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:
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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