Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Post Office Closure Update

Unfortunately, its a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul. Today's announcement from Post Office Ltd that two of the thirteen Post Offices in Central Wales proposed for closure, are to be reprieved, means that two others have to close instead. Tremont Road in Llandrindod Wells, and Pendre in Brecon are saved - while Penyparc in Ceredigion is now for the chop. Which leaves one more. I'm told that letters have gone out to several Sub Post Offices informing them that because these two Post Offices have been reprieved, they are back on the hit list. (Have to admit this is hearsay though.) Most worryingly, I'm told that there are some sub postmasters hoping they will be selected for closure. Doesn't say much for morale.

We were warned. Throughout the consultation period, Post Office Ltd has insisted that 13 Sub Post Offices in Central Wales must close. The rationale is that the Government (its 100% shareholder) has already resolved that 2500 should close, and pro rata, that means 13 in Central Wales. The last 6 weeks have not been about the total number, but to decide which Post Offices will be chosen to make up the already decided number. Brutal or what.

And the next big battle is starting already. I was out introducing myself to people in Llanwddyn earlier tonight, alongside new local councillor, Simon Baynes. Several people showed me a card which had been circulated in the area on behalf of sub postmasters for completion and onward posting to local Members of Parliament. The issue is the future of the Post Office card account. The Government will shortly be choosing a successor to manage this card account, and if the Post Office Ltd is not chosen, at least another 2,500 sub Post Offices will close - probably without any compensation for the sub postmasters. It looks as if we ain't seen nothing yet.

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