August 2008

Thu, 7 August
Risking a shower, or two, I hopped on to my motorbike and rode down to Weymouth. I was lucky. The sun came out and the beautiful countryside lit up as I cruised down the busy A352. About 30 minutes later, I parked outside the post office in Buxton Road, and walked in to meet Roger Hayre, a Costcutter franchisee. He's aghast at the Post Office's proposal to close him, and is doing all he can to stop it. I listened to his story, as I'd done with Peter and Janey Blakey, who run the other post under threat in Broadwey.
I was most impressed with Roger, who clearly works hard and provides an invaluable service to his customers, many of them elderly and vulnerable. He cannot understand why the Post Office chose him, especially when his business offers a service to 19,000 people. I'm afraid I point the finger straight at this Government. Yoo may think, I would say that, wouldn't I. Yes, I would, and for good reason. Little or no thought was given when Labour decided to close 2,500 post offices across the country. And now these closures are beginning to bite in Labour-held seats, the MPs are forced to hold public meetings and take action to save the very thing they themselves voted to close. The irony is not lost on the public.
The problem is by the time we get rid of this Government, the damage will have been done. And there will be no turning back, with appalling consequences for millions of vulnerable people, quite apart from tearing apart the very structure of this great country.
My visit was not a happy one, and I went straight back to the office to write a strongly worded letter to the closure consultation team. We live in hope.