Council Leader confronts Post Office officials
Controversial plans to shut Hammersmith Broadway Post Office and
relocate it into a stationer's shop a third of a mile away may be reversed after more than 800 local residents signed a petition urging mail bosses to think again.
Cllr Stephen Greenhalgh, Hammersmith & Fulham Council leader, confronted shocked Post Office officials with the impressive list at a showdown in Hammersmith town hall. Councillors also voted on a motion 'condemning the poor democratic consultation' and vowing to campaign vigorously against the 'relentless strategy of closing branches in the
The council hosted a tempestuous emergency meeting, before full council on September 20, where residents vented their frustrations and challenged Post Office officials face-to-face.
The meeting was prompted by a 'sham' consultation that was roundly criticised for being a rubber stamping exercise, which ignored the views of local residents. The well attended meeting culminated with the leader of the council presenting the petition to Byron Roberts from Post Office Ltd.
"The massive response to this petition combined with an official
council motion shows how important it is that we keep a 10 counter Post Office in the Hammersmith Broadway centre. The current location is ideal and I sincerely hope that Post Office bosses will now look at the hundreds of names and messages from the people of Hammersmith &
Fulham, examine their consciences and reverse their closure plans."
Hammersmith residents had looked set for longer post office queues as Hammersmith Broadway Post Office struggled for survival. But the transfer of vital services from the embattled branch to a franchise
inside WH Smith was slammed by outraged residents, councillors and local MPs.
Cllr Greenhalgh continues, "It makes no sense to move a well positioned popular post office out of the second busiest transport interchanges in London to a secluded off street location. Tucking a
few counters away inside WH Smith will annoy and inconvenience everyone, especially older residents and wheelchair users who will have a long trek up the high street.
"The tube and bus station complex combines rare wheelchair access, thanks to its excellent lifts and escalators, with excellent transport links. To make people traipse across the busy gyratory and up King
Street will be daunting to many people with mobility problems. Just because there are no steps into WH Smith doesn't mean it's accessible.
"Residents, councillors and local MPs have all let their views be known, if the closure isn't stopped queues will be longer, jobs will be lost and access will be worse. The ball is now in the Post Office's court. It's time for them to wake up, reverse this decision, and start delivering for the borough's residents."
September 21, 2006