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Camden New Journal - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published: 29 May 2008
Blame the closure of our post offices on Brussels

• I FIND it ironic that Councillor Alexis Rowell, as a Liberal Democrat, is complaining about the closure of Belsize sub-post office given his party’s long-standing devotion to centralising ever more law-making power with the European Union (How can the PO ignore the views of so many people? May 15).
Does he not appreciate that the real reason behind the culling of thousands of small post offices is that the British government has been instructed by the European Commission to limit the subsidy directed towards loss-making aspects of the Royal Mail to only £150 million a year?
This figure has been frozen in absolute terms and cannot rise in line with inflation.
This level of subsidy cannot possibly keep in business the thousands of loss-making small post offices around the country. This decision is on top of the passing of the EU postal services directive 2002/39/EC which states that the Royal Mail must be opened up to privatisation in order to complete the internal market for postal services.
Because of these key decisions taken in Brussels, the campaign to keep Camden post offices open is, sadly, doomed to failure.
Elected politicians from all the parties are now powerless to reverse this process.
The Liberal Democrats claim to be the party of local decision-making and public accountability yet this is in reality contradicted by their slavish devotion to the creation of a post-democratic EU system of government.
Marc Glendening
Campaign director
Democracy Movement, NW8

They can’t empty the pillar boxes

• LAMENTABLE plans for closing post offices remain topical.
Equally alarming is the inability of Royal Mail to empty pillar boxes.
Over the bank holiday our local box remained unattended for 69 hours.
By Sunday midnight, some 30 hours since the previous collection, it was over-spilling with easily removable mail.
If Queen’s Crescent doesn’t have enough opportunities for crime, this is a new one. Would it have been a criminal act to have removed posted mail from the box and transferred it to another less full?
Celine La Freniere
Talacre Road, NW5

Challenge to the PO

• THE future of London’s Post Offices is a matter of great concern to the new mayor, Boris Johnson, who will be continuing with the judicial review challenge to the consultation on the Post Office closure programme.
A preliminary decision on this challenge is expected from the High Court shortly.
As we all know, London has already experienced dispro­portionately high levels of post office closures in recent years compared with other areas of the country. The Post Office has not provided convincing evidence that further closures in London are necessary on economic grounds.
Community-based enterprises like local post offices provide vital services for Londoners, especially older Londoners and families, and they should be protected. Post offices are crucial in supporting local retail and where a post office closes, small businesses and the local community suffer.
The mayor will also continue to welcome and support initiatives by local councils and others to help keep post offices running. I have written to the managing director of the Post Office to assure him that the GLA will be pleased to discuss further how we can input most effectively into the development of new and improved Post Office services, while not ignoring the fact that the consultation process on closures was too short and that the mayor is making a legal challenge to this effect.
Ian Clement
Deputy Mayor – Government Relations

Send your letters to: The Letters Editor, Camden New Journal, 40 Camden Road, London, NW1 9DR or email to The deadline for letters is midday Tuesday. The editor regrets that anonymous letters cannot be published, although names and addresses can be withheld. Please include a full name, postal address and telephone number. Letters may be edited for reasons of space.

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