D-Day in Post Office fight
THE FIGHT to save Letchworth GC s central post office continues as D-Day for the busy branch draws near. The deadline for public feedback on certain issues surrounding the move from its current base in Broadway to McColl s in Station Road is next Tuesday,
THE FIGHT to save Letchworth GC's central post office continues as D-Day for the busy branch draws near.
The deadline for public feedback on certain issues surrounding the move from its current base in Broadway to McColl's in Station Road is next Tuesday, August 29.
Over the last week, The Comet, along with MP Oliver Heald, Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation director general Stuart Kenny and local councillors have stepped up the campaign to halt the proposals.
Last Thursday The Comet presented more than 80 letters and emails from readers against the move to Tony Marsh, the Post Office's network service manager.
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Mr Marsh was in Letchworth GC to meet with district and town councillors, Mr Kenny, Mr Heald, and members of the Communication Workers' Union.
He returned the next day to talk again to district and town councillors and consumer group Postwatch.
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At the Thursday meeting, Mr Kenny told Mr Marsh that he felt the plans should be "put on ice" given that McColl's is likely to be part of a compulsory purchase order in the Foundation's town centre redevelopment plans.
On Tuesday, Mr Kenny then met with Martin McColl, owners of the proposed franchise shop on Station Road.
At this meeting he repeated his plea to put the plans on hold and suggested that other suitable locations should be looked at.
Mr Kenny said: "It is clear that the Post Office have made up their minds as regards moving away from a directly managed to a franchised outlet in the garden city - one of 140 such locations.
"As with the Post Office, I made it crystal clear that the Foundation stands ready as an absolute priority to work with Martin McColl to try to find a solution, which is good for them and good for the garden city.
"The ball is now in their court and I look forward to hearing from them next week once Martin McColl have had the opportunity to review matters with the Post Office.
"In the meantime we will continue to try to identify a relocation site."
Martine Munby, senior external relations manager at the Post Office said that all the letters presented to them by The Comet would be looked at.
She added: "We appreciate the concerns of local residents."
With regards to the Thursday meeting, she said: "It was a productive meeting and it was useful to air some of the issues that have been raised to us.
"I hope Tony Marsh was able to explain the rationale behind why we have to franchise post office services and that is because the directly managed network loses the company £50m a year.
"We will happily consider the proposals from the Heritage Foundation but we need to see something concrete."
o Send your views on the post office move to Tony Marsh, Network Service Manager, Post Office Ltd, c/o National Consultation Team, PO Box 2060, Watford, WD18 8ZW.
Caption 1) Pictured outside the post office building in Broadway are, left to right, Linda Needham from North Herts District Council, Post Office network service manager Tony Marsh, MP Oliver Heald, Post Office senior external relations manager Martine Munby, Letchworth GC Heritage Foundation director general Stuart Kenny, Town Council chairman Tony Wickham, Peter Meech of the Communications Workers Union and Post Office worker and union member Les Smith
Caption 2) Comet reporter Hannah Gray presents letters of protest at the post office move to Tony Marsh