Post office protest made an important point

IT was so good to see your coverage of the post offices protest march in which 100- plus residents took part, supported by Tom Conti and Gail Porter (Protest sends angry message, H&H December 14). The matter of a post office in Belsize transcends all fac

IT was so good to see your coverage of the post offices protest march in which 100- plus residents took part, supported by Tom Conti and Gail Porter (Protest sends angry message, H&H December 14). The matter of a post office in Belsize transcends all factions and is a very real need for the people of this area.

The Save Our Post Office petition collected 1500 signatures in less than a month and I am therefore unable to understand why Post Office Ltd will not come up with the necessary funding.

Here are a few facts:

Mr Patel of Actionmate on Haverstock hill has passed the postmaster's entry exams.


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Actionmate has been approved by Post Office Ltd for a two counter unit.

Funding to provide counters and the safe were offered a short while ago and have now been withdrawn.

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Mr Patel has asked the Post Office to provide an interest free loan to set up and has been refused.

In rural areas post offices are being actively supported if they are placed in joint premises such as garages and local stores, so why not here? We have the perfect situation in Actionmate - this question I have put to Post Office officials. Our post offices are in many ways the hub of the community for many people and recent research in Manchester shows that every £10 spent in a Post Office generates a further £6 spend elsewhere in its vicinity.

It is clearly time to stop short term gain by closing sub post offices and suggesting that there is no longer a need due to the lack of custom. The sub post offices should be given back some of the services that were withdrawn from them, such as passports, and also be given the freedom to look for business from other sources, such as parcel and letter service collection points for other carriers.

Come on Post Office Ltd: your gain is our pain!

CLLR Chris Knight

Conservative, Hampstead Town Ward

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