Petitioners call for Wisbech Post Office to stay put

Wisbech Post office closure petition. Cllr Paul Clapp.

Wisbech Post office closure petition. Cllr Paul Clapp. - Credit: Archant

A petition of more than 3,000 signatures has been handed in to Cambridgeshire County Council urging them to step in to save the relocation of Wisbech Post Office.

Wisbech Post office closure petition.

Wisbech Post office closure petition. - Credit: Archant

Plans are in the pipeline to close the post office and instead set it up 20 metres down the road within Etcetera cookware and household shop.

The premises in Bridge Street are one of 70 Crown Post Offices seeking new accommodation within town centre shops, in a bid to save cash and ensure their future.

Two Wisbech UKIP county councillors have spent six weeks preparing a petition which they hope can be used to lobby county hall officials asking them to keep the current site open.

Alan Lay said: “It’s ludicrous. Why fix something that’s not broken?

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“The King’s Lynn Post Office moved into WHSmith and on Saturdays when it is also busy with shoppers it is chaos in there,” he said.

Disabled access has also been thrown into question as within Etcetera is a step down to a lower shop floor level, he added.

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“It is short term cost cutting not long term vision,” he said.

Kevin Gilliland, network and sales director at the Post Office said: “Wisbech branch serves thousands of customers every week. However, we must change the way it operates to ensure its long term viability and to maintain services for people in the area.

“We already have over 10,000 branches which operate through franchises and agreements with retailers so we know this model works.

Mr Gilliand said the Crown network is currently losing £40m a year of public money, and partnering 70 branches with retailers and investing £70m in 300 other Crown branches is the best way to keep Post Offices on the high street.

The Post Office plans to move the branch before April 2015, but if no suitable partner can be found, the branch will remain open.

A meeting is being held at the Rose and Crown Hotel on December 5 from 4-8 to discuss the matter. All welcome.

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