[Diggers350] Why another of your Post Offices may be about to close

ilyan ilyan.thomas at virgin.net
Thu Feb 21 02:36:31 GMT 2013

In a Carmarthen shop window  there is a welsh language poster about the 
local Post Office's threatened closing,    below it there is a bigger 
poster saying         "Precautions      A.W. bombs  fire instantly on 
breaking in air......"    THey are in bottles  and were often stored 
under water.

'The Survival Chemist' David A Howard from J Flores Publications in 
Miami  is handier than The Anarchist Cookbook but says nothing about A W 
bombs,   though it is strong about precautions that  might stop people 
killing themselves.

Any shop taking on Post Office business might be endangering itself.     
In Carmarthen in particular**Debenhhams would become a prime targe*t*.

It is troughing pigs in the Government who crippled the Post Office 
hiving off profitable parts to their Capitalist funders.     Those 
businesses are also approprite targets.   Sell your shares in them 
before they get hit.

Why another of your Post Offices may be about to  close: After small 
branches were cut now the big ones will go too
> **By Toby Walne, Financial Mail On Sunday
> PUBLISHED: 22:18, 16 February 2013 | UPDATED: 11:05, 17 February 2013
> http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-2279599/Post-Office-delivers-trail-betrayals-closures.html
> Whitstable is famous for its oysters, but the picturesque Kent resort 
> may soon lose one of its pearls -- its Crown post office. It has been 
> earmarked for closure along with one in five of the flagship branches 
> throughout Britain.
> The Post Office plans to cull 70 of the 373 Crown branches -- the 
> major high street outlets run directly by the Post Office.
> This follows the closure of 8,000 sub-post offices in towns and 
> villages over the past decade. Ten years ago there were about 19,000, 
> now barely 11,500 survive.
> The Crown closures are the latest of half a dozen such 'initiatives' 
> in recent years -- though the word  closure is never used by the Post 
> Office -- that have left a trail of broken promises.
> The Post Office claims the latest closures are part of a 
> 'transformation' in which no branch will be forced to shut but will 
> instead operate from a shop.
> But many of the 30,000 residents of Whitstable are not impressed. 
> Anita Rule, 52, of Wheelers Oyster Bar, a cafe that has served the 
> town since 1865, says: 'Where will they fit this new branch? It 
> certainly won't squeeze into our bar -- or anywhere else around here 
> that I can imagine. Why don't they stop hiding behind all these weasel 
> words and just admit they want to come here and shut the post office.'
> Walking though the narrow lanes lined with boutique shops it is hard 
> to find where there might be another taker for a branch that currently 
> has six counters. The Post Office has started a six-week 
> 'consultation' that began last week, but no one here has even heard of 
> the latest closure plans let alone been invited to talks.
> Follow the campaign against Post Office closures
> http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/newshub/save-our-post-offices.html
> In a previous closure programme six years ago, 85 Crown outlets were 
> culled nationwide, with 76 of them put inside WH Smith stores. Many 
> customers complained that the post office was often crammed into the 
> back of overcrowded shops or upstairs so disabled customers found it 
> difficult. At the time, Post Office managing director Alan Cook 
> claimed the changes were necessary to promise a 'long-term commitment 
> to safeguard flagship Post Offices' and a pledge to 'continue to run, 
> and invest in, a total of 373 Crown post offices'.
> Six years later the closure of Crown branches is back on the agenda -- 
> while Cook retired with a £1 million bonus.
> In Whitstable, accountant Lucie Morris, 28, says: 'I can understand 
> why they might put the branch into a shop to save money, but why can't 
> they be straight about how services will suffer if they are forcing 
> them into a smaller space? The existing branch is really convenient 
> and offers excellent access to those with mobility difficulties.'
> The Post Office claims it is being forced to sell to stem £40 million 
> a year losses among Crown branches, but claims it will not axe 
> branches where alternative partners cannot be found. It hopes to 
