St John's Wood Crown Post Office facing closure

Service would have to downsize so it can fit into food shop around the corner

Friday, 31st August 2018 — By Tom Foot

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ST JOHN’S Wood is gearing up for a battle to save its high street post office.

A campaign to stop the popular Crown post office in Circus Road being run from a shop has been launched by union chiefs, activists and the St John’s Wood Society.

The Crown post office in Circus Road was named on a hit-list of 42 offices across the country that are to be shut down or taken over by a private firm.

Post Office Ltd wants to shut it down and move some services into the St John’s Wood Food Store, in Charlbert Street. A consultation, shown to the public yesterday (Thursday), has been launched by Post Office chiefs.

Communication Workers Union (CWU) campaigner Huw Davies said: “It’s early days but it’s an outrage where we’ll see many job losses. They want to make £10million by ridding those they say are losing profits, looking at staffing costs and buildings. Somehow the St John Wood’s post office has become part of that.”

Crown post offices are large high street branches that are run directly by the Post Office. The CWU, which campaigns against closures across the country, said the changes were unnecessary as the Post Office is due to break even this year.

The Post Office has been shutting down Crown post offices across the country for more than two years in what it describes as a process of “modernising our branch network”. But there have been questions over the management of the company since its split from Royal Mail Group in 2012.

People would no longer be able to make driving licence or security industry authority applications at downsized offices, though opening hours would be extended, offering customers an increase of 62.5 hours a week.

The Post Office said: “The change of management of the branch to one that is operated by a retail partner, rather than by us directly, is a commercial decision for Post Office Ltd and therefore we are not seeking feedback on this aspect of the change.

“However we welcome feedback and comments that can help inform our plans, particularly on the following areas: How easy is it to get to the pro- posed new location? Are the new premises easy for you to get into and are they easily accessible once inside? Are there any other local community issues which you believe could be affected by – or affect – the proposed move?”

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