Save St Leonards Crown Post Office: come to meeting at 7pm on Tuesday 28 March
HOT’s Erica Smith rallies us to come along on Tuesday evening and find out how we can save our Crown Post Office.
Many of you will miss the Hastings town centre post office which was closed and replaced with a reduced service in the WHSmith in Priory Meadow. The St Leonards Post Office is now in danger of being closed. There have been petitions around St Leonards, and a well-supported demonstration was held outside the Post Office last November.
It is now time to gear up the campaigning. A meeting is being held tomorrow, Tuesday 28 March, to get the community together in order to work out a strategy to save the Post Office. A Post Office trades union representative will be at the meeting to offer support and advice. Amber Rudd, Sara Owen, Trevor Webb, BBC Sussex news and faith leaders from the local churches and mosque have been invited.
The support meeting is at 7pm this Tuesday 28 March. It is at the WRVS Isabel Blackman Centre in South Street (behind the Oak Bakery and St Leonards Grocer).
The primary organisers so far have been Kay Avery-Stallion of St Leonards Modern Goods and Helen Robinson from Shop – but they are appealing for more people to come on board and help actively campaign. For those who might shrug this off as being a done deal, the good news is that the Newhaven community have been running an impressive campaign to save their Post Office from closure and have recently succeeded in a ‘stay of execution‘, proving that a strong community voice can be heard.
The key reasons for keeping the Post Office are:
It is a vital asset – providing pensions and benefits to young, old, families and the troubled.
It provides personal and business banking services when all banks in St Leonards bar the Nationwide have closed down.
Essential postal and mail services – for the many hundreds of local businesses.
It generates footfall for the area – wherever there’s a Crown Post Office in the UK the surrounding businesses benefit. Most people around the nearby suburbs of St Leonards come into the town to use the PO facilities and then immediately spend their money within a few yards of the PO’s doors.
The St Leonards Crown Post Office also provides locals with passport applications, utility bill payments, internet, phone and TV licence services, currency exchanges, not only for us going abroad but for the many foreign visitors who stay in our town to learn English who help to swell our town’s pockets. If they can convert their euros easily they can spend money in our shops.
Convenience – it’s not possible for everyone who currently uses the PO to travel into Hastings town centre to use the already overcrowded SUB post office franchise within WHSmith. The business is already terribly oversubscribed and can’t handle more footfall. Shop traders can’t close their shops to go into Hastings – you lose one hour of trading every time you do.
People without cars or money for bus fare can’t get there.
The Silverhill and West St Leonards tiny sub Post Offices don’t offer all the services we currently enjoy here in St Leonards.
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