WOKINGHAM MP Sir John Redwood has sent a letter to the Post Office seeking a meeting with senior management and is hoping it won’t get lost in the post.
On Tuesday, the newly knighted MP published a copy of the letter on his blog, noting: “I have written to the Post Office regarding their proposal to move the Wokingham Post Office to commercial premises citing my reservations about the move.
“They are running a consultation and I encourage residents to contribute to the consultation to make their views known.”
In the letter – sent to Roger Gale, the firm’s network and sales director – Sir John queried the plan to shut the popular Broad Street branch in favour of opening three kiosks in the Market Place branch of WH Smith.
“You do not explain why you think there needs to be a new retail partner and why these important local services have to be absorbed into a different kind of shop,” Sir John wrote.
“People are used to the range of services the Post Office offers, and to the location of their main Post Office on Broad Street.”
Sir John argued that the Broad Street branch could be improved by adding more counters to improve customer service. He also reminded Mr Gale that the Post Office also acts as a collection depot for Royal Mail, a separate business, allowing residents to pick up parcels.
The expansion of Wokingham borough was also picked up by Sir John.
“The current counters of the Post Office are insufficient often leading to delays and queues,” he wrote. “Cutting back to just three positions at the rear of the WH Smith store is going to make this problem worse, when you should be planning for expansion.”
And access for disabled shoppers or people with pushchairs was also raised.
“The only gain for customers is the longer weekend opening hours which could be accommodated at your existing premises,” he added.
Sir John is planning a meeting with Mr Gale and Wokingham borough councillors next month.
The consultation is now open and can be completed online at www.postofficeviews.co.uk – on the home page, search for Wokingham to access it.