THE internet is undoubtedly an amazing tool.

It connects people across the globe, brings shopping straight to your doorstep and provides a world of knowledge at your fingertips.

But it is no substitute for real human interaction and services provided within bricks and mortar.

This is why I find the slapdash Post Office service being provided in Northallerton thoroughly depressing.

Post Offices used to be real community hubs, their very nature means that people are there to connect with others in a physical way; sending that birthday card or that letter you'd been meaning to write for weeks.

You could have a chat with the staff and small-talk with people in the queue - there's usually a queue - and come away with that lovely feeling that there's a something special on the way for someone you care about.

The patchy service currently being offered in our county town is a sad indictment of how this once integral service is now viewed.

This proud institution now seems to be an afterthought that can shut at a moment's notice and operate in cramped corners of shops.

Covid has affected businesses across the county, but most have bent over backwards to keep their doors open for their valued customers.

It's hard to believe that an organisation with the resources that the Post Office has thinks that shutting willy-nilly at a moment's notice - or without even a moment in some cases - is a fine way to go about business.

One can only hope that Rishi Sunak's intervention goes some way to restoring a better service, because we don't all want to do everything online.