No regrets in trying

PUBLISHED: 16:21 01 May 2008 | UPDATED: 21:19 26 October 2009

Sir – Your letter writer Keith McCourt (WHT, April 23) suggested that he was about to support the Save Our Welwyn Hatfield Post Office campaign, in his case to fight for the Birchwood Avenue branch, until he noticed that I was petitioning against the clos

Sir - Your letter writer Keith McCourt (WHT, April 23) suggested that he was about to support the Save Our Welwyn Hatfield Post Office campaign, in his case to fight for the Birchwood Avenue branch, until he noticed that I was petitioning against the closures. Mr McCourt then goes on to criticise me for spending time campaigning for this and other local causes.

I am sorry to disappoint Mr McCourt, but I am unable to apologise for fighting so passionately for the survival of our Post Offices or indeed our local hospital.

For those who didn't read the correspondence, the argument was that because not every campaign is a success I should somehow not be taking up the fight in the first place.

Now as sad as I am that the cross-party Hospital SOS Taskforce was unable to save our acute services at the QE2, I am not in the least bit embarrassed that I tried my hardest for local residents.

Nor do I know what the outcome of the Post Office campaign will be and I can even go as far as to concede that the odds are very much stacked against us. The other week Labour MPs voted to close 2,500 post offices of which they imagine four will be in Welwyn Hatfield. I voted to save them.

However, I can tell Mr McCourt that I have no regrets in joining the WHT campaign and that I have personally built the www.welhatpostoffices.org website because I know that these services matter to everyone from my family to my constituents.

The attitude which says that we shouldn't try to act, even when the odds are stacked against us, is nothing short of defeatist and if Mr McCourt wants an MP who sits back and is prepared to accept the decline of services in our community then he's entitled to vote for someone else when Gordon Brown finally gets round to calling a General Election.

Until then I'll continue to work hard for all my constituents regardless of where they live in Welwyn Hatfield.

Grant Shapps MP.


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