Pressure mounts on PO to halt move
THE consultation is over but the fight goes on to stop a post office being moved away from the town centre. The deadline for public feedback on plans to close Letchworth GC s central Post Office and open a franchise branch in McColl s in Station Road was
THE consultation is over but the fight goes on to stop a post office being moved away from the town centre.
The deadline for public feedback on plans to close Letchworth GC's central Post Office and open a franchise branch in McColl's in Station Road was Tuesday.
The Post Office says it has received between 180 - 200 letters on the issue, including 83 handed to them by The Comet from concerned readers.
Our campaign to stop the move had the backing of town council and Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation, and the foundation continues to talk to the Post Office and to the owners of McColl's to try to halt the plans.
It recently announced that the McColl's convenience store is likely to be included in Compulsory Purchase Orders issued when it redevelops the town centre.
It is now trying to work with the two companies to find alternative accommodation in the town centre.
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Stuart Kenny, director general of the Heritage Foundation, said that he had asked for an urgent meeting with Post Office network service manager Tony Marsh and had been told that staff at the company were working to arrange this.
He added: "I think that we are certainly being listened to. Overall, I am sure that the Post Office now understands the strength of feeling against the move from within the community.
"They also understand the determination of the Foundation to do all it possibly can, and be as innovative as possible in helping find a solution.
"The problem is the timing with the Post Office wanting 'concrete' suggestions from us very quickly.
"I hope that the suggestions I will be making when we meet will be of interest; they deserve to be.
"However, I really don't see why the Post Office needs to move the Letchworth GC Post Office relocation forward at such speed when they have 140 Post Offices to move from directly managed to franchised status nationally."
Melanie Corfield, head of external relations at the Post Office confirmed that a decision on the move won't be made until they have met with the Heritage Foundation.
She added: "Obviously we will be hopefully coming to a decision on it shortly.
"We are in fact still talking to various parties so although the consultation period is coming to an end there are still some discussions going on about the future of the town centre.