Are PO closures being rushed?

PUBLISHED: 02:01 23 June 2008 | UPDATED: 09:10 10 June 2010

Re: Post Office closures. Your coverage of the above has been quite excellent and I hope that it will help to stop the closures at least in East Devon. However, at the public meetings on this issue that I have attended, several important issues have surfa

Re: Post Office closures.Your coverage of the above has been quite excellent and I hope that it will help to stop the closures at least in East Devon. However, at the public meetings on this issue that I have attended, several important issues have surfaced.1. The Post Office Ltd cannot take any account of petitions from the public, although they say they will consider letters from individuals, and everyone is urged to write accordingly and copy to councillors and Hugo Swire MP.2. According to the Post Office Ltd, Devon must have a certain number of closures - of the order of 80, I recall - and that any successful campaign to keep a post office open, will only result in another one somewhere else being added to the list. This is contemptible and deserves to be exposed to the widest audience and is unworthy of what claims to be a public service. Of course, if and when the Post Offices are privatised as is the intention, then that will no longer apply.3. In October 2007, Parliament approved a Private Member's Bill called the Sustainable Communities Act 2007, which becomes the law of the land in October 2008. This Act is aimed at reversing the trend towards "ghost" communities by giving local councils the powers to solve such problems. The Act specifically identifies local facilities essential to sustainability including: shops, markets, pubs, post offices, banks and health centresThe process of "public consultation" being hurriedly forced through by the Post Office Ltd, is a farce and one which must be concluded in a few weeks time apparently, and one can only conclude that it is being rushed through before the Sustainable Communities Act becomes law - or am I being cynical?As with many other issues, the linkage with the EU is being deliberately denied yet these changes are being implemented as a direct consequence of the EU Directives 97/67/EC and 2002/39/EC, which are aimed at destroying public monopolies, even though these might be benevolent, profitable and what the people want.The only hope for the threatened POs is for local people to demand, as they can on a local issue, that EDDC organise Parish Polls and use the result to call on EDDC to implement the requirements of the imminent Sustainable Communities Act.I wish them good luck in their efforts - there isn't much time left, unless our MP can force a delay to the closure programme!John Kelly, by emai

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