Liberal Democrat Conference: 19th September 2011 Post Offices

I was listening to Ed Davey MP on Post Offices, some of the changes make sense. No one wants to see any more Post Offices close, but going from a “nationalised industry” to a “mutualised cooperative” is something I’m sure the unions won’t be happy with.

Taking nearby Hoylake Road Post Office as an example, there are three counters and usually two people working there. In addition there’s another person at a different counter that deals with anything you want to buy in the shop. Ed Davey said they’re trying out (through some pilot projects) everything being sold at the Post Office counter (which could cut costs making more Post Offices viable) whilst trialling self-service machines to cut down on queues.

Clearly queues is an issue that has been a greater problem since a several Post Offices in Birkenhead have been closed. Having used the Hoylake Road and Upton Road Post Offices in the last few months I think there’s only been one occasion when I didn’t have to queue.

I also remember the campaigns against Post Offices closures we ran a number of years ago. Paula Southwood campaigned in 2007 against the threatened post office closures in Spital and in Heswall. She put a lot of hard work into campaigning and getting petitions going.

In fact a year ago I tabled a question at the Liverpool conference in a session chaired by Lorely Burt MP about the future of the Post Office network. Hopefully any changes made will result in a better Post Office network and not the closures that happened under the previous Labour government.

I notice the next speaker after Ed Davey is also still taking up the Post Offices theme.

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Author: John Brace

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