12 May 2017

Norfolk residents back Crown campaign

“A hot election issue” is how Andy Furey described the fight to save Britain’s Crown Post Office network after a packed public meeting in Norfolk last night.

Over 120 people packed into Diss Town Hall to hear Andy, the local MP, and the council leader attack the Government’s controversial plans to close Diss Post Office and outsource its operations to a private retailer.

Speaking the day after news emerged that Labour will call an immediate halt to the attack on our nation’s Post Office services, Andy said: “There’s no doubt now that this controversy is rising up the political agenda and becoming a hot election issue.

Stuart Anderson, reporting for the Diss Mercury, quoted Richard Bacon MP telling the meeting that the town needed to “be prepared to play a little bit of hardball with this.

“The question is not: ‘Are we as a community against change?’ The question is: ‘What’s right for Diss?’

“The Market Place is the centre of gravity in the town. The jewel in that crown is the post office,” the MP is reported saying.

And in the same report, Graham Minshull, Diss Town Council leader is quoted warning that outsourcing Post Office services to a private retailer risked leaving the town with no service at all, asking: “What happens if the post offices goes into a shop and in six months after that the shop goes bust? Or they decide it’s not for them?”

Andy Furey said: “In my speech, I urged people to email the Post Office chief executive Paula Vennells and to send her a firm message asking her to think again over her plans.

“And there was very strong support from the meeting for the idea of  Post Bank, as well as other suggestions for new and innovative public services that could be offered at our Crown offices.”

“To get over 1,500 people to sign a petition and over 120 of them along to a public meeting in a small market town with a population of around 7,000 is quite an achievement, and show how important this issue is to residents,” added Andy.

Last night’s meeting in Diss was the third public meeting the CWU Crown campaign team have been to this week – following similar protests in Rotherham in Yorkshire, and then at Leigh-on Sea in Essex.

“At every one of these gatherings, it’s clear that the Great British public are becoming ever more determined to save this vital community asset.

“People want to keep their local Post Office and they’re not impressed with the Government’s downgrading plans.”

  • This evening, the Save Our Crowns campaign will be in Ulverston in Cumbria. For further details, please click here

Photos provided by Stuart Anderson, DissMercury

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