Essex Road Post Office; the battle continues

Last night we had a great turnout for the Council’s South Area Committee, where the top item on the agenda was the proposal to close Essex Road Post Office. New North Community School hall was full of residents sporting our Save Our Post Office stickers, and keen to get their views heard. I’m grateful to the Council for moving the meeting venue and inviting the Post Office along to hear our views.

Lib Dem Cllr Lucy Watt confirmed that the Council will be meeting the Post Office to see if they can help save this vital service; so that’s a great boost to our campaign. Interestingly, the Post Office confirmed that the Council’s sale of the site freehold to Structadene was nothing to do with their closure plans. Now the Council has no vested property interest, they are free to fight our corner on this issue.

Post Office bosses can be in no doubt about the strength of feeling on this issue. I handed their officials a copy of our 5,000+ signature petition, to keep Essex Road Post Office open. They claim to have done their homework, but we’ve found lots of gaps in their arguments. They have made no attempt to involve local businesses in a possible franchise. They have ignored the clusters of elderly residents nearby. If they close Essex Road, disabled people will have to go from the most accessible Post Office in Islington, to one where they have to ring a bell and be served in the street. It’s a distrace. In fact, I believe that if they close Essex Road and force people to use Upper Street instead, the Post Office could be in breach of the Disability Discrimination Act.

One factor that the Post Office kept bringing up is their loss of business making their operations less viable. The Council has already given the Post Office extra business, by routing rent and service charge payments there. Will the Government do the same? And if the candidates for Mayor for London will consider giving Oystercard business to the Post Office, that would also give it vital new income.


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