Sleaford and North Hykeham MP Stephen Phillips has taken a look behind the headlines of the recent closure and re-opening of Sleaford’s town centre post office. He writes:
A couple of weeks ago I visited Greenhills Post Office in Sleaford, which re-opened again late last year.
I don’t take much, if any, credit for that: at the time of the closure, I decried the loss of amenity like everyone else, but these things are often caused by commercial considerations for those who own the individual businesses and, centrally, I know that Post Office Limited did all it could to get our service up and running in the town again as soon as possible.
Anyway, all this got me to thinking how important post offices are to so many, particularly the elderly and those like me who never seem to have a stamp when they need one.
Post Office Limited remains in public ownership, which is right. When the government sold its stake in Royal Mail, many of us made the case for that remaining so and for the legislation to contain provision for the company to become a mutual in due course. There are many of us, even in a busy world, who actually prefer to access public services with a friendly face rather than through an impersonal computer screen, particularly given broadband speeds in some parts of the county.
I talk to a large number of postmasters and postmistresses. They are, universally, a friendly lot. Sleaford is no exception, and the new staff at the counters on Southgate can help with many things that many of us just don’t associate with the post office, like making sure we get our passport applications right first time. The message I get is, however, clear: if we don’t continue using our post offices, one day they will no longer be there. It’s a message I intend to heed, and so I’m asking others, for the sake of all our community, to do the same.