‘Hands off our Post Office!’ say Walworth residents

Admin (11 February, 2016) Misc

“Walworth Road needs its Post Office,” said MP Neil Coyle

7737Protesters outside Walworth Road Post Office in February 2016

Campaigners gathered outside a Post Office on Monday morning to stop it being packaged up and sold off as a franchise.

The first class demonstration from MP Neil Coyle and members of the Walworth Society hoped to prevent Walworth Road Crown Post Office being transferred into private hands.

The Post Office has confirmed to the News it is currently “looking for a potential suitable franchise partner” for the Walworth Road branch, but that no detailed plans have yet been made.

Where directly-run Crown Post Office branches are loss-making, they are being franchised or run by other partners like WHSmith or Tesco, leaving less than three per cent of branches nationally run by the Post Office.

Walworth Society chair, Jeremy Leach said he was concerned the Walworth Road branch would go the same way as the Elephant and Castle, which was franchised and then closed leaving no service at all.

MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, Neil Coyle, has made a request to discuss the issue of franchised Post Offices in parliament as he says they leave everyone “worse off.”

“Walworth Road needs its Post Office,” said Mr Coyle. “We lost the council cash desk and a bank from the road recently and the Crampton Street Royal Mail site round the corner is also being lost. Other franchises have left people worse off. They have contributed to a reduction in services and longer queues,” he added.

Chair of the Walworth Society, Jeremy Leach said he was “extremely concerned” by the proposal because local people “rely heavily” on the services offered at the Walworth Road branch.

If the Post Office does select a franchisee, they will then hold a six week public consultation to hear customer views.

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