Search

Campaigners ‘devastated’ after losing battle for Crouch End post office

PUBLISHED: 14:54 11 October 2017 | UPDATED: 15:09 17 October 2017

The Post Office has announced plans following the Universal Office Equipment (UK) Ltd take over of Crouch End Post Office. Picture: GARY WATT

The Post Office has announced plans following the Universal Office Equipment (UK) Ltd take over of Crouch End Post Office. Picture: GARY WATT

Archant

Campaigners are ‘devastated’ after losing their fight to stop a post office service being handed over to a private firm.

In August the Post Office's Stuart Taylor received letters pledging to boycott a proposed franchise at Crouch End Post Office from Hornsey and Wood Green MP Catherine West along with councillor Adam Jogee and Communications Workers Union rep Clive Tickner. Picture: JON KING In August the Post Office's Stuart Taylor received letters pledging to boycott a proposed franchise at Crouch End Post Office from Hornsey and Wood Green MP Catherine West along with councillor Adam Jogee and Communications Workers Union rep Clive Tickner. Picture: JON KING

In July the Post Office announced it planned to spin off branches in Crouch End and Muswell Hill after entering into partnership with stationery firm Universal Office Equipment (UOE).

Angry customers reacted by calling for a boycott of UOE products and services with 2,500 people signing a petition backing a call to reject the plans fearing job losses and a poor level of service would result.

But in an announcement last Wednesday the Post Office confirmed UOE – which manages three offices in the capital – would run the Crouch End branch in Topsfield Road.

Steve Jones, national executive member of the Communication Workers Union (CWU), which campaigned with residents and represents Post Office employees, said: “This is devastating news, the community who campaigned tirelessly are outraged.

“The only good thing that can be said about the announcement is that the absolute misery the workforce has faced for the best part of two years whilst they’ve been waiting for the axe to drop is finally over.”

The union member alleged UOE, which refuses to recognise the CWU, would be happy for existing staff to take redundancy paid for with public money (the Post Office is state owned) and re-recruit them on “poverty pay”.

A six week public consultation which ended last month was attacked as undemocratic for not taking the community’s wishes to keep the office out of private hands into account.

Mr Jones added: “The Post Office has clearly lost the plot. They are destroying what was a once great public service.”

Hornsey and Wood Green MP Catherine West, who joined the campaign, said: “Many constituents are concerned about the franchising of the Crown Post Office, which is why I wrote to the Government to clarify that jobs would not be lost or downgraded. In these tough times, with the cost of living rising and wages not keeping up, it’s vital that work pays.”

A PO spokeswoman said: “The consultation was focused on Post Office’s continuing provision of services in the heart of Crouch End and the feedback included views which welcomed the branch remaining at its current site, with the same services and with significantly increased opening hours including Sunday opening. We carefully considered all views provided before reaching a decision.

“We are taking the utmost care with our staff as we make vital changes to improve the availability of our services for customers, keep our branches on high streets and reduce reliance on taxpayers. We discuss preferences and options with people affected and these can include redeployment, voluntary settlements or transferring to the new operator in line with legislation.

“The vast majority of our 11,600 branches are run on a franchise or agency basis – it’s a model which works – and the franchisee for Crouch End already operates successful Post Offices in North London. The changes in Crouch End will ensure the branch is sustainable, with services safeguarded for years to come,” she added.

The new branch will include five counters with opening hours of 8.30am – 6pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; 9am - 6pm on Wednesdays; 9am – 5.30pm on Saturdays and 12pm – 4pm on Sundays.

Related articles

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

13:34

Camden Council is set to increase council tax next year by nearly five per cent.

10:58

Jailed mum Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe ‘can see some light’ at the end of the tunnel after she avoided being dragged back to court following a visit by foreign secretary Boris Johnson to her family in Iran.

Yesterday, 13:06

Weather warnings have been issued across London following heavy snowfall overnight and this morning.

Friday, December 8, 2017

A man in his 60s has died after a fire at a ground floor flat in Alexandra Place, St John’s Wood this morning.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Boris Johnson will be visiting Iran this weekend, and will push to get West Hampstead mum Nazanin freed from prison.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Strictly Come Dancing judge Darcey Bussell CBE was a guest of honour at the JW3 annual fundraising dinner.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Hampstead lawyer Jessica Learmond Criqui writes a letter on the situation regarding ‘disappeared’ Arman bin Quasem in Bangladesh

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Six Camden Tories were running for charity rather than for office last weekend, as they raised over £1500 for Great Ormond Street Hospital.

PROMOTED CONTENT

One of London’s most popular animal welfare charities rolled out the red carpet for glamorous guests and their beloved pet dogs as their annual fundraiser returned.

An opportunity of a lifetime has arisen for media-savvy students at City of Westminster College and the College of North West London.

Education editor James Scott speaks to Sarah Creasey about life as headteacher of Parliament Hill School.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now