Friday, July 11, 2008

Post Office thoughts

There was a briefing for Councillors last night from the Post Office, Postwatch and the County Council about closures planned for the City. A few things emerged.

Not for the first time, it was suggested that work behind the scenes by the County Council and Postwatch prior to the closures may have resulted in fewer closures being announced - worst case scenarios were losing up to 40 Post Offices in the County, compared to the 23 announced. Not much consolation to Coleridge with one of its post offices on the list though...

The timing of the consultation is, to say the least, unfortunate. All three in Cambridge marked for closure are in areas with large student populations - and these students will have left Cambridge for the Summer before closures were announced, and will return after the consultation closes - the closing date for the consultation must be changed to allow their views to be heard.

There are areas of the City that desperately need new Post Offices rather than closures, such as the Barnwell area of Abbey, and Queen Ediths ward to the South (which will be affected by the St Johns closure). I know Andrew Lansley MP is talking to the post office to try getting a new branch at Addenbrokes.

Finally, I think the new development planned for the area around the St John's post office, coupled with the lack of alternatives in Queen Ediths ward are strong grounds for retaining this post office - there are hundreds of new homes built or with planning permission on the Tim Brinton site, The Cambridge Water site, Shaftesbury Road, and I hope this argument can be made strongly to the Post Office.

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