Connect with us

Business

‘Bad, Bad, Bad’, Crawley Council Leader tells Post Office why proposed closure is not good

In a letter to the Post Office, Crawley Council Leader Peter Lamb has set out reasons why the proposed closure and move to WHSmiths is not ideal.

Published

on

The Post Office is planning to relocate the current brand within County Mall, more specifically within the WHSmith store.

The reason they cite for this is to secure their services for the ‘long term’.

In a statement from the Post Office’s Network and Sales Director Roger Gale it read:

“The vast majority of our 11,500 Post Offices, large and small, are successfully operated on a franchise basis with retail partners. We believe this is the best approach to keeping Post Offices in main shopping locations and at the heart of communities where they play an important role in local economies.”

Under the proposals, the services at the new branch would remain the same with the exception of a cash machine. Services will include everyday banking for the UK’s high street banks, online shopping returns and collections and foreign exchange.

The Post Office would be in a dedicated area within the WHSmith store, with five serving positions and an additional four self-service kiosks for mails transactions, including home shopping returns, E Top-Ups, and a range of bill payments

Mr Gale added:

“We believe our proposal is the most effective way to secure the long term viability of Post Office services for years to come.”

But Council Leader Peter Lamb has written a strongly worded letter outlining why such a move is not a good thing for the town.

In his letter, Mr Lamb asks for assurances that the service level will not be affected as a result of the move.

He also asks for guarantees that should WHSmith ever close then there would be a continuity of service.

Plans provided by the Post Office show that there would be a loss of a cash machine but that there would be a Sunday Service.

The Crawley proposed closure is just one of forty one that have been identified by the Post Office.

A public consultation on the proposals has now started and will run until 5 December 2018. It is proposed to open the new branch in March 2019.

Views and comments can be provided:

On the website: postofficeviews.co.uk
By email: comments@postoffice.co.uk
By post: FREEPOST Your Comments

Business

‘It’s not nearly enough funding’ warns Crawley Council as business grant applications open

Published

on

Eligible businesses can now apply for the latest round of business grants but Crawley Borough Council says the funding is not nearly enough.

Despite Crawley being responsible for 25 per cent of the economic output in West Sussex, it has been given some of the lowest grant funding in the county.

The government has given the council £3,733,396 made up of:

  • £1,485,216 in Local Restrictions Support Grant to distribute to businesses that pay business rates and have had to close during the second lockdown
  • £2,248,180 in Additional Restrictions Grant, which is given to businesses that don’t pay business rates and have been affected by the lockdown but not legally required to close.

Out of seven local authorities in West Sussex, only one received less than Crawley’s combined grants figure. Five councils received more.

The Additional Restrictions Grant is based on £20 per person in Crawley rather than the number of businesses in the town. This means that Arun District Council, for example, has received £3,215,160 due to a larger population but smaller economy.

And only one council in West Sussex received less than Crawley across both rounds of grant funding in April and November. Crawley received a total of £17,167,646. The highest – Chichester District Council – received £43,739,396.

In the first round of grants earlier this year only 23 per cent of Crawley businesses received financial help from the government.

Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of the Council, said:

“The pot of grant funding provided by the government is very limited and does not recognise the number of businesses we have in Crawley.

“The way the grant settlement is calculated – on population and not on the size of the economy – means we have to turn most businesses away, while other councils have millions to spare. This is causing major hardship at a time when Crawley is already the hardest-hit economy in the UK.”

Businesses that have had to close during the second lockdown can apply for a Local Restrictions Support Grant by visiting https://grantapproval.co.uk

Continue Reading

Trending