Save Moorland Road Post Office

Sign up to support our campaign against any further Post Office closures in Bath which could affect our Post Office here on Moorland Road. The government consultation for our area begins in February 2008, and our Post Office could be under threat.

The state of the post office network

The Post Office network is crumbling. Over the last two decades, post offices have been closing at a rate of over 300 a year. Under the last Conservative Government, 3,500 local post offices closed, and under Labour another 4,000 have closed, hitting communities across the country. And, with the news of another 2,500 closures, things are set to get even worse.
The Government’s policy to avoid “unnecessary” rural Post Office branch closures came to an end in March 2006. This policy has previously slowed down the rate of closure in rural areas.

And the Government has announced that it will not extend its contract beyond 2010 for pension and benefit payments using the Post Office Card Account, worth £1 billion of income for post offices between 2003 and 2010. A replacement will be put in place but the competitive tender process means that the Post Office could lose this work altogether. The likelihood is that, while the Government ducks the long term decisions necessary to secure the future of Post Offices, 12,000 post office branches (urban and rural) will close.

Why this matters

Post offices are the lifeblood of communities in both rural and urban areas, particularly when they are combined with other services, such as the local shop. When the local post office closes other services often follow suit, which can be devastating for the community. It is vital that the true social value of this network is included as well as its economic value when looking at the long-term future of this valuable network. Post Offices in rural areas play a particularly crucial role. They have an ‘existence value’ similar to the local school or village pub. They also provide vital face-to-face access to government, postal and commercial services for communities which may not have, for example, a local bank branch.

Research for Postwatch in 2004 showed that:

75% of those surveyed felt their local post office was ‘extremely important’
59% thought it was ‘essential to their way of life’
91% agreed it played an ‘important role in their local community’
86% felt that losing a Post Office means ‘a lot of people lose their independence’
27% found it difficult to get to another post office when their local one closed

These figures increased among the elderly or those with disabilities affecting their mobility.
Action is needed by the Government now to prevent the mass closure of post offices occurring.
Only the Liberal Democrats have a plan which can save the post office network.

The Liberal Democrat plan

Following the passing of the new policy at Harrogate Conference in March 2006, we are the only party to have a costed and credible set of proposals to keep post offices open and, where necessary, to open others. Our opponents have no such policy.

Our plan keeps the Post Office Ltd in the public sector and enables Royal Mail employees to get a share in their company through a radical employee share ownership Trust, similar to the John Lewis Partnership. Royal Mail will take a new ownership model, with the sale of some of its shares providing the investment needed by our post offices.

The Liberal Democrat plan would enable us to –

Open new post office branches where they are needed
Keep the Post Office in the public sector
Make the Royal Mail into a successful company, with new investment freedoms
Give Royal Mail staff a guaranteed stake in their company through employee share holding and participation
Protect and improve the service to customers that provides a daily delivery at a uniform price across the country

Rail commuters plan next move in battle against fare increases

Local rail commuters are meeting in Bath on Tuesday to plan the next phase of their campaign for better services at Oldfield Park Railway Station.

This time last year, Cllr Shaun McGall, supported the fares protest, due to the overcrowding on services in the Bath, Bristol and West of England area.

The new timetable which was launched on the 9th December remains below the standard of service commuters should recieve, and this combined with the unjustified hike in prices in January, timetable changes, short trains, old rolling stock, and continuing poor punctuality and reliability means we must put more press on both the Labour Government and First Great Western to up their game and provide a modern, and fairly priced service across our area.

Please play your part in helping to pile on the presure to First and the Governement to ensure we get more trains, and that passengers not shareholders come first.

Please write to Don Foster, our Member of Parliament and to the Managing Director of First Great Western, with your comments and views.

Zero Waste Week: Calling all Individuals and Community Groups

You may remember the Zero Waste Week that the Council held last year and the BBC family of five who reduced the amount they threw away to the equivalent of one yoghurt pot.

Following the success of the week, this year the Council is looking to invite local people and also community groups to take part and see how much you can reduce your waste over the course of a week.

Anyone can take part, either as an individual or a community group. The definition of a ‘community group’ is as broad as possible so this may range from the whole of Oldfield Park or school community through to a local group or association, street, block of flats or even a virtual community.

So far, over 20 groups have already expressed an interest in taking part. The aim of the week is to encourage as many people as possible to take up the challenge to see how much you can reduce what you throw away over the course of a week, by reducing, recycling and composting as much as they can.

The week will run from Monday 26 November to Sunday 2 December this year. If you are an individual or community group who would be interested in taking part or would like to find out more, please contact Council Connect on 01225 39 40 41 or email

Recycle your old electrical goods

The Council has installed new facilities for residents to recycle any type of household electrical item. The Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulations which came into force earlier this year means that any unwanted electrical product should now be re-used or recycled wherever possible and not disposed of to landfill.

The Council’s three Recycling Centres at Keynsham, Bath and Old Welton have been provided with recycling banks which will take a full range of large and small household electrical appliances from vacuum cleaners to hairdryers, from TVs to electric lawnmowers.

Cllr Sandry and Cllr McGall are pleased the Council is extending the range of materials local residents can recycle. The Council will be actively encouraging residents to keep their old electrical goods out of household waste bins and instead separating them for recycling.

Althought the new Tory-Controlled Council has set targets for recycling, the Liberal Democrats believe that we should be aiming for a zero waste situation.

To find out more about the WEEE regulations and how you can recycle your old electrical goods, please contact Council Connect on 01225 39 40 41.