News from British and Canadian Conservatives

Monday, April 23, 2007

Folkestone Post Office threatened with closure

The Tepegraph has revealed that 70 Crown Post Offices, including the main Folkestone branch, are set to be closed and relocated as franchises in nearby WH Smith branches. A consultation will be held - although past consultations I have attended have not seemed particularly meaningful. I really can't see how it could work. The current post office isn't big enough to handle the demand - which has increased dramatically since the closure of many sub branches. That said, it's possible that WH Smith would run the service better than the Royal Mail manage. Anyone who, like me, has ever had to nip in to Folkestone Post Office at lunchtime will know that the queue can often be so long that you lose a whole lunch hour. I think that it's wise to see exactly what is proposed before jumping to any conclusions, but I'll be engaging in the consultation with a healthy dose of cynicism. The two main things that we need to know from the process are:

1. How will the service work within WH Smith? How will staffing levels compare and what services will be removed from WH Smith to make room for them?

2. What will happen to the Post Office itself? At the building houses a lot of offices. It has never been clear to me what they are used for, but Folkestone Town Council was informed that there is no vacant space. Will those jobs be secure, or with the Royal Mail be withdrawing from Folkestone completely?

This certainly sounds like bad news and I really can't see how they'll be able to provide satisfactory answers to those two questions. No doubt, we will soon be told about the amazing "enhancement" to services that we can expect from the move. We've heard that all before and will take it with the large pinch of salt it deserves.


Ian Bowden said...

I was pretty disappointed. Not that I use the Folkestone post office as I try and avoid it. It's always really busy in there and I can't see the service getting any better in WH Smiths.

Dan Hassett said...

I'd have to agree with you - I avoid going in there as much as possible. The only problem arises when I need to post a parcel or send things to family in Canada.

I really can't see how it will work in WH Smith. I can see the queues snaking around the aisles and making it impossible to shop there as well. Maybe the consultation document will prove me wrong - I have been before - but I rather doubt it.

Hattie Peel said...

I can see the queues snaking out the door. Theres hardly room in smiths at certain times of the day when all the mums and kids are in there (not that I mind that, just saying the aisles arent exactly wide as it is) but with extra traffic I'll want to avoid going in there at all. I can't see any positives from this at all.