Broxtowe Borough councillors were informed on January 19 that Beeston Crown Post Office would be closed and the business franchised: that is, downsized and located within a Beeston store, most likely WH Smiths. This move is part of the commercial policy of the Post Office which is profit- rather than service-led.
I am organising a petition which reads ‘We the undersigned call upon the Post Office to retain Beeston Crown Office in its present premises.’ In the first hour standing outside the Post Office this morning, I collected 100 signatures: only one person refused to sign. A thousand signatures will trigger a debate at the next Borough Council meeting in March.
Why keep the Crown Post Office? It offers a variety of financial services, including an ebay parcel agency, that are not part of a franchise. It offers access for drivers with disability stickers. It is in a prime position in ‘Post Office Square’ close to the new developments in Beeston Town Centre. Above all, it is well used and greatly loved.
If you want to sign up, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for the on-line petition or email@example.com.
This story by Rachel Gorman, entitled “Beeston Post Office may reopen as a franchise inside a newsagents” appeared in the Nottingham Post last Saturday, January 29:
Up to ten jobs could be lost if Beeston Post Office closes, say union representatives. The branch, in Chilwell Road, is one of 39 post offices across the country that may soon reopen as a franchise in either a newsagents, W H Smiths, or cash-and-carry.
Before a decision is made the Post Office will put the plans out for a six week public consultation – but even the prospect of the move has so far proved unpopular.
“It’s unfair to the public and it’s unfair to workforce,” said regional spokesman for the Communication Workers Union, Jim Reeves. The Beeston branch is one of 300 across the country managed directly by Post Office Ltd – known as a Crown office. Mr Reeves said the Crown Post Offices are on target to break even this year and not the “traditional loss maker that is expected” – meaning the changes are not needed. He added: “There are approximately ten people employed there. Although they will be offered to move to wherever the franchise is, they will also be offered settlement terms if they leave.”
Beeston councillor Janet Patrick plans to organise a petition against the move and hopes to gather at least 1,000 signatures from residents. The Labour representative said: “I think a lot of people will be upset if it closed. “If we manage to get 1,000 signatures then we can have a council debate about it in March.” She added: “In most people’s opinions the post office is an integral part of Beeston.
“I feel, particularly at this time, Beeston town centre has such wonderful potential. “I think the post office is part of that and it’s in an excellent position in town.” Ninety-one-year-old Margaret Picksley uses the post office regularly and was shocked by the decision. She said: “I’m absolutely shocked and devastated.”
A Post Office spokesman said: “We have been talking to our people at a number of locations (around 40) including Beeston, about the potential changes regarding their branch. “It is absolutely right that they are the first people to be aware of these potential changes. “When we have developed firm, detailed plans there will be a six week public consultation. “We are seeking a suitable potential retail partner because we believe that franchising, which has been used successfully in other areas for many years, will secure services in the area for the future.”
Read the full story here.