'Modernisation' of the Post Office is a byword for the heart and soul being ripped out of small communities

SOME words should carry a health warning.

Modernisation is one. At first glance it means shiny, new and clean. But modern can also be ­minimalist – stripped down, de-humanised and cut price.

The modernisation of our Post Offices definitely falls into the latter category. Under the “modernising” network transformation programme”, thousands of Post Offices which were once the heart of communities are being stripped down, with long-serving post masters thrown on the scrapheap.

This is taking place under the radar – because the offices are being moved into ­supermarkets and convenience stores rather than closed completely.

This in itself makes the services insecure – what happens if the chain runs into ­difficulty? Commercial businesses, including household names, can close in the blink of an eye. This plan means that Post Offices survive only if the market decides.

The human service they once provided is also lost and our small towns and villages suffer.

Read the rest of my column here.

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