Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Peoples Post Office moves with the times and so do I (well almost...)

Public consultation closes in four days on Post Office plans to close 77 branches across the East Midlands - 23 of them here in Lincolnshire.

They are the first of 2,500 branches earmarked for closure across the country as the national network of post offices is set to shrink from 14,000.

It could have been worse. Without a massive Government cash investment of a staggering £1.6 billion, thousands more post office branches would be for the chop.

The march of technology over the past 40 years has led to a collapse of customers and a halving of the number of post offices since the 1960s. It's still the biggest retail network in Europe.

But in today's world, more and more people find it more convenient to have their pensions and other benefits paid directly into their bank accounts. You can even tax your car online these days.

Over the past two years alone, the number of customers using Post Offices has lost four million customers a week alone: losses have risen to almost £4 million a week.

Fewer than 16 people a week use some of the smallest post offices - at a cost to the taxpayer of £17 per transaction!

Tonight, I attended a lively 'consultation meeting' in Lincoln, as a pair of Post Office executives attempted to answer a series of questions from elected councillors across Lincolnshire.

* More on the meeting later...meanwhile, hope you can see that despite being a total luddite I've managed to post a video from U-tube. Ok, so I haven't yet perfected the art of embedding comments to appear with the moving picture but it's a step forward from the quill pen...Maybe next time!

3 comments:

Brynley said...

Does the Post Office closure programme have any integrity?

It appears not.

Two examples.

Bailgate, Lincoln Post Office is down for closure when - pretty obviously - it is in exactly the right spot.

Second example on my doorstep.

Rippingale is down for closure, while smaller Pointon (with resricted hours) is not.

Like I said, the process has no integrity.

Geoffrey Brooking said...

Bad mistake Phil.

PO's are the hub of the community and you should know that.

fairdealphil said...

that's why the Labour Government is putting record amounts in to support post offices - that the Tories didn't.

but even the national association of post masters agrees that the present network is unsustainable.

are you saying that every post office should stay open for ever, at any cost...?

is that Tory policy?