Today I attended a meeting with Post Office Management organised by Wokingham Borough Council.
I explained to the Post Office that all three main parties represented at the Council, Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrats, were united in opposing the plan to close the existing Post Office counters. Our joint opposition reflected a substantial body of opinion in the Town that did not want to see the closure, and had been well represented in the Petition which they had seen. It was also clear from reports of the consultation held on Monday evening when I had to be voting in Parliament that the respondents were critical of the plan and wished to query the whole idea of closure.
I argued that Wokingham is a fast growing community, with considerable pressure on the existing counters at the Post Office. The present building would allow them to open further counters to deal with demand, whilst the proposal to have just 3 counters in WH Smith looks as if it threatens more queues and inadequate capacity. There are worries about access for pushchairs and wheelchairs through the Smiths store to get to the Post Office at the back.
When asked by the Post Office what new thing they could learn from the continuing consultation that might make a difference, I stressed the antipathy of their customer base to the proposal as well as the questions of access and the lack of ambition for the likely growth as housing numbers increase.
The consultation is still open, so all who want to try to get the Post Office to change its mind should write in.