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Council keen to see under threat post office move to Swiss Cottage Library

12:00 22 February 2013

Local campaigners - Cllr Johnny Bucknall, Ken Ledster, Patrick Leray, Cllr Gio Spinelli - outside Swiss Cottage Post Office. Pictue: Polly Hancock

Local campaigners - Cllr Johnny Bucknall, Ken Ledster, Patrick Leray, Cllr Gio Spinelli - outside Swiss Cottage Post Office. Pictue: Polly Hancock

Archant

Camden Council may be able to offer a new future for Swiss Cottage Post Office operating out of a nearby library and leisure complex.

Council officers have been asked to open talks about viable new sites for the branch in Harben Parade, Finchley Road, after Post Office bosses last week announced they are seeking a retail partner to take over the franchise.

The post office is one of 70 crown branches, owned and run directly by the Post Office, that are earmarked for replacement as part of plans to save £40million a year.

The council, which owns the post office building, is keen to discuss alternative sites, including the old Camden Working job centre headquarters at Swiss Cottage Library in Avenue Road, part of the Swiss Cottage leisure complex.

Cllr Theo Blackwell, cabinet member for finance, said: “We’re looking into it. We’ve talked to the post office in the past about whether they wanted to relocate there, but the problem always seemed to be security for cash.

“But we need to talk to them again, because obviously having a post office in the Swiss Cottage Centre with the swimming pool and library and GP practice is a really good idea.

“We have to talk to the post office and explore it with them.”

Crown post offices are large and require extra security as cash is held on the premises.

A post office spokeswoman said: “Swiss Cottage Post Office has been identified as a branch that could potentially be partnered with a retailer.

“We will shortly be starting the process of looking for retail partners and we will of course welcome interest from all interested parties.

“If a suitable retailer is found, any move will be subject to a six-week public consultation to gather the views of the local community.

“If no suitable partner is found we are committed to maintaining the current crown branch.”

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