Post office must not be allowed to close
PUBLISHED: 11:06 07 October 2010
It felt like a case of deja vu when I read in the Gazette that the Post Office is planning to close its branch at Highbury Corner – and, rather than replace it with a new branch, it looks likely to merge it with the one on Upper Street.
You only have to look at the constant queues to see that there is an enormous demand at both existing locations and there has to be a real concern that any amalgamation is really just an excuse to downsize.
It doesn’t seem that that long ago that we were having similar arguments over the Essex Road post office.
Post offices play a pivotal role in maintaining local economies and have the potential to help adddress financial exclusion.
According to the New Economics Foundation: “For every £10 earned in income, a post office generates £16.20 for its local economy.”
There is clearly a fundamental problem with the structure of Post Office Ltd if these busy businesses are apparently not currently viable, the ongoing process towards privitisation will surely only make things worse.
Isn’t it time for politicians to realise, as the Green Party does already, that post offices are an important public service and should be run as such.
It’s no good for local politicians just to roll up each each time a post office is threatened. Everyone tried to claim they had saved Essex Road. However, as the deeper issues weren’t faced it appears the problem was simply pushed around the borough.
Last time around Labour called on the Lib-Dems to act, as Essex County Council did, to intervene and fund threatened post offices turning them into the community resources they should be. Now they are in a position to act, will they do so?
And is there any chance of the Lib-Dems standing up to their Conservative “partners” in Government and telling them their own policy, which is to “retain Post Office Limited in the public sector”, is non negotiable? – Caroline Allen, Islington Green Party. Peacock Place, N1.
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