Essex County Council appears to be leading the way in committing £1.5million to saving 15 Post Offices across the county earmarked for closure. At what cost, though, will this be to the taxpayer who already faces increased postage costs and soaring council tax?
This trial should be watched closely, however. If Essex CC can prove to taxpayers that they are putting the £1.5million in as an investment, reducing costs to the taxpayer (in the form of an efficient service and lower council tax bills) then this meets our target of seeing councils putting your money to frontline services. If, however, Essex CC does nothing to reform the clunky, bureaucratic nature of the Post Office and uses taxpayers’ money as a dodgy subsidy, then the £1.5million will not remain as a fixed cost on their balance sheet for long, and Essex taxpayers will see their bills increase as a result.
Given that Essex CC’s publicity spending has gone up, its middle management has swelled and their middle-management-gold-plated-pensions cost each household £44, it doesn’t provide the best record for taking on the running of Post Offices and giving taxpayers value for money.