Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Farewell to the village post office?

In the next few weeks we are expecting to be given a list of the post offices in 'Bristol & Somerset' (which in Post Office terms is apparently where I live) which are to face closure. Apparently the sub postmasters and postmistresses who are on the list have already been told, but - in the typically Stalinist way that the post office is run from on high - have been sworn to secrecy on pain of losing redundancy payoffs!

The battle to save our post offices is going to be an uphill one - Central Government has decided it doesn't want to keep subsidising post offices on the present scale, and the national target is for thousands to go; it's hard to see in this context that the 'consultation' on the closures is going to be very open; it may be possible to make a particularly strong case for an individual office, but even then there is nothing stopping the PO from coming back with a replacement closure proposal.

The Govt. say that post offices are losing money (which some are, but some are profitable) but neglect to point out how their own mismanagement of the network has been a large part of the problem. The whole fiasco over forcing pensioners and others to have their money into a bank account cost sub post offices a fortune, and other government departments have steadily been undermining the post office too. If we want a comperehensive post office network, as I do, then Government needs to start being part of the solution and not always part of the problem.

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