In addition to the concern for pensioners and those without access to regular public transport or a car, has the Government considered the impact on the many small businesses and people working from home, should many small Post Offices be forced out of business by its proposals? [From 2003, new benefits claimants will receive payments via automated credit transfer to their bank, and will not have the option of collecting them from their local Post Office.]
Over the past ten to 15 years, as companies have restructured and downsized, there has been a major shift in the provision of design and technical services from in-house to out-sourced. Many designers are no longer working in employment premises, but freelance from home.
These people, and many small trading businesses and cottage industries operating from home or rural locations, will be hit hard by the severing of the local Post Office lifeline.
Not all businesses can operate exclusively on the Internet. Some need to mail things.
My local Post Office enables me to work from home. This benefits my family, as I see more of them. It benefits the environment, as I don’t have to commute every day in my car. I am more involved in local community activities than when I worked away.
I use my local Post Office not only for stamps and other services such as special delivery and banking, but for office stationery and other office consumables: without it I’d need to drive a fair distance for all of these things. Without it I’d need to consider renting office space in a nearby town and commute up to 40 miles a day. I know of at least three other designers working from home in my locality who’d be in a similar position. How many more will it affect across the country?
The Government must consider the knock-on effects of mass Post Office closure. My one employs about 12 people, all of whom can ‘walk’ to work. The nearest similar employment is a five-mile drive away, if indeed any vacancies exist.
Jack M Sayer
Somerset TA7 9PZ