facilities and the quality of town
centres. The London Plan notes that social
infrastructure should be provided
within easy reach by walking and public
transport of the population that use them.
In addition, when planning for access to
local parks and bus stops it is usual to
expect most of the population to be within
a 400m distance. This ensures that facilities
are placed within easy walking distance
for people who are less mobile, including
older people, disabled people and families
with young children.