New move in post office row

PUBLISHED: 12:27 14 September 2006 | UPDATED: 10:54 06 May 2010

The current Post Office site. Postwatch is concerned about the planned move to McColl’s

The current Post Office site. Postwatch is concerned about the planned move to McColl’s

AN ALTERNATIVE central location could provide the answer to controversy surrounding plans for a post office move. Letchworth GC s main post office is set to move to franchisee McColl s in a matter of weeks but pressure has been mounting on Post Office Ltd

The current Post Office site. Postwatch is concerned about the planned move to McColl’s

AN ALTERNATIVE central location could provide the answer to controversy surrounding plans for a post office move.

Letchworth GC's main post office is set to move to franchisee McColl's in a matter of weeks but pressure has been mounting on Post Office Ltd to find an alternative site as both Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation and an independent consumer watchdog - along with many residents - have opposed the move.

However, a compromise could be on the horizon after Martin McColl and the Heritage Foundation met last week.

Stuart Kenny, director general of the Heritage Foundation, said: "We have identified a retail unit in a very central town centre location which Martin McColl has agreed to consider for relocation into, along with the post office.

"I anticipate hearing from them further this week."

Independent watchdog Postwatch is dissatisfied with current relocation plans because McColl's, at the bottom end of Station Road, could be demolished as part of the Heritage Foundation's plans to redevelop the town centre.

The watchdog for postal services has appealed against the plans to move the post office on the grounds the transfer would not secure the retention of a main post office branch in Letchworth GC.

These concerns were reinforced during a meeting between Postwatch and Post Office Ltd yesterday.

Linda McCord, regional manager for Postwatch East of England, said: "We very forcefully put across our concerns and Post Office Ltd listened and said they would get back with a decision next week.

"Our recommendations are very much in line with the Heritage Foundation and we are fully representing our consumers.

"We do not have the legal powers to turn around and tell the Post Office that they can't move there but we would hope the Post Office would listen to us.

"We now have to wait for them to make a decision."

The post office move is set to take place some time in October.

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