With plans still not finalised, the future of two Lewisham Post Office branches is keeping residents on their toes.
Mole Meade, representative for the Communication Workers Union (CWU), outlined three versions of what could happen for the branches.
He said the first option was to find a franchise partner, which could downgrade services, leaving the post offices diminished. The second option would be full closures and the third an outcome halfway between the two – local post offices, where residents can get stamps but not much else, no passports, travel money or border agency work.
The CWU believes that should the New Cross Gate office close, the Royal Mail side of the building would not long follow suit and locals would have to travel to either Brockley or Old Kent Road to use the services currently provided at those location.
Petitions have been set up by two Lewisham Labour councillors, Brenda Dacres of New Cross and Liam Curran of Sydenham, collectively reaching just over 800 signatures.
Campaigners from the CWU, along with residents and local councillors, took to Sydenham Road last weekend to fight the proposed closures. Referring to the campaign, Curran told News Shopper: “The response was amazing. There is a growing sense of anger against the loss or deterioration of public services. I have on many occasions over the past 30 years campaigned at the street stall in Sydenham and can’t remember when so many people queued up to sign a petition so willingly.”
Speaking to Eastlondonlines, Meade said: “Lewisham council has moved a motion the week before last to defend all the Crown Post Offices left in Lewisham, we’re really grateful for that decision. Southwark has done the same on a cross-party basis, meaning all parties have joined in support of Crown Post Offices in the borough.
“Whether it be politicians, the trade union, the staff, but most importantly the customers, we do not want these closures and down-gradings to take place”.
When plans for the future of the branches have been finalised, there will be a six-week consultation to follow.