by Roger Harmer on 11 October, 2014
It is clear that there are strong concerns, from across the community, about the proposals to relocate Acocks Green’s Post Office branch. I share these concerns and am supporting the developing campaign to stop the proposed move. Initially this has involved setting out the case in a joint letter of objection written by Acocks Green Focus Group and endorsed by both of Acocks Green’s Neighbourhood Forums, John Hemming MP and many others. The key concerns are:
1) The location is unsuitable for a busy main post office branch, which frequently has long queues, sometimes out to the pavement. Compared with the current location the pavement is narrower, does not have a canopy and is flanked on one side by a busy supermarket and on the other side by a vehicle entrance to a car park, which has poor visibility.
2) The number of serving points is being reduced from 6 to 4 plus a till shared with other customers. This is likely to lengthen queues.
3) Concerns about the viability of the new shop. We were told that the proposed operators, ZCO Ltd operate a number of post office branches elsewhere but have found no evidence of this. It may be they use different trading names, but while other Crown Post Office branches are moving into blue chip retailers such as WH Smith, ours may shortly be in the hands of an organisation with little apparent experience of operating post offices. Furthermore the other retail offer they are proposing – confectionary, newspapers and cigarettes – are offered by numerous other shops in Acocks Green.
More details on all these points are available at the Acocks Green Focus Group’s website here.
Next steps in the campaign:
We are organising a petition against the move and will be collecting signatures outside the Post Office next Saturday 18th October.
There is also the opportunity to share your views on the proposals at a ‘Drop In’ consultation event at Acocks Green Library on Wednesday 22nd October between 4pm and 7.30pm. If you can, please do attend and make your views clear.
You can also contact the Post Office Ltd directly and let then know what you think here