Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Rod Webb was cheered up this week by the article about the St Leonards Post Office in Private Eye, and Queen Victoria’s addition to the vocal local protest.

Queen ‘not amused’ about the P.O. shenanigans

It’s become a tradition for the Queen Victoria statue in Warrior Square to be tampered with by locals. In recent years she has sported a giant walnut whip on her head and an Acid House smiley mask. HOT’s Erica Smith sees the funny side.

00RodFeatureOn New Year’s Eve, Rod Webb, one of the Save the St Leonards Crown Post Office campaigners, was taking the dog for a walk, feeling doubly gloomy about the recent news from Post Office Ltd and having a broken wrist for New Year. His mood changed when he spied the newspaper hoarding tied to Queen Vic’s pedestal.

Just in time for Christmas, Post Office Ltd announced that because their preferred franchisee for the business had pulled out, they now intend to pass on the running of the Post Office to a temporary franchisee, Potent Solutions. Keep it Crown campaigners feel that PO Ltd have had to take desperate measures to create a ‘temporary franchise’ and palm the St Leonards Crown Post Office off in order not to lose face. If successful, this move will set a precedent for obliterating Crown Post Offices and steam-rollering over local public opinion.

Since the decision was announced, Post Office Ltd’s proposal has been derided in a local pantomime and featured in a theatre production, while the Post Office facade has been fly-posted with a large print version of an article in Private Eye.

Potent Solutions Ltd is a company with one director, based in Bolton, and with a poor track record with Companies House. This link to their filing history shows that, whilst the last set of accounts (first item in the list) appears to show their net current assets are enough to cover their immediate debts, a later note shows a large proportion of their debtors won’t be collected within one year. Adjusting their current assets for this shows they are actually short by £191,103.00. In the previous accounting year, after the same adjustment, they were only £70,477.00 short of covering all their debts. It appears to be a company going in the wrong direction.

Also, the company currently has a ‘goodwill’ intangible fixed asset of £545,271. As the business was originally run as a sole trader by its sole director and shareholder, Mr Zubeir Ahmed Moosa Issa Patel, this is likely to be his estimate of the value of the business due to repeat business from customers and contracts it holds. It is a requirement of accounting standards that companies assess goodwill’s useful life (currently defaulting to three years if it cannot be assessed) and write-off a proportion of its value each year accordingly. The company has never written off any of its goodwill and is showing a useful life of 0 years (see the first paragraph below). It would therefore appear to be in breach of accounting standards.

The Crown Post Office campaign continues to encourage local people to add their voices to the protest. Write to Amber Rudd MP (, Margot James MP ( and Reverend Paula Vennells, PO Ltd CEO (

For more information about the Keep it Crown PO campaign, and Potent Solutions, read this article on HOT.


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Posted 19:49 Wednesday, Jan 3, 2018 In: Campaigns

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