The Essex post offices are among 2,500 unprofitable branches (from over 14,000) earmarked for the chop to stem £200m pa losses.
Who's responsible for this mess?
Specific closure decisions are taken by Post Offices Ltd, a state owned company. But in truth, they have little choice, having been ordered to cut losses by their departmental sponsor the Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform (never heard of it? it's just the latest name for the same hopeless old DTI). And BERR had little choice, acting on the direct orders of HM Treasury (prop. G Brown esq).
Someone who's naturally taken a very close interest in this whole nasty business is the Village Postmaster. His sub-Post Office is thriving and has survived the axe, but he knows plenty about those that haven't. In this post (a letter to his local paper) he explains the backgound, and the prospect of a much larger shrinkage to come:
"The reason for the change was the ‘unsustainable and growing losses’ that Post Office Ltd was making, and the reason for the losses was the loss of Government work like Pensions and Allowances. It was Government who decided to ‘modernise’ the payment method, not the Post Office.
We now face a much more serious threat to the remaining branch network, and that is the end of the Post Office Card Account contract in 2010. Its replacement is currently out to tender and if Post Office Ltd fails to win the ongoing business, the consequence is likely to be the end of the Post Office network on a large scale, with it shrinking to the 3000 or 4000 commercial profitable branches" (against 14,000 branches now).