Here’s my latest piece for the Highgate Handbook & Muswell Hill Flyer magazines:
And it came to be! We all said that if our precious sub-Post Offices closed, the displaced users would have to go to other post offices and queues would lengthen. Even outside of the Christmas pressures – queues have been out the door at the remaining Post Offices.
To move it from anecdotal to actual, in the autumn I launched a Post Office survey where I asked local residents to count their waiting times. I have now put together the numbers and they show what we all feared – waiting times are absolutely outrageous in many of our local Post Offices, with waiting times of up to an hour in both Muswell Hill and Wood Green!
Given the Post Office promised extra resources during their ‘consultation’ on the closures so that we wouldn’t be faced with extra queues – and spoiling for a fight because they haven’t delivered on that promise – I met Crown Post Office Network Manager Richard Barker and presented him with the results.
Being able to show him actual numbers really worked, as he promised three more staff at Wood Green Post Office. But sadly – for the rest of us it is about managing the business better and about getting people to go in when there are no queues – for the time being.
Mr Barker also listened good and hard when I told him that many elderly residents find it very difficult to stand and queue for such long periods of time. He has now promised to put in as much seating as possible when the Crown Post Offices in Crouch End, Wood Green and Muswell Hill get refurbished this summer.
I have also been nagging the Government about the continued need for local postal services. In the Government’s response to me there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon and Mr Baker mentioned this too – that Royal Mail are planning to introduce Post Office outreach services in communities, and I will fight hard for our local parades to get as many of these as possible – so watch this space!