Anna Turley, Labour’s spokesperson for Redcar, today (13th February 2013) said she would be backing the fight to save Redcar’s Town Centre Post Office from being closed and the franchise transferred to a local shop.
“These plans alarm me. They would mean a dedicated Post Office being closed, the jobs of long serving staff put at risk and relocation to a location which may be out of the centre, with the possibility of slimmer staffing and longer queues.
“This office provides a dedicated specialist service to the local community which will not be replicated by a window or two in a bigger shop. We’ve seen problems with access to post office services in previous franchise arrangements and I fear this announcement could create further barriers to accessing a range of post office services. This could hit local elderly people, especially if the location is a way out of the Town Centre or difficult to access. The present Post Office is convenient to the main local bus stops at the Clock – again helpful to elderly people. This may now be at risk.
“There are questions about the range of services that could be handled in a new outlet. Could it, for instance, be used for things passport applications, identity services and the existing Post Office financial services? Local small businesses rely on the existing Post Office to help with handling large mail deliveries. Could a small shop counter with limited secure storage deliver such a service? I feel that is highly doubtful.
“Put simply, this is just a dog’s dinner of a plan, and I am calling on the Post Office to think again, as well as seeking to help the Trade Union for Post Office workers, the Communication Workers Union, to resist this mad idea.”