Last chance to have your say on plans to relocate East Finchley Post Office

Post Office staff were joined by campaigners as they went on strike outside East Finchley Post Office over the relocation plans last year.

Post Office staff were joined by campaigners as they went on strike outside East Finchley Post Office over the relocation plans last year.

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Post Office users have until the end of the day to have their say on plans to relocate the East Finchley branch.

The national postal chain plans to move East Finchley Post Office in Viceroy Parade 90 metres along High Road, to Universal Office Equipment (UOE) in February.

The Post Office has said the same services would be available at the new branch, with the possible exception of an internal cash machine.

Opening hours would also be five hours longer than at the current premises, extended to 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Saturday.

But customers have raised concerns about the quality of services that would be provided as well as the long-term guarantee of a post office in the area.

The Communication Worker’s Union, which represents the branch’s seven staff members, launched a campaign against the move, and Sarah Sackman, Labour's prospective parliamentary candidate for Finchley and Golders Green, has also called on the Post Office to modernise the current branch rather than relocate it.

Ms Sackman said: “This is the last chance for people to tell Post Office Ltd that East Finchley deserves a modernised post office, just like the High Barnet post office. Post Office Ltd is treating East Finchley like a poor relation.

“East Finchley residents are worried that franchising post office services to UOE Ltd could lead to further cuts in staff numbers and poorer quality of service in the future because of commercial pressures. 

“If UOE Ltd ceased trading or changed its business for any reason there would be no Post Office service in East Finchley.”

Ms Sackman is also urging residents to ask for a guarantee of future services in East Finchley in their responses to the consultation, even though this is not an option given in the online consultation form.

The Post Office has said that no compulsory redundancies will be made if the move goes ahead, and all current staff would have the right to transfer.

A Post Office spokesman said: “UOE has been operating since 1983, specialising in office supplies and stationary. They regard the post office as a vital part of community services.

“We are confident they will be able to successfully run the branch in East Finchley, delivering excellent standards of customer service, with trained staff promoting products and services in a modern environment, over extended opening hours.

“Recent Post Office research shows that customer satisfaction levels are just as high for customers visiting franchise branches as those who access services via the crown network, and the same high level of service will be maintained should the proposed relocation of East Finchley post office go ahead.”

To have your say on the consultation visit www.postofficeviews.co.uk/liveconsultation.php before the end of the day.

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