Shock news that Colnbrook’s Post Office is set to close
News reaches us that Colnbrook’s Post Office to is to close by the year end, victim of the Government’s drive to drag the Post Office network into the 21st century.
Colnbrook Views has learnt that due to demanding conditions imposed by the modernising regime at Post Office Ltd Mr & Mrs Battoo have decided to call it a day after 33 years serving the village from their post office in Park Street.
In November 2010, the government committed £1.34 billion of funding to Post Office Ltd to enable it to embark on “the largest investment and modernisation programme in its history”.
A spokesman from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said at the time: “The government has committed £1.34bn to maintain the network of at least 11,500 post offices across the country and there is not, and will not, be a programme of closures”.
But since then 70 Crown Post Offices have been moved into shops, with many sub post offices following. WH Smith has incorporated over 100 post offices into its store network.
The Post Office’s plans to modernise the network involve a two-tier strategy. Main post offices are given a new format, expanded services, and self-service automation. The focus for local post offices is to provide non-specialist services as retail outlets, open for extended hours and without the need for skilled staff.
Part of the new strategy is that all local post offices will open for much longer hours. We understand that the Battoos baulked at the insistence they should open from 6am until 10pm SEVEN days per week.
As part of the Postal Services Act 2011, the Post Office became independent of Royal Mail which was privatised last year. The Act included provision for the Post Office to convert to mutual status at some point in the future and last November the government committed an additional £640 million of funding for 2015 to 2018 to allow Post Office Ltd to complete its network modernisation.
There is no date set for the closure at this time.
The nearest alternative post offices will be Brands Hill, Stanwell Moor, Iver or Langley – although it is rumoured that the Nisa store may apply for a Post Office license.