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‘The Post Office must not let down the community again’: Protest over plan to franchise Holloway branch

PUBLISHED: 17:53 28 January 2019 | UPDATED: 17:58 28 January 2019

Protestors outside Holloway Post Office. Picture: Gary Watt

Protestors outside Holloway Post Office. Picture: Gary Watt

Archant

Protestors picketed the Upper Holloway Crown post office on Saturday in a bid to stop it being franchised.

Protestors outside Holloway Post Office. Picture: Gary WattProtestors outside Holloway Post Office. Picture: Gary Watt

Councillors and unionists rallied outside the purpose-built Junction Road post office, ahead of its planned transfer further up the street to Today’s Express, where it would operate alongside their private businesses.

The Post Office’s six-week consultation ends on February 20 but it says franchising the branch is “a commercial decision” and it’s “not seeking feedback on this aspect of the change”.

The Post Office hopes the franchised store will open in April.

The Labour Leader and Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn, who couldn’t attended the demo, told the Gazette he is “wholeheartedly opposed” to the move.

Protestors outside Holloway Post Office. Picture: Gary WattProtestors outside Holloway Post Office. Picture: Gary Watt

He added: “Closing this post office would be a disastrous move.

“It would be bad news for workers and bad news for residents – some of whom are vulnerable – who all need and depend on their local post office.

“The Post Office must not let down the community again with another closure.”

The Finsbury Park post office in Seven Sisters Road was franchised in 2017. The Highbury Corner site was closed in the summer of 2014.

A CWU spokesperson said: “The people of Upper Holloway deserve far more than an inferior service tucked away at the back of a cramped shop. The present experienced staff will be replaced by a new, smaller workforce with minimal training and employed on far worse terms and conditions.

“There will be no long-term guarantee of service provision either, as the franchisee may encounter future financial difficulties.

“We are urging the Post Office to listen to the views of local people and their democratically elected representatives and retain Upper Holloway as a Crown Post Office on its present site.”

Post Office spokesperson said: “The Post Office is not immune to the pressures facing all retailers on the high street and that’s why we have to make changes, to make sure our services can remain at the heart of communities for many years to come.”

The Post Office will hold a public consultation from 3pm to 7pm at Archway Methodist Church, on February 15.

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