Monday, November 5, 2007

Closing Kent's Post Offices - a Modern Day Fairy tale?

You'll be aware of the impending closure of 2500 small local post offices nationally - 54 of these in Kent.

The main argument from Post Office Ltd has been a financial one - that these small post offices were making unsustainable losses at £4,000,000 each week.  In the face of this huge figure, the case for closure seemed difficult to resist.

However, the accounts for the last year are now published, and the truth is slightly different.  Far from over £200m loss for the year, the total deficit for the year is £90m - it seems we were given a figure that was over-exaggerated by more than 100%.

Worse still, of that £90m loss, around £70m is down to the Crown Post Offices division, which has nothing to do with the local post office network. The real level of losses from the local network appears to be just £385k a week nationally - just 1% of the £4m a week we were quoted!

How does this compare with the bureaucratic waste in most civil service departments?

So the Government - themselves a "major shareholder" in Post Office Ltd - are happy to tear the heart out of 54 of Kent's small communities, and to use any excuse to do so.

If any other organisation did that....

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