Should councils save post offices by taking over? Watch

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Essex County Council has become the first local authority in the country to discuss taking over the running of post offices earmarked for closure. Should other councils do the same?

The council is negotiating a buy-out price from the Post Office and said some of the 32 threatened branches could be saved within two months.

The closures in Essex were among 2,500 nationwide announced in 2006 in a bid to stem network losses of £4m a week.

Postal Affairs Minister Pat McFadden has given approval to the scheme. And the Post Office said it was willing to work with other local authorities on similar takeovers.

Do you live near a post office which is threatened with closure? Would you support your council taking it over? Would you pay more council tax to save post offices?

Read the full story (on the BBC website)
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Tufts
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What's the alternative? Someone illuminate me.
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L i b
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No, it's daft.

In the vital areas they run outreach services anyway. I don't see why they don't close most rural post offices and combine them with village halls etc to create one community building - post office, library etc under one roof. Might encourage people to use such facilities more, as well as offer huge savings.
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AnythingButChardonnay
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But isn't the whole attraction of rural post offices that they are small, local and the lifeblood of the community?
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L i b
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(Original post by AnythingButChardonnay)
But isn't the whole attraction of rural post offices that they are small, local and the lifeblood of the community?
Are you replying to me?

I don't really see how an area set aside in a village hall (from my experience of villages, village halls and community centres often seem to be little-used these days, yet are housed in quite impressive buildings) for a shop and post office destroys any of that. It's certainly just as local, and will probably have the same ethos.
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AnythingButChardonnay
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(Original post by L i b)
Are you replying to me?

I don't really see how an area set aside in a village hall (from my experience of villages, village halls and community centres often seem to be little-used these days, yet are housed in quite impressive buildings) for a shop and post office destroys any of that. It's certainly just as local, and will probably have the same ethos.
I suppose so, where there are village halls availible. But it's not just rural post offices, though they are the ones getting all the press.

I don't really live in a rural area, but when my post office closed it was irritating for me and my mum, because we had to drive further. But it was absolutely devastating for the old people who lived in the area immediately around the post office. They now have to trek to some ghastly, big, long-queued post office with rude and unfriendly staff. Also, it means there are more old people on the pavements slowing you down between the pubs.

I don't think centralising post offices is the answer. Bigger =/= better.
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L i b
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Yeah, I'm taking it from a distinctly rural angle; I imagine the (sub)urban problems are different.
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