www.hastingsonlinetimes.co.uk     Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Patrick Glass, K Avery and William Bullin deliver local residents demands to Downing Street

Patrick Glass, left, Kay Avery and William Bullin deliver local residents’ demands to Downing Street.

PO campaign deliver ‘Post Office fudge’ to No 10

Despite sheeting rain, three of the Save St Leonards Crown Post Office campaigners made their way to London today, Wednesday, to deliver 380 letters from local residents to prime minister Theresa May. Erica Smith tracks their progress.

00POxmasBox

Theresa’s Xmas box contained 8,500 petition signatures, 1,000 pledge certificates, 380 letters and a pack of Post Office fudge!

The letters were gathered over only three days, in freezing conditions. One of the campaigners, William Bullin, said, “The weather was appalling, but we were committed to travel up to London to do this because of the support of all the local people who supported the letter campaign over three freezing Saturdays. We were driven to pursue their concerns about the future of our Crown Post Office.”

Post Office Ltd had lined up a ‘preferred business partner’ to taken on the St Leonards Post Office as a franchise, and planned to sell him the building at the same time. This would mean that our post office would no longer be directly owned and managed by Post Office Ltd, would lose its Crown status and would no longer have a secure future.

At the end of November the intended franchisee, Mr Muttiah, pulled out from the business plan. However, Post Office Ltd appear to be intent on shedding responsibility for our post office, and now plan to set up a temporary franchise until a long-term franchisee can be found.

Outside Downing Street with CWU representative Moray Meade

Outside Downing Street with CWU representative Moray Meade.

Absolute fudge

A two-week period was announced for potential franchisees to express their interest in taking on the post office. Campaign member Patrick Glass declared this process to be an absolute “fudge”. This led to the plan to deliver ‘Post Office fudge’ to Downing Street.

The 380 letters delivered to 10 Downing Street drew the attention of prime minister Theresa May and Margot James, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility, to concerns about Post Office Ltd’s latest plan to pass over St Leonards Crown Post Office to Potent Solutions Ltd to run as a temporary franchise. A temporary franchise has never been operated before. The campaign group believe it is only being done to ‘save face’ for Post Office Ltd after their attempt to franchise the post office to Mr Muttiah failed.

A quick look online at Potent Solutions Ltd’s history at Companies House and other sources raise questions as to whether it is a reliable company to be entrusted with a post office.

The letter campaign urges Theresa May and Margot James to reverse the decision to appoint Potent Solutions. This will give time to look for a genuinely positive and sustainable future for our post office – for example, working with Hastings Borough Council who could manage the building and work in partnership with Post Office Ltd to maintain a viable Crown Post Office. Reversing the plans for the temporary franchise will also give the staff more security over the Christmas period – the temporary franchise is intended to begin in January 2018.

After leaving Downing Street, the campaigners dropped off a duplicate sack of letters at the Houses of Parliament and continued to Post Office Ltd HQ near Moorgate where they lobbied the CEO, Reverend Paula Vennells. “Paula Vennells preaches a sustainable future for Post Offices whilst selling them off,” said campaigner Rod Webb. The campaigners gave a book called Dethroning Mammon by the Archbishop of Canterbury to the reverend as a Christmas gift.

In the meantime, members of the Save St Leonards Crown Post Office campaign have submitted an expression of interest in taking on the franchise.

Posted 19:46 Wednesday, Dec 13, 2017 In: Campaigns


Please read our comment guidelines before posting on HOT

Leave a comment

Also in: Campaigns

«
»
  • Join our mailing list

  • HOT Social