‘Save Post Office’ bid
PLANS to franchise 74 Post Office branches to retail chain WH Smith could kill off the iconic institution, protesters warned yesterday.
The Communication Workers Union (CWU), campaigning to save the “great British institution”, held demonstrations at nearly 50 locations.
Union general secretary Dave Ward said: “We are holding dozens of events, from Truro to Aberdeen, in every region of the United Kingdom, to engage with members of the public about this latest shameful round of planned closures.
“People are sick and tired of the broken privatisation agenda that is behind this latest move. We hope many will join our campaign to save our post offices.”
The union is also gathering names for a petition in a bid to force a parliamentary debate on the future of post offices. A WH Smith spokesman said: “We have successfully operated post offices in our stores since 2006 and are pleased to support a sustainable network.
“Post offices are a vital hub, providing essential services to the community, and we take the social responsibilities associated with this very seriously.”
The Post Office has more than 11,500 branches in the UK
Its network sales director Roger Gale said: “We are not immune to the challenges facing retailers in local high streets.
“We must adapt to changing customer needs by making our services more accessible to customers, for instance, through longer opening hours.
“That is why we are proposing to franchise a further 74 directly managed branches to WH Smith.”
‘The people are sick and tired’