Despite press releases and statements from the head office of the Post Office asking residents to express their views over the ‘proposed’ closure, it now appears that whatever views come through, a decision of whether to close the site has already been determined.
Speaking to CN24, the source said that all the consultation will look at is ‘how’ the change of venue will work, not ‘if’ or ‘should’ it happen.
“it is an utter betrayal” – Leader of Crawley Council
This will come as a shock to many in the area who rely heavily on the services that are currently offered and will put in doubt any faith over public consultations.
In a letter aimed at the management of the Post Office and sent to CN24, one resident, Mrs Elmer from Tilgate has expressed her views over the proposed closure.
“I am extremely concerned about the possible closure of Crawley Post Office.
I find it very worrying that in a town with a population of over 106,000 the management is considering popping it into a shop in the shopping mall.
The fact that one always has to queue to be served because it is so busy, even though it has at least five stations of service as well as several self service positions, a parcel counter, an external parcel collection office plus a fully trained staff, how is all of that going to fit into WH Smith’s in the Mall?
To park in the Mall you have to pay.
It is not an easy shop to get to, you have to walk half the length of the Mall to get there.
It is not a very large shop and it has a quite dismal atmosphere.
Disabled people would not be able to reach it very easily.
To carry out all the functions the current post office does it would have to enlarge the premises half as much again.
Working on the assumption that it would work on the same premise that the local one in Tilgate does, it will take a month of Sundays to carry out the same amount of work the real post office does.
Will all the staff move over to continue the secure work they carry out?
Please have a serious look at the situation before making a huge mistake.
But it now seems that this will fall on deaf ears. CN24 contacted the Post Office press team where a member verbally confirmed that the consultation would be about access to the new site.
Crawley Council Leader Peter Lamb said:
“It is clear now that this was only ever a public relations exercise. For the thousands of people who will be disadvantaged by this it is an utter betrayal.”
Tilgate Councillor Francis Guidera said:
“The planned post office DOWNGRADE which their PR department is marketing as a move, is bad for the staff, bad for the customers and bad for the town in general.
Our main post office will no longer be able to offer Crown Services going forward and nobody I’ve spoken to is ok with it. I would strongly urge the post office not to go ahead with this.”
A Post Office spokesperson said:
“We would really value and welcome any feedback and comments from you, our customers that can help inform our plans to make changes to Crawley Post Office, particularly on issues like accessibility. And are there any wider other local community issues which you believe could be affected by or affect the proposed move? Please do let us know.
“However, the element of our plans that we not seeking feedback is the principle of franchising a branch. This is because the change of management at Crawley Post Office to one that is operated by a retail partner rather than Post Office directly is a commercial decision, and we believe it is the right one in order to sustain Post Office services in communities – not just today, but for the long term too.”
Crawley MP Henry Smith said:
“I’ve got accessibility concerns with the Post Office’s proposals to move their current Boulevard counters to WHSmith’s in County mall and have written to its management to raise these.
If it turns our their consultation – officially still open – is a sham then I will be raising the issue in Parliament.”
The Harry Potter Shop™ lands at Gatwick North Terminal
London Gatwick has welcomed The Harry Potter Shop™ to its North Terminal.
As the UK enjoys the release of Warner Bros. Pictures’ Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the new 614 sq ft store offers a fantastic selection of items from across the Wizarding World.
From gifts to clothing, souvenirs to collectibles, Gatwick’s latest addition will offer a unique experience for the airport’s global passenger mix. Over 46 million passengers travel through Gatwick each year, with the airport offering connections to over 220 destinations, including more than 60 long-haul routes.
Amongst the great winter gifts that can be purchased are Harry Potter Christmas jumpers and a winter accessories set including hat, scarf and gloves. Wizarding World fans can even bag a personalised Hogwarts acceptance letter, mystery flying Snitch or – the ultimate must-have for any aspiring wizard or witch – their favourite character’s wand.
Jonathan Sands of The Harry Potter Shop™ said:
“We are so proud to open the newest of our official Harry Potter Shops at Gatwick Airport’s North Terminal. Our aim is to create a unique shopping experience, offering the best of what the Wizarding World has to offer.”
Rachel Bulford, Head of Retail, London Gatwick said:
“I am thrilled to welcome such a popular and iconic brand to Gatwick. The Harry Potter Shop™ is a fantastic addition to the retailers at Gatwick as we continue to focus on providing great choice and value for our passengers through our mix of shops and restaurants.”