No way we could stop this move

PUBLISHED: 17:18 10 October 2006 | UPDATED: 11:00 06 May 2010

Letchworth GC post office – doomed from the start

Letchworth GC post office – doomed from the start

WE fought long and hard, but it really looks as if the battle to save Letchworth GC s central Post Office has been lost. When I heard the news a couple of weeks ago that Post Office Ltd had decided to go ahead with its plans, I thought maybe there was sti

WE fought long and hard, but it really looks as if the battle to save Letchworth GC's central Post Office has been lost.

When I heard the news a couple of weeks ago that Post Office Ltd had decided to go ahead with its plans, I thought maybe there was still a chance that something would happen to change its mind.

But the announcement of an actual date for the change-over to the franchise branch in Station Road seems the final seal on the whole sorry affair.

Oliver Heald may be planning to bring the issue up in Parliament - and fair play to him for doing that - but the fact is, the decision was made months before anyone in Letchworth even knew about it.

The 'consultation' Post Office Ltd ran was never actually a consultation in the true sense, it was always a carefully worded PR exercise to make people think their opinion counted.

The company says it is trying to save money as the 'directly managed network' is losing £50m a year.

But the Heritage Foundation has made it very clear that McColl's - where the franchised post office will be - is likely to be part of a compulsory purchase order when it redevelops the town centre.

You tell me where the business sense is, in a company allegedly trying to save money moving to a shop which won't be there in a few years time, meaning they will have to move again in the near future.

But anyway, that is their problem.

The problem for the residents of Letchworth GC is that they will now, despite what Post Office Ltd says, have a smaller branch, a good walk from all the bus stops.

Come November, when the new branch opens, simple tasks like renewing your car tax are likely to be pretty cold, damp affairs as there is so little space to queue inside.

Of course, the new branch might be like a Tardis and surprise us all by accommodating the large number of customers miraculously.

But McColl's owners - Martin McColl - are very hard to get hold of so I've yet to get a clear idea of exactly what the shop will look like, or any commitment by them to the people of Letchworth GC to provide a good service.

Post Office Ltd hasn't listened to the public because they don't really care what we think.

We are a captive audience as they have a monopoly on the market for some services, like sending letters.

Letchworth GC residents will still have to go there, regardless of what they think of Post Office Ltd's decision, and that's why they've done it.


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