Friday, 4 July 2008

Campaigning against Post Office closures

Good rapid response from the LibDems in starting a petition again closure of St Mary’s Field Post Office. And – of course, we should all be campaigning to keep all our post offices open. They are a community service not a business and should be considered as such.

However – I’m going to nitpick about the LibDems’ approach:
i) We need to campaign to keep all our post offices open. If we campaign heavily to keep a particular post office open – then Post Office plc will simply close another one whose supporters are not so loud. And often, it is the more deprived communities who fail to put together an articulate protest – and so lose out.
ii) I’m all for ‘community leadership’, but somehow it strikes me that councillors should be supporting and facilitating community campaigns rather than initiating them. But then, the LibDems got elected to the unitary authority, not me – so maybe I’ve got it wrong.
iii) And – it seems odd, that the political group in power is leading a campaign calling for action to be taken – that’s far more the action of an opposition political group. Maybe the LibDems haven’t yet got their heads round the fact that they are in power.

No sign of the LibDem-run unitary preparing a ‘plan B’ to take on the post offices (like Essex CC) if Post Office plc decides to close them – nor any sign of the unitary intervening in the imminent closure of Morpeth Main Post Office. These are the sorts of things I’d expect the political group in power to be doing – not raising petitions

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