Friday, 30 May 2008


Despite having received 3,800 responses to its 6-week public consultation the Post Office has decided to proceed with its plans and, starting next month, will close 62 branches in Bristol and Somerset, including my local Chessel Street office. The Post Office claim that 99% of people will not notice the change. Well I will, and I suspect there will be a lot more than 1% who do.
The trouble is that we just do not value our local amenities as much as we should. This includes libraries, swimming pools and parks. We take them for granted and its only when they are threatened that we wake up to their importance - by which time its often too late. I know beacuse I'm as guilty as the next person.

Of course it could be argued that the fact that they are not sufficiently patronised, is sufficient argument for closing them and diverting the funds saved to finance more popular services. The trouble with that argument is that it is often the most vulnerable members of our communities (the children, the elderly, he disabled and the less well off) who rely most heavily on these amenities and who cannot access the alternatives which are usually less local and more expensive.

So let's make better use of what's on offer before it's too late.

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