There is a simple way of making a judgment about the plans to close the sorting office in Shrewsbury.
And that is to ask this question: What good will come of it?
No good will come of it at all if the 160-plus Shropshire workers would lose their jobs, as the union claims.
As for the public in terms of the service that they get, the benefits look elusive. If anything, it is reasonable to suppose that killing off the sorting office and with it all the local knowledge and expertise of the staff who work there can only make things go downhill and lead to more misdirected and delayed mail.
Latest figures this week show that in the SY postcode area, which extends from much of Shropshire into Mid Wales and Cheshire, 95.7 per cent of first class mail was delivered the next day. This is significantly better than the national average of just under 93 per cent.
With the closure of the Castle Foregate sorting office, mail for Shropshire and Mid Wales will be sorted in Chester, Wolverhampton, and Cardiff. Imagine that – remote sorters having to deal with mail from our patch with addresses like The Bog and Ruyton-XI-Towns, Llanymynech and Ratlinghope.
Royal Mail says the closure is needed due to “challenges from digital communication, competition, and mail volume decline.”
No mention there then of the duty to provide a service to customers, who now pay very expensive prices for stamps and to post their parcels.
The Communications Workers Union claims there will be a massive impact on postal delivery times. That is a major reason to fight the plan.
But it is also objectionable because it will represent another loss of Shropshire sovereignty, local control, local decision-making, local jobs, and doorstep services - all things this county needs to battle to keep if it is to retain its vitality.