MP backs council’s proposal to take on post office freehold

Save St Leonards Post Office. Photo by Roberts Photographic. SUS-171023-091502001
Save St Leonards Post Office. Photo by Roberts Photographic. SUS-171023-091502001

Hastings MP Amber Rudd has given her backing to Hastings Borough Council in its bid to take on St Leonards Post Office.

It was announced last week that the proposed franchisee withdrew his application for the post office, with the London Road branch to be temporarily transferred to Potent Solutions Ltd from January 2018.

Hastings Borough Council has stated it would like the opportunity to take over the post office as a freehold in order to protect the service, building and the staff. Ms Rudd has written to the council in order to request it takes forward the proposal and asks it to explore the possibility of becoming the freeholders of the branch.

The MP also wrote to Laura Tarling, external affairs manager at Post Office Ltd, in support of the council. Ms Tarling said any contract with a franchise owner will “protect the Post Office operation”.

Amber Rudd said: “The post office is vital to our community. I want to ensure our local post office has a sustainable future for residents. I have written to the Post Office to discuss the options available to find the best resolution for the people of Hastings and St Leonards. I am also urging Hastings Borough Council to take forward their proposal to take over the post office, which they had previously said that they would like to do, particularly now that the proposed franchisee has withdrawn his application.

“It is important we safeguard our postal services for the community. I am encouraging all relevant parties to work together in order to get the best outcome for our residents.”

Andy Patmore, Councillor for Maze Hill ward, said: “Securing the future of this vital community hub is paramount and I have written to the Post Office urging them to work with the community to find the best solution.”