Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Aberystwyth Crown Post Office is set to close. Why is this an issue for residents of Ceredigion?

The simple fact is that the Crown Post Office in Aberystwyth is not just the Crown Post Office for Aberystwyth, but also for the whole of Ceredigion. It is Ceredigion’s Crown Post Office; which means it provides more services and benefits to both its customers and staff, and there are only just over 320 of these vital and important Crown POs left in the UK.
Residents’ of Ceredigion would soon notice when this vital service is franchised out, as the staff and services would be very different. Post Office Ltd have plans to close 39 Crown Offices and offer them as franchises to local businesses with another 3 earmarked for closure.
The effects of this on local communities will be:
  • A reduction in the services available to local communities;
  • The loss of 7 highly trained jobs with access to regular Post Office training;
  • A vulnerable local service reliant on the success or otherwise of the franchisee for whom the Post Office will be their secondary purpose.
  • If the Aberystwyth CPO closes it would leave local residents with a 70 mile trip in any direction to access the nearest Crown Office.
The Post Office appears to target Wales disproportionately in their franchising programmes. Over 50% of the Welsh Crowns have been on the Post Office target list since 2013. The Government required the Crown Network to financially breakeven by 2015 – this was achieved.
However the Post Office has decided it now wants to return a profit of £10 million and yet they have no directive for this from the Government. The Post Office is NOT a business, it is a public service. Since when has making a PROFIT OVER SERVICE been the criteria for public services?
I have attended the public meeting to share concerns and build a campaign on this issue on 4th March in the Morlan Centre, as well as the follow-up meetings organised by the Ceredigion People’s Assembly. This campaign needs to be a success, in order to make sure rural Wales is not again forgotten. That's all we seem to do in Ceredigion is campaign to save our vital local services, whether it be the retention of services at Bronglais hospital, the closure of our tax office in Aber, Nat West Bank closures throughout the county, including my local branch in Aberaeron and now, the Crown Post Office in Aberystwyth.
Things you can do to support the campaign:
  • Sign the Petition at change.uk
  • Come to the protest against the closure at 10.45 Trefechan car park, Saturday 19th March.