BFPO closures

Updates: BFPOs in NATO locations to be retained (1.10.09) and Update on retention of BFPOs in NATO locations (7.10.09)

 

(18 Sep 2009) Rumours have been circulating for some time about plans to close a number of British Forces Post Offices. There have been suggestions that all Field Post Offices (FPOs) in mainland Europe will be closing next year.

However, in the absence of any public confirmation, we understand that the affected FPOs are all at NATO HQs -

BFPO 6   Lisbon Portugal
BFPO 8   Naples Italy (there have also been reports that the closure of BFPO 8 will not go ahead in 2010)
BFPO 26   SHAPE Belgium
BFPO 28   Brunssum Holland
BFPO 49   Brussels Belgium
BFPO 50   Stavanger Norway
BFPO 61   Milan Italy
BFPO 62   Valencia Spain
BFPO 63   Norfolk VA, USA
BFPO 65   Rome Italy
BFPO 109   Ramstein Germany
BFPO 150   Karup Denmark

We are very concerned about the effect of these closures upon armed forces personnel and their families. Some of the effects might be mitigated by increases to Local Overseas Allowances (LOA) - which will reduce any savings to the public purse as a result of the closures. Other effects cannot be mitigated by LOA adjustments, such as:

  • Extra delays in postal votes, and disincentive to vote as prepaid envelopes will not be valid
  • Difficulties with banks, building societies and other financial institutions
  • Difficulties obtaining goods by post
  • Criminal record check problems when applying for employment
  • Loss of counter staff familiar with Royal Mail and UK conditions

More on BFPO Closures

Official website

Parliamentary question 1 Sep 2009

Ben Wallace (Shadow Minister, Scotland; Lancaster & Wyre, Conservative)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent consideration he has given to future staffing levels in the British Forces Post Office; and if he will make a statement.

* Hansard source (Citation: HC Deb, 1 September 2009, c1798W)

Bill Rammell (Minister of State (Armed Forces), Ministry of Defence; Harlow, Labour)

The staffing levels of the British Forces Post Office are determined by the requirement to ensure that our personnel have access to appropriate postal facilities. Support to operations, exercises and to HM Ships can be provided only by British Forces Post Office staff. However, we have identified that savings may be realised if personnel based in countries with a well developed postal infrastructure utilise the indigenous postal service rather than relying on British Forces Post Office staff. To that end the Forces Post Offices servicing the UK elements of NATO HQs in SHAPE, Brussels, Brunssum, Stavanger, Karup, Rome, Milan, Lisbon, Valencia and Norfolk Virginia are due to close.

 

 

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