Oval Partnership Briefing Note

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Post Offices

The General Post Office, as it was originally known, dates back to 1660. It had a monopoly of dispatching items from a sender to a recipient which explains why it grew to include both postal and telecomms services.  In 1969 it was abolished and assets were transferred to The Post Office a limited company owned by the government. In 1981, it was split into the Post Office, which focused on postal services, and British Telecommunications on telecomms.


In 2007 there were some 14,300 post office branches.  However, demand for these services were falling particularly as things like benefits were available through other means. In the 18 months since October 2007, some 2,500 post offices were closed .  This was part of a government led intitiative to modernise the post office reflecting the change in demand.  500 of the branches were replaced with ‘outreach’ services.  Although no local post offices were cut in this programme one on the Clapham Road near the Oval station had closed some years earlier.  The local post offices are:



Post offices are a crucial component of the local economy and local shopping areas in particular.  They bring large numbers of people to the area and that benefits other local shops.  In addition, anyone starting a business that requires a strong postal element will know the benefits of having a post office nearby.

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