The briefing states Post offices deliver vital services to local communities such as face-to-face banking, bill payment and parcel collection and delivery. They often step in to serve local communities when bank branches and shops in the area close. We've seen this throughout the pandemic, when community post offices - often officially the "last shop in the village" - offered a lifeline to people and communities that would otherwise have been cut off.
Citizens Advice believe they could have an even greater social role by providing an ‘Address & Collect’ service that would allow people who don’t have access to their post, such as homeless people and survivors of domestic abuse, to receive letters.
However, cracks in the post office network are beginning to show. Long temporary closures and an increased reliance on outreach services means that many communities, particularly in rural areas, parts of the north of England and Scotland and Wales, have patchy access to basic banking, bill payment and parcel collection and delivery.
In the upcoming spending review, the government faces a choice: allow post offices to thrive or lead them into a managed decline.
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