Govt ‘scam’ to remove post offices without you noticing

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Post offices – disappearing and replaced by ‘mickey mouse’ alternatives

Figures published by the Post Office reveal that government promises to protect post office numbers have been little more than a scam, according to senior Labour sources.

The figures, which are calculated at the end of March each year, show a roughly static overall number of post offices since the Tories took Downing Street in 2010 – but a major shift in the mix of types available:

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The figures, which show the number of post offices by type in March each year, show that the total number has fallen by just over 2% – from 11,905 to 11,659.

However, the number of large ‘Crown’ offices which are directly managed by the Post Office has fallen by almost a quarter – 24% – while full-service ‘agency’ offices have fallen by over 6%.

They have been partially replaced – in number rather than in service and function – by an increase in ‘outreach services’. These services – which might open for as little as a few hours a week – often involve sub-postmasters travelling to provide a postal service from a community centre, village hall or even a cafe.

A Labour insider told the SKWAWKBOX:

This is a stealth-downgrading of the post office services available to British people. Outreach Post Offices are small part time branches as opposed to proper post offices. The Tories are closing proper post offices and replacing them with Mickey Mouse ones – but claiming that the overall numbers remain steady.

It’s little more than a scam – and it’s primarily hitting pensioners and people living in rural areas, who rely on post offices more and often don’t even have a realistic option of travelling to one in a different area.

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  1. What is of particular concern about this is the link to recent bank closures announced by RBS/NatWest.

    Let me explain. In many local towns and communities the above bank closures are removing the only functioning bank in many of those communities. For example; to and in the North of Sheffield the Pennine towns of Penistone and Stocksbridge will lose their only remaining banks in the community. Given that Hillsborough branch is also closing this leaves either a trip to Barnsley, Sheffield City Centre or Sheffield Attercliffe.

    For local traders, retail outlets, small shops like hairdressers/barbers, flower shops etc, charity shops, church groups, local clubs, small workplace Christmas Clubs, and even local school dinner collections this means either adding to costs by depositing cash daily miles from the community or risking less frequent trips and having more cash on the premises or about their person.

    The argument used is that facilitates will be available at the local Post Office – in the case of Stocksbridge this is located in a busy co-op supermarket. Should the Post Office close this would cause major problems, particularly on days like today where, as I type it is snowing heavily. Public transport is becoming less frequent, particularly to Barnsley.

    On top of this the consumer organisation Which are currently engaged in a campaign highliting the threat to ATM cash machines. Should that facility also be withdrawn because it affects the profit levels the corporate oxygen breathers feel they are entitled to the consequences for those communities, especially those with an aging demographic, will be dire.

    Granted, it’s not a politically sexy issue. However, it is one of a very practical nature which will have negative impacts for many communities. Well done for highliting this.

  2. In a major settlement in my rural area, all banks have closed, the last one due to close on 8 weeks, leaving a post office. In the next settlement, where the PO was deemed essential to the community, it has been taken into a local supermarket, and runs reduced services with shop assistants, not post masters. For example they cannot handle any parcels more than 2kg. In the same community another bank is also closing down, leaving just one operating part time two days a week. We expect that to go soon. This mirrors the deprived urban areas where there are simply no facilities for ppl to access their money at all. How soon will we be forced to stop using real cash and into the nightmare of electronic cash? Its not just the loss of post offices, although they are of crucial importance to communities, but rather they are also part of a much bigger picture of surveillance and control, and the removal of cash, possibly the biggest loss of freedom possible. Labour must meet their commitment to return PO to public ownership, but I would also hope they will commit to keeping cash too.

  3. The Post Office is a still public property, it was never privatised. It’s the Royal Mail that was privatised. However I wouldn’t be surprised that this rump Tory shower are grooming the PO for privatisation before they lose power.

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