The Prime Minister has pledged plans to close Post Offices across the West Midlands can be reversed if concerned residents take part in a consultation.
He said: “I hope people will take part in the consultation and specific closure proposals can be reversed in response to the information that is received.”
The Prime Minister spoke as Post Office Ltd was set to announce plans to axe a total of 56 branches across the West Midlands, 26 of them in Birmingham.
But Mr Brown also pointed out that the Post Office network was losing money and losing customers.
He said the Government had pumped £1.7 billion into Britain’s Post Offices to make the changes as painless as possible.
Mr Brown said: “The consultation is still to take place – there have been quite a few changes made after the consultation in different areas.
“There is a consultation process that goes right up to Alan Leighton, who is the chairman of the Post Office.
“So this is a genuine consultation that is taking place. It will happen in the next few weeks.”
He added: “I think you’ve got to understand that the reason the Post Office is making these proposals is that Post Offices are losing money. But instead of not helping the Post Office network, we are giving £1.7 billion over the next few years to help ease the changes that are taking place.
“So I would urge people who have concerns to take part in the consultation, but I would remind people that four million fewer people are using the Post Offices.”
The Prime Minister’s pledge that the closure plans can be reversed indicate he has over-ruled Trade Minister Pat McFadden (Lab, Wolverhampton South West) the minister responsible for Post Offices who said the consultation was about how numbers could be cut, but not about whether cuts were needed.
See our interactive map for the Post Offices that have been highlighted for closure.