Thursday 14 February 2008

...and so the Post Office closures start...

The news is starting to get out about the anticipated Post Office closures that the Labour Government is trying to force through...
  • South End Green, Hampstead
  • England's Lane, Belsize
  • Child's Hill, Barnet

  • Highgate Village

  • East Finchley

  • Alexandra Park Road, Haringey

  • Penine Parade, Barnet

  • Glebe Road, Finchley

  • Watford Way

  • Cricklewood

Some of this just feels like spite - it isn't something that many of the post offices themselves want, there has been no real process for discussing this at all and the consultation is notoriously slow and unresponsive.

South End Green is especially cruel after the battle to save it two years ago - Belsize is just plain vicious - after Belsize Village closed it was promised that there would be another location found, and now they close England's lane - and Highgate feels like a deliberate attempt to rip out the heart from the community that already has lost too many community features it had but five years ago.

This is not something the respective communities will take lying down and it goes to the heart of what sort of community you want to live in.

I guess we now know the answer to that question from the Labour Government...


Theo Blackwell's blog said...

I know this is one of your generic national campaigns but shouldn't you be asking your council to do more to build up the evidence-base against closures.

In 2004 there were public meetings, a scrutiny report and we developed a regeneration argument supporting local post offices, this saved 2 from closure. The Lib Dems seem to do nothing on post offices except when running for election.

Of course you must services need to be modernised - that's presumably why the Lib Dems are closing down council offices across the borough, reducing the number of contact points where people can walk in and talk to someone about the 300 or so services the council offers/people pay for.

Can we have a campaign on that too please?

Anonymous said...

In fact campaigning to keep Post Offices has been a consistent theme with Liberal Democrats nationwide for years now, both in and out of election times. And we did formulate and adopt a policy at our national conference for investing in Post Offices to ensure their future viability. Labour's policy, of course, is to close 2,500 more of them (having already closed thousands), and 150of those in London.

Theo Blackwell's blog said...

Well, in Camden post offices are only mentioned at election time by the Lib Dems. There is no scrutiny investigation and no gathering of evidence to support POs where the decision is 50/50. Nothing. Nada.

Btw can you campaign to stop the Lib dem council closing Jack Taylor special needs school and find a place in the borough for Frank Barnes school for the deaf? They are also important for our local community.

Anonymous said...

When was the last time you actually used a post office Ed other than for a photo opportunity? You probably, like most younger people, buy your stamps in shops and rarely ever go to a post office.

This is the same for the majority of people. Pensioners get their money directly into back accounts now and most functions can be performed at banks.

This campaign is opportunist. Would the Lib Dems fun keeping countless post offices which have about ten customers a day open and subsidise them?

Perhaps you can get your good mate Keith Moffitt to give all post offices in Camden some subsidy from the council so that people can pay their fines there etc? Probably not - that would involve being constructive wouldn't it?

Anonymous said...

Why do you support the closure of two special needs schools?

Anonymous said...

It must be hard being Theo Blackwell
cynical and web-bound
Also unaware that some of us are consistent and have been worried about Post Offices for some time...
Anonymous: was queuing in Kilburm PO for a while the other day, was in Mill Lane on Thursday and popped into West End Lane today - and if you think customers were old and young...

Theo Blackwell's blog said...

Not, really you did nothing in 2004/2005, the last 'wave.'

Being worried about something is not the same as acting on it, Ed.

What's the council doing? A big Zilch.

Getting results is important, rather than living in the platonic world of self-promoting Lib dem leaflets.