Post Office Ltd are undertaking a ‘consultation’ meeting with local people regarding their ‘plans’ for Beckenham Crown Post Office.
Date: Tuesday 10 May from 4pm to 7pm
Venue: Beckenham Methodist Church , Bromley Road, Beckenham BR3 5JE
We are not sure exactly what the Post Office plan to consult on as they advise that “the decision to change the branch to one that is operated by an agent [ie a franchise] rather than by us directly is not a matter for public consultation” and they have announced a 10 year deal with WH Smith to run Post Offices.
Post Office Ltd have confirmed that WH Smith in Beckenham will offer all the services currently offered by the Crown Post Office including passport and DVLA services. However we remain opposed to the Crown Post Office on the following basis:
- Once franchised out Post Office Ltd have limited control. WH Smith can choose to stop providing certain services such as passport and DVLA services. If WH Smith moves out of the High Street in a few years Beckenham could be left without a Post Office.
- The Beckenham branch of WH Smith is small and crowded, local people and businesses will likely receive an inferior service with less staff, less counters and less space.
- Local feedback from Penge and Bromley residents that use franchised Post Offices in their towns have not been favourable, indicating the service in Crown Post Offices with specialised trained staff is better.
- Beckenham is a busy Post Office with people travelling from far afield to use it, many people travel to Beckenham to use a ‘proper’ Post Office. If Beckenham is closed only one Crown Post Office will be left in the entire Bromley Borough (the Orpington branch).
- There is concern that closure of a Crown Post Office will have a negative impact on the local economy, local footfall and retail trade falling if the Crown Post Office is closed.
If the Post Office in Rectory Road is not profitable we urge Post Office Ltd to consider moving to a smaller site (there are empty shops in Beckenham High Street) or co-locating in another store rather than give away the franchise to WH Smith. Why has the option of moving the Crown Post Office to a smaller site not been put out for consultation?
We encourage all local people opposed to the loss of a Crown Post Office in Beckenham to attend. Copers Cope Area Residents Association Committee will be attending the drop-in session at 6.30pm.
Further information about the consultation can be found at this link: Beckenham BR3 1AA – OF Proposal Letter