Council leader Paul Scriven is correct in saying (Telegraph, May 7) that
I, as a member of the Council’s cross-party working group on post
offices (PO’s), voted for the Council’s proposals to re-open two of the
15 closed PO’s and to support mobile POs and additional community
transport. But that doesn’t mean I believe the proposals
go far enough. Instead we are arguing for real Council action to re-open
a larger number of PO’s, as set out in Sheffield Communities Against
Post Office Closure’s (SCAPOC’s) 5 point plan (Telegraph, April 17).
Government is providing Post Offices Ltd with the funding it needs to
run the service until 2011. The council should be lobbying hard for
that money to come directly to Local Authorities to support city wide
PO networks. Postal Affairs Minister Pat McFadden welcomes proposals
for a “Post Bank” as an option to help create a sustainable future for
the Post Office Network. We are pleased to see that the Working Group
is pursuing this idea.
Sheffield Green Party fully recognises that re-opening local PO’s will
involve investment by the Council. But the Lib Dems leadership should
recognise that investment would be worthwhile as it will make savings
in the long run.
The cost of running a post office should be offset by reductions in PO
users’ time, fuel use, traffic congestion, air pollution and carbon
emissions. Local PO’s are important for the local economy, sustaining
jobs, older people, and other disadvantaged groups. They play a vital
part in creating sustainable communities.
Councils elsewhere in the country have re-opened PO.’s. The Greens look
to Cllr Scriven to show real leadership in continuing to pursue ways to
re-open and strengthen the PO network.
Cllr Bernard Little