We live in a fast changing world and much of this is being driven by new technology. Increasingly, we are seeing aspects of everyday life moving online. However, if we are not careful some people in our communities could easily be left behind.
I have long argued that the Post Office could do more to ensure that rural communities continue to see the services that their urban counterparts do. Whether it is businesses needing banking services or providing people with the option to pay utility bills in person.
I recently visited the newly replaced post box in Gislingham and know that Great Bricett has welcomed the implementation of a mobile Post Office visiting the village regularly. These are services that many people would take for granted, but for those without a car or with restricted mobility, their absence can cause a real issue, far beyond being a simple inconvenience.
If the Post Office is to continue, it needs to ensure that Sub-postmasters are appropriately remunerated for the work that they do. There also needs to be support for Sub-postmasters by means of locum cover for holiday. In rural communities Post Offices are often located in the community shop. This centralisation of services in a village can work well but the Post Office must not take the people providing the service for granted.
It is my belief that the Post Office should reflect on the changes that technology is bringing to businesses and how this is impacting on rural communities. If it were to do this I am sure it would see it is perfectly placed to fill the void that others are leaving.