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Hi now our post office has been closed which was in the local paper and grocery store.
The nearest post office is 4 miles away and I calculated it cost me £1.34 or more for round trip to post a letter that needed weighing. Letter was 80p.
Having a chat at the local shop about the closing of the post office I was told there would be a charge to the owners of around £80 pcm to actually have the post office back on the premises.
It was closed during the take over of new ownership who made enquiries to the post office about any closure date and were told that the post office could be closed around 2015.
It's the price you pay for living in the countryside. In our villages most of the houses have been sold as weekend cottages or retirement homes. It has become to expensive for those with local jobs to gain a foot on the property ladder. Those businesses that flourished in the rural environment employing local people have mostly disappeared.
Those who used local shops because of a) time constraint. Shopping in their lunch hour. b) lack of transport. Buses very infrequent.
are being taken by those who have plenty of free time and if they can afford the inflated prices of homes, can afford their own transport. So you get a large portion of villagers bringing their own groceries for the weekend or retired folk nipping down to the local town to the supermarket.
That, the failure for the businesses to adapt and current economic climate will bring small village shops, post offices and pubs to be a thing of the past. Our post office, closed 5 years ago. It is now a development of three executive houses.
Stamps can be purchased on-line and the letter weighed with kitchen scales if need be.
I live in one of the largest cities in the country, but it's still a couple of miles to the nearest PO. That's rather academic because there is no way I could park anywhere near it during business hours.
when our post office closed WH Smiths opened up a small counter in its store, can any local shops in your village take it over.
You have to be a little careful about home weighing, because Royal Mail also base their costs on size of letter or package. If you get it wrong, then the receiver could well end up paying an administration charge (usually £1.00) and possible collection from the sorting office or local post office (extra 50p for that PO collection).
In answer to you question "can any local shops in your village take it over", and the answer may well be no. There have been cases though, of petitions and mass objections being raised, and the local pub or available outlet have been given a temporary license to run a part-time service.
About 10/12 years ago (might even been longer now), there was a government exercise undertaken as to the Post Office and Royal Mail services, including closures and sell-outs etc. A number of people specially selected country wide were to provide a public view and participate in this exercise. The public participating were not paid for their services, which was over a number of consultation periods, but the people running the exercise were paid.
At that time is was 'perhaps suggested' that closures of Post Offices 'would or might take place as a cost saver', especially in rural areas. In the town areas, some closures would take place with a severance package being given to the business people running the 'franchise'. The people who were selected to maintain their commitment to the areas designated, were given grants ( I think at the time up to £35.000) to improve their premises and services. The 'franchisee' who was selected had the option to close their Post Office side, providing their contract considered this, and they would be available Post Office outlets within the designated area.
There is a lot more to this, and in the main, the public are not fully aware of these events or exercises taking place.
I live in a small town / large village and recently out post office, part time police station and library were all up for closure. Its a very tight nit community and everyone rallied round and athought the police stations hours were cut further the closure of the library and PO were "postponed", its a real shame that smaller communities are under threat in such a way.
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