|Could Be the Last Post|
Churchfield Road and Bollo Bridge Road on closure list
The Post Office have announced a list of local branches which are likely to be closed. The list includes three post offices in or near Acton:
68 Askew Rd
Over 3,000 signatures were presented to local MP Andrew Slaughter only last week over plans to close the Post Office on Old Oak Common Lane which were announced in the first round of post office closures, announced last year.
Churchfield Road's post office has been run for years with great dedication by Mr and Mrs Taank and residents expressed their shock at the news.
The Post Office will be consulting on the plan over the next six weeks but in previous instances the local consultations have not resulted in any changes in the original plans.
One resident upset by this news commented: "On the few occasions when I have needed to visit the main Post Office on the Mount for passports or some service not offered by Mr Taank, I have been appalled by the length of the queues, the drunks lurking about, the impersonal service and the shabbiness of the building.
"Mr Taank is part of the community here in Churchfield Road. In this day and age it is rare to find someone so dedicated, professional and kind."
Mr and Mrs Taank are currently away on holiday, but their son Nish, who run local dry-cleaning business, Pearls, said: "My parents will be devastated to hear this news."
The Area Plan proposes future provision of Post Office services through a network of 681 branches across London, resulting in the closure of 169 branches.
Royal Mail said that despite the closures, the majority of Londoners would still live within one mile by road of their nearest post office. However, anyone who has experienced the queues at main post offices will know that with these planned closures, it will just become more difficult to mail parcels, pick up pensions or obtain passports - and those hardest hit will be the vulnerable.
The Government has already undertaken a 12-week national consultation before reaching a decision to reduce the UK wide network of Post Office branches by up to 2,500 from its current level of over 14,000.
Anita Turner, Post Office Ltd's Network Development Manager for London, said: "Taking the decision to close any Post Office branch is always very difficult and we know it will cause concern to many of our customers. We want to ensure that everyone who uses, relies on or has any concern with Post Office(R) services is both fully aware of the proposed changes and able to give views on them.
Cllr Jon Ball, the Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Ealing Central and Acton, has recently been campaigning against the slatted closure of 20% of London's post offices alongside Lib Dem Mayoral candidate, Brian Paddick.
Commenting on the closures, Cllr Ball said: "When Labour were in opposition they criticised Conservative Post Office cuts; but now they are in government, as with so much else, Labour are taking their lead from the Tories. It really beggars belief that Labour plan to close yet more Post Offices in Ealing. Postal Services in the borough were already cut to the bone during the last round of closures. These new cuts heap insult on injury.
"If Labour really care about the needs of local people, as they claim, then they have a strange way of showing it."
London Mayoral candidate, Brian Paddick said: "Post Offices are often the heart of a local community and we must all do our utmost to preserve them. The trouble with economic arguments is that they leave people out of the equation and they are the most important part.
"Many people rely on a local Post Office, and to close 20% of London's Post Offices just shows a complete disregard for the needs of the local communities."
The Consultation is due to end on April 2, 2008.