Post Office closures.

  TopCat® 17:50 11 Sep 2008

I note there is a concerted effort by many local councils and consumer groups to stop the closure of post offices in their areas and the country as a whole. My county council is nearing a judicial review, to be held in London, into the legality of plans to close 62 post offices in the county. click here

Though I do sympathise with those that will be affected by these many closures, if indeed they do go ahead, I cannot see any real alternative the Post Office could make to ease the financial losses it is currently making.

Do you agree with this thought and also consider these councils are just wasting money in fighting against the inevitable? TC.

  Forum Editor 18:03 11 Sep 2008

that polarises opinion in no uncertain terms. You're either a regular Post Office user, and consequently against these closures, or you're one of the millions of people who hardly ever set foot in a Post Office, and don't see what all the fuss is about.

I'm on the fence really, I can understand how important a local Post Office can be to older people,but like lots of others I hardly ever send a letter - email handles pretty well everything in that line - and my packages go via UPS or FEDEX.....which is probably why the Post Office can't afford to run these offices any more.

If we want a full postal service like we had in the good old days we need to understand that such services aren't going to come cheap, and probably the only way we could get what the protesters want is by running a state postal service, owned and operated by us.

  cream. 18:35 11 Sep 2008

First of all let me say I am all for it.

I travel to a small city most days and occasionally, 3 or 4 times a month use a post office when there. I had the choioce of a minimum of 4 post offices within half a mile of me. One was located at asda hypermarket, they did the most trade and always had queues. the second was at a large convenience store, three and four were within 400yards of each other. The smallest of them, number four was closed down about 2 months ago. it had the post office, a sweet counter and sold a few newspapers and magazines. ( it didn't stock PCA so it deserved to be closed down )lol

The point being why have 4 in such a small area.

From the rural standpoint

I have just used our village post office around half a dozen times in 15 years. I had to go in yesterday as I had run out of stamps. The post office which doubles as a small shop was empty. the postmaster was in the living room eating toast, swigging coffee and watching the jimmy kyle show??? The postmasters father had to go into the house and shout there was a customer.:-)

  shellship 18:41 11 Sep 2008

Out in the rural sticks it is often normal for the Post Office to be in the only local store/paper shop/mini grocer there. Each subsidises the other and if one goes, so does the other and yet another village loses part of its heart. We had a so-called consultation in Northumberland and out of 60 proposed closures only one was put up for reconsideration; some consultation!

  spuds 19:54 11 Sep 2008

Reading the remarks from all parties in the link, is irrelevant. Quite a number of years ago, there were proceeding taking place about the demise of post offices. I was one of a countrywide group of people chosen or perhaps selected randomly to undertake a government survey and questionnaire regarding 'possible' pending closures of post office counters. I mentioned this previously on this forum.

The actual exercise took a few hours, in which "all views were to be considered ,as the way forward". Most of the people that I had a discussion with, was of the same mind as to that of myself. We all saw no need for change, stating various reasons, mainly based on community experiences.

I can truly say, that at the end of that exercise, it was quite evident that the government wanted closures to take place, even though officially no decision had been made. Over the years,and since that first consultation, post offices have closed at an high rate, and in my opinion they will continue to do so. The nails for the coffin have already been purchased.

Going on the point of council's taking over the post office counter service, then if other council's are like my local council, then that will be a very big mistake.

  peter99co 21:43 11 Sep 2008

My relative was a Postmaster and received a wage
which I could not believe. If he can't take enough though the post office to pay his salary it's no wonder they have to close.

I don't know what the current wage is for a Postmaster but I bet it's not chicken feed!

  robgf 00:19 12 Sep 2008

The consultations that are held before closures are a complete waste of time.
When the latest round of closures were proposed in my area, the local paper was leaked a memo, which listed the possible projected objections to the closure of each branch and the branches they were actually going to close.
The consultation was a complete sham, all the decisions were already made.

The problem I have noticed with PO closures, is that they usually double as the village shop and when one goes, so does the other.
This doesn't worry the more affluent members of society, who just drive to the nearest town (and you can guarantee the executives who decide the closures are in this group). But is a serious problem for those who don't have easy access to transport, or the money to pay for it.

Those people who say they never need to use the PO, or village shop, should consider, things change, they may become ill, or lose their well paid job. Then suddenly they will see why the PO is an important resource.

  peter99co 11:06 12 Sep 2008

What suprises me is the fact that the shop goes as well. It seems to me that this is because of the prices they have to charge for their goods. Maybe the Supermarkets should franchise these small outlets and 'give something back' Some garages have small Tesco outlets near me and yet the main shop is within less than 3 miles.

  charmingman 14:54 12 Sep 2008

Where iam living there was 4 Post Office's that was highlighted to be closed late last year, There was a UPROAR loacaly when it was anounced & there was thousands of signatures signed on a petition, The post office's in question was placed in very built up area's & had flow's of people from all ages use them, i am with FE on this when he stated "Iam on the fence" but i lved between them all Anyway there was letters sent to our council & Downing Street & yet the goverment STILL closed every one of them!!
Does the goverment listen.. Imho i belive they made there minds up before anouncing it then regardless of what we all thought still went ahead & closed them..this seems common place with this goverment...they forget who pays there wage...

  charmingman 14:57 12 Sep 2008

Just to add there isnt a post office for miles now!!
I sympasise for the pensioners or people that dont drive..

  blanco 19:30 12 Sep 2008

I agree that the Post Office had no choice when the Government stated that 2000 offices should be closed to reduce the scale of national loss being settled by the tax payer.
The problem is that locally the decision was made by looking at a map and deciding the closest alternatives after closing.
Our London 'Village' post office was closed after 94 years service in spite of making a profit and serving a good deal the local population, many of which are in sheltered accommodation.
Protests were made, petitions signed, demonstrations including the local councillors and the MP of the constituency but not a single visit was made to ascertain the real situation nor the fact that there was no direct bus service to the alternatives given.
This was always busy and there is no easy solution for those who are handicapped and have more need than I of the PO services.
The sub postmaster, employed by the PO but under contract also found himself out of a job even though he ran a profitable ship
In my case it's just a minor annoyance. I no longer buy things to send by parcel as gifts and buy stamps and so on from local newsagents.
It's annoying not actually knowing every relevant size, weight and destination cost but I shall find ways round it and the PO will lose a little more income.

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