Newhaven Post Office faces closure threat

Post Office EMN-150317-165249001
Post Office EMN-150317-165249001

Newhaven Crown Post Office is facing the threat of closure as Post Office Ltd announce plans to replace a number of stores.

Post Office Limited announced yesterday (July 5) that it is seeking to replace or relocate 20 directly-run Crown branches including Newhaven.

The company say they will advertise for suitable potential franchise partners and local businesses that have the potential to open new branches in the area

General manager of the Post Office Crown Network Roger Gale said: “Some Crown branches are continuing to grow profitably but others cannot do so due factors such rising rents, changing town centres or other local circumstances. We need to adapt our approach so we can secure access to our services in these areas for the long term.

“By working with partners to locate Post Office branches with other retail businesses we can keep branches at the heart of communities, providing services for our customers cost-effectively and often with the benefit of longer opening hours.”

Responding to the news, Newhaven mayor Steve Saunders said: “I am deeply concerned about the damaging effects for our residents and businesses if the Crown Post Office in Newhaven High Street is not retained in its current form and location in our Town.

“The Council deeply regrets the decision that is apparently being taken by the Post Office to advertise for a local business to operate this branch and will be contacting Post Office Counters to voice our concerns. We will also be seeking to understand their plans further, as well as the decision making process that led them to the announcement.

“If such a decision is taken, it will be very stressful to a community that relies on the facility for its banking, bill payments and parcel collections, following the closure of all the banks and building societies in recent years.

“I and my fellow Town Councillors will be working collaboratively with the District Council and the MP to do all that we can, to ensure the future of the branch is secured for the residents and the staff involved. It is essential that the Post Office remains in the centre of town.”

Lewes MP Maria Caulfield is organising a public meeting on the branch closure, although details have not yet been arranged. She asks interested groups to contact her office.

A spokesman for Post Office Ltd said the closures in the Crown branch network are part of a major modernisation programme that is transforming every part of the Post Office.

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