Two big Crown victories for Save Our Post Office campaign

Postal, Post Office (PO)

Friday 19th February 2021

‘We’ve won in Stockport and central London, let’s save South Woodford and complete the hat-trick,’ urges CWU…

A second significant U-turn on controversial franchising plans for a crucial high street Crown Office was hailed as “brilliant news” this week, as Post Office bosses confirmed that the busy Stockport office will continue to be directly managed. 

Navendu Mishra, Labour MP for Stockport, tweeted “Crown Post Office branches are the heart of many communities…It’s great news then that Post Office has informed me that my Stockport Branch will not now be relocated or run by a new retail partner.”

This follows on from the collapse of a franchise proposal for the Great Portland Street Crown Office at the end of 2020, which will now be retained fully within the company.

Andy Furey, CWU assistant secretary, said today that this was “brilliant news – and our hope is that this is the start of a turning of the tide against backdoor privatisation.

“During the Covid crisis, local communities and small businesses have needed their Crown Post Offices more than ever, with increased reliance on postal services to keep the country connected.

“And where Crown Offices have been hived off into the back of WH Smith stores, overstretched staff on minimum wage have regularly been unable to cope with the customer demand,” Andy explains, adding: “Clearly the franchise model is bust and not fit for purpose.”

Public campaigning to save these vital services, and the sheer inability of small retail businesses struggling to cope throughout the pandemic have been the key causes of the collapse of these franchise plans.

“But while it’s great for the communities and SMEs in both Stockport and Great Portland Street which have been saved, the Crown Office in South Woodford, east London is now under threat,” Andy warned.

“It really is quite unbelievable that Post Office chiefs still seem determined to destroy this wonderful local service – and it is not at all surprising that once again a vigorous and strongly supported campaign is being waged by the good people of South Woodford to defend their Crown Post Office.”

On Monday 22nd there is a ‘facebook-live’ session hosted by Iain Duncan Smith, local MP, which will show how support to defend this Crown office is growing, broadening and strengthening every day. 

“The Post Office will be participating in this session and they must listen to the strong views of the public and reverse the decision to close,” insists Andy.

“The CWU is reminding Post Office national bosses that people power won in Stockport and central London we are determined to save South Woodford and complete the hat-trick.”