> attract shopowners who are willing to pay for the chance of having a 
> post office inside their building in the hope of attracting more business.
> Fisherman James Green, 44, who owns the Whitstable Oyster Company, 
> fears this business model benefits only the Post Office, not 
> customers. 'Our branch always has long queues -- surely it must be 
> making money,' he says.
> 'The only reason to sell seems to be to boost profits as much as it 
> can -- squeezing every last drop out of us by selling a prime site and 
> franchising the business at the expense of a vital community service.' 
> James points out that Whitstable sorting office is already earmarked 
> to be moved to a nearby Canterbury branch this year to save costs.
> The Post Office admits it will close, but it has not confirmed a date. 
> 'This will mean a  14-mile round trip to collect undelivered mail,' he 
> says. 'This is not only inconvenient, but it is going to be a 
> nightmare for those without their own car.'
> The latest 'transformation' comes just two years after Business 
> Secretary Vince Cable promised a £1.34 billion lifeline to ensure the 
> future of the  network.
> A key part of this lifeline  initiative included turning 2,000 
> sub-post offices into 'local' shops that offered more basic services 
> than traditional branches. 'Locals' get £10,000 to take this option. A 
> further 4,000 sub-post office branches have been offered as much as 
> £45,000 to be turned into 'main' post offices. They get more money to 
> spruce up premises as they must offer a separate counter.
> The remaining branches are simply being left to survive as best they 
> can. The Crown post offices have not been included in this lifeline 
> initiative.
> The Communication Workers Union has hit out at 'destructive' schemes 
> and fears they damage the long-term future of the network.
> Spokeswoman Sian Jones says: 'There are no plans to help post offices 
> after 2015.' The union plans to ballot members on possible strike 
> action later this month to fight the Crown closures.
> Jones says: 'People have been fed lies and broken promises for too 
> long. The Post Office can't even admit to closing branches -- it never 
> dares use the word.'
> A Post Office spokesman told Financial Mail: 'We are undertaking the 
> biggest business transformation programme in the history of the Post 
> Office.
> 'Our overall investment will maintain the size of the network and 
> modernise branches to meet customer needs. If no retail partner is 
> found, we are committed to maintaining a Crown post office in the area.'
> *'Reinvention' plan? It's been more like a decade of disguised decline
> *2000 At the start of the Millennium there were 19,000 post offices. 
> The network has suffered a gradual decline since its peak of 25,000 
> due to a lack of investment in the branches and infrastructure.
> 2003 The Post Office launches the 'urban reinvention programme' -- a 
> euphemism for axeing 3,000 branches in towns and cities. At the same 
> time it is made harder for post offices to survive with the scrapping 
> of benefits books in favour of direct payments using Post Office card 
> accounts. Benefits books generated an average 40 per cent of branch 
> revenue.
> 2006 Post offices lose the right to sell TV licences. Postage stamps 
> are also made available to be bought and printed out online. Post 
> offices already struggling to survive are shut down.
> 2007 A fresh closure drive  is launched with 2,500 branches targeted. 
> This time the cuts go under the title of 'Network Change Programme'. 
> Most branches are forced to shut after  a six-week 'consultation' in 
> which the wishes of the community and most sub-postmasters are 
> ignored. The network of 458 Crown post offices is slashed to 373 in an 
> 'investment programme' to ensure no other Crown branches need  ever 
> close. Most end up sharing premises with WH Smith stores.
> 2010 The Government promises £1.34 billion to keep the network going 
> until 2015. This does not stop branches closing due to tough economic 
> conditions. At least 2,000 branches are put into shops and offer only 
> basic services.
> 2013 The Post Office announces plans to shut one in five Crown post 
> offices -- to be sold off and put inside shops.  At least 70 of the 
> 373 flagship  high street branches are set to go.  It points to a 
> continued decline  of the surviving network of  11,500 branches.
> --
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