“NO-ONE BENEFITS” FROM “PRIVATISATION OF THE POSTAL SERVICE”
Commenting on confirmation that the South Street Post Office in Perth has been included in a list of 5 out of the 25 Crown Post Offices in Scotland that have been earmarked for selling as franchises if retail partners can be found, the Scottish National Party’s Mr Pete Wishart MP, Member of Parliament for Perth & North Perthshire, said:
“This is a very worrying development which seriously undermines the credibility of the Post Office as a national service provider, treats staff abysmally and cloaks a restriction in services in the guise of improvements for the customer.
“The reality is that no-one benefits from these plans and it is simply the next stage in the ideologically driven privatisation of the postal service.
“Extended opening hours might very well be welcomed but not if there is a reduction in the services available.
“We all understand that sub post offices have to supplement their income from post office services and that they may be the only retail outlet in a village but we are talking here about a Crown Post Office, on one of the main thoroughfares through the city and, frankly, people shouldn’t have to struggle past the tins of beans to renew their passport.
“I am keeping a very close eye on the development of these proposals and while I note that there is no question of closures or compulsory redundancies I am also acutely aware of the concerns that are being expressed by the Communication Workers Union about the implications these plans would have for their members.
“This scheme has clearly been drawn up by someone with a plan, a map and not a single clue about the actual circumstances of the Post Office in Perth or, I suspect, elsewhere.
“The South Street premises are excellently situated and well frequented. Anyone who has used their services, or even walked by at their busiest times, will tell you that even with all counters going the queues can be lengthy because of the amount of people looking to transact their business there.
“I struggle to see how any retail partner could fit in without compromising the ability of the Post Office to meet the levels of service it currently provides. Nor can I foresee a retailer on another site being prepared to dedicated the amount of floor space required to replicate what is on offer in South Street.
“What kind of business should they try and get into? Should they try and sell groceries cheaper than the Tesco Metro just across the street or compete with the other big name retailers in the St John Centre at their back?
“No, Post Office staff should be left to get on with doing what they are best at and what they want to do – providing the full range of Post Office services to the people of Perth.”