It’s not often I agree with “lol” Deirdre Alden, but she’s blogged about the Government’s Post Office closures a lot over the past year and stood by a lot of pillar boxes.
The Mail revealed the hit list of Birmingham POs marked for closure on Saturday, and the most you can say in the scheme’s favour is that the Government have decided to create large holes in the community quite evenly across the city:
View Larger Map
(Apologies if I’ve got any of the places a little wrong, Google Maps is a little hazy especially round Ladywood — digitial divide in effect?)
Post Office Limited’s view (from the Mail article) “Post Office Ltd insists the closures are needed because of falling customer numbers and the increasing use of the internet to access services. For example, it is now possible to buy a television licence online.” (yes, but not post a fucking letter).
I’m not sure about falling customer numbers (although I’m sure they have “statistics” to back it up), my local PO in Kings Heath (on the list for closure) almost always has queues out of the door. It is outrageous that the BBC handed TV licensing to Crapita who in turn gave it to the commercial Pay Point network to sell (letting the government claim about three degrees of separation from the decision).
Over the last 10 or so years the Post Office has been forced to become part of the “selling culture” of the government. My mother worked for the Post Office for thirty years, and she’s often told me how staff were now given targets to sell insurance or push credit cards, given stock phrases to say to the customer and had colleagues detailed to stand behind them on the counter to make sure these orders were carried out.
It can’t be that things as important as Post Offices have to make money or close, what ever happened to the concept of a public service?
If I hear of any local protests I’ll put them up on the site (and please inform me if you know of any).