Friday, 3 February 2012

Environment and Post Offices

The resignation of the dynamic Chris Huhne from the Department of Energy and Climate Change is a blow, but it is unlikely to be a mortal one because the most probable successor is Ed Davey. (Incidentally, I am glad that charges have finally been brought against Chris and Vicky Pryce, his estranged wife, because it will enable the matter to be cleared up one way or the other. Public suspicion, whipped up by a hostile press and tory bloggers, has been hanging over them and the government for too long.)

Ed Davey has been an acknowledged success in BIS, not least for his success in stopping the closure of Post Offices, which had been the policy of both Conservative and Labour governments over the last twenty years. But it is one thing to guarantee that Post Offices will be there for the next ten years, it is quite another to make sure that they fulfil their potential. Here the rest of the government has been falling down. I have already drawn attention to the withdrawal of the Easy Access Savings Account, but we have first-hand evidence of how the cutting of other government services is reducing the income and activity of sub-post offices. David Cameron has expressed concern about the future of the High Street. A good start on restoring the sense of community would be to direct more face-to-face business to Post Offices instead of taking them away.

No comments: