BCS 2016

BCS 2016
Wassailing - January 2016

Thursday, 26 November 2015


Garry McCracken kicked off this discussion after Tuesday's meeting with the post below... Feel free to comment here, or on the BCS Facebook page...

Like most villagers I am strongly in favour of having a village postoffice. I recognise the tremendous effort which the shop committee has made to obtain a fair offer from the PO plc. They thoroughly deserve our thanks both for that and for the success for the shop as it now works. It is therefore with considerable reluctance that I am going to vote against acceptance of the present PO offer. My arguments are;

(i) The addition of a PO counter will seriously overcrowd the shop at busy times. It will make difficulties both for shop staff and customers; It may discourage our present volunteers.
(ii) The PO equipment will take up valuable space which is currently used to display shop goods. 
(iii) The hours are unreasonably long for the PO operators and it is unlikely that we will be able to find people (volunteers or employees) who will be prepared to take these positions. At the recent village meeting the PO representatives were asked about these hours which appeared to be determined by a completely arbitrary model about which they are unreasonably inflexible. 
(iv) It is unlikely that the movement of the PO a few yards from its present position into the shop will significantly increase shop takings. The PO plc. are offering nothing for salaries of the PO employees and no rent for the space the PO will take up. The estimated commission on PO takings has not been published but is likely to be significantly less than the cost of the extra salaries.

For all these reasons we should reject the offer. At the same time we should investigate how we could make arrangements to provide at least some of the services which the PO at present provides. Some examples are
a. Investigate the the installation of an ATM. As shop takings can be banked in an ATM this makes banking more convenient for the shop and could reduce banking fees.
b. Arrange to provide a “cash -back” service from the till.
c. Insist on getting stamps for sale in the shop. This is done in some other shops. Provide padded envelopes. paper etc.
d. Offer advice to pensioners who wish to withdraw their pension in cash on how to have a simple building society account into which their pension could be paid which then could withdrawn from the ATM. Alternatively provide transport for pensioners to Wallingford to collect pensions once a week.

More suggestions on how to compensate for the potential loss of the post office are solicited.

Garry McCracken.

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