What was the point?

As has already been widely reported, the Post Office has decided to go ahead with all its planned closures locally. To me, page 33 of their report sums up just how much of a sham the ‘consultation’ was.

There are no changes to the Area Plan Proposal for West Berkshire and Wiltshire as a result of local public consultation.

Their analysis of Westcott Place post office, and all the others for that matter, is bland — nothing more than a restatement of their original reasons for proposing closure.

Post Office® Westcott Place branch
Respondents’ main concern was the impact on the elderly and the wider community.

Post Office Ltd has considered all responses received and a review of this proposal has been undertaken. Customer numbers at this branch are relatively low. There are two alternative branches within approximately a mile, both of which can be accessed using public transport if required. The nearest branch at Rodbourne Road has good access into the branch with wide double doors to help facilitate entry for Post Office Ltd’s vulnerable customers. Taking these and all other relevant factors into account the decision is to proceed with the closure of Post Office® Westcott Place branch.

However strong the case for closure may have been, to run a ‘consultation’ and then so glibly disregard the comments made leaves a very bad impression. All those responsible for this process should be thoroughly ashamed.