Merton Council continues to push discussions with post office

Following Merton Council’s successful negotiations with Post Office Ltd to save the Kingston Road branch, it is continuing the dialogue with the Post Office Ltd to explore the issues with re-opening the post offices in Merton and whether, under the proposed terms and conditions, this is possible for the council.

Central government announced the closure of 2,500 of the country’s 14,300 post offices in May 2007, leaving the decision as to which branches would close to be made by Post Office Limited in consultation with the public. Although six of Merton’s post offices were proposed for closure, local residents, businesses and councillors were successful in saving the Kingston Road branch from closure, one of only nine post offices in London that were saved. The remaining five post offices were closed in July 2008.

Merton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration Councillor Diane Neil Mills said: “We strongly object to post office closures across the country, including the five branches in Merton. We have received a proposal from Post Office Ltd which would allow selected post offices in Merton to re-open, but the terms that have been offered are contractually and commercially unacceptable. We believe that all five post offices should be given the real opportunity to re-open and have written to Post Office Limited expressing our extreme disappointment with its current offer and requesting a meeting to discuss the matter further.

‘Of particular concern is the fact that Post Office Ltd will not make a commitment beyond March 2011 as to the long-term future of any branches. This means that any investment made by Merton Council, or indeed local businesses, could ultimately be futile in terms of securing the long-term future of the branches.’

Notes to editors:
1. The five post offices that closed in Merton in June 2008 were Sherwood Park Road, Pollards Hill; Green Lane, St Hellier; Coombe Lane, Raynes Park; Wimbledon High Street; Woodside Parade, Leopold Rd.
2. The 17 post offices that remain open in Merton are as follows: Wimbledon Park; Haydons Road; Wimbledon Hill; The Broadway; Merton; London Road; Streatham Road; Northborough Road; Mitcham; Church Road; London Road; Morden; Martin Way; Grand Drive; Motspur Park; Raynes Park and Kingston Road.