Council opposes plans to move town centre post office

PROPOSALS to close the town’s main post office and move it to Priory Meadow have been slammed by the council.

Bosses from Post Office Ltd have put forward plans to shut the Cambridge Road branch and relocate it in WH Smith in the shopping centre.

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 this month and if the proposals go ahead the branch would be based in WH Smith from March 2014.

Councillors condemned the plans at a full council meeting on Wednesday (October 23).

Cllr Judy Rogers put forward a motion to support a decision to oppose the move. Councillors voted by 22 to back her motion, with seven abstentions.

Cllr Rogers said: “I was very pleased that the motion was given such support, with no one voting against it. I have been involved with the campaign to retain the existing facility for a long time, and will continue to fight to keep it open.”

Council leader Jeremy Birch said: “We believe WH Smith’s shop is too small to house a proper post office operation alongside its existing retail use, and is not accessible for disabled customers or parents with prams or buggies. We are committed to campaigning to keep the best possible services.”

More than 6,000 people have signed a petition set up by Sarah Owen, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Hastings, since March and post office staff have staged 12 strikes.

To submit views on the proposals log onto postofficeviews.co.uk, email comments@postoffice.co.uk, or ring 08457 22 33 44. Quote branch code 006925. The closing date is November 25.