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Post Office shuns Crawley public meeting opposing closure

The public meeting was held as a result of the planned closure where both residents and politicians pledged to oppose it.

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Over the weekend, Crawley residents and Post Office workers took part in a public meeting with local councillors, Crawley’s MP Henry Smith, Council Leader Peter Lamb, and a Communication Workers Union representative, Karl Stewart, to discuss the planned closure of Crawley town centre’s Crown Post Office.

No representative from Post Office Management was present at the meeting, and this was remarked upon frequently by members of the panel and the audience. It emerged that the Post Office had declined an invitation to attend, having apparently attended another public meeting on the subject already.

Post Office management have stated elsewhere that all current Post Office Services will be relocated to WHSmith’s in Crawley’s County Mall, however the meeting to threw significant doubt on that claim, citing the recent closure and relocation of Horsham’s Crown Post Office into the Horsham WHSmiths. In that relocation key Post Office responsibilities were not carried over because WHSmith’s is a company not owned by the Crown.

WHSmith’s, the preferred partner of The Post Office, has been voted the worst High Street retailer in 8 of the last 9 years in the respected Which? Magazine.

Henry Smith MP was only available to attend the first part of the meeting as he had another long-standing scheduled engagement elsewhere, but audience members made sure to pose questions to him before he left.

All those present in the room who spoke were unanimous in their support for the retention of the boulevard’s Crown Post Office, and in their opposition to the planned closure.

Cllr Michael Jones on Twitter said this:

“We invited the management of the Post Office to come to our meeting in Crawley about losing the crown post office, but they refused … It leaves me very doubtful of their claims to put public service first.”

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Live or work in Ifield? Make sure you attend ‘Talk Ifield” Community Forum

Over one year after its successful re-launch in autumn 2017, the ‘Talk Ifield’ local community forum will be holding its next open public meeting from 7.00pm to 8.30pm on Monday 4th March 2019 at Elim Church, The Mardens, Ifield, Crawley RH11 0HD.

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‘Talk Ifield’ was first established in 2013 as a neighbourhood forum, run by local people, for local people.

It offers an opportunity for people who live and work in Ifield to meet and share ideas for improving and developing the local community for the benefit of everyone.

Anyone who lives in, who works in, or who has an interest in Ifield is welcome to attend the open forum meetings.

This year they are delighted to announce their guest speaker on 4th March will be Crawley Borough Councillor Martin Stone, who will be giving a presentation and leading a discussion on the subject of ‘Crawley Museum, and a short history of Crawley and Ifield’.

Crawley has a rich and varied history dating back several centuries, and the new Museum has now become a focal point for anyone who is interested in the heritage of our town and its changing character over the years.

Martin has had a leading role in helping to establish the Museum and has himself also undertaken extensive research into the history of Ifield in particular.

Mark Sudan, Chair of the ‘Talk Ifield’ Management Committee, said:

“Very many people attended our last open forum meeting in September, and we enjoyed a most interesting presentation on maintaining our neighbourhood environment from the Borough Council officer responsible for leading that work.

We are now looking forward to our next forum meeting on 4th March, at which Cllr Martin Stone will be bringing us up to date on the new Crawley Museum, and sharing with us his own extensive knowledge and research into the history of Ifield in particular.

This will be a fascinating evening’s discussion, and we urge as many people as can do so, to come along and share the experience as Martin takes us on a unique journey through local history.”

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