I went to the public meeting about the closure of the Gladstone Road Post Office on Friday.
Julian Brazier was there, and as well as coming out very clearly in support of the franchising out of services to a supermarket, he also went on to say a number of interesting things about the delivery office closure too.
He said, “I compared notes with Sir Roger Gale and neither of us has had a single complaint. The issue was, they believed they could run it more efficiently that way, and the fact that there haven’t been any of the predicted disasters and people having trouble having parcels delivered seems to me to vindicate the decision.”
He’s right. Despite some teething problems, there haven’t been any major disasters yet. But this isn’t because a 32 mile round trip for postal workers to deliver your mail is more efficient, as he seems to think: it’s just that so far the Royal Mail have been throwing money at the situation, by employing extra staff, and allowing their current staff to work extra hours.
I would love to take a look at the figures so we could compare the cost of delivering mail from Whitstable with the cost of delivering it from Canterbury. I know with absolute certainty that costs will have multiplied since the move. So how can that be called “ more efficient”?
Also, for the time being, until the sale of the building goes through, the callers office on Cromwell Road remains open, so people can still collect their undelivered mail in Whitstable. This won’t last forever.
And the fact is, once the office closes, there can be only one other possible place for people to go to collect their undelivered mail, and that’s the Post Office.
In other words, if the Gladstone Road office closes, not only will we lose our dedicated staff and a number of services which can only be supplied by a Crown Post Office, but we will lose any possibility of retaining a caller’s office in Whitstable too.
That’s what you call “killing two birds with one stone”.