SO now we know . . . The fate of two of the town's
remaining post offices is all but sealed. While yet to be signed and
delivered, the decision to close the Millstone Lane and Millfields Post
Offices would seem to be a matter of formality.
And that just a short while (a
couple of years at the most) since the Barony and Audlem Road Post Offices went the same way.
Only the main Post Office in
Pepper Street will stay open if the decision about the future of the others
goes as expected.
It hasn't really come as a
surprise since the Post Office powers-that-be have let it
be known for some time that it was not possible to keep all the post offices and
But four out of five . . . ?
Strictly speaking, both the
doomed Post Offices are what not so long ago were called Sub Post
Offices - the sort that are attached to another little local business.
In the case of the Millstone Lane one, there is a newsagents, while the
Millfields one is a Spar store. It would seem that the designation "Sub"
is no longer politically correct. So presumably the rest of the business
Millstone Lane Post Office has
been serving the Crewe Road, Millstone Lane, London Road, and Barony,
areas, etc, while Millfields Post Office has served the Queen's Drive
and Millfields housing estates, Marsh Lane, and the whole range of new
homes at Welsh Row head.
Now everyone faces a long walk
into the centre of Nantwich to the Pepper Street Post Office. Anyone who
has made the mistake of going into the Pepper Street building on
"pension day" will realise that with people from the other two catchment
areas going there as well, they could have a long wait for a stamp.
Not everyone has the means to
receive their pension directly into their bank account - or wants it
The closure of the two branches at
the end of the year isn't that far away if it comes off. A six-week
consultation period is due to end on December 17, and while this offers
just a small chance that the post offices will not close, will it really
be anything more than a smokescreen exercise? Do we really expect
someone to come up with something the Post Office hierarchy haven't
already dismissed? Or have I misunderstood the meaning of
What a happy Christmas and New
Year awaits the Sub Postmasters and their family and staff.
Reported in the Nantwich
Chronicle of November 7, Cllr Arthur Moran said: "It is ridiculous that
a town with a growing population will be served by just one post
office." The councillor was backed by Town Council colleagues,
Joyce Stockton, Steve Hope and Edith Williams.
For the Post Office, their
network development manager, Jane Briginshaw, said: "We believe these
proposals offer the best prospect for a sustainable way forward for the
Post Office services in this area, bearing in mind the minimum access
criteria and the other factors we have to take into account."
"Minimum access criteria"? That
presumable means: can people get to their local branch? Closing the
branches suggests the minimum is pretty low. One post office, for
Does that sound as though there
is much hope for the two post offices?