Get down to the Rectory Road Post Office this morning (Saturday 2 April 2016) between 9.30am and 12.30pm to show your support to the Save Beckenham ‘Crown’ Post Office Campaign.
The Post Office are planning to close 42 branches across the country in 2016, Beckenham is one of the Post Offices on the hit list. The Post Office will offer up franchises nearby to replace most Crown Post Offices closed. Local people and the Post Office Workers Union (CWU) are fighting to retain the Crown Post Office in Beckenham for the following reasons:
- Crown Post Offices offer more services than franchised Post Offices, such as DVLA, Passport and Home Office services – these will not be offered by a franchise.
- Once franchised out the Post Office have limited control – what happens if the franchise sells up in a few years – Beckenham could be left without a Post Office.
- The most likely store to take on the franchise is WH Smith, the Beckenham branch of WH Smith is small and crowded and is unlikely to be able to deliver a similar service.
- Beckenham is a busy Post Office with people travelling from far a field to use a proper Post Office (crown Post Offices in West Wickham and Bromley have already been closed).
- There is mounting evidence that closure of a Crown Post Office has a severe negative impact on the local economy. Local footfall and retail trade in a town centre nosedives once a Crown Post Office is closed as so many people are drawn into a town to use a fully functioning Crown Post Office.
The Post Office will argue that the Beckenham Branch is not profitable which is why they have to close it. We say… that may well be the case, so why not move it out of the Rectory Road site to a smaller premises in the High Street rather than give away the franchise to a third party like WH Smiths? The old Clarks show shop could be a suitable alternative site. A fully functioning Crown Post Office is essential for our local community. If Beckenham Crown Post Office is closed, there is not another one for miles (Orpington and New Cross Gate will be the closest).
Our local MP Bob Stewart is supporting this Campaign, although technically the Post Office falls outside his Beckenham and West Wickham constituency by a couple of meters. It actually lies in Lewisham and Penge West whose MP in Jim Dowd. We will be contacting Jim Dowd for his support.