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‘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.

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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

BREAKING NEWS: Sainsbury’s to close Crawley town centre store

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It has been an historic part of the town centre for decades, but now the supermarket on Queensway is to close its doors with the potential loss of jobs.

Image: Google Street View

Sainsbury’s says it has made the difficult decision after announcing it would close up to 15 supermarkets a year ago, pre-covid.

Sources close to the Crawley supermarket say that staff began finding out the news yesterday.

The supermarket said they would work with their staff at the site to try to find alternative roles within the firm.

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson speaking to Crawley News 24 said,

“We have updated colleagues on the difficult decision to close our Crawley store and we are doing everything we can to find alternative roles within Sainsbury’s for those affected.

“Customers can continue to shop with us online and at our nearby stores. For example, our West Green store is a short drive away.”

Whilst a date for the closure has not been announced, some sources say it could be as soon as January ’21.

Cllr Peter Smith Cabinet member for Planning and Economic said:

“I am sorry for the staff that will lose their jobs at this difficult time when most supermarkets are reporting improving profits.

We have had enquiries from other supermarkets looking for suitable sites who may recognise that there will shortly be an additional 2500 residential homes just a short walk away from this prestigious location. We will be doing all we can to help find a quality occupier as soon as we can.”

Crawley Councillor Francis Guidera said:

“It is tremendously saddening to read that one of the original major shops in the town centre is closing. A lot of housing provision is currently being created in the town centre area and there is an increasing, not decreasing need for food retailers in the town centre.

We haven’t even begun to knock down the administrative offices of the town hall which will be replaced by a huge apartment block, and they are still building the first apartment block on the former council car park as I type this! I genuinely hope that another food retailer grabs the huge opportunity to take on that store.”

The news comes just one after one of the most iconic town centre independent store, P&J Sweets also announced they were to close.

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