Abbey Wood Post Office faces closure under new wave of sell-offs
PUBLISHED: 12:03 10 January 2017 | UPDATED: 14:28 11 January 2017
The recently-privatised service plans to axe a further 37 branches across the country
Abbey Wood Post Office could be forced to close as part of a new wave of sell-offs by the recently-privatised service.
The Abbey Wood Road branch is one of 37 Crown offices earmarked for closure or franchising across the country, with a total of 300 staff and 127 financial specialists facing redundancy.
Erith and Thamesmead MP Teresa Pearce called for more clarity regarding the branch’s future, with many residents and small businesses relying on its services.
Some 62 Post Office branches were closed and franchised last year, and the Communication Workers Union said the latest round of job cuts would bring more “misery” to workers and the customers.
General secretary Dave Ward said: “The latest round of closures is further evidence that the Post Office is in crisis and that the board of the company, backed by the government, is simply pursuing a strategy of slash and burn.
“Today’s announcement comes less than three weeks after the closure of a major government consultation on the future of the Post Office and sticks two fingers up to everyone who took part in this.
“75,000 postcards were returned to the government signed by members of the public calling for an end to the closure and franchise programme - the Post Office and the government have completely ignored their views.”
Roger Gale, Post Office sales and trade marketing director, commented: “We’re committed to maintaining the Post Office’s special place on the high street and the changes we are making underpin our continued commitment to give communities in every part of the country access to essential services.
“The vast majority of these branches are run with partners, and in the locations announced today we believe this will also be a more sustainable approach for the long term.
“With consumer habits changing, and the high cost of maintaining premises in prime high street locations, franchising helps us to keep services where our customers want and need them.
“We will take time to identify the right partners over the coming months and all proposals will be subject to local consultation.”