Friday, 12 September 2008

Post Offices

1. I learned last night that none of the post offices proposed for closure in the area come close to breaking even for Post Office Limited. (Nor do many others not slated for closure). Of course that soes not mean that the proprietors are running at a loss. (They have a contractual arrangement with Post Office Ltd.) But the interesting thing is that some of the post offices to be retained - even where they are small with poor access facilities and have a limited turnover - do make a profit. This means that volume of business is far lest important than the profile of the business to Post Office Ltd - at least in temrs of breaking even.

2. We were told last night with some certainty that the queues at some local post offices are not as bad as we think. If I recall correctly the average wait was found to be just seconds. The source seems to be a type of mystery shopper survey which Post Office Ltd buy in. That bit of the meeting left me with the biggest dollop of scepticism. My experience in post office queues means I will need a bit more persuading.

3. Nonetheless we were advised that the Newington Road post office are likely to be installing a new counter position in order better to cope with increased business - should Nicolson Street close.

4. Post Office Ltd loses £200m per year. It also gets a £150m subsidy.

Here is another report of last night's meeting.


Jeff said...

Thanks for that Cameron, interesting reading.

For me personally, I set foot in a Post Office about once a year and if the fact that so many are loss-making and unsustainable then I don't mind going an extra mile or two or 5, or queuing for half an hour, to send some letters.

I appreciate that's a rather slefish way of looking at the problem but that's just my take...


PS Someone I know in your neck of the woods said to me you're the most hardworking, thorough councillor they've ever known. Thought I'd pass that on...

CR said...

Thanks Jeff. There is something not right with the post office business model. For example, according to the post office, any postmaster can open 24 hours a day. But hardly any open beyond the core 9-5:30. And why rewards to the postmaster do not seem to be related to either transactions or complexity of transactions needs explored.

I always welcome your feedback - especially when its complimentary. :-). Keep on blogging.

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