Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, local Labour City Councillors and Trade Union officers will be standing together this Friday (2nd November) to campaign against the move of the City’s Crown Post Office into WHSmith. Daniel Zeichner, City Councillor Gerri Bird and CWU Branch Secretary Mark Toner say that the move of this Post Office will hit those with disabilities and reduced mobility hardest.
Daniel Zeichner MP said: “The closing and franchising of Post Offices damages our city centres and high streets. These should be the places of civic pride, where people find their post offices, court buildings and council offices, they should not be tucked away in the back of a WHSmith store or on an industrial estate.As well as contributing to the decline of our civic space, it limits access to services for those with disabilities and reduced mobility. What will WHSmith do to ensure that its store is suitable to cope with the additional footfall and can it guarantee full access?”
“Cambridge residents are already reacting strongly to this proposal and I encourage them all to sign the Labour and CWU petitions that oppose the move. We need the City to stand together and send a very strong message to the Post Office.”
Councillor for East Chesterton, Gerri Bird, said: “I have big concerns about the Cambridge City Centre Post Office closing, as this will affect many elderly and disabled residents of the City. I know many come on the bus as it is so near the bus stops, so it’s not far to walk. If this moves it’s going to be much further for them to walk. In Cambridge there are many post offices that are not accessible so the centre one is a must. Moving it to WHSmiths will make more difficult for them. I’ll fight to stop this move”
Mark Toner, CWU Branch Secretary, said: “The announcement of the closing and transfer of the Crown Post Office into WHSmith is further evidence of this Government’s political dogma of privatisation by stealth of the Post Office. With it, a further loss of well paid living wage and skilled jobs to those that will inevitability be of minimum wage and unskilled.”
“The closing of the Crown Office will continue to accelerate the decline of the high street with the absence of an experienced and highly rated consumer experience retailer and service provider. Instead the services will go to a high street business not in the best financial position going forward, which is regularly rated at the bottom for customer ratings experience. The CWU is fighting to maintain a crown office in Cambridge, this can , we hope be achieved through political pressure via the support of the public both locally and nationally, through the campaign save our post offices.”
The proposal will be subject to a 6 week consultation due to launch in the New Year. Mr Zeichner, local councillors and the CWU will be coordinating a campaign against the move over the coming weeks to encourage as many people as possible to respond to the consultation.