Thursday, 4 October 2007
My local Cambridgeshire postoffice is a key part of my life. Every morning I buy my paper and pick up a loaf of bread. I join local businesspeople in the queue to send letters or parcels and, as we are 10 miles from the nearest bank, the cash facility is vital. Older people collect their money and the doctors' arranges for prescriptions to be dropped off there too. Last Christmas I wrote about the bravery of the post-master when they were robbed. The shop and the postoffice are joined at the hip. I, for one, am prepared to pay slightly over the odds on each transaction for this service and I know many others would too. It saves me miles of travel.
Today I visited post-offices in Lincolnshire that are on the list for possible "closure". The public have been offered a 6 week consultation... but one postmaster told me he thinks the decisions have already been made. The option "let us know how much it might cost to keep our post office open" is not available. How can something be called a consultation if there is no means to negotiate?