Wallington’s Post Office’s Crown status threatened

February 16, 2013 11:04 AM

Tom Brake MP for Carshalton and Wallington has learnt that the Wallington Post Office could cease to operate as a Crown Office, become a franchise and be relocated to a nearby shop or supermarket.

Commenting on the announcement, Tom Brake said:

"Financial pressures mean that changes to the way Post Office branches operate are necessary. But local Post Offices are an essential part of our community."

"If the proposal to franchise the Wallington Post Office goes forward, at the very least I would like to see the quality, range, and accessibility of services maintained, if not improved."

The Wallington branch is earmarked for a franchise, as part of the plans announced by the Post Office to seek partnership with retailers for 70 out of its 373 Crown Post Offices across the country. The Post Office deems the move a necessary step to tackle the £40 million annual loss, currently generated by all the Crown Offices across the UK.

Tom added:

"I have already spoken to the Post Office representatives, and I will continue to press for answers and assurances that no compromise on the quality, range, and accessibility of the postal services in Wallington will be allowed."

The Post Office has stressed that the proposals are not a closure programme, and pledged no compulsory redundancies were planned as part of the plan. Assurances have also been made that no services would be affected and that business partners would be required to monitor the quality and accessibility of the postal services.

Kevin Gilliland, Network and Sales Director at the Post Office said:

"We are committed to maintaining services within Wallington. If a suitable retailer is found for the Crown branch then we will carry out a six week public consultation. If no retailer is found we are committed to having a Crown branch in the area.

"We are currently undertaking the biggest business transformation programme in the history of the Post Office. Our overall investment will maintain the size of the network and modernise branches to meet customer needs. Crown branches are a fundamental part of our long term growth strategy and need to be brought into profit (currently operating at a £40m annual loss). To maintain our high street presence we will be looking to find retail partners for 70 of our branches enabling us to stay in these locations. Partnering with a retailer will help to sustain both businesses and keep them on the high street.

"The Post Office successfully works with many retail partners allowing us to create open plan, modern branches ideally with longer opening hours."

What would you like to do next?