Letter: Post offices and the public stamp of approval

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The Independent Online
Sir: With reference to Beatrix Campbell's article ('Redirected to the nearest supermarket', 23 February), they are closing our post office too, and it is not to a supermarket that we shall go but to the local branch of a national newsagent's and confectioners. They told us that the service would be available for longer hours - the best advantage they could find. This turns out to be two extra morning half-hours only; not much of an improvement.

We are fated to buy stamps along with the sweets, to cash Giro cheques alongside the CDs, to collect benefits among the comic books and romantic novels. I have an old-fashioned idea of the independence, dignity and simplicity of post offices and am absolutely affronted by this unwanted change.

Two earless robots visited the town council to tell us about the advantages of a shop-located postal counter service. There was sceptism about these, as we have enjoyed an attractive, refurbished, efficient post office for many years, with admirable and friendly staff and well-organised queueing in crowded times. We had no complaint and were not calling for improvements; we could see no benefits in counter- service transactions taking place in the newsagent's.

The Post Office has succumbed under our very eyes to commercialism of the crudest kind, and no reference to the wish of the public it has hitherto served.

Yours faithfully,


Cornwall County Council

Saltash, Cornwall

23 February