Well tomorrow the government should be making an announcement about the future of post offices. I am heartened to read that the Bishop of Exeter, the Rt Rev Michael Langrish, and the Bishop of Truro, the Rt Rev Bill Ind, have both spoken out about, as they see it, the wrongful policy of closing post offices particularly in the rural areas of Devon and Cornwall. I cannot describe myself as a practising (i.e. churchgoing) Christian but I have the greatest respect for those two men. Why? Well apart from anything else they understand how villages and small towns work. One of my biggest complaints about urbancentric labour politicians is their lack of perception about life in the countryside and what living in very small communities is all about. Add that to the fact that so many of them have never had real jobs and it can be seen that there are problems in getting these people to understand our concerns.
Yes there is a lower footfall in many of our post offices but much of that is down to cynical policies by this government. And I would agree that renewing a licence online for example has to be cheaper for the government than using your local friendly post office. But as usual the powers that be have no concern about the social cost. And if we are to reduce our carbon footprint isn't it better to have a post office facility in your own village rather than travelling by car orhaving to use a poor bus service?
Interesting point about car tax renewal: on line I am expected to pay my dues at least 5 days before the end of the month so there is time for DVLA to process the application and post the tax disc in time for the start of the month. Going to the post office, as I do, means effectively I can delay payment by these 5 days. Incidentally you can use a credit card on line but you have to pay an extra £2.50 for the privilege. Not a good deal for the motorist! A further point - on the leaflet that came with my tax disc reminder, in describing the new electronic system they used the phrase "What's the easiest way to renew my tax disc?" In other words they were suggesting this way as opposed to using the PO. Oh, and I almost forgot you can renew over the phone using an 0870 number which again costs.