The Death of Another Post Office
I think every village and town in Cornwall who has a Post Office is, or has been worried about the future of this facility and service. Porthleven went through the same anguish a few years ago when the former postmaster decided to call it a day and leave. Luckily the shop and Post Office found new owners who, I have to say, have worked very hard to achieve a success. They even managed to secure a fee-free cashpoint to use out of Post Office hours.
Sadly, not all Post Offices have followed with the same success. News came to me tonight via e-mail that the Post Office in the Helford will not continue due to the new owners not wishing to continue running a Post Office counter. I have been informed that this Post Office will close around the 14th March 2011. This will be a massive blow to that area, as a Post Office is an important part of the fabric of local life, especially if it is one of the few shops in that area.
Past Governments have not helped the viability of running a Post Office by removing elements that were mainstays of this service. The way we now complete financial functions and the huge changes to how Pensions are collected have also hastened the death of the much loved Post Office.
For small communities like Helford losing something as important as a Post Office, pub or small shop has an even greater impact on day to day life. It weakens other (if any left) facilities, this in turn can change a small settlements very existence and pushes people more and more into the arms of the supermarkets.
We can all do our little bit to save the small shop by using them. If everyone spent a few pounds each week in them, then we just might save a few more before they become nothing more than memories.
It is a very sad day for the Helford, but I feel many other Post Offices will meet the same fate unless we do something about it, and start to use them again.