ON­LINE: mac­cles­field-ex­press.co.uk EMAIL: mac­cles­field­ex­press@men­media.co.uk Post of­fice bosses de­fend clo­sure

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - KAREN BRIT­TON

BOSSES propos­ing to close the town’s post of­fice in favour of a WHSmith fran­chise have de­fended the plan.

The Post Of­fice pro­poses clos­ing the Crown branch on Cas­tle Street and for WHSmith to run coun­ters from its Mill Street shop in­stead.

The plan has out­raged res­i­dents who want to save their ded­i­cated branch and the Ex­press has got be­hind the cam­paign.

The big­gest gripe has been the com­plaint that the branch al­ready has long queues and that WHSmith is too small.

Now bosses have re­sponded, say­ing the av­er­age wait­ing time in WHSmith post of­fices is three min­utes.

There are also con­cerns over jobs, train­ing and the ef­fect on busi­nesses. Union bosses say Crown post of­fice branches should be pro­tected.

Sally Buchanan, a project man­ager who is part of the com­mit­tee mak­ing the decision on the plan, said: “WHSmith has been op­er­at­ing post of­fices within its stores since 2007 and runs over 100 branches.

“There will be no com- pul­sory re­dun­dan­cies. Em­ploy­ees can trans­fer un­der TUPE leg­is­la­tion.

“Their con­tracts would trans­fer to the new em­ployer.

“We are work­ing with WHSmith to en­sure trained staff are on hand.

“We ap­pre­ci­ate how im­por­tant Post Of­fice ser­vices are and we will con­tinue to play a vi­tal role in eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity in Mac­cles­field should the move go ahead.”

But res­i­dents are not con­vinced, tak­ing to the Ex­press Face­book page to air their con­cerns.

Paula John­son said on Face­book: “This is lu­di­crous, not sure how they in­tend to ac­com­mo­date all the queues in WHSmith. It’s bad enough in there as it is with the nar­row aisles.

“It makes my blood boil.”

Bosses are analysing con­sul­ta­tion feed­back and a decision is ex­pected in late Jan­uary or early Fe­bru­ary be­fore the pro­posed re­lo­ca­tion in March.

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