NAMED: Secret list of post offices to close

VITAL post offices in Hampstead, Highgate and Belsize Park are doomed to close, the Ham&High can reveal

Katie Davies

VITAL post offices in Hampstead, Highgate and Belsize Park are doomed to close, the Ham&High can reveal.

A Royal Mail insider has leaked the names of 11 post offices earmarked for the chop in Camden and Barnet - a week before they are announced publicly as part of a London-wide closure programme.

Sub post offices in England's Lane, South End Green, Crowndale Road and Highgate High Street are marked for closure, along with main post offices in Pennine Parade in Golders Green, Finchley Road in Child's Hill, Alexandra Palace, Cricklewood and East Finchley.

Campaigners have reacted in horror at the news and vowed to fight to the end with officials.

Gordon Maclean from the Hampstead and Highgate Society said: "This would be completely destructive. We have already lost one post office on Haverstock Hill, to lose South End Green and England's Lane as well is disgraceful.

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"Roland Hill, who invented the post, lived just off South End Green - there is a plaque there in his honour and they are depriving us of post offices on his doorstop."

Ed Fordham, Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn, has been leading the campaign to save local post offices.

He said: "London is made up of villages and communities - there is no mandate from this government to rip out the heart of these local communities.

"There will be a fight over this - local residents will not just lay down to be walked over as they proceed with closure after closure."

The announcement will be particularly hurtful in South End Green, where the residents successfully defeated plans to close that post office just two years ago.

Resident TV presenter Bill Oddie and author Deborah Moggach led that campaign.

Ms Moggach said: "I am absolutely devastated and appalled this is happening after all the local support that was given to the campaign.

"Traders need this post office - local shops, which are clinging on by their fingertips, are going to go under if this happens. This will be the death knell for South End Green."

Mr Oddie said: "This is very very disappointing. The local post office is integral to small communities and it is a sad sign of the times these are being closed."

The Highgate Society has likewise vowed not to roll over for the closure of their High Street sub-office.

Chairman Gordon Forbes said: "We love our post office, we use it and it attracts people to Highgate so is vital for the High Street's commercial success. We've feared this and we would expect Highgate to rise up in one voice and oppose this decision in strong terms."

The formal announcement on Tuesday next week will hear London's portion of the 2,500 Post Offices which will be forced to close nationwide.

Residents will have just six weeks to react to the closures under their "area plan" before the closures start to take effect.

A spokeswoman for Royal Mail today refused to discuss the tip-off given to the Ham&High.

"We won't be confirming any lists until Tuesday when we go public" she said.

"Staff in local post offices have been part of the discussions for some time and the plans could undergo changes before then."

Post office to close

o Allchin & Co Pharmacy, England's Lane

o Hampstead Heath Post Office, South End Green

o Highgate Stationers and Printers, 7 Highgate High St

o Pennine Parade, Golders Green

o Main Post Office, junction of Cricklewood Lane and Finchley Road, Child's Hill

o 100 Alexandra Park Road, Alexandra Palace

o Main Post Office, 193 Cricklewood Broadway, Cricklewood

o Newsagent, 121 East End Road, East Finchley

o Londis, 18-22 Crowndale Road, Camden Town