>>Bmovie wrote: "It's not really increased sales that determin whether or not an additional member of staff can be afforded, it's profit. Unfortunately, I guess, that the profit generated per item of sale in a post office is just too low. Put the price of a 2nd class stamp up to 25p and and 1st to 38p and it may be a different story"
Well. several points here. I suspect you are right, but if you are:
1. The marginal cost of an extra employee is only his salary (including NI, pension & any benefits). This is much less than the average cost per employee of running a post office.
2. If extra profit through extra sales doesn't give rise to a net contribution to profits, then the Post Office should be shut - if economics is the only driving force.
3. Putting up the cost of stamps probably won't give an individual post office any more profit... just a guess. The Royal Mail will take that extra.
But the last paragraph doesn't help SE1 much - "David Mills (chief executive of Post Office Counters) has already closed about 1,650 urban post offices but this has not caused a political backlash, and a further 350 could be closed within the next six months."
So the question is (no political agenda, just surprised at urban passivity, despite this and presumably other forums' obvious frustration)... why no political backlash in urban areas (higher population, more people to upset) compared to rural (bigger distances, quite possibly greater relative exclusion and poverty so no axe to grind against their needs here, just comparing the political power).
there is an article in yesterdays southwark news which i very briefly read- it looks like both the owners are taking redundancy and so closing them-it is a bit sad that this is their criteria for shutting them and it is not based on need etc.
The stages of bereavement or a trip to the post office? I'm a low volume user because of the problems noted above and wouldn't really use the PO's if there were three or four times as many. The one important issue seams to be supplying a service for those people who are unfortunate enough to need to use the PO and currently have to queue for too long in terrible surroundings. The current branch system isnt doing the job so why not do something different and if need be shut them down?
Of course there needs to be a superior solution, and of course I dont have one to offer but eventhough Ive never given it much thought the current situation is so poor at least one must exist...
Not sure of the exact wording but didnt a great sage once say: 'If I came home and found a Waitrose had been installed I'd be happy'
Imagine how you'd feel if you found you had a PO in your lounge?
p.s. My understanding is the work undertaken is actually very demanding, particularly considering the circumstances so would to say 'thanks' to any PO couunter staff who are reading this as I've never met one that didnt do an excellent job.
set them up as franchises next to (or in) larger supermarkets - people already go to Tesco, so why not let them go to a PO at the same time, with of course a caveat that the supermarket in question was not allowed to do the same kind of trade (ie sell stamps).