Diary of a Sutton Councillor

Uncertainty over future of Wallington Post Office

The threat to local post offices

The Post Office has plans to close the Crown Post Office in the St Nicholas Centre in Sutton, and wants to franchise out the Wallington Crown Post Office branch. This is part of the Post Office’s wider plans to make savings across all its operations, however the rationale for closing or franchising certain branches and not others is not at all clear.

Sutton Council opposes the plans

At the last Full Council meeting my ward colleague and Deputy Leader Cllr Colin Hall tabled a motion opposing the plans to close the Sutton operation, and expressing concern over the plans to franchise the Wallington branch. The motion can be viewed here. I spoke in the debate about how the Wallington Post Office was a key resource for local people, and our concerns for the impact on the area should it be downgraded or lost. We know that Post Offices bring in a large amount of referred trade to local businesses in linked shopping trips so Wallington High Street could be significantly negatively impacted if we were to lose this branch, not to mention the inconvenience for local people needing the services of their local Post Office.

The motion was unanimously supported by all councillors.

023Lib Dems working to secure the future of the Wallington branch

The Council meeting was also attended by representatives of the Crown Workers Union who submitted a petition against the proposed changes. After speaking at the meeting I was approached by the reps Peter Meech and Ian Ward who wanted to emphasise the risk to the Wallington branch even if it found a franchise partner. As a result we arranged a meeting with the CWU, myself and Tom Brake MP which took place yesterday.

We were advised that a franchise partner has been found, but the agreement won’t be finalised until April next year. In the meantime I have been looking into ways in which the council might be able to offer support to the Wallington branch, and Tom is setting up a meeting with the Post Office to discuss these options further.

Please be assured that we will be working hard to ensure the Crown branch of the Post Office remains in Wallington.

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August 21, 2013 - Posted by | Information |

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