Responses to Post Office Questionnaire
and Submission to the Post Office Consultation
Below I have reproduced my submission to the Royal Mail's
consultation on proposed Post Office Closures (which ended on 7 April 2004). My
submission was sent to Mike Dalton, Midlands External Relations Manager for the Post
Office and was informed by the responses I received from a questionnaire that I put out to
as many affected constituents as I could reach.
"Further to our recent meeting, I attach a copy of my summary of the
questionnaire responses from my constituents. As I explained, this should be taken more as
qualitative rather than quantitative evidence. What I feel this information shows is that
the closure of any post office will not only cause inconvenience but also considerable
hardship. However, I do accept that there is a responsibility to ensure that we have a
viable post office network and some closures may be justified to achieve this.
What I do not accept is that every effort has been made to explore new commercial
opportunities, not only taking into account the expansion of financial services but also
new locations for post office businesses in areas poorly served if proposed closures go
From its analysis of your proposals, which identifies those areas which will be
particularly poorly served in terms of accessibility of alternative post offices, the City
Council has particularly objected to the closures of Bournville, Ten Acres, Stirchley and
Wychall Road (plus others not in my constituency). I agree with the Councils
recommendations regarding these offices although I would suggest that a more sustainable
alternative to keeping both Stirchley and Ten Acres would be a new outlet in the proposed
retail development in the Hazelwell area of Stirchley. In the short-term, Stirchley, at
least, should be retained.
As regards the Bournville office, consideration should be given to
retention/co-location with another business on the basis of potential for expansion into
new services particularly due the potential customers from workers at the nearby Cadbury
factory and other businesses.
Finally, I am extremely concerned at the proposal to close Wychall Road. This is
located in an area of deprivation where accessibility of alternatives is particularly
inconvenient (particularly with the proposed closure of Redditch Road post office).
I would like to see this closure withdrawn and an application submitted for
assistance through the ODPMs Deprived Urban Post Office Fund.
I trust you will take these views and those of my constituents in account and I
look forward to a sensible revision of the initial proposals."
Comments from respondents to questionnaire
Those people not personally affected are worried about effects on
elderly people, disabled people and businesses in the locality.
One of the causes of closure is the proposed payment of
pensions/benefits into personal bank accounts. Many
pensioners affected are worried at the inconvenience and prospect of having to use public
transport or go into the city centre; those without bus passes will have to pay to visit
alternative post offices. Queues in those
remaining post offices will be much longer. For
those with cars, parking at Selly Oak or Cotteridge is a problem. Bournville post office is essential for parents of
children at the local school. Other shops on
the Green will be adversely affected. Local
school use the PO for banking facilities.
Worries about extra traffic problems in Selly Oak. Students without own transport would encounter
additional costs. A local post office is a
vital part of the community. Many anxious for
the needs of elderly people. Extra
difficulties encountered travelling to post bulky items.
Local post offices essential since the closure of many bank branches. Useful for parents with children at Raddlebarn School
who will face queues at alternative post offices. Walking
distance too far to alternatives.
Concerns collecting parcels for those without cars and fears for
safety at having to travel greater distances on public transport to alternative post
Worries for those less mobile and delays involved when sending
important mail. Stirchley needs a post office
for diversity and local shops benefit from having a post office. Cotteridge usually has long queues.
Concerns for elderly people, parents with small children and disabled
people, particularly those without cars.
Closure involves extra travelling to a hilly location and fears of
being mugged. Difficulty of travelling by bus
with heavy parcels. A far longer walk to an
alternative post office.
Distance to nearest post office uphill.
Lack of parking facilities. Concerns
about access to alternatives for people who use Fairway Day Centre.
Kings Norton Green
Inconvenience of going to Cotteridge.
Moseley Kings Heath
Worries for those without own transport, ie, mothers and elderly
Oak Tree Lane
Concerns regarding extra time travelling to alternative post offices. A local PO is useful for obtaining
information on local issues.
Concerns at extra journey involved to alternative post offices.
The post office would be more crowded with others from alternative
post offices which have closed.
The following chart details the data from the questionnaire responses