The Welsh Assembly is coming under heavy pressure to reinstate its development fund which gave grants of up to £50,000 to develop small sub-post offices.
More than 100 offices had received support totalling £4m to modernise premises and develop new business when the fund closed two years ago.
As part of an all-party bid to rescue the post office network - said to be threatened with "apocalypse" by the abolition of the Post Office card account in 2010 - opposition parties demanded the fund's reinstatement. But the Labour cabinet successfully argued that such a decision be delayed until the UK government has decided on the size of the network. Otherwise, grants might be given to offices which were earmarked for closure.
But the Cardiff cabinet showed where its heart lay. Regeneration minister Edwina Hart said she would "ensure" that the DTI in London heard the Assembly's feelings. She later publicised a letter from Department of Work and Pensions Minister James Plaskitt praising the Welsh development fund for helping ensure that post offices "are modern with high-quality services fit for the 21st century".
Ironically, Plaskitt is the
minister threatening to kill the card account.
? More than one million people nationwide have now signed the National Federation of Subpostmasters' petition to save the Post Office card account.