Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins has voiced serious concerns as plans to relocate the town’s Post Office come under scrutiny during a public consultation.
Post Office Ltd proposes to move the crown branch from Market Place to WH Smiths, as well as aiming to transfer Baslow Post Office to the village Spar store while Matlock’s crown has been earmarked for a move.
Mr Perkins said: “I’m very concerned this proposal would lead to a reduced expertise and a lower profile for important services. It’s hard to see how this service, which is often extremely busy, would function in the smaller space at WH Smiths so I will be speaking to both organisations. Whilst the Post Office needs to balance its books, the firm does have a vital social role working with vulnerable client groups or those without recourse to accessing services online.”
Post Office Ltd aims to franchise about 70 crown branches to improve sustainability after suffering losses, but the CWU union and Mr Perkins fear accessibility and service could be jeopardised with staff left facing an uncertain future if retailers run services. A public forum for Chesterfield was planned at the Chesterfield Hotel, from 4.30pm to 8.30pm, on December 11.
Concerns can be raised with Mr Perkins at 113 Saltergate, Chesterfield S40 1NF or email@example.com. Submissions to the Post Office can be made to FREEPOST - Your Comments, Post Office Ltd, or via firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone or textphone on 0845 722 33 44 til January 13. n Customers have been left baffled after Staveley Post Office closed on November 21. A Post Office spokesman said it is not managed by Post Office Ltd and has closed for “operational reasons” but there are plans to reinstate a service.