Hastings Town Centre Post Office has gone. The building is still there, with its Mercury heads on the window capitals gazing sadly over empty space. There was some talk of turning it into a Nandos. Oh good. We need another restaurant. We campaigned, we argued, we persisted – our MP, Amber Rudd, promoted a ‘consultation’ which asked everyone what they would rather have *instead of* their Post Office. Rudd promoted the idea of a counter in WHS. As always with people of her political stripe, she completely ignored the fact that the old Post Office was ours, that we never asked anyone to give it away, and that the counter in WHS is most definitely NOT ours. These days, standing in the frustrated queues in WHS, a comment I often hear is “how do they get away with it!?”
Meet the Post Office ‘Public Affairs Team’
What are they for?
“To ensure that the external stakeholder and political environment supports the Post Office strategy.”
– in other words, they are there to make sure we agree with them whatever they decide to do. Does that have the same affect on you that it does on me? Amazingly, the blurb actually goes on to say:
“…there’s a risk that without proper handling, local noise can escalate to a larger scale roar which reaches ministers or national stakeholder groups in a way that can knock us off course.”
I’m going to put that in again in larger letters.
…there’s a risk that without proper handling, local noise can escalate to a larger scale roar which reaches ministers or national stakeholder groups in a way that can knock us off course.
Right, that’s it. That’s what we are, standing in the queue in WHS grumbling. We are LOCAL NOISE. We lost our Town Centre Crown Post Office but the building is still there, and we have long memories (let’s face it, there are issues going back 500 years that Hastings is still rumbling about – who owns the Stade, again?). We might just get that Post Office back, one day.
Sometimes, when I can’t stand the thought of standing in a cramped queue in WHS for twenty minutes, I go along to the little shop in George Street that has a PO counter. Other times, I hop on the train to St Leonards, and use their Post Office. But, here we go again. They want to close St Leonards PO…
But now, we have our inspiration from the Post Office Public Affairs team: they think they can persuade us all that there’s a nice shop coming along that will do just as well, and they think that we won’t notice that will be someone’s shop, in place of OUR Post Office. They don’t just want to rob us, they want to rob us and have us say “thank you”.
Feel like roaring a bit? Feel like rising like lions, even?
Prepare to develop your local noise into a larger scale roar which reaches ministers or national stakeholder groups in a way that knocks them off course. Here’s where, and when, and how…
… and hitting the share button on this article will help, too.
With thanks to Rod Webb, who introduced me to the Post Office ‘Public Affairs Team’.