A PETITION signed by almost 7,000 people protesting against the possible closure of the town centre post office has been presented to Post Office bosses.
Sarah Owen, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Hastings, handed the document to Tom Moran, the company’s head of industrial relations and network strategy at its headquarters on Monday (November 18).
The move comes amid fears that the Cambridge Road branch could close as early as next spring.
Bosses at Post Office Ltd have put forward proposals to shut the branch and move it to WH Smith in Priory Meadow.
Managers are currently looking for retail partners for 70 of its Crown branches, those directly owned by the Post Office, where services would be run from within stores, the Hastings branch being one of those affected.
A six-week public consultation started on October 14 and if the plans go ahead the branch would be based in WH Smith from March 2014.
Campaigners want the branch to remain where it is.
Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) have also staged a dozen strikes at the Cambridge Road branch since March in protest when the proposals were first revealed. Mole Meade, the CWU’s area representative for the south east, has branded the plans as a ‘dumbing down of the service’.
Following her visit to Post Office headquarters on Monday, Ms Owen said: “I would like to thank the thousands of people, businesses and community groups who got behind our local campaign to save Hastings’ post office. This is about ensuring that Post Office Ltd take on board the level of opposition against this move and I was pleased that the company agreed to take the 6,800-strong postcard petition as part of its consultation. For the good of the local economy, customers and the post office staff, I hope Post Office Ltd listens and change its mind.”
Hastings MP Amber Rudd set up a similar petition which attracted scores of signatures.
She pledged to fight to ensure that the new site was suitable for everyone’s needs if it is moved to WH Smith.
To submit views log onto postofficeviews.co.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or ring 08457 22 33 44. Quote branch code 006925. The closing date is November 25.