Activists to boycott businesses taking on Crouch End or Muswell Hill Post Offices

Campaigners on Crouch End Broadway

Campaigners on Crouch End Broadway - Credit: Archant

Muswell Hill and Crouch End campaigners are taking the militant step of vowing to boycott any business taking on the potential Post Office franchises.

Save Our Post Office campaigners launched their campaign on the Crouch End Broadway on Saturday.

The Post Office is reviewing plans for the two Post Offices to become private franchises – and the Save Our Post Office group are not standing down.

The Post Office said it will not announce businesses registering interest for commercial confidentiality reasons.

Janet Shapiro, Hornsey Pensioners Action Group member, believes the Post Office provides a vital public service.

The 77-year-old said older people would be affected by the privatisation, which might cut costs and put more services online, taking away the human touch.

Ms Shapiro, of Connaught Gardens, said: “Human contact is enjoyed by both the people behind the counter and the people in front.

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And she added: “There are long queues as it is.

“If the [Post Office] was moved to a less equipped place it would cause a lot of distress.”

“We have to tell retail organisations we don’t like them taking over our Crown Post Offices.”

Communication Workers Union representative Clive Tickner, said: “Crouch End and Muswell Hill Crown Post Offices are both an essential part of the local economy.

“They are valuable assets to the area and are relied upon by local residents and businesses as well as people who collect their pensions and benefits here.

“The staff are well-trained and have a wealth of experience between them which will be lost under the company’s plans to close these offices and find what it calls a ‘retail partner’.”

The Post Office will hold a consultation on the plans, but the date has not been set.

A Post Office spokeswoman said: “Most of our network of Post Offices is already run on a franchise or agency basis with private retail businesses.

“The reason we are looking to potentially franchise these Crown branches is because franchising can provide a way for us to maintain services into the future.

“We want to stay on high streets, we know that’s important to people and franchising is a way that can make it sustainable for us to do so.

“Like most businesses, we have increasing numbers of customers using the web for services, we face higher property and fixed costs – we have to adapt if we are to protect services.”

- Campaigners will garner support for the boycott on Muswell Hill Broadway on June 25.