Not party political

Date: Tuesday 12th March 2019

THE campaign to save Penrith post office is not, I respectfully suggest, a party political campaign as stated by Neil Hughes (Herald, 2nd March).

I encouraged Mr Hughes himself, as Liberal Democrat candidate, to sign up to the campaign. The petition was only placed in Eden District Council’s town hall and tourist information centre because councillors from all political parties had decided to support it.

The purpose of the campaign and petition was simply to give the public an opportunity to express their opposition to the “relocation” of Penrith post office to WHSmith — people like me who do not want to see any of its services downgraded. Post offices are vital to our local communities and I am extremely grateful to all those who have signed the petition so far. Anyone wanting to sign has until Friday, 15th March, when I will be handing it over to Richard Hall, external affairs manager, Post Office.

However, Mr Hughes is right that it’s important to draw lines between local government and political parties and although I respectfully disagree with this particular case, I think his general point is a good one and I have therefore asked the council to take down the petition.

RORY STEWART

(MP Penrith and the Border)