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Post Offices, School Plays and helping people in need - a varied week!

July 24, 2003 9:00 AM
By Peter Carroll in Folkestone Herald Newspaper

The closure of Post Offices across Shepway is turning into little short of a decimation of the service. Hythe, Sandgate, Morehall, Horn Street are either closed or threatened with closure. Many local residents have taken part in the 'consultation' process that precedes closure - and have been very disappointed to see their campaign fail and the local Post Office close down. I have been concerned about what notice the Post Office hierarchy actually take of the letters and petitions that so many anxious local residents send in as part of the consultation. Local residents have told me that they fear the consultation process may be a sham. As a result of these comments, I wrote to the Post Office regulator to ask what 'consultation' actually means. His reply is less than convincing and asks more questions than it answers. I am writing again as a matter of urgency to ask how many Post Office closure decisions have actually been changed as a result of residents taking part in the consultation. I will let you know the answer when I hear.

On Wednesday, I was invited to St Martins School on Horn Street to see their musical 'Joseph'. What a delight! These days, there is so much talk about tests and targets in primary schools. It was wonderful to see those qualities that are perhaps the most important but the hardest to actually measure in a school - great atmosphere and spirit. All the cast performed brilliantly - well done to all!

This last fortnight has been particularly busy helping people with problems and issues who have written to me. The variety of problems has been enormous. People have asked for help with (amongst others) - sorting out overgrown grass verges on Council land, delays in getting specialist equipment fitted into a disabled persons home, problems with a house renovation grant, parking issues, persistent anti-social behaviour, helping the family of a local elderly man get a place in residential care, queries on housing needs and housing points. Still, they say that 'variety is the spice of life'!