Post office union calls for boycott of Wisbech store Etcetera


Etcetera - Credit: Archant

The Communications Workers Union has called for a boycott of the Wisbech shop Etcetera, the kitchen and homeware store that is due to be the new home of Wisbech post office.

Wisbech Post office closure petition.

Wisbech Post office closure petition. - Credit: Archant

Post office workers union representative Dave Smith said this week: “Until they take back their outrageous proposal to cram a Post Office in the back of their store, we are asking the Wisbech public to show their opposition by boycotting Etcetera until they change their minds.”

Earlier this year the Post Office said it would close the post office in Bridge Street if a nearby shop or supermarket could be found to accommodate the service.

Etcetera in York Row - 20 yards from the current post office - was announced as the new location last month, and a six week consultation period includes a customer forum at the Rose and Crown Hotel in Wisbech today, Thursday, between 4.30pm and 8.30pm.

Over the past two months Wisbech UKIP councillors have been running a campaign against the Post Office plans.

UKIP Councillor Paul Clapp, who represents Wisbech North on Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “We want the post office to stay where it is and continue to provide a good service for the people of Wisbech.”

Mr Smith from CWU said: “Thousands of signatures have been collected in opposition to the franchise and relocation proposal of Wisbech Crown Post Office, and so the CWU feel justified in calling for this boycott.

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“The Etcetera shop is far too small to both provide an adequate post office service together with its retail business, as compared to the present dedicated Crown office premises.”

Ray Wicks, who owns Etcetera with his wife Jan, said: “I am very disappointed that the union has called for a boycott of our store. We are only trying to offer a credible alternative, if the post office has to close.

“We are anxious to retain the post office at this end of the town. We have good disabled access with two entrances, and I am confident we can give as good a service as the present post office, with longer opening hours and up to date equipment.

“We don’t particularly want the present post office to close, but if it goes out the area, it will be a bad thing for the town. By offering an alternative, it is keeping this end of town alive.

“We don’t want to upset or fall out with anyone, but we want to retain the post office for the town centre.”

Roger Gale, Crown Network General Manager, said: “We are committed to keeping a post office branch in Wisbech and to maintaining the same levels of service for our customers. We believe the best way for us to do this is to change the way we operate it, so if the move goes ahead it will be run by Etcetera rather than by us directly.”

Subject to public consultation, the new Wisbech Post Office would have four serving positions. Opening hours at the proposed new location would be 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Saturday.

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