On Thursday, 26th April Councillor Alan Hall led a delegation to 10 Downing Street to present a petition to the Prime Minister, Theresa May MP to ‘Save Sydenham Crown Post Office’.
He was joined by Save the Sydenham Post Office Campaigners, Pat Trembath MBE, from the Sydenham Society, Cllr Liam Curran, Sydenham Councillor and Peter Meech from the Communications Workers Union (CWU).
They argue that this is the loss of a vital public service for an inferior franchise offer.
Home Office services like the Foreign Nationals Biometric Residents Permit will be lost.
The Communications Workers Union are campaigning for a successful post office networkincluding a new Post Bank. Mole Meade, CWU opposes the closure of Crown Post Offices saying that the closure of Crown post offices will have negative economic and social effects on high streets – even if moved just 500 yards into the back of a newsagent – this happened in New Cross Gate – with the businesses left behind suffering and the area going into decline. The only thing driving this move is cuts to make profit.
The Sydenham Society’s Pat Trembath, MBE said: “The Crown Post Office is a vital part of a vibrant high street. It serves a wider community as the only Crown Post Office in the borough and this drastic cut will be a blow for the community.”
Labour Sydenham Councillor Liam Curran said: “Sydenham residents queued up to sign this petition in the few hours we had it on the high street. There are many things that you can’t do online and the withdrawal of the services of a Crown Post office is a blow to our community. This is compounded by the fact that the Santander Bank branch in Sydenham is closing and they have told their customers to go to the Post Office! A cheapo Post Office-lite will find it impossible to cope. We need a nationally-owned Post Office like they do in many other European countries.”
Peter Meech, CWU said: “This is a very sad day for the staff that have served this community over many years. I hope that the Prime Minister will intervene to keep a Crown Post Office open in Sydenham.”
Councillor Alan Hall, Chair of Lewisham Council’s Business Panel said: “Sydenham Crown Post Office provides an essential public service and it is an important part of the local high street economy.”
He went on to say: “Sydenham Crown Post Office is under threat. Closure means there will be no Crown Post Offices within the London Borough of Lewisham – and the loss of a full range of services for our residents. The Prime Minister should ask The Post Office to think again.”
Councillor Alan Hall attended a parliamentary debate held at Westminster Hall on Tuesday 25th April 2017 – you can watch the debate here
Councillor Alan Hall requested a briefing on Lewisham’s Crown Post Offices from the CWU – this is here