Councils Back Protest over East Acton Post Office Closure

Residents reeling from loss of local facility


Local people wanting to make representations to the Post Office should write to Phillippa Wright, National Consultation Manager, Post Office Ltd, c/o - National Consultation Team, PO Box 2060, Watford WD18 8ZW.

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H&F Council has joined forces with Ealing Council in backing local residents who are reeling from the news that yet another post office branch in the Wormholt and
White City area is facing closure.

The branch in Old Oak Common Lane, East Acton, is one of 15 to be passed over for a merger between WH Smith's stores and 70 post office outlets by next summer.

Post Office Ltd says it is looking for a retail partner to run the branch as a franchise but no deal has yet been secured.

Wormholt estate resident Joyce Pearson, 77, who has mobility problems after suffering two minor strokes, said, "It will be devastating for all of us around here. I have lived in this house for 50 years and have been going to that post office for 50 years. Walking to East Acton once a week gives me some exercise. If this goes ahead I will have to order a cab to go to the bank or another post office further away. My husband is 82 and he also
uses the East Acton branch. We have a neighbour who has just had a hip replacement operation and her neighbours walk her to the post office once a week. The Bloemfontein Road branch has also closed and there are no banks around here. There are just cashpoints and they are no good for the elderly."

As well as Bloemfontein Road, other recent branch closures include Wood Lane, St Ann's Road, North End Road, Lillie Road, Blythe Road, Brackenbury Road, 318 Uxbridge Road, 349 Fulham Palace Road and Richmond Way.

Hammersmith Broadway Post Office moved to a branch of WH Smith in King's Mall last year - taking it further away from the bus and tube stations - despite a petition of more than 1,000 residents condemning the closure. A merger with a branch of WH Smith is now proposed for Farm Lane Post Office, in Fulham, which the council is also opposing.

Cllr Stephen Greenhalgh, Hammersmith & Fulham Council leader, said: "This is another severe blow for residents, following so soon after the Hammersmith Broadway
branch closure and a relentless tide of other branches shutting down in White City and other parts of the borough. We will be joining with Ealing Council in calling on the Post Office to reconsider this short-sighted move."

Cllr Jason Stacey, leader of Ealing Council, said: "Post offices are an essential local service relied on by many of our most vulnerable residents. It is simply not good enough for Post Office Ltd to push ahead with these plans without regard to how they will affect local people, particularly the elderly. This is a flawed decision that needs to be reversed as soon as possible."

A Post Office spokesman said, "Post Office Ltd is continuing to look for franchise partners for 15 Crown Post Office branches, including East Acton."

May 18, 2007