Sunday, August 13, 2006

Another blow to rural life!

From 31 July it has no longer been possible to buy TV saving stamps from the Post Office. A savings card has been introduced which can be topped up at Paypoint outlets only and not the Post Office.

Now yet another service previously available in rural Post Offices has been relocated to larger villages if not towns.

Electricity companies who are changing domestic meters to swipe cards are making savings cards redundant and obliging customers to obtain key cards which, it seems, cannot be topped up in Post Offices. Residents of Llanwddyn, for example, were assured that top up facilities would be available within 3½ miles of their Post Office but in fact a journey of 9 miles is required to the nearest point.

It is well known that many rural Post Offices located in shops indirectly help the shops to remain viable by attracting customers to make purchases while also undertaking essential business in the Post Office. Any reduction of services offered by the Post Office can have only a detrimental effect on the villages which make up such a proportion of the communities in Montgomeryshire.

Some joined-up thinking between the various agencies involved is urgently required.

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