Businesses nationwide are lamenting the loss of local post offices. Meanwhile Brighton businesses have found a simple and cheaper solution to the problem.
The Forum of Private Business (FPB) is warning that the postal services used by small firms, particularly those in rural areas, are likely to be reduced as a result of the planned closure of a further 2,500 branches across the UK. It follows an announcement made by the House of Commons Business and Enterprise Committee that replacement ‘Outreach’ services are doomed to failure unless adequate funding is provided.
The Government has proposed replacing the Post Office branches earmarked for closure with just 500 Outreach services, which would be located in places such as pubs and community centres. Under the plan, each outreach service would receive between £2,000 and £3,000 per annum – which equates to £8 to £12 per day, according to one sub-postmaster who gave evidence to the Committee.
Following an evidence-gathering exercise, the Committee’s members reported that they "remain concerned that the funding provided for Outreach services may be inadequate" and that, if this is the case, "Outreach services will fail and the network be diminished".
In Brighton traders groups exasperated by the closures in the city have grasped the nettle and devised their own solution. The Brighton & Hove Business Forum has taken the lead alongside other business associations including the North Laine Traders Association, the Lanes Business Network and Unique Brighton to establish a city centre postal collection and distribution service.
The service, provided by Bullit Couriers, will undercut Parcel force on packages by about £5 on the smallest size and Royal Mail by 2p per letter and will collect from clients. The package service is already up and running but the letter post needs to generate a higher level of usage to be viable.
If you run a business in the city help us to launch the letter post service by signing up to use it. Please contact Theo Birch on 0845 226 8556 or via email@example.com.
Read related items on:
Brighton & Hove Business Forum
Forum of Private Business
Lanes Business Network, The
North Laine Traders Association