Post Office Ltd commenced public consultation in October 2007 on its
proposals to close about 2500 branches by 2009. Consultation took place
on an area-by-area basis, related to Parliamentary Constituencies. As
each phase of consultation commenced, maps and lists of branches to be
retained and those proposed for closure or replacement by "Outreach"
facilities. These might be a Mobile PO, "Hosted Service" provided for
limited hours in a village or church hall by a nearby PO, or limited
"Partner" services provided in a shop. Once decisions had been made, a
list of those branches to be closed was added. If any branches were
reprieved, consultation commenced on the closure of additional
branches, to achieve the original target numbers! The programme is complete, but offices continue to close and
(sometimes) re-open for other reasons, such as shop closures,
refurbishment, redevelopment and resignation/change of postmaster. Such
changes are listed in the BPS Journal. Hosted Outreach locations use self-inking datestamps bearing the name of the "parent" office, while Partner Outreach locations use a large rubber datestamp. Carnforth (Lancashire) PO operates outreach services at 4 locations, requiring 2 "Outreach" SIDs, as shown here.
to counter the adverse reaction to some closures, a new type of Post
Office branch, initially called Post Office Essentials but later Post Office Local, was introduced. Such branches, offering a limited range of services, have
self-inking datestamps (SIDs) of the normal pattern, but inscribed "PO
Essentials, or Local" at the foot - as in the Old Town, Hastings, example shown
A further development of the Post Office relationship with
W H Smith, who now operate a number of main town-centre Post Office
branches, has been the introduction of Post Office-branded kiosks
offering foreign currency services only in other locations. These use
distinctive "Travel Kiosk" SIDs, like the Preston one illustrated., but a number - including Preston's - closed after only a year.
Page updated 18th August 2010