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Royal Mail accused of post office massacre'

PUBLISHED: 15:54 20 March 2008 | UPDATED: 14:53 07 September 2010

Miguel Cullen ROYAL Mail bosses faced angry Muswell Hill residents on Tuesday night over the future of their threatened post offices. Tempers flared as people accused the Post Office of carrying out a massacre of branches. They claimed the company s consu

Miguel Cullen

ROYAL Mail bosses faced angry Muswell Hill residents on Tuesday night over the future of their threatened post offices.

Tempers flared as people accused the Post Office of carrying out a massacre of branches.

They claimed the company's consultation into the future of the Alexandra Park Road branch was a sham.

And they said that, contrary to the Royal Mail's claims, the branch did make a profit.

Hornsey and Wood Green MP Lynne Featherstone said "the phenomenal numbers at this meeting demonstrates the level of anger felt at the post office massacre."

Haringey councillor Bob Harris added: "The more I see of this consultation, the more I think it is a sham."

The spectre of resultant overcrowding at the central post office on Muswell Hill Broadway was also raised.

Sharafath Khandoker, 16, said: "It doesn't work well - there's too many people - it's the sheer volume of irritated people."

But Royal Mail boss Melanie Corfield, who was joined by collegue Angela James, said: "Most of the post offices being closed don't make a profit."

She was challenged, however, by a disbelieving crowd at St Andrew's Church in Alexandra Park Road.

Stephen Games, 55, who works for Disability Now, asked: "Can you tell us how much money this post office has to make? How much money? We need to know!"

And Nicola Venning, 47, said: "Royal Mail is emphasising profit over public service. Will your senior executives of the Post Office be getting a bonus with the money saved?"

The idea of Haringey Council stepping in to provide funding to save local branches was also raised.

And the example of Essex County Council, which will provide £1.5 million to save 12 branches, was given.

Cllr Harris said: "We've been in talks with the Post Office and are investigating the possibility. If we were to take over a post office we'd like to know what our financial liability would be."

GLA member for Enfield and Haringey, Joanne McCartney, also revealed that London Mayor Ken Livingstone, was planning to commence legal procedures to get the Post Office to double its consultation period from six to 12 weeks.

Meeting organisers Susan Bennett and Helen Betts urged residents to get involved in the Post Office's consultation over the future of branches.

o Pictured right: The Crouch end community gathered at the weekend to protest at the proposed closures of Ferme Park Road and Weston Park Road post offices. They formed a queue outside the central post office in Crouch End to show how much traffic would be drawn to the branch. Edward Milner, an environmental consultant, 64, said: "The most vulnerable members of society are those whose voices are often heard last."

broadway@hamhigh.co.uk

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