- Posted by: Hillingdon Labour
- Category: News
At the full council meeting on Thursday 4th July 2013, the Labour Group proposed a motion for the council to speak with one voice by making representations to the government in order to ensure that the Crown Post Office in Eastcote is saved from closure.
This motion comes after a similar motion received unanimous, all party support at the Greater London Authority.
Astonishingly, the Conservative Group on Hillingdon Council voted against the motion on the basis that the post office is not closing because it will relocate to a retail partner.
In November 2012 the Postal Watchdog Customer Focus, criticised the performance of Post Offices franchised to WH Smith. They were the worst performer on queue times and scored badly on quality of service and accessibility. High Street crown Post Offices, on the other hand, performed the best on accessibility and showed the most significant improvement since 2009, as well as scoring highly on quality of service.
During the debate Cllr Peter Curling, Labour Group Leader, said: “Over the last few years our High Streets have seen some long standing, household name retail stores go out of business, so I think it is highly questionable for the Post Office to continue to franchise its business out to a retail partner. WH Smiths has had a turbulent time over the years but has managed to survive, but what would happen to the Post Offices that are now operated within a WH Smith store if they went the way of Woolworths for example.”
However, the Conservative Group maintained that because the Post Office planned to relocate to a retail franchise, it meant that Post Office services would still be available. The Labour group, on the other hand, believe that the residents of Eastcote should be put first and their council should do whatever they can in order to ensure that the crown post office is saved from closure.
After the meeting, Cllr Curling made the following comment: “I am disappointed that the Conservative Group didn’t feel that they could support this motion, because it was intended to be non-party political and a motion that could unite all members of the council by putting the residents first. It is particularly saddening that the Tory Group would rather play silly political games in the council chamber, than join forces by putting the needs of our residents first.”